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6th Jul 2020 13:44 BST
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Welcome to the Royal Automobile Club Bridge Circle - Pall Mall
Paul CÚzanne The Card Players
Paul CÚzanne The Card Players
Last updated : 6th Jul 2020 13:44 BST
RAC vs. Cumberland

On 24th June,   the  RAC played its yearly social match against the Cumberland and, par to form, lost.

Nicole organized and directed the match, divided in 4 sessions of 6 boards each, with her customary  professionality and patience.  

We all enjoyed the event and the pair who gave away 1400 shall remain charitably nameless.

Last updated : 25th Jun 2020 09:54 BST

I'm giving up Bridge - tonight's my last night,

It's Amen to Stayman, I give up the fight.
The insults and muddles are giving me troubles;
I can't sleep at night for remembering doubles.

What to bid, what to lead, and which cards have been played?
Did my partner's discard mean she wanted a spade?
So for now it's all over - I'm off to the back wood,
I'm bidding good riddance to Gerber and Blackwood.

I can't stand the hassle, I can't stand the pain,
I'm getting those bad cards again and again.
I'm giving up Bridge - tonight's a bad night,
Declarer is horrid and nothing's gone right.

My partner's quite hopeless but tends to blame me,
When we go down in four and we should be in three.
And I sit there in dread when I hear her say "double",
She does it a lot and it always means trouble.

My points are not high, and I'm wondering why,
She keeps on and on bidding right up to the sky:
We're in seven hearts and my nerves are all frayed,
When wonder of wonders - the contract is made!

We've got all the tricks, the defenders look grey,
And I have to admit that my partner's okay.
But ... I'm giving up Bridge - tonight's my last night,
Farewell to conventions, I give up the fight!

So I end with some words that I know to be true,
Bridge is a game, not for me but for you.
So be kind to your partners, and don't mind their cheek,
For it's only a game - oh! and see you next week!

Last updated : 22nd Jun 2020 21:35 BST
Bridge is available online NOW!


New games every Saturday - EARLYBIRD Individual at 9.05am & NIGHTOWL Individual at 9.05pm (12 bds, 6 minutes)

 6.45pm every Wednesday RAC OPEN Duplicate - $5BBO game, 24 boards

Register for evening games as normal - however for night's games you will need $5BBO dollars(which you must buy in advance ON BBO),- if you do not have BBU dollars you must buy some. Use your debit/credit card (APPLE and Google Pay have high exchange charges) - if you get really stuck you can buy an extra daytime session and I will transfer it to BBO dollars for you - tell me when you buy.

Daytime games are now five pounds a session, or if you play twice a week or more then opt for the all-you-can-play payment option to save money

We have established regular sessions now on BBO which are OPEN to all St James Group players. RAC hosted games are on Thursday at 1.00pm and Sunday at 11am - All-You-Can-Play members please look on the St James Calendar for other games to join in as you wish as well. Then we look forward to seeing you online soon. Stay safe and well please! Nicole

Bridgebase is where we meet to play matches in a weekly teams league. Joining Bridgebase How-to video and first hand (5mins) nonYouTube version.

So what do you need to do? - 1. Watch the video - 2. Decide if you need more before you try it- 3. Get yourself online - 4. Tell me your username 5. Turn up and register with your partner or at the Partnership Desk (Registration 30-60minutes before play). NB Players not online and IN THE COMPETITIVE AREA at start time will be DEREGISTERED AND WILL NOT PLAY.

Bridge is available online NOW!
Last updated : 16th Jun 2020 16:57 BST

Hi everyone
Do hope you are all keeping well and safe in very surreal times.
Obviously there is some relaxation in lockdown rules and the Club is taking restaurant and room bookings for July. However sadly it is currently  difficult to see  when we will be able to sit together and play bridge in the clubhouse. 
In the meantime we continue to play on line bridge using BBO
There are full details of what is available on bridgewebs and how to access them. 

There is now at least 1 organised event everyday

The St James Calendar

We are incredibly grateful to Nicole for all her work in keeping us going. I would like to highlight the following events from the many listed 

1) Sunday bridge 11 am 5 July then stay on for Zoom and Pimms . 

This is in place of our usual Summer lunch which has had to be cancelled from the same date. 

You need to book as a pair and then you will be automatically combined with another pair to make a team. We will play a teams event with a social get together  as well. Once the event has started you will receive a link to join everyone after on the zoom social.

2) Ernest Lawson Wednesday 22 July 6.30 for 6.45 cost 5BBO$ ( this is only session in week not included in package price) 

This is our annual mentor/ mentee event for the Ernest Lawson cup. This year there will be in region of 9 mentor/ mentee pairs. They are the only ones eligible to win the cup. However we encourage all other pairs to enter as normal and  to support and encourage mentees, some playing their first full duplicate. 

3)Early bird and Night-Owl bridge sessions every Saturday  Time change 9.05 AM and 9.05 PM

The above events have only been running 2 weeks. Those of us who have done them have enjoyed them. They are individual events so you do not need a partner to book. You will play 12 boards with at least 6 different Partners ( depending on number of entries).

Would be lovely to have a few more entries and they don’t last much over 1 hour.

After several requests we have changed the time slightly and is now as above .

Do hope to meet you on line soon and hopefully see you on Zoom on 5 July

Keep well and safe 

Best wishes

Sally on behalf of Bridge Activity Committee 


Last updated : 16th Jun 2020 16:52 BST
Sunday Bridge with Zoom and Pimms afterwards
Early Bird Individual
Night Owl Individual
StJ Cumberland-Friday Pairs
Wed 8th Jul 2020
Evening Duplicate Online
Thu 9th Jul 2020
Duplicate Pairs online
Wed 15th Jul 2020
Evening Duplicate Online
Thu 16th Jul 2020
Duplicate Pairs online
Food for thought - What is an opening bid?

The criteria/ requirements for an opening bid have varied over the decades since the game was first played in 1920.

Culbertson was the first.  He advocated  2 1/2 quick tricks. So AK. K. or some such but note the quick. Single K is not  half a trick. Goren in the forties went next and using the 1234 point count (Milton Work ) brought in “Point Count Bidding“  he added length to this. So he taught 12/13 High Card Points. You could shade down from there with length. Next was Acol, who used similar methods but did allow a 6 card suit and as low as 9 points. Next in the 60s/70s the big club systems, Precision, Blue Club. The advantage here was that any hand other than 1C must be less than 16 HCP. So in crept very light opening bids.

Today the rule of twenty is widely used.

Who is/was right ?

The answer of course is they all were! The first point is  what are Partner’s expectations and on this you must agree?. These “rules”  are not absolute they are guides. Other considerations are important

  1. Composition of suits. AQJ1098, is clearly superior to AQJ762 or A109876 A106532. Look at the fourth card.
  2. Are the high cards in the long suits? S A.  H. Q8743 D.KQ C. 87543 is not.   S.8 H. KQ9876  D.AJ754 C. 5 surely is worth a go other that first in hand vulnerable.
  3. Two defensive tricks. This goes back to Culbertson.
  4. Points QJX QJX QJx QJX -  12 points is NOT an opening bid Axx. AXX. AXXX. XXX is

I wrote to Andrew Robson on this and in this tone, he wrote back that rule of 20 was a useful teaching tool but other  considerations must come into play.

The trouble with this game is that there are guidelines not rules and you must consider all other factors