First For Bridge

  • News from the Bridge Room in the French Chateau

    Host report by Pauline Durie:

    The chateau of the Counts of Challes, is a beautiful and charming hotel and restaurant located in Challes les Eaux close to Chambéry in the Savoie region. It stands within the walls of the former 15th century castle of the Counts of Challes. The chateau has been completely renovated by the Treves family who bought it as almost derelict in 2002. This wonderful accommodation is surrounded by a park of more than 2 hectares that is an arboretum and has several places to sit in the sun, or the shade, and enjoy the stunning panoramic views. Accommodation in the chateau is often referred to as ‘quirky’ as all rooms are different. The chef prepared typical French cuisine made entirely of fresh produce and dinner was accompanied by wine from the cellars. Guests were invited to visit the cellars for a wine tasting session – enjoyed by all! Bridge sessions were well attended and closely contested in an excellent air conditioned room. The lounge area near the bar was often filled with a mixture of French staff and bridge players enjoying some friendly banter in front of the large screen watching both football and Wimbledon. Good luck to France in the final!

    Chateau Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in Rab, Croatia

    Host report by Kathy Williams:

    The island of Rab is one of Croatia’s larger islands and probably one of the most beautiful.

    Our hotel overlooked the old town of Rab, which was a 20 minute walk around the bay or a 5 minute ride in one of the taxi boats which went from the jetty outside the hotel.


    Our guide Natali did a guided walk of old Rab, taking us to all the best view points.

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  • Andrew's bridge tips - The differences between opening and overcalling


    The differences between opening and overcalling

    When your opponents open the bidding first your requirements for bidding are affected by the knowledge that they have opening values. We need to consider a little arithmetic. Opener has at least 12 high card points (HCP) and if you have a hand of approximate opening strength you have another 12. Therefore the two partners have at most 16 HCP between them, possibly considerably less! So how are they split? There are three possibilities (P), which will be extensively referred back to later:

    P1) Your partner has most of them. Therefore you should play in game.

    P2) Opener’s partner has most of them. Therefore they will outbid you, probably to game.

    P3) They are evenly split. It is probable that both sides can make a part score at the two or three level if their chosen suit is trumps, It is even possible, though less likely, that both sides can make game. Continue reading
  • News from the Bridge Room in La Quinta

    Refreshers Bridge at La Quinta Menorca by Portblue Boutique - 4th - 11th May 2018

    This beautiful 5 star hotel was the setting for our friendly teaching bridge holiday. We were greeted with an amazing welcome meeting from the hotel and spa managers; the cava and wine flowed generously and a bountiful selection of tapas dishes wowed our guests. La Quinta has beautiful grounds, indoor and outdoor pools, wellness centre providing a range of relaxing / invigorating treatments and attentive staff who looked after us during our stay.

    A short walk from the hotel is the beach with coastal trails and coves to explore, and the marina with lots of tavernas overlooking the boats.


    Several guests explored the island during the two optional organised excursions. The first trip included a boat ride around the harbour at Mahon, a visit to the pretty village of Binibeca, with its whitewashed houses and then time at the Cova den Xoroi cave. Later in the week the Island Tour visited the nature reserve of Es Grau, which included a guide walk around the lagoon and national park. Spectacular views across the island were provided at Mount Toro when visiting Mare de Deu del Toro sanctuary.

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  • News from The Bridge Room in Crete

    Host report by Barry & Maggie Watts:

    Some say the word idyll is derived from the Greek (eidullion). It is a short poem, a simple pleasure or a song. Rethymnom and the twin hotels, Agean Pearl and Pearl Beach, are as close as it gets to perfect for a bridge holiday. The two hotels operate as one, sharing all facilities. Between them a common mini-piazza serves as the main meeting place and a must for al-fresco dining and entertainment. Immediately outside the hotel is the private beach and the flat promenade to the old town; restaurants, supermarkets, shops, and close access to buses, taxis, chemist and banks. Of course it is much easier to visit the hotel spa, spend a lazy day in the sun served by the friendly hotel staff; idyllic.

    The island of Crete lies in the Southern Aegean and is the southernmost part of Greece. It could be a country in its own right because it has a history and mythology all of its own. It could also have been part of Asia, Africa or Europe because geographically it is equidistant from all three. The Island has been occupied and its culture enriched by Byzantium, Venice, Rome and Turkey but its deepest roots lie in its Minoan culture which dates back to 6000 BC. The Minoans born of Zeus on Mount Ida ruled Crete for 1500 years enjoying their greatest prosperity between 1800 and 1600 BC. At this time they produced superb art works and wonderful artifacts that are so sophisticated that they would be admired if produced today.

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