Our First Improver’s Bridge Holiday

Our first improver’s bridge holiday to the Algarve with Bob & Jacky Baker was enjoyed by all, and we hope that everyone went home having brushed up on their bridge skills.We are thrilled that we already have 10 tables booked for the Improver’s Bridge Holiday to Paphos in January 2015.

We have just added an Improver’s Holiday to the Venetian Riviera for May 2015. This is a 10 day improver’s holiday that includes a full day guided tour to Venice and gives you the chance to enjoy some free time in this delightful area, Lido di Jesolo, and the islands of the Lagoon.

We have also just launched an Intermediate Bridge Holiday to the 5* La Quinta Hotel in Menorca for October 2015, aimed at players who now have a good understanding of the basic bidding principles and wish to add some useful methods to their system.

improver's bridge algarve

Director’s Report

For our first improver’s holiday we looked at constructive bidding in the uncontested auction – that is, bidding when the opponents remain silent. Each morning we had a seminar on a particular topic (the 1NT opening and Stayman, Transfers, opening one of a suit, etc.) followed by a set of prepared hands designed to consolidate the message of the day.

In the evenings there were supervised play sessions, and the guests were encouraged to ask if they needed help (or often just reassurance). There was a mix of duplicate pairs and teams, and also different movements were used. When the players graduate to playing at their local clubs hopefully some of these will not seem too strange.

By the end of the week the increased confidence in some of the players was obvious – even when their opponents refused to stay out of the bidding. The initial nervousness had disappeared after the first day or so, and the atmosphere was incredibly friendly throughout. There were stories of players lying on sunbeds soaking up the sun and suddenly one would be asking “What would it mean if I bid 2NT?”,  “Would 3 clubs still be Stayman?”

We hope to see some of the players again, perhaps in Paphos in January when we shall look at the contested auction.

– Bob Baker

improver's bridge algarve

Host Report

This was our first Improvers holiday for Arena and whilst we knew the hotel was good we were not expecting temperatures in the high 20s °C.

The hotel has direct access to a lovely beach which is overlooked by a cafe and became a regular meeting point for the group.

With a fairly full programme of bridge there wasn’t much time for excursions away from the hotel, however our lovely local rep, Telma, organised a private minibus trip to the furthest South West point of Europe which was timed to fit in with our schedule.

We hope that everyone has taken away something from the week and expanded their knowledge of the game. We much appreciated the excellent atmosphere, good humour and fun that we had with our guests – many thanks to all of you who took part.

– Jacky Baker