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Acol textbook

#1 User is offline   Tim Ocean 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 09:35

Could you recommand me an acol textbook? Thank you in advance.
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#2 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 09:58

The answer to that is probably 'No' these days, in all seriousness, as even in my extensive bridge library there is no longer a book on Acol bidding.

Whilst Acol is still taught in many British clubs, most of the rest of the world has adopted a 5 card major, strong no-trump system, and whilst Acol is a neat system it is slowly disappearing, and so are the players that are using it.

The Australian bridge champion and author, Ron Klinger, produced many books and flippers on the Acol system so a search of eBay or Amazon will give you choice. As for one book I could recommend, I'll rather leave that to other forum members to advise you.
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#3 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 10:35

At http://www.ebu.co.uk...cs/system-cards there are system files for 'Standard English Acol' and 'Bridge for all Acol'.
Robin

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#4 User is offline   steve2005 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 11:26

Precision bidding in Acol and Acol in competition by Eric Crowhurst
2nd book probably pricey if you can find it.
Maybe a bit intellectual but if trying to actually try to win this is best.
Sarcasm is a state of mind
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#5 User is offline   P_Marlowe 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 14:45

Hi,

I learned Bridge using Ron Klingers Books, they were ok.
But my recommendation would be to have a look at Sandra Landies Books.
She was involved in defining the system, that was adopted EBU as "Standard System".
My take is, that this system is a updated version of the Acol System.

With kind regards
Marlowe
With kind regards
Uwe Gebhardt (P_Marlowe)
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#6 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 15:04

View PostP_Marlowe, on 2017-October-28, 14:45, said:

Hi,

I learned Bridge using Ron Klingers Books, they were ok.
But my recommendation would be to have a look at Sandra Landies Books.
She was involved in defining the system, that was adopted EBU as "Standard System".
My take is, that this system is a updated version of the Acol System.

With kind regards
Marlowe


I played regularly against (the late) Sandra Landy in my youth 1970s/1980s, Uwe, and was unaware that she had produced a series of bridge books. I have just looked on Amazon and they get some good reviews.
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 15:23

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-October-28, 09:58, said:

Whilst Acol is still taught in many British clubs, most of the rest of the world has adopted a 5 card major, strong no-trump system,

Just a small point but a book on Acol and a 5 card major, strong NT system are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The very first bridge book I read, one of those that I taught myself the game with, taught a version of Acol using 5 card majors and a 16-18 NT. I ironically learned about 4 card majors through Culbertson's white book. The point here is that Acol is a set of rules rather than specifically being Weak NT with 4 card majors. Given that the original Acol used a strong NT when vulnerable, that ought to be obvious but somehow the illusion that a system must have these elements to be considered "Acol" lingers on.

For someone wanting to play Modern English Acol now, I would suggest the links provided by Robin are a good place to start, together with simply playing in the Acol Club on BBO.
(-: Zel :-)
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#8 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 15:34

View Poststeve2005, on 2017-October-28, 11:26, said:

Precision bidding in Acol and Acol in competition by Eric Crowhurst
2nd book probably pricey if you can find it.


Whilst I used to treat these books as my bible, they now feel hopelessly dated and have not stood up well to the passage of time.

We are in urgent need of a good quality Acol text. The best I can do is the English Bridge Union's "Really Easy Modern Acol". But, whilst it is fine for a beginner/intermediate level player. It is too superficial to be useful at a higher level.
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#9 User is offline   Tramticket 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 15:41

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-October-28, 15:23, said:

Just a small point but a book on Acol and a 5 card major, strong NT system are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The very first bridge book I read, one of those that I taught myself the game with, taught a version of Acol using 5 card majors and a 16-18 NT. I ironically learned about 4 card majors through Culbertson's white book. The point here is that Acol is a set of rules rather than specifically being Weak NT with 4 card majors. Given that the original Acol used a strong NT when vulnerable, that ought to be obvious but somehow the illusion that a system must have these elements to be considered "Acol" lingers on.

For someone wanting to play Modern English Acol now, I would suggest the links provided by Robin are a good place to start, together with simply playing in the Acol Club on BBO.


I agree with all of this. But Acol in practice has evolved to mean a system based on a weak NT and four-card majors - for UK based players. Even then, some open a major before a minor with 4-4. Some open a minor before a major and some vary this depending on other features of the hand. These choices can lead to very different systems, but all would claim to be playing Acol!
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#10 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-28, 21:32

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-October-28, 15:23, said:

Just a small point but a book on Acol and a 5 card major, strong NT system are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The very first bridge book I read, one of those that I taught myself the game with, taught a version of Acol using 5 card majors and a 16-18 NT. I ironically learned about 4 card majors through Culbertson's white book. The point here is that Acol is a set of rules rather than specifically being Weak NT with 4 card majors. Given that the original Acol used a strong NT when vulnerable, that ought to be obvious but somehow the illusion that a system must have these elements to be considered "Acol" lingers on.

For someone wanting to play Modern English Acol now, I would suggest the links provided by Robin are a good place to start, together with simply playing in the Acol Club on BBO.


They say you learn something every day, Zel, and I was not even aware of this, but that 16-18 NT was the only no-trump used at the rubber bridge table. My first bridge book was Begin Bridge by GCH Fox. I was a good chess player for my age at the time, in my teens, but was curious about 'the interesting little card game' my next door neighbour played. Still interested and curious 40+ years on so it seems...
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#11 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 04:37

View PostThe_Badger, on 2017-October-28, 21:32, said:

They say you learn something every day, Zel, and I was not even aware of this, but that 16-18 NT was the only no-trump used at the rubber bridge table. My first bridge book was Begin Bridge by GCH Fox. I was a good chess player for my age at the time, in my teens, but was curious about 'the interesting little card game' my next door neighbour played. Still interested and curious 40+ years on so it seems...

That could well be the book I was thinking of, although it is a long time ago and I cannot remember properly (another possibility is Basic Acol by Cohen/Lederer). I do remember the oddities - not just the 16-18 NT and 5 card majors but also, for example, using 1M - 4 as a general GF raise. I am fairly sure that this combination is unique for a beginner's bridge book teaching Acol.

Interestingly enough, my bridge story is rather similar to yours. I was also very much a chess player and used the local library as my main resource for improvement besides playing. At some point I had exhausted the supply of chess books and started taking out books from nearby. The bridge books were naturally a part from that and as I was very interested in cryptography and maths puzzles, I found the bidding fascinating. It was clear to me even as a pre-teen that natural bidding was far from optimal in terms of conveying information.

The downside from this approach, and perhaps the major difference from your experience, was that I spent the first (7-8?) years of learning playing the game completely alone. Unlike you I did not have a neighbour to play with and all of the bridge clubs around me at that time only played , which was good for being able to try interesting things and analyse but extremely bad for partnership aspects such as defence. It also meant that I had no concept about bidding restrictions for a long time, something that seriously put me off the game at the time but luckily not enough to stop completely.

Going back to the books, in the 1970s the Bible of Acol was the famous "blue book". Unfortunately I cannot remember the official title but it is possible that a revised edition of this has been published, which would naturally be an excellent reference tool for a new player. Can you remember the name Robin? I feel sure it was part of your collection at some point, if not still on your shelves.
(-: Zel :-)
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#12 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 05:47

I started bridge with my late grandfather who was a decent player in his day at the age of 8 and learned Acol with a "phoney club" and strong notrump.

When I learned to bid at university in the 80s we went with Crowhurst's ideas and I still use many of them and have adapted them with some ideas from the Landy/Horton (now Brock) partnership into what I have played with my current partner for the best part of 25 years.

One of the reasons to open minor before major is because it works well with a wide range strong 1N rebid in a weak notrump system, but you need to think about all the knock on effects thoroughly in a partnership.
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#13 User is offline   RMB1 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 06:27

View PostZelandakh, on 2017-October-29, 04:37, said:

Going back to the books, in the 1970s the Bible of Acol was the famous "blue book". Unfortunately I cannot remember the official title but it is possible that a revised edition of this has been published, which would naturally be an excellent reference tool for a new player. Can you remember the name Robin? I feel sure it was part of your collection at some point, if not still on your shelves.


Me??

My reference book in the 1970s was a small red hardback book which gave quite a comprehensive/consistent opening bid / response / rebid structure. I can't find the book on my shelves, or remember the name or author.
Robin

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#14 User is offline   kladenak 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 08:23

I would recommend two books by Ron Klinger: Guide to better Acol bridge and Guide to better duplicate bridge. They both have lots of very good material.
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#15 User is offline   Oldjewells 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 11:15

There are books by Andrew Robson including Beginners Guide to Bridge and Improve Your Bridge Game. I find the books by Sarah Landy very helpful. The perfect book doesn't exist so what you need is one that suits you and you enjoy. When specific things come up Googling them brings up several explanations and I select the one that I find easiest to grasp. Bridge has evolved as a game so to make sure you are learning modern Acol use a modern book! Or better still books...
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#16 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 13:01

ACOL is a state of mind rather than a system these days. In my mind, it is a weak nt with 4 card majors. The Cohen Lederer books are hopelessly out of date. Variable no trump, Strong 2s, Swiss, Gerber, regular blackwood etc etc

So while there are no modern texts on ACOL, there are several modern versions of weak NT systems with 4 or 5 card majors. I like Andrew Robson's books
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#17 User is offline   The_Badger 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 13:49

I had a good look on Amazon, and this book gets some very good reviews and is just over 10 years old. Might be the one, and if you live in the UK you can get a good secondhand copy for just £2.69!

https://www.amazon.c...customerReviews
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#18 User is offline   Pertinax 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 20:45

There aren't a lot of modern Acol books, Ron Klinger has updated most of his in the last decade though. In the Master Bridge series Klinger has a beginner's lesson book "Basic Bridge: The Guide to Good Acol Bidding and Play" and then the intermediate level "Guide to Better Acol Bridge". There is also "The New Complete Book Of Bridge"(2014) by Albert Dormer with Ron Klinger. This is an update of "The Complete Book of Bridge" by Reese and Dormer which was an Acol alternative to Goren's Bridge Complete, and what I learnt Bridge from.
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#19 User is offline   Pertinax 

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Posted 2017-October-29, 23:54

The most common strong NT in Acol was 15-17 played when vulnerable. But changing the strength of the NT means you are playing a completely different system with different suit openings, raises and rebids. Which is confusing and annoying, so it fell out of favour more than 50 years ago. Playing a strong NT with 4 card majors you are playing 1960s Goren with invitational raises. You have to worry about suit quality when opening 4 card Majors, have to rebid 4 card Majors sometimes, can't draw as many distributional inferences from partners bidding and you often don't have a good rebid with a balanced 12-14 after a forcing Acol 2/1 showing 9+ (or even 8 with a long suit). The problems that weak NT and 5 card Major systems were invented to solve. Playing a strong NT with 5 card majors and you are playing modern standard.

Acol came to mean a weak NT with direct natural bidding and invitational raises through-out. Suit openings are 4 card Major, or 5 card Spade & 4 card Heart (e.g. Dormer & Klinger). This is what the not 50-year-old Acol textbooks recommended in this thread teach. It's a simple and fun system to play, excellent for Match Points but has become rare for high level IMPs play, where 2/1 with cheating became de rigueur.
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#20 User is offline   PhilG007 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 01:56

View PostTim Ocean, on 2017-October-28, 09:35, said:

Could you recommand me an acol textbook? Thank you in advance.

I can thoroughly recommend "All About Acol" by Ben Cohen and Rhoda Lederer.
It fully describes the system in its entirety. When it was first published
in the 70s,it went out of print 3 times thus testifying to its popularity
You can order it through a bookseller or via an online bookstore such as
"Abebooks.com" or "Alibris.co.uk"
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