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Acol textbook

#21 User is offline   StevenG 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 07:47

View PostPhilG007, on 2017-October-30, 01:56, said:

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"

It's extremely out of date.
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#22 User is offline   Palladian 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 09:35

View PostTramticket, on 2017-October-28, 15:34, said:

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.


I started using the Crowhurst's in the 80s and it is still my main reference. Agreed, it is deficient for those at the highest level now, but by working through and understanding his sequences you can still put up a formidable performance.
An under appreciated part of the book are his examples which clarifies some of the more obscure points.
The books are written with a light touch, his phrase "at the sniff of an oily rag" has stuck with me through the years.
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#23 User is offline   murks0815 

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Posted 2017-October-30, 18:00

I found on german amazon site:

Acol Bridge Lessons For Beginners (English Edition)1. Oktober 2012, Louise Smith
Acol Bridge Flipper (Master Bridge (Cassell))12. Februar 2004, Ron Klinger

and some german texts.

Klingers booklet ist just a listing of bidding lines, more of a memory help.

If you want to play 4-Card-Acol, users in my club say it's very easy, no weak2 which means all bidding of 2something is strong. You need to decide wether you play NT strong or weak or mix both depending on vulnerability.

Good luck!
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#24 User is offline   rienzi 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 05:38

The English Bridge Union has a pair of teaching manuals entitled "Beginning Bridge, Book One" and "Continuing Bridge, Book Two". It also has a file entitled "Standard English Acol, Foundation Level System File 2017" and you will find it on the internet. You might try the EBU for help and will be pleased with the result.
There is also the "Really Easy" series that you might find useful, too
There are not that many books on the subject and the ones that are, are probably dated. Ron Klinger has two entitled "Basic Bridge" and "Guide to Better Acol Bridge".

My personal preference is "All About Acol" by Ben Cohen and Rhoda Lederer. It was written at the time when the variable notrump was popular and it suffers from the problem that while the variable element is still alive in some quarters it is possibly out of fashion in a world where 1NT 12-14 hcp openings are the norm. Nevertheless I have found that the principles expounded in it are alive and well still. It needs to be read carefully as so much stuff will slip by if you are not paying attention. A considerable advantage is that to-day when we open at the one-level in any of the four suits four cards are a guaranteed minimum holding. Mind you, some of the bids are tricky.

With "Precision Bidding in Acol" you need to be on song with your partner, not everyone likes the style or understands it. "Acol in Competition" on the other hand, is an idea source of information for any partnership. If you need further information "Acol Index" by the same Crowhurst is a useful guide when wondering what particular bids mean or should mean.

It is true that there is much need for an up-to-date version of AAA but where to start is possibly the problem. There doesn't seem to be a standard system
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#25 User is offline   rienzi 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 05:41

View PostStevenG, on 2017-October-30, 07:47, said:

It's extremely out of date.

You will get a second hand copy from Amazon and probably ABE Books
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#26 User is online   Tramticket 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 06:41

View Postrienzi, on 2018-December-07, 05:41, said:

You will get a second hand copy from Amazon and probably ABE Books


The comment was "Out of Date" not "Out of Print". It isn't difficult to get hold of a copy - they sold in their millions and most second-hand bookshops have a large pile of them out the back somewhere. Museums are full of them. I have a copy on my shelves - signed personally by Rhoda Lederer when she visited our club - back in my youth.

But the ideas that are out of date, as is the method of presentation and most importantly the fundamental bridge assumptions.

A couple of examples of out of date ideas leap out immediately. No modern Acol player uses strong twos! Jacoby 2NT and splinters are the norm for Acol players - delayed game raises and Swiss belong in another era.

But more important than the methods, is the out-of-date underlying bridge assumptions. For example the book makes very poor recommendations on hand valuation. It lays down rigid point-count rules and takes insufficient account of hand shape and texture.
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#27 User is offline   Cyberyeti 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 11:33

View PostTramticket, on 2018-December-07, 06:41, said:

A couple of examples of out of date ideas leap out immediately. No modern Acol player uses strong twos!


Depends on your definition of modern, people still play these at a very decent level although the majority of strong 2 artists use a multi. I used to occasionally have to play this with somebody who has now moved out of the area.
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#28 User is online   pescetom 

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Posted 2018-December-07, 13:31

View PostCyberyeti, on 2018-December-07, 11:33, said:

Depends on your definition of modern, people still play these at a very decent level although the majority of strong 2 artists use a multi. I used to occasionally have to play this with somebody who has now moved out of the area.


Terence Reese was already deprecating strong 2s in 1973, but they do have some merits despite the problematic 2NT response. Here in Italy they were still popular until quite recently and some even included them in 5 card majors, but now they are dying out fast.
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