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Bridge Winners Profile for Simon Stocken

Simon Stocken
Simon Stocken
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Basic Information

Member Since
Nov. 27, 2015
Last Seen
April 25
Member Type
Bridge Teacher
about me

I am salaried part-time to teach bridge to kids and in schools. I am the sole employee of the David Davenport Fund in the UK - a CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) registered fund dedicated to bringing bridge into schools and to teaching the game to children. There is great progress happening in particular in Belfast within the UK - teaching bridge in curriculum time is I believe the 'golden goose'

I also travel extensively on my own time and money to play bridge and connect with bridge teachers and players around the world. I am looking to discover best practice and innovative methods used across the globe to discover what works well and thereby create methods that will hopefully be useful to all involved in bringing more players (especially the young) into the game of bridge.

I've been a bridge teacher most of my life, the first of my family to choose it as a profession. Now all three siblings and both parents are also bridge-teachers. I helped Andrew Robson establish his club on the Fulham Road in London in 1995 after working with him at the Acol Bridge club in West Hampstead. I met Andrew while in the England U25 squad partnering both my brothers in turn. Shortly after completing my Classics degree at Oxford I knocked on the door of The London School of Bridge and landed a job running the rubber bridge game a couple of nights a week. Andrew Robson gave me my first full-time bridge job  at the Acol club a few months later. He is still an ally and very supportive in bringing more young people into the game.

I enjoy systems: testing and analysing them while attempting to probe and fix inherent weaknesses. Bridge systems have the same appeal for me, although I've not had a regular partner I have spent many hours devising the weird and wonderful. I prefer natural methods. I grew up reading every bridge book I could find (and we had a lot) as the whole family started playing competitively in England in the 80s. Victor Mollo and his menagerie introduced me to the delights of the game. I'm a fan of Phil King's offerings also (along with his father). Adventures in Cardplay is one of my favourites along with the Reese over-the-shoulder books, all of which I revisit regularly. My bridge hero would be Zia - Bridge My Way is still one of the greats and he is a fine dilpomat for the game.

I have attended three NABCs (Phoenix 2003, Vegas 2014 and Toronto 2017) and played bridge in places as diverse as Seoul, Botswana, Colombia and Iceland. World-wide, the game of bridge has introduced me to communities and people and made me some friends for life. The HCL in Delhi is still my favourite tournament for the wonderful hospitality (great food too) and i will be returning in August 2019 to play there again.

I even played some bridge on the top of Mt Kilimanjaro. I sponsored the porters to carry a table and chairs up so that we might raise extra money for the charity Ace Africa. I have also taught in Khayeliitsha town-ship outside Cape Town.

I am also a writer, semi-professional poker player and a maker of bespoke wooden jigsaw puzzles. The Queen has several of my puzzles and I was featured on the cover of the EBU magazine in 2002 with a 2512 piece, multi-layer puzzle I presented to HM for her Golden Jubilee. My writings remain unpublished.


United Kingdom

Bridge Information

Favorite Bridge Memory
Playing two hands against Omar Sharif at the Park Lane Hotel as a young boy. Honours even. Playing Team Monaco in 2014 Vanderbilt (lost 100-150 with a first-time partner)
Bridge Accomplishments
U25 England squad. Some small tournament wins - from Bangkok to Bogota. Assisting Barry Rigal and PO Sunderland as part of the commentary team at the Youth World Championships in Wuijang in 2018
Regular Bridge Partners
Very few regular partners - my brothers before we all became bridge-teachers. My mum. My dad. Nowadays: John Connelly, Juan-Felipe Cuervo. 陳冠瑄 (Sherry from Taiwan). Prasad Keni
Member of Bridge Club(s)
Not so much anymore - previously Doncaster. Young Chelsea
Favorite Tournaments
NABCs - Reisinger especially. HCL
Favorite Conventions
Muppet. Transfers as often as possible. Switch. Two-way bids. Multi versus multi.
BBO Username
ACBL Ranking
Sorry, this user has no cards yet.
The New Tricks Tournament Series
I thought it was a great advert for bridge. The production values were high. The two commentators were both excellent. I liked AR's comment on doubling 4H without the heart stopper - where Jerry S passed the 4H bid. Instructive hands and lots of variance within both. Did Dennis B ...
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
i'm laughing anyhow! And you've got me checking out MOSCITO I love System - the weird the wonderful, and the logical most of all
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
That sounds great - can you clarify which book please? It sounds like you are talking about the book in my post but that isn't yet published so that can't be right surely?
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
The hand above is very similar to one demonstrated in the free Preview (highly recommended) - partner did have Kx of Clubs. My bidding was atrocious - my partner and I had had virtually zero discussion in my defence/excuse and time was pressing etc etc. I bid 4NT 5 5NT ...
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
That is really wonderful news. I wish I had been playing 2-way (weak/strong) Transfer Jump Shifts today. I picked up AKQ10xxxx Ax x xx Partner opened 1D I like the fact that the Transfer Jump Shifts work over 1C and 1D Openers And also over interference although slightly differently ...
Out of the Books
It's a 5-loser hand on some evaluations (some deduct 1 for being aceless) Many would open it. Many wouldn't 1st Seat Green it rates to be + EV and it didn't go that well for those catching up later in as much as there was some punting I ...
5-Card Majors - The Scanian Way. Free Bridge Book for Junior Players courtesy of Mats Nilsland.
Howard, I've amended the post to make it clear: The book is free for those born in 1993 or later. At least the first 100 copies. I will have more details on how the rest of us will be able to buy an actual hard copy in due course ...
Keep Bridge Alive in the USA
Thank you Chris Thank you for asserting the need for positivity. We are all striving for the same goal I have met Samantha earlier this year and have been twice up to Stirling to find out more. I am the sole employee of The David Davenport Trust. David died and ...
What’s the Point of Keep Bridge Alive?
I forget the exact numbers. Typically a team would receive 6 for a gold/silver/bronze - 1 for each member. I think 4 categories (juniors, youngsters, girls, kids) and then pairs, teams and teams BAM so twelve events with 3 medals available in each. 144 possible medals in Pairs and ...
What’s the Point of Keep Bridge Alive?
Please Keep up this important work. I am keen to see a research project initiated that provides the benefit of teaching bridge in schools and to children. In 2001 a study was done in Iowa, "Statistically Speaking" and it is much quoted to confirm what we already know. Bridge is ...

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