Learn bridge the Andrew Robson way
Andrew Robson, the country’s top bridge teacher, and multiple world champion, has spent 30 years devising and refining his legendary bridge courses, with the emphasis on making this wonderful game a pleasure to play. With his help thousands of people have learnt to play and enjoy bridge to the full, many of them never having touched a card before. His friendly club in London is the most popular in the country and his newspaper columns in The Times and Country Life have entertained and informed bridge lovers for years. In 2013 he was awarded the OBE for his services to bridge and to charity.
Jonathan Davis is the founder of ARB Oxford, and a longstanding friend of Andrew Robson’s, at both the bridge table and beyond. He says: “I am delighted to be able to offer to teach Andrew’s methods here in Oxford, where I returned to live five years ago”. As well as opportunities to play with others, we offer courses, seminars and group coaching for all levels of ability, from beginner up to emerging expert. You can book any of these from the Book Here page at the top of the website.
it’s all online for now but watch this space
Because of the coronavirus, all our lessons and play sessions have been online for the best part of two years now, but we are itching to return to offering face to face play as soon as we can, since making friends and enjoying the companionship of like-minded others is such an important part of the appeal of bridge as a game. For our online sessions and seminars, we use a combination of Zoom video-conferencing and the Bridge Base Online bridge platform. The online bridge page has more details and is updated on a regular basis. You can read my latest weekly updates here. Do feel to get in touch with me if there is something you think I might be able to help you with. My email address is on the contacts page.
Regular play and learn sessions
Until the pandemic struck Bridge in Oxford hosted a weekly supervised play session in Wytham Village Hall every Tuesday morning, starting at 9.30am and finishing at 1pm. The village hall is an ideal venue for face to face bridge, with plenty of free parking and easily accessible from the Oxford ring road. For the last 16 months the Tuesday morning sessions have been held online, but the format remains broadly the same. We play a series of randomly dealt hands under supervision – it is the best way to practise everything you know or have learnt about bridge and to meet other like-minded enthusiasts in a friendly atmosphere.
There is expert guidance at every stage and at the end of each hand, you have the opportunity to discuss the deal, review the bidding and play and see if or where you might have gone wrong. See the Play and Learn page and the News and Updates page for more details. No partner is required, although a number of regular partners do participate each week. All but absolute beginners are welcome; please email in advance if you have not been before. We look forward to resuming bridge at Wytham as soon as pandemic restrictions are eased. NEW! In addition, as soon as we return to face to face bridge, we will be offering a regular bridge session in the Cotswold town of Charlbury for anyone living further out to the west of Oxford.
About our teaching
The bidding methods I teach are based on traditional UK practice (weak No Trump and four-card majors), as refined by Andrew Robson. The advantage is that something similar is played by the great majority of players in this country and by everyone who participates in our courses and regular playing sessions. Bidding this way provides a common language that allows you to sit down and play quite easily with almost anyone socially and a solid framework for doing well if you wish to go and play at a club or in a tournament.
Since lockdown began, making face to face sessions impossible, the bulk of my teaching has been in the form of regular weekly online coaching sessions for groups of four players. I am currently hosting around eight of these 60 or 90 minute sessions each week. Each one features a series of randomly dealt hands for you to bid and play (although I can also produce prepared hands for specific topics). It is one thing to learn bidding and play as standalone topics, but another to recognise when to use each technique or convention. The group coaching sessions are a perfect opportunity to practise what you have learnt, with individual expert supervision all the way through. Email me if you are interested in bringing your game with friends to a higher level.
Andrew Robson courses
If you are interested in a course, there are eleven different Andrew Robson courses to choose from – one for every level of ability and experience. See this page for the full range. The courses consist of eight individual lessons, with each 1 hour 45 minute lesson covering a specific topic in both bidding and play. All courses come with detailed course notes and the chance to play through a series of instructive pre-dealt hands, asking questions as you go along. Feel free to contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you see a course that you think would benefit you. Because of the pandemic, these courses are now being taught in chunks of two longer half-day sessions, rather than being spread over eight weeks.
Bridge topic seminars
Monday mornings are when I hold my regular term-time seminars. You can join a two-hour weekly seminar on a range of topics, a different one each week. See the seminars page for more details and to find out which topics are being taught which week. For each seminar I produce a series of presentation slides (emailed to you after the event) and take you through a number of carefully chosen illustrative hands. These seminars are interactive, giving you the chance to ask questions as the seminar progresses. NEW! The topic seminars will shortly be available as videos you can purchase and watch in your own time.
What to do next
To get on the mailing list to find out more and stay in touch for news about the latest courses and receive periodic “bridge tales“, simply fill in your email address in the sidebar. If you have any queries or want to know which course is right for you, then send me an email and I will get back to you as soon as I can. And most importantly of all, do please tell your friends and family that Bridge in Oxford is open for business……this game is brilliant and you won’t regret taking it up, whether you play socially or aspire to something higher.