Spring 2020 teaching and play sessions

Here (at last!) are my plans for teaching in the New Year. I am trying this time round to be as flexible as possible, so that nobody is disadvantaged if they cannot make all the lessons in each course. There is a summary on this link. https://arb-oxf.uk/summer-2019-courses/

Here are the current options:


There is no scheduled beginners class at present, but if you would like to learn from scratch, don’t despair. Simply drop me an email (arb.oxford@gmail.com) and let me know you are interested in learning.  I shall add you to my waiting list and as soon as there are enough people to make it viable, we will schedule a time and venue for the beginners course. You won’t regret learning this great game!

Next Step

This will be taking place over four consecutive Friday mornings beginning on Friday January 17th. Each session will be a double lesson, which experience shows is helpful for those at this stage of their learning. The course is already nearly full, but there may be an opportunity to join if you let me know in the next week or so. There are a couple of one-off spots also available on the first and third dates. Venue: Wytham Village Hall. Start 9.30am. Free parking. Booking form attached. See the course outlines page on the website for more details. Ideal for those who have been on a Beginners course or know the mechanics of the game but want to press on ahead.

The Next Level

This courses based around Andrew Robson’s latest book, The Next Level, which looks in more detail at the bidding conventions and play techniques you will already know if you have completed the Essential or Improver courses. There are 36 separate topics (listed on the website) and I am proposing to teach these as individual 2 hour lessons, each one featuring at least four hands to play, plus a separate bidding quiz and notes I am writing for each topic. Each topic will go into greater depth about such tools as Stayman, transfers and Roman Key Card Blackwood and many suit play techniques.  If you have to miss one, provided you can notify me in advance, you won’t be charged but can roll forward your course fee for that day to a later lesson. The initial course fee for five lessons will be £100, after which you can renew for a further block of five lessons at a time. Provisional timing and venue: Monday mornings at the NOA in Summertown. Please let me know if you are interested and I will send you a booking form.

Refresher course

I am repeating this course as it proved very popular before. Because of the amount of individual attention involved, I am limiting the numbers to a maximum of four tables. It will be held every Thursday morning at Wytham Village Hall, starting at 9.30am and lasts around two hours. The format is very simple: each table deals and plays a hand, which is then discussed in depth with all the players at the table. The emphasis is on recognising situations as they arise and practising what you have learnt before, although in practice new topics keep on cropping up (e.g. signalling, using cue bids for slam bidding). I shall be providing a follow up note on any important ideas to emerge each week. Ideal for current or potential partners who want to play regularly together (although individuals are also welcome). The cost is £20 per week. First come, first served. Email me on this email if you are interested in signing up.

Advanced Defence

I am also scheduling this course, which is about the art of successful defence at the highest level. Venue and timing will be determined as soon as final numbers are confirmed. It follows on from the successful Advanced Play course held in the autumn. Improving your defence will not only make every hand of bridge more interesting, irrespective of whether you are dealt any good cards, but also make you a popular partner. All the secrets of signalling, counting and discarding are covered. Just email if you are interested.

Learn and play

The regular Tuesday morning supervised play sessions will continue at Wytham Village Hall throughout the year and I hope that the numbers will continue to grow, as they did satisfactorily in 2019. The first session of the New Year will be held on January 7th 2020. I hope to add a slightly different second supervised play session each week, starting in February. The idea I am toying with is running each session with a slight difference, playing a pre-dealt set of boards, just as on Tuesday mornings, but scoring each session as a teams event to add a slightly keener competitive edge to proceedings, and maybe adding a Q and A session at the end (as Andrew used to do in his club). Don’t be put put off if this sounds too serious: it will all be done in our normal friendly atmosphere. This could be held on a weekday evening, starting at 7.15pm. Let me know if this might be of interest to you.

Other courses

As you now there are 11 Robson course in total, all of them listed on the website (link to Our Andrew Robson courses) and I am always willing to offer them if there is sufficient demand. The way I propose to deal with this is to invite you to suggest the courses you would like to take and as soon as there is enough interest to make them viable I will be happy to schedule them. Experience again suggests that running courses as four double sessions or even two or three triple sessions can be the easiest way to resolve the problem of only being able to attend some of the normal eight weekly lessons in each course. Finally if you know of anyone who you think would enjoy learning bridge with me, please feel free to give them my contact details and ask them to get in touch.

Happy New Year to everyone.

12 thoughts on “Spring 2020 teaching and play sessions

  1. Hi: For someone with ZERO knowledge, do you have a course in Oxford or another recommendation?

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Dear Stephen I do run beginners courses – there was one in the autumn but I another one is not scheduled currently – I wait until I have sufficient numbers to start a new one. However I will put you down as a possible for the next one if I may. There are other options for getting started – try visiting the Oxfordshire Bridge Association website – and if you can find someone to get you tarted before my next beginners course, then please feel free to come back to me after that. Best wishes Jonathan Link here https://www.bridgewebs.com/cgi-bin/bwon/bw.cgi?club=oba&pid=display_page137&sessid=473953256615082

  2. Dear Jonathan, I would be interested in a play and learn session, but can only do evenings as I work.  Please let me know if you decide to run any evening courses or sessions?  I am an intermediate player, have played bridge all my life but High No Trump.  I have adapted to Andrew Robson now but would like to play regularly and learn at the same time. Many thanks. Cathy 

  3. Hi Jonathan – Happy New Year. Have you got me on the list as I filled in the online form a long time ago. With regard o the play and learn sessions I can’t do Tuesday mornings but could probably do afternoons and could do evenings. Also are you going to run them in Charlbury too ? Talk soon. Judy B

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Yes I have got you down and look forward tons being you at the first session. Will put you down as a possible for afternoon/evening sessions. Charlbury – not sure. All the best Jonathan

  4. Dear Jonathan,

    Well, further to our chat at the Robsons’ drinks party, I do receive emails from you.

    Happy New Year.

    Best wishes,


    Sent from my iPhone


  5. Hi Jonathan, I’m not sure if my other reply worked so I’ll just do another one. My husband, Tony, and I would like to do the Learn and Play in the evenings. We also like the sound of Advanced Defence if you can let me know where and when. I will be back to Tuesdays at Wytham when I get back from skiing. Happy New Year. Pamela

    1. Thanks Pamela – yes I did get your other message. Will add you to the list for evening play and learn. Lets discuss Advanced Defence when you get back. Look forward to seeing you at Wytham too. All best Jonathan

  6. I would be interested in the advanced defence course and could possibly bring some friends. Yours, Carol Wadsworth.


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