This Monday (October 26th) I am going to be experimenting with a new type of seminar. Instead of covering a single topic, I am proposing a two-hour interactive session called Play These Hands With Me, during which I will bid and play through a series of real life deals, most of which I have played myself or noted from watching on BBO or taken from other sources. The idea is to talk through my thinking at every stage of the hand and discuss all the issues that come up with you as we go through.
This format is one that I know from my own personal experience is invaluable in taking the conventions and play techniques you have learnt so far and applying them to a real life situation at the table. As many of you have told me, it is one thing to know in principle what to do and another to put all that into practice. In particular, the challenge is to organise and prioritise your thinking so as to focus on what is most important at each point, recognising that this may differ from one hand to the next.
I do hope you will give one of these sessions a try and let me know how you find them. I am in the process of rescheduling future topic seminars, including repeating some of the ones which have proved to attract the greatest interest to date, such as Doubling, Key Card Blackwood, Opening Leads and Weak Twos. Look out for more details on those in due course.
There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (October 27th, starting at 9.30am). You can book in by using the payment button in the sidebar or, if you have any technical problems with that, pay by bank transfer as normal and let me know that you are planning on attending. All the group sessions will continue this week in the usual way as well.
There are now two weeks left until the first part of our new two part online bridge course for beginners. Day one is on November 7th and day two on November 28th. Each day will consist of two three-hour online lessons; one from 9.30am to 12.30pm and the second from 2pm to 4.30pm. Each one can be booked separately, so that you can decide after the first whether you want to move on with the next. Thank you for everyone who has booked up so far. I still have one or two places left (numbers restricted to ensure sufficient individual attention).
The sessions will be fully interactive and participants will receive a full set of my extensive notes after completing each day’s session. We will also play through together a series of example hands to illustrate the game in action. Some people think that it is not possible to learn the game in just one or two days, but I know from experience that this is far from the truth. The aim of the course is to take you to a point where in answer to the question “do you play bridge?” you can truthfully reply “Yes, I can”. Bridge is a skill for life that you won’t regret acquiring and this course will give you the platform to do just that.
Congratulations meanwhile to two of my regular students who have successfully bid and made their first small slam this past week. It is one thing to make 12 or 13 tricks on a hand and quite another to bid it knowing that there is a high probability of making it; your first bid and made slam is an important milestone. Thank you also to the opponents in a tough league match who allowed us to double them in Four Spades and then misplayed the hand (to be fair, it was a difficult one) to go seven down and give us a score of 1700…..