Category Archives: Beginners

Online bridge update 33

The two-hour Monday morning seminar tomorrow (December 7th) will be a mixture of a single topic and another Play These Hands With Me session. I am happy to say that the technical problems that blighted the seminar two weeks ago were temporary (apparently caused by problems with Virgin Media’s network) and last week’s went ahead successfully without incident. To sign up for this and Tuesday bridge there are Paypal payment buttons in this post and also in the sidebar of most pages on the website.

Pay for seminar

7th December 2020 from 9.30am

£20.00

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (8th December), starting at 9.30am. Please let me know as early possible that you intend to join, ideally by early Monday event as it makes it so much easier to arrange the tables and reduce the risk of having to turn one of you away. Annabel will be back this week, so we should be able to run the full four-table session as normal.

The ten group sessions also continue as normal this week. Looking ahead, some of you will be taking breaks in the run up to Christmas, so it would be helpful if you could give me some notice if you know you are going to miss one of those sessions, so I can arrange substitutes, if necessary. My current plan is to offer some sessions in the week after Christmas, but reduce those in the week immediately running up to Christmas Day, which is on a Friday this year.

Tuesday supervised play

8th December from 9.30am

£15.00

I am playing in the final of the Portland Club annual member and guest pairs competition tomorrow – a fun event involving a lot of untried partnerships – and if there are any interesting hands I will bring them up on Monday. This was a hand from a match last week. Do you think the West hand, with three points, should bid after his partner opened 2 No Trumps? My partner did not, but our opponents did and there was no way to prevent nine tricks being made, with hearts friendly – the defence cannot stop the fourth heart winning – and the diamond finesse also working.

Happy bridging….

Jonathan

Online bridge update 32

The two-hour Monday morning seminar tomorrow (November 30th) will be another Play These Hands With Me session, including some deals I have played recently. To sign up for this and Tuesday bridge there are Paypal payment buttons in this post and also in the sidebar of most pages on the website.

Pay for seminar

30th November 2020 from 9.30am

£20.00

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (1st December), starting at 9.30am. Please let me know as early possible that you intend to join, ideally by early Monday event as it makes it so much easier to arrange the tables and reduce the risk of having to turn one of you away. There is no Annabel this week, so it is more important than usual to get the numbers right. The ten group sessions also continue as normal.

Tuesday supervised play

1st December from 9.30am

£15.00

The answer to the question of last week “how do you bid a strong balanced hand with 25-26 High Card Points?” is: open with 2 Clubs, our strongest bid, and then rebid 3NT to show a balanced 25-26 HCPs. You just have to wait quite a long time to get an example……

Happy bridging….

Jonathan

Online bridge update 31

The two-hour Monday morning seminar tomorrow (November 23rd) will be another Play These Hands With Me session, including some deals from the international tournament I played in last week. By way an example try this hand out, the first one of the whole four-day event. How would you bid and play this slam hand (follow this link)? To sign up for this and Tuesday bridge there are Paypal payment buttons in this post and also in the sidebar of most pages on the website.

Pay for seminar

23rd November from 9.30am

£20.00

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (24th November), starting at 9.30am. Please let me know as early possible that you intend to join, ideally by early Monday evening, as it makes it so much easier to arrange the tables and reduce the risk of having to turn one of you away. The ten group sessions also continue as normal.

Tuesday supervised play

24th November from 9.30am

£15.00

Question of the week: how do you bid a strong balanced hand with 25-26 High Card Points?

Happy bridging….

Jonathan

Online bridge update 30

The two-hour Monday morning seminar tomorrow (November 16th) will be another Play These Hands With Me session, possibly including some deals from the annual Portland Club duplicate competition in which I am playing today. Thank you all for your positive comments about these session. Just as Andrew Robson likes to use the example of his 1NT doubled minus 7 experience in his classes, there can be times when you learn as much from hands that go wrong as from those that are triumphs…..

I am including Paypal payment buttons in this post again, but if you have trouble making them work you can also book your place in the seminar or for the Tuesday morning supervised play session by going to any page of the website and looking for the payment option in the right hand sidebar.

Pay for seminar

16th November 2020 from 9.30am

£20.00

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (17th November), starting at 9.30am). Please let me know as early possible that you intend to join, ideals by early Monday evening, as it makes it so much easier to arrange the tables and reduce the risk of having to turn one of you away.

Pay for Tuesday bridge

17th November 2020 Supervised play

£15.00

I may have to postpone or reschedule one or two of the group sessions this week because of other commitments, but will let those involved know separately. Meanwhile I would like to thank everyone who enrolled in the beginners bridge course yesterday and maintained their concentration so admirably for the full five and a half hour experience. There are some quick learners among them, I can tell, and I look forward to welcoming them into our group. The second part of the two-day course will be on November 28th.

Jonathan Davis

Online bridge update 29

The two-hour Monday morning interactive session Play These Hands With Me continues to work well so I have decided to extend it for a few more weeks, albeit with a mild twist. I will kick off with a small number of hands based around a specific theme and then move on to generate new randomly dealt hands to bid and play through (discarding those that are of no great teaching value). 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 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 am including a Paypal payment button in these posts but if you have trouble making them work you should be able to book your place by going to any page of the website and looking for the payment option in the right hand sidebar.

Pay for seminar

9th November 2020 from 9.30am

20.00 £

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (10th November), starting at 9.30am). You can book in by using the payment button in this post or in the sidebar of the website. If you have any technical problems with that, pay by bank transfer as normal and let me know that you are planning on attending. Please let me know as early possible that you intend to join as it makes it so much easier to arrange the tables. If we have the same 16 as last time I am proposing to arrange this as a teams match – the purpose being to enable me to allow you to compare your bidding, play and scores to a professional match (one of the better features of Bridge Base Online).

Pay for Tuesday bridge

10th November 2020 Supervised play

15.00 £

All the group sessions will continue this week in the usual way as well.

Last week I took the decision to defer our new two part online bridge course for beginners by a week because some of those attending had to change their plans because of the recent new lockdown rules. Day one will now be on 14th November and day two on 28th November. Each day consists 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 are fully interactive and participants will receive a full set of my 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 achieve just that.

Jonathan Davis

Online bridge update 28

The two-hour interactive session Play These Hands With Me, held last Monday, seems to have gone down well and ws a lot of fun for me too. I am therefore proposing to repeat it on Monday (November 2nd) and maybe again the following week. The format involves my bidding and playing a series of real life deals, some of which I have played myself or recorded from other sources, plus a few that are randomly dealt deals I have never seen before. 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 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.

Pay for seminar

2nd November 9.30 to 11.30am Play these hands with me

20.00 £

There will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session again this week (November 3rd), starting at 9.30am). You can book in by using the payment button in the sidebar of the website or, if you have any technical problems with that, pay by bank transfer as normal and let me know that you are planning g on attending. All the group sessions will continue this week in the usual way as well.

Pay for Tuesday bridge

3rd November 9.30 to 12.30

15.00 £

There is now one week 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.

Jonathan Davis

Online bridge update 27

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…..

Online bridge update 26

There is again no seminar on Monday morning because I still have other commitments, but there will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session this week (October 20th, 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.

I am pleased to be able to confirm the first new course for a while. This will be a new two part online bridge course for beginners – Learn bridge in a weekend – to be held on November 7th and 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.

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.

As well as those who have already contacted me to express an interest in learning bridge, I hope that you will spread the word to anyone you know who you think might welcome the chance to start playing and (in due course) join our thriving bridge playing community. All you need to participate is a pack of cards, a computer or iPad to connect to Zoom (participants will receive a short video explaining what is involved in that) and a willingness to learn. The cost for each day will be £90, payable in advance. It will limited to 12 people to ensure I have room to give everyone sufficient individual attention. More details as soon as you have booked.

Online bridge update 25

There is no seminar on Monday morning because of other commitments but there will be the normal Tuesday morning supervised play session this week (October 13th, 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.

I am excited to be able to offer the first new course for a while. This will be a new two part online bridge course for beginners – Learn bridge in a weekend – to be held on two Saturdays in November. 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. 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.

As well as those who have already contacted me to express an interest in learning bridge, I hope that you will spread the word to anyone you know who you think might welcome the chance to start playing and (in due course) join our thriving bridge playing community. All you need to participate is a pack of cards, a computer or iPad to connect to Zoom (participants will receive a short video explaining what is involved in that) and a willingness to learn. The cost for each day will be £90, payable in advance.

The provisional dates for parts one and two of the course are November 6th and November 28th. If you are interested please let me know by email or by commenting on this post. Once I have an idea of likely demand I will settle the dates and start to take bookings.

More details about the other new courses to follow. It seems that many of you would like a revision course at intermediate level and also another course that focuses on defence, the hardest part of bridge. Please continue to let me have your suggestions for what would most help you at this stage…….

Online bridge update no 8

The Monday morning seminar is on the topic of bidding big hands. It covers when and when not to open Two Clubs and how to develop the bidding from there. The next three weeks after that will cover the Losing Trick Count, the Jacoby Two No Trump convention and splinters, all popular subjects that will help with your game and slam bidding. The list of topics is updated regularly. You can sign up for all these dates on Eventbrite, or if that proves tricky (as sometimes happens) email me and pay by bank transfer.  The seminars start at 9.30am and run till 11.30.

Tuesday will feature our regular morning of social bridge, starting at 9.30am, and again the way to book a place is via Eventbrite. We aim to have a minimum of four tables and this week we will be looking for a couple of newcomers to add to our regulars. The breakout rooms are working smoothly on Zoom.  Please email me if you would like to join us this week. There is a cutoff point for booking a place on Monday evenings so I can allocate the players to tables.

On Monday afternoons I have committed to play with a regular partner of mine in the Andrew Robson 18-board duplicate game for the next few weeks. I will record some short videos about a couple of the hands each week and have arranged to discuss them with at least one pair from our group who are taking on the challenge of playing in the same event. As I said last week, there is always a greater random element in the pairs game and so this is a great chance to outscore the best players from Andrew’s London club (extra kudos if you manage to score more than me!).

The Advanced Defence course finished last week and I am happy to say that some of those who were on the course have said they want to do it again. For the time being I am continuing with private one-table coaching sessions during the week (currently doing 12 in all) but I am thinking of how best to offer new courses as well, with a beginners or recently started course one of the priorities. If you have any specific requests let me know and I will build up a waiting list.

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