Category Archives: Lessons

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 12

I am sorry to say that the Monday morning bridge seminar series is going to have to skip a week. There will be no seminar this Monday (June 15th) on trial bidding, because of a second professional commitment of mine, which unfortunately I cannot change. I apologise for the break in service, which is rare, but sometimes unavoidable. There are after all few more important things than a regular bridge commitment…….

The series will resume on Monday week with Ace-showing cue bids, followed by the Jacoby Two No Trump convention, two more essential additions to your game and slam bidding methods. The session on trial bidding will be rescheduled for a later date. Anyone who has already booked for this Monday will be automatically rolled over to the next date unless you advise me otherwise.

The next three topics in the series will be as follows:

  1. Ace-showing cue bids: June 22nd
  2. Jacoby 2 No Trump convention: June 29th
  3. Playing No Trump hands: July 6th.

The good news is that it will be back to business as normal on Tuesday morning with our regular social game (“Wytham online”). I will assume that those of you who booked for last week’s cancelled session are coming this Tuesday unless you tell me otherwise; there will be no need to book again in that case.

As an experiment, and in the interest of continuous improvement, rather than using Eventbrite, I am inviting you to pay directly from the website. Simply click on the button below and you should be able to pay by debit or credit card. If you have any problems please let me know. I am keen to know whether this method is simpler or more difficult to use than alternatives. If so I may use it for the Monday seminars as well.

Tuesday play 23rd June

Our regular social bridge session every Tuesday morning

£15.00

All the online coaching groups continue as normal. I have had a number of enquiries about a beginners class in bridge and I am willing to offer this if there are enough takers. If you have not already done so please feel free to let me know if you are interested in this, or know anyone who might be. In the latter case please ask them to email me with their details.

In the meantime happy bridging!

 

 

 

Online bridge update no 11

Tomorrow’s Monday morning bridge seminar continues our sequence of invaluable conventions, this time focusing in on splinters. A splinter bid tells your partner about a shortage in your hand once you have agreed a trump suit. it dovetails nicely with the other tools you will need to become an expert game and slam bidder. As with the others in the series once you have mastered splinters, you won’t want to leave home without one.

As normal the seminar begins at 9.30 and will include a series of example hands and teaching notes that are emailed to you after the event. You can book a place by following this link to the Eventbrite page, or email me to pay by bank transfer if your computer won’t let you use Eventbrite (you might need to change your browser).

The next three topics in the series will be as follows:

  1. Trial bidding: June 15th
  2. Ace-showing cue bids: June 22nd
  3. Jacoby 2 No Trump convention: June 29th

And now for the bad news. I am afraid that I am going to have to cancel, exceptionally, our regular Tuesday morning social bridge gathering (“Wytham online”) because of a change in the time of the monthly investment committee to which I belong. This change has been foisted on me and I am sorry that there is nothing I can do at this late stage, and apologise for the late notification. Anybody who has booked for the Tuesday session already will be given a rollover to the following Tuesday when we will resume as normal.  If I can find an alternative time this week I will let you know.

All the online coaching groups continue as normal. As I noted last week, as the lockdown eases it may be that some of you may need to drop out of these groups, and I would appreciate some early warning if you think that might be the case as it will give me time to find suitable substitutes. Of course I recognise  that many of you will have become so hooked on your weekly bridge coaching session that you will want to reschedule your work and family life to make it a fixture indefinitely…….! In the meantime enjoy the sunshine and keep safe.

 

 

 

 

 

Online bridge update no 10

The topic for tomorrow’s Monday morning bridge seminar is a wonderful convention that you should definitely aspire to adding to your bidding armoury as you improve. Roman Key Card Blackwood is the upmarket version of the better known  Blackwood convention, when a bid of Four No Trumps after a suit has been agreed is asking for the number Aces your partner has. Roman Key Card Blackwood, so named because it was developed in Italy, extends the enquiry to include the King of Trumps as well as the four Aces and also enables you to ask about the Queen of trumps as well – often the crucial information you need to go slamming.

As normal the seminar begins at 9.30 and will include a series of example hands and teaching notes that are emailed to you after the event. You can book a place by following this link to the Eventbrite page, or email me to pay by bank transfer if your computer won’t let you use Eventbrite (you might need to change your browser). This seminar dovetails nicely with the Losing Trick Count we discussed last week and the next four seminars as well. These will be as follows:

  1. Splinter bids; June 8th
  2. Trial bidding: June 15th
  3. Ace-showing cue bids: June 22nd
  4. Jacoby 2 No Trump convention: June 29th

Our regular Tuesday morning social bridge gathering (“Wytham online”) continues as normal, starting at 9.30 and also can be booked on Eventbrite. Follow this link. As always I shall be arranging the tables on Monday evening so please do try and book up in advance so that I know the numbers and it also helps if you can log in to the Zoom call around 9.25 for best results and a prompt start. All the online coaching groups continue too.

As the lockdown eases it may be that some of you may need to drop out of these groups, and I would appreciate some early warning if you think that might be the case as it will give me time to find suitable substitutes. Of course I recognise  that many of you will have become so hooked on your weekly bridge coaching session that you will want to reschedule your work and family life to make it a fixture indefinitely…….! In the meantime enjoy the sunshine and keep safe.

 

 

 

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