Category Archives: Online bridge

Online bridge update 59

This week (15th June) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by late Monday evening if you wish to take part. I am also adding a payment option for next week (22nd June) as well. Because of absentees, I have a vacant spot for two coaching sessions on Monday: one at 11.30am and a second at 4.30pm. Please let me know by email if you might be interested in joining either of these two sessions.

This week

Pay for Tuesday supervised play

22nd June 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

Next week

Pay for Tuesday supervised play

15th June 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

Jonathan

Online bridge update 58

This week (8th June) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by late Monday evening if you wish to take part, or first thing Tuesday, as this email is late going out, for which apologies. Too much going on at the weekend. I am also adding a payment option for next week (15th June) as well.

This week

Pay for Tuesday supervised play

8th June 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

Next week

Pay for Tuesday supervised play

15th June 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

Jonathan

Online bridge update 57

This week (1st June) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by early Monday evening if you wish to take part. There have been some very lively sessions in the last few weeks, so I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible.

Tuesday supervised play

1st June 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

The next seminar will be on the subject of bidding the opponent’s suit and the various meanings this can have. I will be scheduling a date for it shortly, but if any of you are interested in this topic, please feel free to let me know so I can assess likely numbers. If the coronavirus restrictions are eased further next month, we are planning to hold a bridge get together at the end of June.

Jonathan

Online bridge update 56

This week (25th May) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by early Monday evening if you wish to take part. There have been some very lively sessions in the last few weeks, so I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible.

Tuesday supervised play

25th May 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

The next seminar will be on the subject of bidding the opponent’s suit and the various meanings this can have. I will be scheduling a date for it shortly, but if any of you are interested in this topic, please feel free to let me know so I can assess likely numbers.

Jonathan

Online bridge update 55

This week (18th May) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by early Monday evening if you wish to take part.

There have been some very lively sessions in the last few weeks, so I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible. We will be missing a couple of regulars this week, so please don’t feel shy about coming along!

Tuesday supervised play

18th May 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

As far as online group coaching sessions go, it is clear that most of you want to continue them even when pandemic restrictions ease (we seem to be risking a little step back in progressing towards that with the news of the Indian variant).

It may well be however that my other commitments will take me to London at least once a week, so there is the possibility that I may have to reschedule a couple of them.

I will also definitely be introducing a weekly face to face session in both Wytham and Charlbury as soon as they become feasible, with the emphasis on encouraging the social benefits of bridge.

More detailed plans on this and future learning opportunities to follow.

Jonathan

Online bridge update 54

This week again (11th May) the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal, starting at 9.30am. Please sign up by early Monday evening if you wish to take part. There have been some very lively sessions in the last few weeks, so I look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible.

Tuesday supervised play

11th May 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my comments about the potential for a return to face to face bridge in the next few weeks. My sense is that while many of you want to continue online coaching sessions to keep your game unto scratch – it is a very efficient way to learn – there is also a lot of interest in having face to face games as well for the pleasure of interacting with others in the friendly atmosphere we have always had in both Wytham and Charlbury.

More detailed plans on this and future courses to follow.

Jonathan

Online bridge update 53

Applooges for the very late delay in getting this email out. It seems that some technical gremlins prevented it going out on time and I was slow to spot that it had not done so. In principle the Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal again this week (4th May), starting at the normal time of 9.30am. Given the late notice it is likely that we will be short on numbers, but if it is possible to organise the session at this late notice I am happy to do so. Please let me know tonight or first thing tomorrow morning if you are willing to give it a go.

Tuesday supervised play

4th May 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

I have had a chance a couple of days ago to visit Wytham Village Hall and check with Stella O’Gara, the manager, on the steps they have taken to be Covid compliant when and if we can start face to face play again. The omens for this are looking better by the day.

Concerns about the transmission of the virus from surfaces have receded in the light of the medical evidence, which makes handling cards less problematic, and I read today that one-metre social distancing, which makes playing at standard bridge tables without masks difficult, may be scrapped from June. Most of us of course will also soon have had both their vaccination jabs, reducing further the risk of infection.

I am happy to say that Stella has done a great job with the village hall. The hall as you know is large and well ventilated and the two big side doors can be left open to encourage good atmospheric circulation. It may be possible to open some of the big windows as well to provide additional flow through of air, which is the key to reducing transmission through the atmosphere.

As well as numerous hand sanitiser stations, there is a one way route round and through the building so if we get any sun at all this summer, all the indications are that it will make it not just a safe but a very agreeable venue for playing bridge again.

What neither I nor anyone knows is whether playing bridge online will turn out to have become so addictive that to reduces the demand for face to face play. it may be that may of you will decide that, having acquired the taste, you will prefer to continue having online coaching or playing in online tournaments to going back to weekly face to face events.

There is only one way to find out and that is to ask you, which I propose to do over the next 2-3 weeks as we move into the next phase of easing restrictions. (Is that another Doodle poll I feel coming on?).

My guess is that there will continue to be demand for both online and face to face bridge lessons and supervised play and I certainly hope to be able to provide something for both groups. Stella has guaranteed to keep our regular slots at Wytham on Tuesday and Thursday mornings available for now and though the biscuits have become a little stale the tables, chairs and cups in the newly sanitised kitchen area are all waiting for your return. A regular session in Charlbury is also firmly in the plans.

Feel free to let me know what you think you might want to do.

Jonathan

Online bridge update 52

The Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal again this week (27th April), starting at the normal time of 9.30am. As usual, 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 maximum number we can currently handle is 16 and that has been working very well recently. We have been experimenting with groups of 8 playing the hands as team matches.

Tuesday supervised play

27th April 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

There is no seminar tomorrow, as I have to go to an important business meeting in London, but I continue with the recording of a video summarising all the hands from the most recent seminar, which described the hands I played in a recent online pairs event at Oxford Bridge Club. Watching a video has the advantage of allowing you to stop and start at your own convenience when following the hands. More details as soon as there are details to give.

This was an exciting hand from a teams event I played in last week. These are the four hands.

The numbers to the right show how many tricks could be made by both sides given perfect knowledge.

At my table the bidding went as follows:

The challenge playing in 6H (doubled but not vulnerable) was how to play the heart suit after a low spade lead. You can trump that and lead a heart towards the AQ, knowing that if it works you can later discard all but one of your losers on the clubs in dummy, making 12 tricks. But when East follows with the 9, should you finesse or play the Ace hoping for the King to be singleton?

There were a lot of points and imps riding on the outcome. Other things being equal the odds marginally favour playing for the King to be singleton (52% vs 48%, but when the bidding is as competitive as this other factors come into play. Do you think for example East West would be more or less inclined to bid on to 6S if one of them had a void in hearts? What would you have done?

There is no simple answer to this question but what I can say is that my team got it wrong at both tables, making 6Hx at one table, and failing to defeat it at the other (a diamond lead gives declarer no chance whatever the situation is in hearts), resulting in a loss of 17 imps. Fortunately we were ahead by a large margin on the other hands, so still won, but this one hand took the shine off what would otherwise have been a massive victory…..Such is bridge!

Jonathan

Online bridge update 51

The Tuesday morning supervised play session will be running as normal again this week (20th April), starting at the normal time of 9.30am. As usual, 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 maximum number we can currently handle is 20 and that has been working very well recently.

Tuesday supervised play

20th April 2021 from 9.30am

£15.00

There is no seminar tomorrow, but I will be recording a video summarising all the hands from last week’s seminar, which described the hands I played in a recent online pairs event at Oxford Bridge Club. At last week’s seminar the hands attracted so much interest from some very keen participants that we only got through five of the 18 hands in two hours……so there is plenty more to talk about. By recording a video it should allow you to stop and start at your own convenience when following the hands. More details on this shortly.

All the group coaching sessions continue as normal this week and the improvement I mentioned last week is much in evidence. I am glad that most of you are getting comfortable with negative doubles and the unassuming cue bid, two invaluable tools for the improving player. Keep up the good work!

Jonathan

Online bridge update 50

I am proposing to do another seminar on Monday morning (April 12th, 9.30 to 11.30) which again will focus on the art of playing duplicate pairs – how to maximise your score in this exciting and different version of the game. This one will be based on a recent pairs event in which I played and I will take you through all the hands, commenting on the bidding and play of each one. You can sign up from this email or from the sidebar of most pages of the website.

Monday bridge seminar

12th April 2021 from 9.30am

£20.00

The Tuesday morning supervised play session will probably be running as normal again this week (13th April 2021), but starting this week only at 10.15am, because of another unavoidable commitment, and running until 12.45. As this is a change in the normal arrangements, it may be that there is insufficient numbers to make it happen, in which case I will issue refunds to anyone who has signed up. Please therefore let me know as early as possible that you intend to join, ideally by early Monday evening.

Tuesday supervised play

13th April 2021 from 10.15am

£15.00

Jonathan

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