Online bridge update no 5

The demand for online bridge seems to be intensifying as the lockdown goes on. I now have ten separate groups who have signed up for 60 or 90 minute coaching sessions through the week. Each group has a different range of experience and they are all, from early stage to advanced, fun to teach and the feedback continues to be very positive. Thank you to  everyone who has signed up.

In addition to all these groups there will be another seminar on Monday, this time devoted to when and how to establish long cards in suits. It will cover the probabilities that suits will break, ducking to preserve control of the hand and the importance of keeping the right number of entries, plus some other example hands from my archive. You can sign up for that on Eventbrite here.

Tuesday morning will again feature our normal Tuesday morning supervised play session (“Wytham online”), with each table in its own Zoom room to allow all four players to chat while playing. I will again be shuffling the tables around to allow you to play with different partners and opponents, unless specifically requested otherwise. Please sign up here if you can, or otherwise let me know before lunchtime on Monday and pay by bank transfer, so that I can make sure we have the right numbers. (If I have told you that you are unfortunately on a waiting list, don’t despair: I may be able to rustle up a fourth player at the last moment on Tuesday morning).

Then on Wednesday at 2pm I will be continuing with the next lesson in the Advanced Defence course, covering suit preference signals. The first of my “play these hands with me” bridge videos should be appearing shortly. For those who are at this level, I am also considering offering anyone who is interested the chance to play with me in an Andrew Robson Bridge Club online duplicate, to be followed by a short review of the hands that were played. Please let me know if this is something that would interest you. The ARBC duplicates are held twice a day on BBO, but be aware that the techniques required to get a good score in duplicate are somewhat different to teams or Chicago.

In the meantime take care and stay safe.  Jonathan

PS I am also keeping an eye on what is happening in the financial markets during the crisis and you might be interested to know that I am recording a short weekly podcast about the latest news from the investment trust sector with Simon Elliott, head of investment trust research at Winterflood Securities, released every Saturday (via




Online bridge update no 4

You all seem to be getting a taste for playing bridge online, which I am delighted to see. Yesterday when I was about to play a match myself, I noted no fewer than nine other tables in play with familiar faces from our regular sessions. I am guessing that you may well retain that interest when the lockdown is finally over – as a complement to our own regular face to face sessions in Wytham when they resume, naturally (it is still a social game after all)!

I also now have several groups of four taking 60 or 90 minutes training sessions with me during the week. These are a lot of fun for me and going down well with you, according to the feedback I am getting. I still have a couple of slots left, so do please contact me if you are interested in joining the throng.

The Monday morning seminar this week will be on the finer points of finessing, starting at 9.45am. You can sign up here. Our Tuesday morning Wytham online session is now running very smoothly, with each table having its own Zoom room so you can chat to each other while you play without disturbing anyone else. It means also I can flit from able to table at regular intervals. Booking for that is here.

I do have to limit numbers to multiples of four, however, as if I have to play it complicates the logistics to an unhelpful extent. Do email me however to see if there are any last minute places if you have not managed to book in advance: I cannot promise to accommodate you, but I will try.  I will continue to mix and match tables in response to requests, so you don’t always have to play against the same people, in keeping with our social bridge mandate.

A number of you have had some trouble in accessing all the features of BBO; in many cases this is because you do not have the right browser. Safari or Google Chrome are worth trying as alternatives if you are having issues as they do always work well with BBO. Look forward to seeing you “at the table” in one guise or another in the next few days.