Thank you to everyone who has responded positively already to joining our online bridge sessions. There are at least 40 of you and I suspect quite a few more who will also want to take part. For tomorrow’s first trial session (24th March, starting 10am, but please be in place from 9.45am if you can to have a look around BBO) I have now allocated five tables and notified everyone who is down to play on one of them. I apologise to everyone who has not been asked to join a table.
The only reason is that I am not yet sure whether Annabel and I will be able to get round more than five tables and I suspect there will be quite a few technical glitches to iron out for this first one. However I hope you will all bear me. I shall certainly be running more of these sessions every week (maybe one a day) and everyone will get a chance to participate. Priority next time to those who cannot play tomorrow.
Bridge Base Online has also been overwhelmed with new members as a result of the virus and is unable to offer us our own private “room” where we could run games just for our group. That remains the longer term objective which would mean that it would be easier to organise and numbers can be increased more easily. I am also investigating other bridge websites, such as Funbridge, which make it easier to organise private groups at present.
The Refresher course on Thursday mornings will definitely be going ahead this Thursday morning, with initial priority for those who have already been to at least one session. That session is limited to four tables at present. Watch out meanwhile for my first videos and online topic seminars – the next ones will be on takeout doubles. They will be held using the Zoom videoconferencing facility and will also be recorded so that you can watch them later if you cannot make the first showing.
I am attaching again the video I have prepared before on playing at a BBO table. One correction: it is possible to turn off the sounds that accompany every bid and play, by going to the Account tab on the right hand side of the screen and unticking the ‘sounds on’ box).
Monday 3rd February
The Next Level – 1st lesson:
North Oxford Association, Summertown, Oxford, 9.45am to 11.45am
Tuesday 4th February
Supervised play and learn:
Wytham Village Hall, 9.30am to 12.30pm
Thursday 6th February
Wytham Village Hall, 9.45 to 11.45am
Private venue, 1.30pm to 5.00pm
Friday 7th February
Next Step course :
Wytham Village Hall 9.45am to 12.45pm
We have our regular bridge session at The Jacobs Inn in Wolvercote tomorrow (August 20th) starting at 9.30am. On Thursday (August 22nd) I will be hosting another lesson/play session at The Corner House in Charlbury, starting at 1pm. I am meanwhile putting the final touches to the schedule of autumn courses, which will start in the week beginning September 23rd. Most lessons will be on Mondays and Thursdays but there may be other times as well if there is sufficient demand. Thank you to everyone who has contacted me asking about future courses. I hope to accommodate as many of you as possible. There will be a free taster session for beginners on September 16th; if you think you might know someone who would like to learn bridge, please mention it to them and ask them to come along to see how we go about it. It is a free and no partner is needed. Best wishes Jonathan.
Despite having to postpone a couple of lessons because of unavoidable changes to my schedule, the two courses I have been teaching this summer (Essential Extra and Improver Plus) are sadly coming to an end. Because they have been such excellent learners, however, I have decided to offer a bonus lesson to all members of these two courses and would also like to open these two popular single topic lessons to anyone else who would like to join, for a single one-off payment of £20.
The two dates are as follows:
Date: Thursday July 11th
Time: 9.40 to 11.40am
Where: North Oxford Association, Summertown
Subject: Transfer bids
Free to members of the summer 2019 Improver Plus course. £20 anyone else.
Date: Monday July 15th
Time: 9.40 to 11.40am
Where: North Oxford Association, Summertown
Subject: Doubles – takeout or penalty?
Free to members of the summer 2019 Essential Extra course. £20 anyone else.
I will also provide summary notes by email after each lesson.
To book a place for either lesson, simply email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to reserve your place and pay either online in the normal way by bank transfer or bring cash on the day.
Following requests from half a dozen budding enthusiasts who have completed my Beginners course, I am also looking to teach a version of the Next Step course over the course of the summer months. This will be done on an ad hoc basis through a series of 5 or 6 somewhat longer sessions than normal. If you would like to join this programme, please let me know and I will endeavour to arrange it. Next Step is suitable for anyone who is not a complete beginner, but is keen to go up a level or has recently returned to playing the game. The venue will also be in Oxford, and somewhere close to good parking and the ring road. More details once it is clear that we have the numbers to make it viable.
I got the date wrong in my previous email – this just to confirm that bridge in Islip Village Hall will continue tomorrow morning (Friday May 17th, not the 16th, as inadvertently written in my earlier email). Apologies for the confusion.
I am very sorry, but I have to cancel the supervised play session at The Trout this Tuesday (May 7th) because of a family funeral in Holland. There will be another session in Islip on Friday and normal service will resume at the Trout on May 14th (start 9.45am). Apologies to anyone who was looking forward to the session on Tuesday. Thanks also to those who have already expressed interest in supervised play in Charlbury. We will be doing a trial first run there shortly – watch this space!
Over the course of the next month, in addition to the weekly Tuesday morning sessions at The Trout, I am offering three single-session seminars on specific topics in which I know many of you have shown an interest. These lessons will all run to two hours and cost £20 each. They will take place on Thursday mornings beginning at 9.30 in the Library at the North Oxford Association in Summertown (plenty of parking available).
March 28th Transfers over 1NT and 2NT (and Stayman review)
April 4th Cue bidding and Roman Key Card Blackwood
April 18th Signalling and an introduction to better defence
These lessons should be suitable for anyone who is familiar with basic bidding methods, either from a Robson course or from other sources. Email me (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) to book a place. Payment by bank transfer is preferred. For those who don’t already have them, our bank details will be provided by return if you request a place – first come, first served. I will however run a waiting list if there is an awkward number looking to attend, but I hope to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to come along.
The next set of eight-week courses will start immediately after Easter. They will run on Monday and Thursday mornings and possibly Tuesday afternoons as well. I will produce a schedule shortly. There are 11 Andrew Robson course in total (follow this link for a summary). There will definitely be an Improver/Improver Plus course on Thursday mornings, and probably a Beginners and Essential course as well.