Spring course schedule

Spring courses

The schedule for the spring courses has now been published. We have two courses scheduled for Monday mornings (Beginners and Essential) and two for Thursdays mornings (Next Step and Improver). The list of courses can be found by following this link. Please note that, in order to manage numbers, only those who have booked in advance can be admitted; refunds for individual sessions are possible if notified before the course starts.

If anyone is interested in other courses (including advanced play and bidding, or conventions galore), please contact me directly. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner, or not sure what might be best for you, why not book a place at a free taster session? There will be a free taster session on Thursday January 17th at the North Oxford Association in Summertown, North Oxford (link here) and some other dates as well.

Supervised play sessions

There is a supervised play session on Tuesday afternoon next week at North Oxford Golf Club, between 2pm and 5pm. You can sign up for the session by following this link. From January we are considering offering three regular play session options, on Wednesday afternoons (at North Oxford Golf Club), Thursday evenings (in Woodstock) and Friday mornings/afternoons (also in Woodstock). How many of these go ahead will depend on demand so it would be very helpful if you could let me know (bridge@arb-oxf.uk) which of these you might be likely to attend. We will put up the final options on the website before Christmas. Each session will run for up to three hours.

Play bridge before Christmas!

Having completed the autumn courses last week, it is time to think about some supervised play sessions in the weeks running up to Christmas. These will be a great chance to come and practise your bidding and play, with expert help on hand, and also to meet other players looking for fun and sociable bridge while improving at the same time (the “Robson way”).

Here are the first two suggested dates and venues. It will extremely helpful if you can let me know in advance by email if you can make it (bridge@arb-oxf.uk), also adding a phone number as well, purely in case of any unexpected last minute changes. Feel free to come with a partner or on your own. We can pair you up on the day. The cost will be £15 a session and include handouts and free tea and coffee.

Friday 7th December

Where: Woodstock (St Hugh’s Parish Centre, Hensington Rd, Woodstock OX20 1JL)

Time: 10am to 1pm

This is a fabulous newly renovated venue, with free parking outside, which I hope will be convenient for those of you living to the west and north of Oxford, and also for anyone living in the city itself. It is just off the main road running through Woodstock.

Tuesday 11th December

Where: North Oxford Golf Club, Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 8EZ

Time: 2pm to 5pm

There is free parking in the golf club car park. Easy access from the ring road and/or the A34. Note that this is an afternoon session. It will finish in time for you to get back and await the result of Parliament’s vote on Mrs May’s Brexit deal should that be your wish (Oxford Airport is nearby in case you want to make your escape instead).

The more players we can attract, the easier it will be to start holding them on a regular basis in 2019. It is important to note that you don’t have to come for the whole session, although it will be wonderful if you can. I am confident from all I have heard so far that we have the makings of a splendid like-minded bridge group.

I continue to look for other suitable venues and so these first dates will serve as trials for different places. I am still looking for a suitable venue for those who live on the east and south sides of Oxford, as also for evening venues, which are generally harder to find. All and any suggestions gratefully received.

Format

At each session I will provide a set of pre-dealt hands for you to play and enjoy, with supervision if you need it. At the end of the session I will give you the hand records and we will go through some of them in a Q and A session. You can take the hand records away later to study, should you so wish. Important to emphasise however that you can also just come along and play cut-in Chicago if you prefer. The most important thing is to let me know in advance if you are coming, so I can attempt to balance numbers. You can pay on the day in cash or in advance by bank transfer. I will send you details when you say you would like to attend.

The schedule of classes and playing sessions for 2019 will be emailed to you over the weekend. The plan is to hold classes on Monday and Thursday mornings and regular playing sessions on (provisionally) Friday mornings and Wednesday afternoons. If these times don’t suit you, please let me know and if there is sufficient demand for another slot in the week I will, subject to other commitments, do my best to arrange it.

Jonathan

 

 

 

 

Spring courses timetable

Spring courses

The schedule for the spring courses has now been published. We have two courses scheduled for Monday mornings (Beginners and Improver) and two for Thursdays mornings (Essential and Next Step). The list of courses can be found by following this link (https://arb-oxf.uk/schedule/). Please note that only those who have booked in advance can be admitted. If anyone is interested in other courses (including advanced play and bidding, or conventions) please contact me directly. Meanwhile, if you are a beginner, or not sure what might be best for you, why not book a place at one of our free taster sessions?

Play and learn events

The good news is that there are now nearly 150 followers of Andrew Robson Bridge in Oxford. The experimental Chicago evening on September proved to be popular and I am proposing to hold a regular weekly play and learn sessions from January. In order to reach as many of you as possible, we are initially offering three different options. Whether we can fulfil all of them will depend on how many of you have an interest in this kind of event, so do please email me with those in which you would have an interest, and let me know your preferences.

The options will be:

Wednesday afternoons (2pm to 5pm) at North Oxford Golf Club.

Thursday evenings (6.45pm to 9.45pm) at the St Hugh’s Centre in Woodstock.

Friday mornings (10pm to 1pm) at the St Hugh’s Centre in Woodstock, or possibly at The Perch in Binsey.

My strong belief is that playing bridge in the right company and the right spirit is not only enjoyable in its own right, but also the best way to make new friends and learn and improve. You can come along either with a favourite partner or on your own; with some notice we should be able to make up enough tables to accommodate you.

Email contact

It has also been brought to my attention that some of you who I thought were on the email list may not have been receiving notifications from the website. In some cases that may be because the emails have been misdirected into your spam or junk folder. It may be worth checking to make sure that you are not missing out.  I shall also be checking the reliability of the website’s distribution system and sending out a separate email to all those on our database, inviting them to sign up if they have not already done so. You may therefore see this message twice.

Happy bridging to you all.

 

 

 

 

Latest news and updates

The first free taster session for the autumn will be held on September 20th at 10am. The venue is the North Oxford Association in Diamond Place, Summertown. Why not come along and see what an Andrew Robson course is all about and learn more about the courses we have on offer? No previous experience required.

We had six tables in play at the first Robson In Oxford evening event last week, held in a private room at Portobello’s Grill in Summertown. 32 pre-dealt hands were available to play and we also got through a few glasses of wine. All those who attended have now received my commentary on the most interesting deals, as well as a crib sheet on the special topic we touched on (Weak Two opening bids). More about future events shortly.

The four autumn courses on offer – Beginners, Next Step, Essential and Improver – are filling up. The Book A Place page on the website has a link to the site where you can book a place. I can report that Andrew has updated and revised the Essential bridge course so there is quite a lot of new material and practice hands.

A reminder that I shall be answering questions and discussing the bidding and play after the first day of the Oxford Bridge Festival on September 18th. The venue is the Maison Francaise in Norham Road. I shall also be helping one of the groups taking part in the popular cafe bridge event on September 21st.  Why not give the cafe bridge idea a try? It involves playing bridge in five different venues dotted around the centre of Oxford.  www.oxfordbridgefestival.co.uk has more details.

Watch this space also for future news and some special articles and videos that will be coming soon.

More dates for your diary

This September sees the start of the second Oxford Festival of Bridge, four days of friendly bridge in and around the city, organised by the Oxfordshire Bridge Association with help from many others. There are a variety of different events being held over the course of the four days, culminating in a dinner at the main venue, St Hugh’s College. The dates are Tuesday September 18th to Friday September 21st.

I had not returned to Oxford when the first festival was organised last year, but I have agreed to lend a hand to this year’s event, and I hope that you may find an opportunity to drop by. I shall be offering expert supervision and advice for those who sign up for some of the events on the first two days of the festival, whose aim is to spread awareness of the game around the county.

Tuesday September 18th, at Maison Francaise.

Bridge Festival Day 1 There are a number of events being held at the Maison Francaise in Norham Road, starting shortly before 1pm. They include two sessions of supervised play (rubber or duplicate, with expert advice available on request), a bridge quiz and a tea break.  At 6.30pm I will be reviewing the most interesting hands that have been played during the day and taking questions.

Wednesday September 19th, at St Hugh’s College.

Bridge Festival Day 2 Starts with a seminar by a county expert at 10.30am and is followed by a morning and afternoon session of bridge. There is a choice of a duplicate event and what is called “drop-in bridge”, where you will have a chance to play a number of pre-dealt hands and win a prize if you end with the highest score on those hands. Alternatively you can opt for supervised play, with expert advice available on request, or simply enjoy a friendly game in congenial surroundings.

I have offered to supervise and offer the expert help to anyone who turns up for the”drop in” bridge. Why not come along and say hello? It will be a great opportunity to find out what bridge Andrew Robson style is all about. You can also quiz me about the autumn courses and discuss the timetabling of our supervised play sessions, where we are keen to find the most popular days for you to join our playing membership. The cost of the day’s drop-in bridge is just £6 a head.

The festival website has more details about all the events of the week, including what is planned on the other two days.  There is also a booking form. And finally a reminder that  we are holding a Chicago bridge evening on September 5th. Some of you have already signed up for that, but others are still welcome.  The first autumn courses are now also available for booking.

 

First evening event

To all friends of Andrew Robson Bridge

As well as a host of new courses starting in the autumn (details on the website shortly), I am delighted to announce the first of what I hope will become a regular evening diary date for Robson bridge fans. This is an opportunity to come along, play bridge in a friendly atmosphere, meet new people and learn more about the game as we like to play it, all at the same time.

The date for this first evening event (An Evening of Chicago) is September 5th 2018, kicking off at 6.45pm in Portabello’s Restaurant in South Parade, Summertown. The evening will consist of a number of different elements. They include a short opening seminar, a minimum of two hours of supervised play with 16-24 pre-dealt hands, a break for refreshments and a Q and A/review session at which I will be discussing all the hands you have played. Why not come and see if you enjoy it? Invitation here.

Don’t worry if you are confused by the reference to Chicago – it is really just a different way of scoring that speeds up the game and makes it more exciting, as well as lending itself more readily to teaching and supervised play (see here for more).  All will be explained on the evening; if you have played rubber bridge before, you will have no trouble picking up what is involved. The bidding and play are exactly as in ordinary bridge.

I am afraid that I don’t think this evening is suitable for complete beginners, but anyone else, if they are familiar with the basics of the game, or have been to a Robson course, is welcome, as are experienced players – the more, the merrier. Space means that we will be limited to a maximum of 10 tables so early booking is advised. If you don’t have a partner, we will do what we can to match you up wth someone like-minded, but only those who have booked in advance can be admitted.

Most importantly of all, I hope you will feel encouraged to come and see what a friendly, civilised evening of bridge should be like – that is what the Andrew Robson Bridge Club in London is famous for. If you are competitive-minded, you will be able to check your bidding and score against a par score for the hands that I will have worked out in advance. But if you simply want to come along and play with some like-minded people for the fun of the game, ask questions and take away hand records and notes about the hands afterwards, that is fine too. Why not bring your friends and play and learn together?

To book a place, simply follow this link. The event listing has details of the cost and an outline of the expected timetable for the evening. An early bird booking costs £20, including a free glass of wine, and later purchases £22 a head. I shall hope to see many of you there. And do look out for details of the autumn courses which will be posted any day now. Our plan is to arrange at least two weekly sessions during term times (one evening, one afternoon) at which members, whatever their standard, can come and play and learn bridge in a friendly environment. I will be talking more about this as well on September 5th, but do feel free to email me (bridge@arb-oxf.uk) if you are interested.

 

 

Next steps – June update

We are now reaching the end of the first two Andrew Robson bridge courses in Oxford. The final lessons are scheduled for June 19th 2018 and that makes a good time to pause and take stock. I have hugely enjoyed the experience of teaching both the Beginners and and Essential groups for the first time and it is gratifying to hear that the teaching has been well received in both cases. Just as importantly, I have noticed a considerable improvement in knowledge and understanding of what it takes to play bridge well and in the right spirit.

Plans for the future are as follows

  • There will be a new schedule of courses to sign up for in the autumn, which I hope will be ready by the end this month, as well as one or more free taster sessions towards the end of August, designed to attract beginners and those who want to sample what the Robson method of teaching is all about. I intend to offer up to a half a dozen courses in all – including some with more advanced material – with a view to finding out whether there is sufficient interest to teach them all.

 

  • Of the summer I will be offering a series of topic by topic seminars for those who already know the basics of the game and want to add some more knowledge on a session by session basis. Details will go out shortly. I currently expect to offer one morning and one evening session a week.

 

  • We will also be organising the first play and learn sessions – where you can come along, play some pre-dealt hands (with supervision available) and then have a debrief at the end at which I will go through the hands and take questions about what could/should have happened. This should be an excellent way to meet other like-minded players and try out your new skills and deepen your knowledge in a friendly atmosphere.

 

  • I shall in addition be sending out a regular email to those who have signed up on the website with an instructive hand that I have either played myself or come across elsewhere. Some will be relatively straightforward and others will be a little more advanced. Either way I hope that you will enjoy them.

 

Finally please don’t hesitate to contact me by email if you have any queries or useful feedback. If you have enjoyed a course and want to persuade your friends to come along to the next one, please do spread the word. The more friends who sign up, the better the chances that you will soon be taking part in an enjoyable game, either at one of our sessions, or in your home.

 

 

 

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