GRBC Fall 2021 Lessons for Advancing Players

The following workshops and courses for advancing players were scheduled for the fall of 2021. Because we still don't know when we will re-open (it depends on the local health authorities), a number of the scheduled lessons have been postponed.

Lessons are coloured RED if they have been posptponed indefinitely. Lessons are coloured GOLD if they may be postponed.

All of our September and October sessions will be online.

In an effort to help our learners gauge what level of courses to take, we provide the following GUIDELINES.

Beginner 0 - 5  MP

Novice  5 - 75 MP

Intermediate 75 - 500 MP

Open  500+  MP

The fee for each workshop is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. The fee for the five-week courses is $75 for members/ $85 for non-members. There is an additional $20 charge for a textbook for the Play of the Hand course.

In order to register, you need to take TWO actions. REGISTER for the workshop(s)  and ARRANGE FOR PAYMENT (click here for information on how to pay).

Playing Face to Face

In-person bridge will soon make a welcome return to our club. This workshop will ease new players into the mechanics of playing face-to-face games. We will learn about in-person registration, bidding, alerts, table movements, calling the director, scoring with BridgeMates, and (as time permits) review the basics of duplicate bridge scoring. 

Level:  Beginner
Instructor:  Jack Cole
Fee:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Convention Cards

Have you ever forgotten a bidding agreement that you have with your partner? Or come to find that you have no bidding agreement and therefore don't understand your partner's bid? Or perhaps you don't understand your partner's particular card play or lead because you haven't discussed it? Or maybe you don't know how to answer a query from your opponents about a particular bid or play of a card? If there only were some way to identify your partnership agreements on a standard form, for your opponents and for you and your partner.

Welcome to the partnership ACBL convention card!

The ACBL General Conditions of Contest specify that "Each member of a partnership must have a completed convention card available for the opponents". In other words, your opponents are entitled to know about any bidding and defensive carding agrements that you and your partner make.

Convention Cards are required, both on Bridge Base Online (BBO) and in "real life" duplicate bridge clubs and tournaments. Not only is the Convention Card a requirement for duplicate bridge games, but also it is a great tool you can use to firm up your partnership's agreements and have a useful discussion before you begin a duplicate session.

This workshop will:

  • Help you and your partner, as newer players, to complete your Convention Card;
  • Explain some of the intricacies of the Convention Card (i.e., the meaning of the different sections, check boxes, blank spaces, and different colours); and
  • Suggest some conventions to list/use.

Level:  Novice
Date:  Saturday, October 2, 9:30 am - noon
Instructor:  John Hanemaayer
Fee:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Hold Up Plays in No Trump

All intermediate players know about hold up plays whereby they don't play their stopper(s) in the opponents' suit until the danger is past. However, much more often than you may realize, there are situations when it's wrong to hold up - the opponents may switch to a scarier suit, the opponents' suit will block, and your trick will vanish if you don't take it right away. Furthermore, sometimes it's right to hold up once but not twice. And then there's the concept of the dangerous opponent to take into consideration. This workshop will offer its participants the chance to declare 20 hands in Shark Bridge, depending on time. Sometimes, it will be right to take your winner(s) right away, sometimes it will be right to hold up only once, and sometimes it will be right to hold up twice. As you play each hand, you will be getting immediate feedback about your decision at Trick 1.

Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Malkin Howes
Date: Monday, October 4, 2021, 9:30 am - noon
Fee: $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Basic Bidding

Bidding is the language of bridge. Its purpose is to relay information about the strengths and weaknesses of each player's hand to his or her partner. In this five-week course, we will study and discuss what should be in your hand when you make an opening bid, as well as how to respond as a partner. There will be lots of examples and group interaction.

Level:  Novice
Instructor:  Cindy Mahn
Mode:  Face to Face
Fee:  $75 for members/ $85 for non-members


When to Lead Trump

Opening leads are very important and often make the difference between success and failure. Most of the time it's wrong to make a trump lead, but sometimes it's essential. It's kind of like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead:  when it's good, it is very very good, but when it's bad it is horrid. This workshop will identify six bidding circumstances that scream for an opening trump lead and give examples. The majority of the lesson time will be devoted to playing 20 hands where a trump lead is called for ... or not.

Level:  Intermediate
Instructor:  Malkin Howes
Time:  Monday, October 25, 9:30 am - noon
Fee:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Signalling for Killer Defence


Level:  NOVICE
Date:  Wednesday, October 27, 9:30 am - noon
Instructor:  Stephen Carpenter
FEE:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Bidding for Intermediate Players, Part 1

This course and its separately-enrolled continuation, Part 2, focus on Standard American bidding. Onpening bids, responses, and rebids will be briefly reviewed. Topics covered in more detail will be forcing and non-forcing bids, competitive bidding, doubles, and balancing. Each lesson will conclude with some hands illustrating the lesson's topics, for practice in bidding and play. A few topics regarding play and defence will also be included, but the main goal of the course is to make attendees comfortable and confident with standard bidding conventions. Regular partners may find it advantageous to attend as a pair.

Level:  Intermediate
Instructor: Neil Jeffrey
Time:  Tuesdays from 6:30 pm until 9:00 pm, November 2, 9, 16, and 23  MAY BE POSTPONED
Mode:  Face-to-Face
Fee:  $70 for members/ $80 for non-members (includes handouts and HST)


Opening Leads

The bidding is over and your opponents have reached a four hearts contract. You're on lead. What card should you play? Opening leads are the only card played while the dummy is still concealed, but it is one advantage defenders have over declarer. This workshop is for post-beginners and will help the participants decide which card in which suit is the preferred lead. Leads for both suit and no trump contracts will be provided.

Level:  Novice
Instructor:  Susan Lawton
Time:  Friday, November 5, 9:30 am - noon
Fee:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

Play of the Hand (Suits)

In an 18-board club game, you are likely to be declarer on four or five boards. You need to learn techniques to help you become a better declarer. First, you need to be aware of your goal. Second, you must learn how to make a plan. And third, you must learn how to implement your plan. In this course, you will learn how to make a plan right after the opening lead has been made, and you will also learn how to minimize your losers so that you can make your contract and maybe even make overtricks. A second course, Play of the Hand in No Trump contracts, will be offered in the winter. Both courses use the same textbook. Once you have taken both courses, you will find yourself getting better scores on more boards where you are declarer.

Level:  Novice
Instructor:  Dianne Aves
Time:  Tuesdays, November 9, 16, 23, 30, and December 7, 9:30 am - noon
Fee:  $95 for members/ $105 for non-members (includes textbook and HST)


Counting at bridge involves way more than just keeping track of the trump suit when you are declarer. Come to this workshop to learn why counting is so VITAL to your success as declarers and defenders. You cannot learn everything involved in counting in this first workshop, but at least it will get you started. You will learn about counting the high card points around the table, the distribution of the suits, the number of declarer's tricks, the number of the defenders' tricks, counting winners and losers, using count signals, and more. No one becomes a good bridge player without becoming an accomplished "counter". Let's get you started.

Level:  Intermediate
Instructor:  Dianne Aves
Time:  Thursday, December 16, 9:30 am - noon
Mode:  Face-to-Face   MAY BE POSTPONED
Fee:  $20 for members/ $25 for non-members

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