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Are you a Bridge Club?

Gillian is willing to hold any of the courses at your club, subject to a minimum of 8 participants and within reasonable travelling distance from Mansfield.

Welcome to Mansfield School of Bridge
Coming soon : Transfers - Red & Black

29th May, 5th and 12th June 2018

This series of three workshops will answer the questions:

  • What are red suit transfers and why should I use them?
  • How do they fit with Stayman?
  • When is it right to break the transfer?
  • What are 2♠  & 2NT transfers? (they're not point counts!)
  • How do I reply to a transfer bid by my partner?
  • How does the auction continue?
  • How can transfers protect if our 1NT opening is doubled?

£20 per person.  Suitable for the improver, a knowledge of stayman will be assumed.

Tuesday evenings 7.30pm - 9.30pm at Mansfield Mechanics Bridge Club

(doors open 7.15pm for tea/cofee, questions & warm-up quizzes)

Contact Gillian Rand to reserve your place.

Places are limited.  First come, first served.



If you're interested in learning bridge and would like to attend a free session to give you some idea of what's involved, Gillian will be holding beginners' sessions during June and July (dates below) in the ground floor bridge room at the Mechanics Institute Ltd, 2 Stuart Avenue, Forest Town NG19 0AB.  Get in touch to book a free session or free sessions. 07814477620

Thursday mornings: June 7th, June 14th, June 21st and July 5th

Tuesday evenings: June 19th, June 26th, July 3rd and July 10th.

Just Finished: Develop Your Defence

Participant feedback, May 2018: "A great follow on from the initial beginners' course.  Well worth the time spent"  "..really helpful in my understanding of leads, signals and discards."   "Highly recommend to all players - and I think every so often as a refresher!"  "The course opened my eyes to techniques that the better players in the club used.."  "The course was extremely well organised and presented methodically in a very helpful, friendly, positive manner."  "A hard subject but worth doing the course."  "Makes you aware this is a complex area!"

Card play as defenders requires co-operation with partner.  Conceptually it is harder than declarer play, as when you are defending you can not see your partner's cards - the combined assets of your partnership are not visible.  

This course is part of the EBU's "Bridge for All" scheme and is intended to help non-expert players improve their defensive card play.  A knowledge of foundation bidding is required so this course is for "improvers" and not beginners.  If you have attended any of Gillian's courses, you will know enough to attend and benefit from this one.  You can come on your own and a partner will be found for you for the duration of the course.

This 10-session course will give you the opportunity to focus on your defence as you to work with a partner to understand and use the following techniques:

Session 1: No trump leads: Which suit to lead; which card of the chosen suit to lead.

Session 2: Third hand play: The lead is made and third hand has to play after dummy.  Normally third hand plays high to try and win the trick; playing the lower with two touching high cards; what to play if partner or dummy is winning the trick (high encouraging signals); what card to play if dummy has a nine or higher.

Session 3: Opening leaders next play: Assuming partner returns the original suit led, when to duck to preserve an entry; when to win and give a suit preference signal to show an entry; when to switch to another suit.

Session 4: Second Hand Plays: When declarer leads a suit when to play low, when to play high; when and why we cover an honour; exceptions.

Session 5: Count signals and discarding: Giving count on declarer's lead, examples of when it is useful and when not to signal; what signals to play when discarding - high encouraging is recommended; suit preference type signals should be avoided.

Session 6: Leads to suit contracts: Mostly we choose the same card as in no trumps (except never underlead an ace) but not always the same suit; when to try a side suit; when to lead trumps; leads to avoid

Session 7: Playing for ruffs: When to lead a short suit; when to lead to give partner a ruff; suit preference signals.

Session 8: Forcing Declarer: Why playing a suit the long trump hand can ruff is often an effective defence; leading long suits when holding long trumps.

Session 9: Trump Promotion: Making trump tricks by leading through declarer; the uppercut - recognising when this would be a good defence.

Session 10: Planning the Whole Defence: Pulling all the topics together; making a defensive plan; deceptive plays

There is a lot of material in this course so there will be homework to do which may be preparation for the following session.  The homework, in the main, will be taken from the EBU publication Really Easy Defence and should take you about 45 minutes.

Each "Develop Your Defence" session will consist of a short (maximum 40 minutes) introduction to the topic followed by playing and discussion of 12 hands.  Each session will last 2 hours and 30 minutes.  You will be given a handout for each lesson with a short introduction to the topic and the details of the twelve hands which were played during the lesson.

PRICE: £60 per person which includes the RE Defence text book.  *If you already have this book, bring it with you to registration and you will only pay £50 for the course (Please tell me in advance so I don't buy more books than I need.)




On Monday nights the club on Stuart Avenue hold an "improvers" competition evening.  If you've been playing for about a year and would like to raise your game to the next level this is the evening for you.  The competition starts promptly at 7pm and ends about 10pm.  Come on your own or with a partner.  You'll play around 24 boards and afterwards the hands and bidding and results are available for you to view at   There is a small charge of £2.50 and tea/coffee and biscuits are available halfway through the evening.  

Fully Qualified Teacher - Gillian Rand
Fully Qualified Teacher - Gillian Rand

"The English Bridge Union has looked after bridge in England since 1936.  It has developed a system by which competent bridge teachers follow a nationally accredited course.  You can feel confident that you will be well taught, and that what you learn will enable you to turn up at a new bridge club and be on the same wavelength as a partner you have never met before."

Really Easy Bidding 3rd Edition 2006

Current students say:

"Gillian is a very talented teacher with endless patience."

"The handouts are excellent - better than any bridge book I have read."

"Really enjoyed it - much better than I thought."

"The teaching is excellent and Gillian creates a very friendly atmosphere and makes learning a pleasure.  She is good at explaining and no one is made to feel stupid even when one makes elementary mistakes."

Workshops for Experienced Players

Develop Your Defence has just finished and is described above.  Other workshops on offer for players of more than 2 years experience are listed under "for Experienced Players".  There are scheduled at the Mansfield Mechanics as and when demand occurs so if you are interested, do let Gillian know.  If you are a club and would like Gillian to come to you to run these then do get in touch.



Absolute Beginner?

Register your interest for the next beginner's course which is likely to start in late June 2018

(6 registered so far)

Come on your own or with a partner.