Spade Heart Mansfield School of Bridge Diamond Club
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For Experienced Players
9th May 2018 14:03 BST
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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.

For Experienced Players
Workshops for Experienced Players

Workshops for intermediate/experienced players are available.  They are summarised in the table below and more information is lower down on this page.

The next workshops for experienced players at Mansfield Mechanics will depend on demand so if you are interested, get in touch.  If you are a Club and would like Gillian to come to you to deliver Develop Your Defence or any of the workshops for experienced players, do get in touch.  We currently have three people interested in the slams course, and two people have asked for "something on doubles".

Workshop Title Duration Price per person Date Reviews  
Strong 2s 2hrs 15 mins £5  

"Thank you for such an enjoyable and instructive session"

Puddings & Splinters 4hrs £10  

"I've learned something."   "Thank you that was helpful"  "Really enjoyable."

Competitive Bidding 6 hrs £25  

 "This was so good, I wish we could have more"

Multi 2  6hrs £25  

"Educational"  "Very instructive"  "That was excellent"

Simple Slams 6hrs £25  

 "I really think I know what to do now - at last it makes sense."    


Fourth Suit Forcing 4hrs £15  

"That was brilliant"

Develop Your Defence

10 weeks

2hr 15 min sessions


"..a good opportunity to think in more detail about defending at bridge and the many different aspects of it.  The course materials seemed comprehensive.  The 'taught' parts of the session were very well delivered; clear and informative."



Fourth Suit Forcing

This workshop will answer the questions:

  • When is it helpful to use the FSF convention?
  • How forcing is FSF?
  • How do I reply to a FSF bid by my partner?

This is four hour workshop or can be run as two evening sessions.  It will cost £15.  We will begin with a reminder of opener's rebids with a strong hand and responder's second bid (following a wide-range opener's rebid) leading to an examination of the convention "fourth suit forcing".  There will be several bidding practicals and quizzes and a teams or pairs 12 board competition with prepared hands.  Handouts will be provided.


Simple Slams

This is a full day workshop from 10.00am - 4.30pm (bring your lunch) for £25, or can be run as three evening sessions.

The workshop will answer the questions:

  • How do I recognise a slam opportunity?
  • Gerber v. Blackwood: which should I use when?
  • What is control/cue bidding and how does it help?

This is a practical workshop looking at bidding slams using quantitative raises and simple slam conventions. 

You will be identifying slam indicators by analysing example auctions, completing several bidding practicals and there will be a section of puzzles and practical exercises to encourage application and retention of the knowledge you have gained.  Be reassured - Gillian will lead and encourage you throughout and will provide explanations and guidance.

The day/course will finish with a teams or pairs 12 board competition using prepared hands.


The Multi 2 Diamond

Are you struggling to choose between strong 2s and weak 2s?  Fed up when you have a 19HCP balanced hand and your partner passes your opening bid?

The answer is the "multi 2 diamond" opening bid and responses.

This bid means you can use BOTH weak 2s and strong 2s and when you have that 19 HCP balanced hand it forces a response from your partner.

This is a full day workshop from 10.00am - 4.30pm (bring your lunch) for £25 or can be run as three evening sessions. 

During this workshop you will discover:

  • When a 2 opening is appropriate
  • How you should respond to such a bid
  • What happens next!

There will be lots of practical work, illustrations, bidding practise, etc. and the seminar will finish with a 12 board pairs or teams competition.  Handouts will be provided.

Competitive Bidding

Once the opposition interfere with "your" auction, some bids are lost to you and others become available, for example, cue bidding and the negative double.

This is a full day workshop 10.00am - 4.30pm (bring your lunch) or can be run as three evening sessions looking at what to do when the opposition overcall your opening bid and what to do when they double your opening bid.

Information covered and practised will include:

  • pre-emptive support
  • mini pudding raise
  • redouble
  • wriggling out of 1NT doubled
  • negative double
  • cue bidding the opposition suit
  • bidding NTs after an overcall
  • bidding a new suit after an overcall

This workshop is best attended as a partnership.  Time will be given for partnerships to discuss and agree their future strategy.

There will be a "putting it all together" section of puzzles and practicals exercises to encourage application and retention of the knowledge you have gained or revisited.

The day/course will finish with a pairs or teams competition of 12 prepared boards.

Price: £25


Puddings and Splinters

Raising partner's suit to game can be appropriate with different shapes of hand.

Making a game raise in a format that tells partner the nature of your hand can be helpful in deciding whether or not to explore the possibility of a slam.

During this workshop you will (re)discover:

  • how to evaluate your hand using the losing trick count
  • the 3 types of game raise available to you, namely pudding, pre-emptive and the splinter bid
  • how to re-evaluate your hand following partner's game raise

This is a four hour workshop or can be run as two evening sessions, price £10

Strong 2s

A two and a quarter hour session costing only £5, this is essentially a supervised play workshop giving you the opportunity to practise your strong 2 openings and responses.  A week or so before the workshop you will be given a handout to remind you of the EBU recommended route for these hands.  At the start of the workshop there will be an opportunity to ask questions and then you will bid and play prepared boards, seeking advice and reviewing the bidding or play as you see appropriate.