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Congrats Jenny Coyle, and Maitland BC

In March this year, Jenny Coyle achieved Accreditation status at Maitland Bridge Club. Assisted by her talented team, (Wendy Rissler & Miriam Officer), she has accrued more than 50 points in the ABF Education Scheme.

Here's Jenny's story...
"I learned bridge in 1987, and played for a short time, until my  family moved to Bougainville PNG. I didn't have a chance to take it up again until I joined Maitland Bridge Club in March 2013. 
There, I was warmly welcomed, and received a tremendous amount of encouragement and help. I quickly became consumed by bridge, reading as much as I could and playing online too.
I'd been a teacher for many years, so, after attending the ABF teaching courses, and using Joan Butts material,  I have taken on the role of teaching co-ordinator at Maitland. Our club continues to grow, with courses being held throughout the year for both new and experienced players.

As Somerset Maugham said: “Bridge is the most entertaining and intelligent card game the wit of man has so far devised”.

Read about Maitland in Australian Bridge Novice Magazine

Maitland BC Publicity Officer, Miriam Officer, wrote an article which appears in the latest edition of the AB Novice magazine. The article mentions the direction and positive steps Maitland Bridge Club is taking, and the growth recorded.

Australian Bridge Novice magazine is the brain child of Brad Coles. It's an excellent new online publication, catering to less experienced players. Did you know that more than 70% of ABF members have fewer than 100 masterpoints? It makes sense to offer a magazine to such a large group, doesn't it? To subscribe, phone Brad 0431 118 443 or email: mail@australianbridge.com Annual subs $25 for six issues.

Adelaide TTP  March 15

The group below, 20 in all,  hailed both from the city of Adelaide, (SABA and the Adelaide Bridge Cente), and further afield - Port Piror. Gawler, Reynella, and the Barossa. Thanks to Margaret Walters for her organiisation, and SABA, for assistance. 

Melbourne TTP March 21,22 

Waverley Bridge Club and the VBA both hosted this TTP. Again, teachers and would-be teachers from various parts of Victoria listened to ABF teaching methodology. The demonstration workshop on Two Over One Game Force was popular. Thanks to Jeff Fust for his organisation.  


Mornington Peninsula March 19,20 

Brian & Mrgaret Morgan, who run Rye Beach Bridge Club, put together a Festival of Bridge for two days in March, at the Rosebud Golf Club. I covered Modern Competitive Bidding Method - "When to bid more, when to bid Less"  

ABF Teaching Highlighted Better Bridge Teachers Newsletter

The latest issue of Audrey Grant's newsletter for bridge teachers features an article about what we're doing in bridge teaching in Australia. It is wonderful to see us mentioned in such a prestigious publication. The site is free for you to join.. 

Upcoming 2015 Teacher Training Courses

Teacher Training Programmes 

Perth WA: Sunday 14 June, TTP

Brisbane Qld: Octotber TTP

Continuing Professional Development Days

Traralgon Victoria (ERBA): Wednesday 10 June, CPD Day 

Perth WA: Sunday 21 June, CPD Day

Brisbane Water, NSW: 30 August, CPD Day

Townsville Qld:  6 September, CPD Day

and possibly...

Adelaide SA: CPD Day

Melbourne Vic: CPD Day

Tips for Teaching Overcalls

Students need to know why conventions works. Start each lesson with an explanation of the positive reasons for using any gadget. 

Overcalls  help partner get off to the right lead, and mess up the opponents' bidding. Modern style is to overcall very light (8+ but good suit, not J high) at the one level, but not so at the two level. Many people have been taught to overcall at the two-level with 10+ points, but this is not enough, You need an excellent suit and an opening hand to be safe.  

Explaining the difference between an ordinary overcall and a pre-emptive one is essential too. The preempt should have no defensive values in other suits, whereas the simple overcall could easily have kings and queens in other suits and be good in defence. 

Responding to overcalls is best taught by looking at the number of trumps held rather than points only. Eventually your students will use the Law of Total Tricks, jumping with a weak response and four or five trumps. The reasons should be explained as helping partner know how far to bid on, and when to pass or double.Cue Raises fit the bill here for showing responses with points. 

Tips for Teaching Doubles

Couning short suits when deciding to double is now recommended. When opening,  we don't acknowledge the value of short suits until there's a known fit. But, it's different in competitive auctions. 

The fewer cards in the opponent's suit, the better for doubling. That's if you end up  playing in a suit. Be wary of bidding no trumps after partner's double. It's probably the last spot partner wants to play in. 

Because the double has forced a bid, if the next hand passes, remember your partner may have 0 points, so the doubler should curb their enthusiasm with their next bid. 

The doubler's partner should be precise with their response, in high card points, and be enthusiastic with shape. In a competitive auction, the points will be divided evenly, and you need to know how far to bid. Remember that the doubler's partner is not bidding their hand all by themselves. Partner promised the other suits, and points, when they doubled. 

It's hard to teach the concept that on hands with 17+ points and a great suit it's best to start with "double", rather then overcalling, to ensure you reach a possible game. Teach that "the more points you hold, the less you need shortage".


Teaching Quote of the Month

John Medina, who wrote "Brain Rules" warns teachers about producing students who may feel like geese being fattened for pate de fois gras!  

“Overstuffing students by relating too much information, with not enough time given to connecting the dots, is the most common communication mistake.  Lots of force feeding, very little digestion, does nothing for the nourishment of the listeners”. 

Impact for bridge teachers “Less is more”. Be brave and take material out of your lessons."

Good luck