Learn to Play Bridge with Audrey Grant's Better Bridge

From September through May, Mojo offers bridge classes through PCC Extension on Wednesday evenings.

Over the summer, look for continuing topics on Thursday evenings in South Pasadena.


 

Celebrating retirement 2019

Taking a year off to celebrate

Normally at this time of year I would be announcing my class and event schedule for the coming season.

Jane and I have decided to pull the plugs on our day jobs. She's finishing up at the end of November at JPL, and I'm joining her from DreamWorks Animation at the end of February. It's a slightly scary and exciting thing to do.

We've decided to take 2019 for ourselves. We want to have lots of unstructured time: take mid-week astronomy excursions to the desert, play tons of bridge, go to all the big tournaments, and listen to lots of live classical music and jazz.

We're taking a sabbatical year with very few firm commitments.

Closing the Monday night bridge club

December 17 will be the last scheduled game for the BridgeMojo Monday night club. Let's make it a game and a party.

I know that sounds like crazy talk.

In a sense, those of you who have been playing are my first "graduating class" of players prepared to play in tournaments and clubs anywhere. I've also proven some concepts and techniques that I'll continue to draw on in my own and other clubs.

We have eight more Monday evening games, which will bring us to fifty games held. In the next eight games, we will hold two "club championship" games with extra masterpoints, two silver-point STaC games, and one Swiss Team game.

No scheduled bridge classes in 2019

Not having scheduled classes through PCC doesn't mean I won't be teaching.

With more unstructured time available to me, I will be able to offer private lessons for small groups or partnerships. I'll be available to play as a partner/coach in club games or the occasional tournament.

Up until now, I've turned down all requests for private bridge instruction. That is changing in 2019.

What comes next

"The past is history, the future a mystery, but today is a gift. That's why they call it the present." I can't say what comes next for certain, but I do have dreams and ideas.

Of the commitments I am making for 2019, Jane and I will be attending the NABCs in Memphis (spring) and Las Vegas (summer), and will be accompanying Audrey Grant on a 36-day Crystal cruise starting next December.

I will continue to support and coordinate the North American Pairs tournament for District 23.

I may fill in occasionally for directors who can't make a game, but will decline any regular schedule at least for now. (Directing open games is one of the most stressful sleep-depriving things I've ever done. Be nice to your directors!)

I might have 10-15 good years after my 2019 sabbatical. If a good location presents itself, I plan to start researching opening the Pasadena Bridge Club as a full-time club sometime in 2020.

I dream of it being a bridge club that could match the aspirations of brand new and experienced players. There's no reason it shouldn't compare with the great bridge clubs of New York or London. It could be the center for coaching and mentoring for Pasadena Youth Bridge (which doesn't exist yet). I imagine it being able to justify a $25/game card fee, but maybe only charge $15 or $20. It could be a destination for traveling bridge players. I'd love to build a bridge club that's not a dump.

Or it could just be more inexpensive retail space in a strip mall. ;-)

One of the things I'll be doing during my sabbatical is visiting and playing in bridge clubs everywhere to steal all their best ideas.

I believe I can find the means to do all these things, and I know I have support from players and students. I firmly believe this isn't the end of anything so much as it is the beginning. One door closes, another opens.

Class Schedule, Fall 2018

Now open for registration!

Mojo with Audrey Grant in Toronto, Summer 2017
Mojo with Audrey Grant at the Better Bridge Teachers Convention, Toronto, 2017

Bridge I — An Introduction

This is the first class from Audrey Grant's acclaimed Better Bridge program.

This is the starting point for a lifetime of fascination with bridge. No experience required.

Newcomers will learn the mechanics of the game through its historical predecessors: whist and auction bridge. This is not a lecture class! You'll be playing cards at the table from the beginning.

Students who have played a little bridge will enjoy this refresher and update on the fundamentals of play and Standard American bidding.

Lesson plan:

  1. The Basics - Historical bridge through Whist and Auction Bridge
  2. Notrump Opening Bids and Responses
  3. Major Suit Opening Bids and Responses
  4. Minor Suit Opening Bids and Responses
  5. Practice hands
  6. Practice hands

Bridge II — Competitive Bidding

Playing bridge in class
Playing bridge in class

This class is your gateway to modern competitive bidding, where the conversation grows beyond "How high" and "Where" to also interfere with the opponents communication.

This class follows directly on the heels of Bridge I. The material is valuable for players with widely varying experience, especially in the context of modern club and tournament play.

This course reflects how bridge has become even more playful and exciting than the game our grandparents loved.

Lesson plan:

  1. Preemptive Opening Bids
  2. Overcalls and Advances
  3. Takeout Doubles and Advances
  4. The Competitive Auction
  5. Practice Hands
  6. Practice Hands