Book 2

Writing on behalf of both Chris Lohan and Shirley Goldwin:-

We think too much depth is being taught too quickly and too much is being asked of these students most of whom are in the 60+ age bracket. They need to practise to reinforce and after all are only in their 2nd year of learning the game.. It’s no good thinking that they will pick up a concept instantly. People who have never taught would be astonished at how slowly some people learn. The aim is make the lessons informative and enjoyable, the topics comprehensible and memorable and to give confidence and not demoralise. On the other hand one cannot plug away at the same topic for too long as boredom sets in. We do not follow the exact order or timings as set out in all the various notes. We tailor each lesson to the needs of the group, speeding up or slowing down as necessary. It does mean that one lesson plan does not necessarily work for all groups. But that’s how we both taught in school. Shirley has just spent 5 weeks on weak 2’s, responses & overcalls and they have chosen to play yet more hands. Of course it’s not just the bidding but defence & declarer play.

Our particular gripe is hands on a specific topic which include hands which are not putting into practising that topic. e.g. Weak 2’s. There are many examples.

Responses to 2C
We play, and teach a simple relay response of 2D. Takes away the agony of working out the value of responder's hand. After all responder doesn’t know the value of their hand until the opener’s rebid. Unnecessary learning in our view.

Stayman & Transfers

These should be introduced much earlier than the end of Book 2. They are the foundation of a bidding system - although not to be taught at the very beginning. Taken to much more easily & quickly than reopening doubles and fourth suit forcing. Much easier than cue bids.

4441 hands
Should continue to be included. I don’t think they are as rare as is sometimes thought.

Printing mistakes Book 2
We are sure there are more but this is one discovered recently.
Book 2 p 26 Hand 7 14 cards in the N hand
Hand 8 N has no clubs which should be K65


  • To add to Chris L second para - first sentence.

    When I first started teaching I offered Book 2 to those who had played bridge before - perhaps players with years of experience. It was also offered to relatively new players. Those who had played for quite a while did not want to do a "beginners" course . I found that everyone was out of their depth in Book 2 as they did not understand the basics. Consequently I concentrate more on Year One and also used the Handbanks as a revision aid of Book One

    I have run Year Two again but in a very relaxed way - on a monthly basis with people who have gone through Year One and then play regularly for quite while. Previous to this Book 2 course, I went though the handbanks with relatively inexperienced players , on a monthly basis, this tended to get a bit boring because of hand repetition . I switched these sessions to the Year 2 course (on a monthly basis ) and the group seemed to pick things up. (It also became self- evident that things had been forgotten from Year One). They were all with say 2/ 3 years playing experience. By word of mouth I also have had very long term players joining in for Book 2 which they seem to enjoy and learn new things from. It appears that although Book 2 is for improvers you need a very solid foundation and quite a lot of playing experience to be able to take it on.

    As said above when I ran Book 2, for the first time, on a weekly basis it seemed to be too intense for people to take in.

    My point being that the Beginners Book is "below" players who have played before - I think the term "below" is a perception issue as there are many basic concepts in Book One that many don't appreciate. Yet Book Two is too challenging for most.

    My thought is : is there a curriculum for an in between Book 1 / Book Two which would suit people who are not Beginners but perhaps need some basic guidance on the system / bridge principles . Perhaps the Fast Track would suit (I have not looked at it) -marketed as course to brush up the basics rather than learning as a Beginner .

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