The format is as follows:
Players can enter as fours, pairs or singles. The first session we held we were surprised to have 12 tables, so might be best to have pre-entry.
A computer dealt (not pre-prepared) board is bid and played in the usual manner. The hands are laid out on the table once the play is finished and an "expert", or Advisor, is called to the table who then goes through the bidding and play and offers any comment he/she feels appropriate (usually 2 minutes advising is plenty). Players are given a print out of the hands at the end of the day.
After about 90 minutes play we have a tea break. This is important as a rest break for the Advisors and allows for some socialising.
The Advisors usually have no teaching experience so it’s important to convey to everyone the level they are teaching to (when to open 1NT ; how to take a finesse ; ruff in the short hand….etc….), there’s no need to change folk’s bidding systems, just get what they’re using right!
Ideally we aim for 2 advisors per table but 6 advisors can just about cope with 16 tables. Also good to have a couple extra in case of odd numbers so full tables can be made up although 5 rotating at a couple of tables would also be OK.
The Advisors have copies of the hands to look at a few days before the event and this helps with significant hands, and of course having a print out which tells you how many tricks are available beforehand makes advising a lot easier.
We have travellers in the boards that have a deed-finesse type box, ready printed with the possible number of tricks for the players to check.
Ann suggested using travellers and boards from a club night to give the players a chance to compare with a club. We might try that this year.
Some players learn more than others at these sessions. Regardless of what sinks in with students it does encourage them to try clubs and competitions and also they get to know the scary experts on a social level.
The Advisors enjoy these sessions so it’s reasonably easy to get volunteers, but it is exhausting. The session lasts about 3 hours (15 minute tea break). Any more would be too much for the Advisors!
If you want to give this a try and want to discuss further please feel free to give me a ring.
01563 830 130
Mobile 07886 190061