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Baron Wonders talks to Andrew about the ARBC courses

Baron: “Andrew, I think it is very important you clearly list the order of your courses.”

Andrew: I completely agree. What does “Building on the Basics” or “Play with Confidence” really mean without context? The order is as follows:

1. Beginner
2, Next Step
3. Building on the Basics
4. Essential
5. Play with Confidence
6. Improver
7. Improver Plus
8. The Red Course (was Advanced)
9=. Red Play (was Advanced Play)
9=. Red Defence (was Advanced Defence)
9=. Red Conventions (was Advanced Plus)
10. Duplicate Pairs Tactics
You can find details of these courses here

Baron: “Andrew, I notice you’ve renamed all the Advanced courses “Red”. Why is that?”
Andrew: The terms “Intermediate” and “Advanced” mean so many different things to different people. They are highly charged words – unlike “Red” with its clearer ski-slope connotation. We got rid of the term “Intermediate” a few years ago, And now it’s the turn for Advanced. Actually, most people’s “Intermediate” (outside the Club) is probably about on a par with our Advanced (as was – now “Red”). Certainly, those on my BridgeCasts will know that the Intermediate channel has progressed to the upper end of all our courses (although Intermediate 01 is perhaps about on a par with our Improver Plus), while the Advanced BridgeCast channel is largely beyond our courses.

Baron: You have written many books. If a student wanted to read a book, which would you choose according to their level?
Andrew: Good question. It is important to understand that the first five courses (up to and including Play with Confidence) are quite “beginnery” – and indeed they all form part of the Beginner course on BridgeCast. For those five courses, I would recommend my green book Beginning Bridge. For Improver up to and including the Red Course, I would recommend my black book, Tips for Intermediates. Beyond that, I’d recommend my orange book, The Next Level. And if you’ve read the orange book already, I think you’ll enjoy my latest book, Top Tens, which includes my top ten conventions – in reverse order.

Baron: Thank you Andrew. Finally, can I ask you – which is the favourite ARBC course you’ve written?
Andrew: The answer may surprise you for it is perhaps somewhat unheralded. It’s Play with Confidence – the last course I would put under the umbrella of beginner (with a small “b”).

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