With the outbreak of COVID-19 on the Northern Beaches and its likely spread to other parts of metropolitan Sydney, bridge players, especially those north of the harbour, should consider playing online instead of face-to-face during the forthcoming holidays.
At least two clubs are providing online BBO games during this period, Bridge Today (VABF2266) and the Sydney Bridge Centre (VABF2006). BT is providing a 24-board game on Mondays, a fast 21-board game on Wednesdays and 18-board games at other times. SBC provides 20-board games on most days of the week. The timetable is below.
|Monday 21 Dec||10:15am||VABF2006||20||3.00|
|Tuesday 22 Dec||1:30pm||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Wednesday 23 Dec||9:30am||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Thursday 24 Dec||1:30pm||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Saturday 26 Dec||1.45pm||VABF2006||20||3.00|
|Monday 28 Dec||10:15am||VABF2006||20||3.00|
|Tuesday 29 Dec||1:30pm||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Wednesday 30 Dec||9:30am||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Thursday 31 Dec||1:30pm||VABF2266||18||3.00|
|Saturday 2 Jan||1:45pm||VABF2006||20||3.00|
If you have not already registered for these games, the VABF2006 contact is Wing Roberts on 0487 350 160 and the VABF2266 contact is Libby Birdsall on 0425 212 213
Other clubs may be providing games during this period, you can log into BBO and under Virtual Clubs in Australia see other upcoming games, they will have a VABFxxx indicator. Most clubs require you to register with the club in order to enter their games.
Chairman, NSW Bridge Association
The relaxation of the coronavirus regulations dubbed Freedom Monday is now good for the playing of bridge. There has been a change in the regulations which were posted on the 5th December.
Only the two square metre rule will apply to those venues used for playing bridge but the size of a group, previously 20, has been removed from the regulations for Community Halls and Indoor Recreation venues. So, finally you can use sensible movements provided that the space in your venue has at least 2 square metres per player.
Social distancing still exists at 1.5m but it is recommended rather than mandatory. Given the demographic of bridge players you should follow this recommendation. The NSWBA is continuing to use its new 1200 mm square tables.
Chairman, NSW Bridge Association
Events are now running on the RealBridge online platform. RealBridge uses your camera and microphone allowing you to see and hear each other.
Players are invited to come and try the "REALBRIDGE.ONLINE" platform and play some boards on this NEW platform.
Check your Camera and Microphone, so your partner and opponents can "SEE and HEAR" each other.
Taster sessions are being provided by the Canberra Bridge Club.
The Council of the NSWBA has voted to close the NSWBA (trading as Sydney Bridge Centre) at midnight on Tuesday 17th March.
All Club sessions at Rozelle and Henley are cancelled.
UPDATE: Goulburn Street reopened on Tuesday 6th October for F2F duplicate sessions. Rozelle and Henley remain closed for the moment. The Sydney Bridge Centre is running both F2F duplicate sessions at Goulburn Street AND online games on BBO. Go to www.sydneybridgecentre.com/sbc-sessions/ for session details.
12-13 December, 2020
Entries are now open for the Sydney Spring Nationals Online Pairs, an online event to be played on the RealBridge platform.
The Annual General Meeting of the NSWBA will be held on
Wednesday December 9 at 5.30pm
Level 1, 162 Goulburn St, Sydney.
The 2020 Annual Report is now available for viewing online.
The State Open and Country Pairs was run online on November 15, 2020 on the RealBridge platform.
The winners were:
Open: Kate McCallum and Axel Johannsson
Country: Sally Clarke and Garry Clarke
All participants of the State Open Pairs have free entry to the NSWBA Online Spring Swiss Matchpoint Pairs Congress on November 22.
All other players are invited to enter the congress at a cost of $20 per player. If you are new to RealBridge please join in on one of the free Taster sessions.
The latest version of Insight, a publication for all those involved in the administration of bridge clubs across the state, is now available.
- Are you (thinking about) re-opening? Read the recommendations of the NSWBA State Committee
- A brief summary of recent developments with respect to playing online bridge
- How you can help your learners improve their bridge during the COVID shutdown
The ABF has some free training programmes available via Zoom for teachers and other interested persons.
The Sydney Bridge Centre is now offering online sessions to our members and their friends on nearly every day of the week. Our schedule is
- Monday morning: 10.15am start (20 boards) director: Paul Roach
- Tuesday morning: 10.15am start (24 boards) director: Matthew McManus
- Wednesday morning: 10.15am start (20 boards) director: Marcia Scudder
- Wednesday night: 7.30pm start (20 boards) director: Austin Driscoll
The first Wednesday night session will be on 19 August 2020
- Thursday afternoon: 1.45pm start (20 boards) director: Paul Roach
- Friday afternoon: 1.45pm start (20 boards) director: Marcia Scudder
- Saturday afternoon: 1.45pm start (20 boards) director: Austin Driscoll
The first Saturday afternoon session will be on 15 August 2020
As our sessions are limited to our members and their friends, you need to refer to this step by step guideline which tells you how to join the club’s duplicate sessions on BBO.
Enjoy playing online but missing the Swiss Teams format? Sophie Ashton has scheduled a 3 day Swiss Teams Tournament from 25th-27th September. She is hosting this event with Vigfus Palsson, who has successfully organised several online Swiss Teams events for the US/Europe time zone. For more information go to goulburnhealthhub.com/bridge
UPDATE: The final was won by the SPOONER team (Andrew Spooner, Phil Markey, Rob Fruewirth and Jamie Thompson) defeating the JACOB team (Nick Jacobs, Geo Tislevoll, James Coutts, Liam Milne, Michael Ware and Matthew McManus) 51-47.
Due to the state border closures and the continuing community transmission of the coronavirus, the Council has decided to cancel the Sydney Spring Nationals in October.
The 2020 Online Veterans Pairs organised by the Bowral Bridge Club was won by Paul Lavings and Robert Krochmalik. The runners up and winners of the Restricted category (Under 300MP) were Dennis Watkins and Roger Conway.
Due to the CV-19 pandemic the ABF Management Committee regrets to advise it has taken the decision to cancel the GNOT final at Tweed Heads for 2020.
They note that very few clubs have held qualifying events and no regional finals have been held before the Corona Virus shutdown.
However, they have advised that should any clubs or regions be able to return to bridge and wish to hold scheduled GNOT qualifying events or regional finals for the purposes of awarding gold points, they may do so.
Update: The Online Youth Tournament was won by SA defeating QLD in the final 162-110.644 IMPS. Results
An ABF Youth event is being held on BBO from 26 June to 26 July, 2020.
The team to represent NSW is:
Alex PHILLIPS, James PALMER, Jacob ROSE, Lara TOPPER, Tamara DE MEL, Cameron WEBB, Will JENNER-O'SHEA (NPC)
For more details go to www.abfevents.com.au/events/yot/2020/
The ABF has prepared two documents to assist clubs as they prepare to return to bridge in clubs.
The document below updates information on the Government support most likely to be of relevance to NSW affiliated bridge clubs who are suffering a loss of all or most of their income as a result of COVID-19.
The document below provides some details of the JobKeeper government wage subsidy scheme and how it might be applicable to bridge clubs.
Last time I wrote to you, I promised that, at its meeting on the 15th April, the NSWBA Council would review the decision to close the club. The closure was discussed at length last night (via Zoom, of course!).
The policy agreed was that the club will remain closed until the government regulations allow the gathering of people without the 1.5 metre social distancing requirement. This is likely to be several months.
Media reports suggest that the regulations will be initially eased for younger age groups but maintained for the 70+ age group, our main demographic. When this occurs, the Council will approach the NSW Department of Health to seek guidance on reopening the club for face to face bridge.
Meanwhile, the club is exploring ways of offering online games for you. A guide for online bridge has been compiled by one of our Tournament Directors, Johnno Newman. It has a tree structure with two initial branches, BBO & Other resources. Click on a branch to explore it. We intend to improve this guide over time to make it easier for our members to access and enjoy online bridge. If you have suggestions on improvements or additions to the guide, please communicate with Wing in the Office at email@example.com.
One of our Councillors is in negotiations to provide mechanisms for the affiliated clubs to offer their members regular online duplicate sessions that provide masterpoints. The Sydney Bridge Centre / NSWBA is anticipating offering such sessions for a nominal cost in the near future. We will email you and also post on our website when these become available.
Players who have turned 70 on or before December 31, 2020 are invited to play in the NSW State Veterans Online Pairs Championship to be held on Bridge Base Online on 24-26 July 2020.
All players must be Registered Users on Bridge Base Online (BBO).
An ABF Youth event will be held on BBO from 26 June to 26 July, 2020. All states and territories are being invited to enter a team.
The NSWBA is asking for expressions of interest (EOI) from eligible NSW players.
Important things to consider:
- You must be born on or after 1-1-95.
- EOIs from pairs is preferred, but individuals can apply as well.
- The event format will be a double round robin against all the other states followed by a 48 board final. There’s no set schedule – team captains organise a mutually agreeable time to play each match.
- The event is played online using BBO. You must be a registered BBO user. Prior experience playing on BBO is useful, but not essential.
- EOIs to be received by Monday 15th June.
To submit an EOI, email firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name, BBO username, ABF number and preferred email address (and those of your partner if applying as a pair).
If more than 6 players apply, a selection committee will pick the team.
For more details go to www.abfevents.com.au/events/yot/2020/
NSWBA is lobbying the ABF on matters of concern to the affiliated clubs which has resulted in some good news in these uncertain times! The ABF has decided that the number of B4c certificates for 2021 will be the same as the number to which a club was entitled in 2020 (unless the number of green points issued in 2020 indicate a higher number of certificates are warranted).
On the question of deferment of ABF Capitation Fees, the ABF Management Committee has advised the NSWBA as follows -
“The ABF has decided not to defer the payment date for the 2020 annual capitation fees. As it stands the invoices being sent out at the end of March already offer 90 days to pay. Moreover, on a case by case basis, the ABF is ready to defer payment further should any club ask for an extension of time. Late penalties on capitation will be waived for the entire period of the public health crisis.”
To minimize the size of the invoice about to be received, clubs need to ensure that, by Tuesday night, they have deleted any player who should not be a home club member of their club. Otherwise the club will be liable for a number of $16.10 fees that may prove impossible to recoup from the players.
Sponsored by Tony Bemrose Insurance Brokers (TBIB), the NSWBA has launched a Road to Spring campaign for Novice & Restricted players ONLY. We have selected 19 congresses around the state, including the State Novice & Restricted Pairs Championship on 21-22 March in Orange, for inclusion in this.
Participants in each of the selected congresses will receive a TBIB card, which will give you an entry for a lucky draw of prize value up to $1000 including FREE ENTRY to the Sydney Spring Nationals from 14-23 October. The more you travel, the better your chances of winning.
In very exciting news for the Asia Pacific Bridge Congress 15-22 April a world class international team is coming to Perth. All have won many National and World Open, Senior and Mixed Championships including:
Sabine Auken from Germany who has won two Women’s World Championships, a World Open, a World Mixed Team Championship playing with Zia Mahmood and she has written a popular book “ I Love This Game.” Her partner is Roy Welland who has won many US National Championships.
Jacek Pszczola, or Pepsi, is ranked 30 in the world and is very well known in Australia having played here a number of times and his wins include a Open World Championship and a Mixed World Championship. Playing with Pepsi is Jacek Kalita of Poland, ranked No 2 in the world.
Reese Milner of the USA is World No 1 Senior and his partner Hermant Lall is No 2 Senior and father of leading international prodigy, 25 year old Justin Lall.
The whole APBF is open to everyone so come to Perth. There are pairs and team’s events in Open, Women, Senior, Mixed and Youth Categories as well as a Bridgefest on the side for experienced or newer players.
Gold Point Events
|Wed – Thurs||15 – 16 April||Packer & Co Swiss Imp Pairs|
|Fri – Mon||17 – 20 April||APBF Teams Championships|
|Tues – Wed||21 – 22 April||APBF Pairs|
Daily Red Point Sessions
Every day there are one session Red points pairs events for only $20 per player with two session All day Swiss Pairs at the weekend for only $40 per player a day.
If you play in the Teams event then you get FREE entry into the Tuesday and Wednesday APBF Gold Point Pairs on 21-22 April. So 6 days of bridge for $400 if you are in a four person team or $67 a day and a total of $267 or $45 a day if you are in a 6 person team.
Get your entry in to play alongside or even against the champions of bridge in Perth at www.abfevents.com.au/events/apbf/2020/
Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 ANC Women's Interstate Selection.
Subject to council ratification the team to represent NSW in the ANC Women's Teams in Adelaide in July is:
Lynn Kalmin - Lorna Ichilcik
Susan Humphries - Jessica Brake
Kinga Moses - Nazife Bashar
The normal venue for the popular Batemans Bay Congress has been taken over to house the Bushfire Disaster Relief Centre. The organisers are pleased to announce the new venue is the The Coachhouse Marina Resort 49 Beach Rd, Batemans Bay.
Please consider supporting the region at the Batemans Bay 2020 Congress March 13 – 15, 2020.
The playoff to select the Australian Mixed Team for 2020 was held at the NSWBA on 24-27 January, 2020.
Congratulations to the FULLER team: Leone Fuller, Trevor Fuller, Pele Rankin and Stephen Fischer who defeated the J FOSTER team: Giselle Mundell, Julian Foster, Christy Geremboux, Sebastien Yuen, Rena Kaplan and David Fryda in a low scoring match 89-64.1 IMP.
Congratulations to Sartaj Hans, the winner of the McCutcheon Trophy for the most masterpoints earned in 2019 with 561.96 masterpoints.
For all McCutcheon lists go to National Masterpoint Reports
The 2020 Interstate Teams Selections (ITS) for the teams to represent NSW at the Australian National Championships in Adelaide in July begin with the Open ITS Stage I on February 3 and the Women's ITS on Friday-Sunday February 7-9.
All players may enter the Open ITS Stage I but may not proceed to Stage II unless they are contending.
The Women's ITS is open to all eligible women in NSW who by entering declare their availability to play in the ANC.
Country players who play in the Women's ITS may apply for a country player subsidy.
The playoff to select the Australian Mixed Team for 2020 to be held at the NSWBA on 24-27 January, 2020 is open to all eligible players. Entries arre now closed. Full details available on the Championship Website.
The target event is the 2020 World Mixed Teams, Salsomaggiore Terme, 21 August - 4 September, 2020.
Players who do not qualify for the semi-final may play in the NSWBA Matchpointed Swiss Pairs free of charge.
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