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An ending to mark a new beginning. The 2019 Congress Players of the Year have been determined. These are the players who have collected the most masterpoints from congresses in NSW. Each winner will be awarded $30 as an encouragement to enter other congresses in 2020. The cheque will be sent to their home clubs. Congratulations to:
David Weston
Sydney Bridge Centre
Warren Dobes
North Shore Bridge Club
Fiona Lavery
North Shore Bridge Club
Claire Stammel
St George Budapest Bridge Club

Congratulations to Sartaj Hans, the winner of the McCutcheon Trophy for the most masterpoints earned in 2019 with 561.96 masterpoints.

2019 McCutcheon winner
Sartaj Hans

For all McCutcheon lists go to National Masterpoint Reports

The 2020 race has started - the NSWBA Summer Swiss Teams was held on the 5th January.
The 2020 NSWBA Summer Swiss Teams was won by Martin Bloom, Marlene Watts, Shane Harrison and Peter Gill. Warren Lazer, Pauline Gumby, Hugh Grosvenor and Tania Lloyd came 2nd. Michael Wilkinson, Jane Beeby, Liz Sylvester and Les Grewock finished 3rd. 
The ABF’s premier event, The Summer Festival of Bridge, was held in Canberra over the last two weeks. We are proud to see so many NSW players did well. Congratulations to:

Susan Humphries, Sophie Ashton and Jessica Brake, with their SA teammate Lauren Travis (far left), who won the National Women's Teams.

From right to left, Stephen Burgess, Paul Lavings and Robert Krochmalik with their interstate teammates Simon Hinge, George Kozakos and Stephen Lester (absent) came 2nd in the National Seniors' Teams, conceding the Final after 3 of 4 stanzas to the Lilley Team (David Lilley, Zolly Nagy, Ron Cooper and George Smolanko).

NSW players performed well in the TBIB National Open Swiss Pairs Championship - Tony Nunn with his Victorian partner Ben Thompson won it. Peter Buchen and Terry Brown came 2nd and Will Jenner-O'Shea with his SA partner Mike Doecke finished 3rd.

Mary Poynten and Tony White had their names engraved on the ABF Trophy for winning the National Novice Swiss Pairs Championship. Lots of NSW pairs featured in the Top Ten in the Penline 500 Swiss Pairs Championship, viz., Kerry Rymer & Kit Meyers, Henry Tan & Patrick Jiang, Peter Bardos & Elizabeth Neil, Ray Hurst & Heidi Colenbrander, Neil Williams & Peter Fitzmaurice.

The South-West Pacific Open Teams was comprehensively won by the mainly NSWBA Hans Team (Sartaj Hans, Sophie Ashton, Peter Gill, Andy Hung and Nabil Edgtton) – they finished the event almost 2 matches clear of second. (Sophie is a member of the current Australian Women’s Team and the other 4 won both the 2019 and 2020 Open Team Playoffs.)  Peter Buchen, Terry Brown and Matthew Thomson came 2nd with their interstate teammates George Smolanko, George Kozakos and Ben Thompson.
The Hans Team then completed their domination of the Summer Festival by easily winning all their matches in the National Open Teams.  The final was against the Don Team (Hugh Grosvenor & Tania Lloyd playing with their New Zealand teammates Rose Don & Michael Courtney).

All results from the Summer Festival of Bridge can be found on the official website:
The next ABF event will be the 2020 Mixed Teams Playoff at the NSWBA from 24-27 January. Entries are  closed, however you can watch live broadcasts of the Semi-Final sand Final on the last two days on BBO Vugraph. You can also join the non-finalists in the one-day  NSWBA Matchpointed Swiss Pairs Supercongress on Sunday 26 January. It's a catered event; don't miss it; enter NOW!
Every year the NSWBA selects 4 teams (Open, Seniors, Women and Youth) to represent New South Wales in the interstate teams competition at the Australia National Championship. The 2020 ANC will be held in Adelaide in July. The  Women's Interstate Teams Selection, being held on Friday 7 to Sunday 9 February, is restricted to pairs available to play in the ANC. The Open ITS is a 3 stage event. Stage 1, beginning on Monday 3 February, is open entry. These two events have different selection processes and structures, so please check the details on the event flyers.
The Trumps Festival of Bridge began on Boxing Day and ran for 9 days. The hands provided a lot of material for discussion: See the following 2 articles
Congratulations to the Trumps Festival Teams winners - Peter Gill, Shane Harrison, Jane Dawson and Martin Bloom.

Upcoming Events

Events highlights from 25 January to 1 March 2020. Click HERE to view all events for the coming year.

Please note that there are some late changes of dates for a couple of the NSWBA events, so please check online for the most recent version of the 2020 Tournament Calendar.

Jan 26 (Sun) NSWBA
Matchpointed Swiss Pairs

Feb 8-9 (Sat-Sun) Great Lakes Bridge Club

Great Lakes Bridge Club Teams

Feb 9 (Sun) NSWBA
WITS Swiss Pairs

Feb 16 (Sun) Trumps Bridge Centre
Summer Teams

Mar 1 (Sun) Forbes Bridge Club
Forbes Bridge Club Swiss Pairs

Feb 3-17 (over 3 Monday nights) NSWBA Open ITS Stage I
An event to select 3 pairs to represent NSW as the Open Team at the Australia National Championships (ANC) interstate competition in Adelaide.

Feb 7-9 (Fri-Sun) NSWBA Women's ITS
An event to select 3 pairs to represent NSW as the Women's Team at the Australia National Championships (ANC) interstate competition in Adelaide.

Jan 24-27 (Fri-Mon) 2020 Mixed Team Playoff

Feb 21-29 (Fri-Sat) Gold Coast Congress
Broad Beach, Gold Coast

Mar 26-29 (Thu-Sun) Tasmanian Festival of Bridge (TFoB)

Feb 4-12 (Sat-Wed) Helane K Tours
Tasmanian Bridge Cruise

Mar 16-19 (Mon-Thu) Bridge with Beauchamp
Fairmont Resort Leura

Mar 16-31 (Mon-Tue) Holiday Bridge
2020 Crystal Symphony Cruise

Mar 17-20 (Tue-Fri) Central Coast Leagues Club Bridge Club
Holiday in the Hunter

Mar 30-Apr 3 (Mon-Fri) Finesse
Hunter Valley Pairs
Congress Stories by
Rakesh Kumar

The dealing machine seemed to be in holiday mood; Rakesh describes some exciting hands in the Trumps Festival overbidder's paradise! Read the full story in:

Trumps Festival AB Teams

Fund Raising for Southern Highlands Bridge Club
Do you like reading Rakesh Kumar's columns? Would you like to support a good cause?

Rakesh Kumar has been busy writing two booklets about Better Partnership Bridge, for improving and intermediate club players. If you would like to support a good cause, you can acquire these booklets in return for a donation to the Southern Highlands Bridge Club, which is in the process of building its own clubhouse. For more information, click here.

To obtain copies, please email the Treasurer of Southern Highlands Bridge Club at:
and provide your name and address. You will be sent confirmation and SHBC account details, so that you can deposit the appropriate amount (including postage) with your name as a reference. The booklet(s) will then be posted to you.
Be a Director
Whether you want to learn more about The Laws as a player or pursue a career as a director, here comes the opportunity! The next two Directors Courses (Club Level) will be held on:

Sat 15 February at Trumps Bridge Centre
Please find the details and book online HERE.

Sun 22 March at Toronto Bridge Club
Please find the details and book online HERE.

To understand situations better where a director is called, Matthew McManus has explained them in detail and the reasons behind the rulings in his articles. They are written from the angle of players. Review his columns to be a better congress player. Review his columns here >
The Association is pleased to acknowledge this 2019 Award. There are four categories:
  • Open
  • Intermediate <750 MPs
  • Restricted <300 MPs
  • Novice <100 MPs
Click HERE for our current list, as at 31 December 2019. This award is based on masterpoints earned at Congresses held under the auspices of the NSWBA during the year.
The NSWBA has decided to establish a central psyche register for all congresses held in NSW.

The laws permit players to deviate from their systemic agreements so long as the partner of the player who does so has no greater reason to be aware of this deviation than the opponents. Once your partnership has a history of deviating from its agreements in a certain situation you are required to inform your opponents of this tendency.

If you feel that your opponents have psyched against you, please email details of the hand to the psyche register – no action will be taken against players who are reported to the psyche register but once a pair has multiple entries in the psyche register, congress directors will be informed so that they are aware of this history when making their rulings.

A form which can be used for submissions is available HERE.
The eCongress News is a monthly newsletter published by the NSW Bridge Association. It updates you with the latest congress info, interesting hands and analysis from events, and tips regarding bridge laws.

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NSW Bridge Association
+61 2 9264 8111
Level 1, 162 Goulburn Street,
East Sydney 2010
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