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Congresses Update

While some of our clubs have reopened based on the partial relaxation of restrictions in New South Wales, the increasing number of cases in Victoria is again cause for concern and uncertainty. 

We appear to be in a new era in which there will be a mixture of F2F and online bridge. For now, we urge everyone to continue to practice hand hygiene and take all other precautions, whether you resume playing in a club or continue to play online. We believe those clubs that have reopened have implemented best-practice safety measures as far as possible, but it's also up to us as individual players to protect ourselves and other players in the community.

Due to the CV-19 pandemic the ABF Management Committee has advised, with regret, that it has taken the decision to cancel the GNOT final at Tweed Heads for 2020. However, they have indicated 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. We will keep you updated when any of these bridge activities are scheduled.

The State Veteran Pairs from 24-26 July is going to run online and has now recorded an entry of 52 pairs! For the first time ever, the event will not put you on waiting list as there is no longer a limit online. If you have turned / will turn 70 before the end of 2020, why not give it a go? Please view the details in the program brochure and enter online.

Due to the cancellation of the ANC (Australia National Championships - where all the states play against each other), the ABF has agreed to hold an online youth tournament (state vs state) which is running from 26 June to 26 July, 2020. 

The members of the NSW Youth Team are Alex Phillips, Jacob Rose, Lara Topper, Tamara De Mel, James Palmer, Cameron Webb and Will Jenner-O'Shea (Non-playing Captain). The first of two round robins is now almost complete. All the matches are played on BBO and kibitzers are allowed. All information on when the games are scheduled, as well as results, can be found on the official website.

The ABF is now running the National Online Pairs on BBO every Sunday at 2.30pm start. Effective from 7 June there is a separate field for Restricted players (fewer than 300 masterpoints). Details about how to enter etc can be found on the ABF website.

Coronavirus Update

Border closure to protect NSW

The NSW Government has temporarily closed the NSW-Victoria border.

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, people who have been in Victoria within the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter NSW unless they are exempt or they have a border entry permit.

If they are allowed to enter NSW they may be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Provisions are in place for residents of border regions, such as Albury-Wodonga.

What you can and can't do in NSW under the rules

The Australian Government is monitoring the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and restrictions are currently in place regarding travel and public gatherings.
For the latest information about restrictions in NSW, please refer to the NSW Government COVID-19 website.

Travelling to or entering NSW from interstate
Under the new public health order, anyone who has been in Victoria within the last 14 days must not enter NSW except in special circumstances.

If they are allowed to enter NSW they may be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

Learn more about NSW border restrictions.
Visiting family and friends at home
  • Up to 20 visitors may visit another household at any one time. The total number of visitors includes adults and children.
  • There is no daily limit to visitors to your home, so long as you don't have more than 20 visitors at any one time.
  • If you are over 70 or have a pre-existing medical condition, you should limit the number of visitors and take care at all times.
  • You can have guests from any household so long as it does not exceed 20 visitors in total.
  • An overnight stay as part of a visit to someone's house is allowed.
  • Some people who need to attend your home will not be counted as visitors.
People who are at higher risk of COVID-19 infection include:
  • people aged 70 years and over
  • people aged 65 years and over with chronic medical conditions
  • people with a compromised immune system
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples 50 years and older with one or more chronic medical conditions
If you are in one of these groups, follow the guidance for vulnerable people.

Holiday homes and holiday rentals
  • There are no limitations on people who live in NSW travelling within NSW.
  • Up to 20 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental. More than 20 people can stay in a holiday home or holiday rental if they are all members of the same household.
  • If you are visiting a national park camping ground you must book ahead.
Learn more about driving, boating and restrictions on travelling interstate or overseas.

Outdoor public gatherings
  • No more than 20 people are allowed to gather outside in a public place.
Community sporting activities
Community sporting activities, including training sessions, may recommence.
  • Where the activities involve more than 20 participants, the organiser must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • Participants include players, people who are training, officials and spectators.
  • The maximum number of participants at a community sporting activity must not exceed 500 participants.
Funerals, memorial services and wakes
The maximum number of people who may attend a funeral is the maximum number of people allowed on the premises, which is one person per 4 square metres.
Places of public worship, funeral homes or crematoriums can have up to 50 attendees (without the 4 square metre rule) provided non-household contacts can maintain 1.5 metres of physical distance.   
Funerals at a place of residence can have the greater of 50 people or one person per 4 square metres of space.

People attending the service will be required to supply their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.
Read common questions about attending funerals, memorial services and wakes.

Religious gatherings and places of worship
The number of people in a public place of worship must not exceed one person per 4 square metres. The maximum applies to the whole of the venue, even where men and women worship in separate areas.

Services can be streamed or recorded to enable people to engage in worship.
People attending a religious service will be required to provide their name and contact details when they enter so that they can be used for contact tracing.

The NSW Government expects that places of worship will comply with COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements to keep staff, volunteers and visitors safe. 

Develop a COVID-19 Safety Plan for your church, meeting house, mosque, synagogue, temple or another place of worship to help your community connect safely.

The maximum number of people who may attend a wedding is the maximum number of people allowed on the premises, which is one person per 4 square metres.

Wedding services are no longer subject to separate limits, with the exception of a wedding at a place of residence, which can have the greater of 20 people or one person per 4 square metres of space.  

People attending will be required to provide their name and contact details so that they can be used for contact tracing.

Upcoming Events

Events from now to 6 September (events that were planned for the coming year and have not yet been cancelled are shown HERE).

For face-to-face events, please double-check with the host to confirm whether it is proceeding as planned.

Aug 2 (Sun) Trumps Bridge Centre
Winter Teams

Aug 8-9 (Sat-Sun) Moree Bridge Club

Aug 16 (Sun) Parkes Bridge Club
Muriel Waddell Memorial Teams Day

Aug 23 (Sun) Toronto Bridge Club

Aug 30 (Sun) NSBC@Lindfield

Sep 5-6 (Sat-Sun) Blue Mountains Bridge Club Inc
Bygone Beautys Congress - Swiss Pairs and Teams

Jul 24-26 (Fri-Sun) State Veterans Online Pairs

Every Sunday, 2.30pm start National Online Pairs (Open and Restricted)
BBO Stories by
Rakesh Kumar

Most virtual club events on BBO are in the format of matchpoint pairs, unlike Congress events, which are usually scored as IMPs. This format requires different skills for success. Rakesh has collected a few examples online to explain some aspects of the winning strategy.

Having fun with bridge on line #2
Information leaks and (over)tricks
Book Review
Winning IMPs
by Rakesh K. Kumar

Most traditional congresses are in IMPs Teams format. In this book, Rakesh looks at all areas of bidding with an emphasis on optimism and aggression. The second section of the book is a thorough examination of competitive bidding with the third and fourth sections on play and defence. 

Click on the image for a full book review by Paul Lavings:
Be a Director
The Director's Courses have been put on hold for the moment. However our service of marking exam papers is still available. If you would like to make use of this unexpected free time to complete your examination, please feel free to email the paper to

We will keep you informed about when we will be able to resume the Director's Courses. In the meantime, please express your interest in hosting Director's Courses (if you represent a club) or in taking the Director's Course (if you're a player).

To better understand situations that arise when a director is called, Matthew McManus has explained several of them in detail, together with the reasons behind the rulings. His articles are written from the perspective of players – you may find them helpful in your quest 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
Do you have a story to tell or a photo to share after playing in a congress? Let us know, we will be pleased to publish it. 
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