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Bridging into 2021,
with hope

The challenging year that was 2020 was of necessity dominated by online congresses. The new year is still overshadowed by Covid-19, but we are hoping to see the return of at least some face-to-face congresses. Online tournaments will continue, perhaps providing greater variety for our congress players. 
Attention all regular congress players!!  Because of Covid-19, this year the NSWBA will conduct its Open Interstate Team Selection (OITS) event online, presenting you with an opportunity that you may not previously have had. In the past, only players able to commute to the NSWBA could participate in the OITS – clearly not ideal for an event that is a state championship. This year, NSWBA brings it to you, wherever you are, via the RealBridge platform.  Although similar to BBO, RealBridge incorporates video and audio, so it’s almost like playing face-to-face.
If there is a significant number of entries from non-metropolitan players, the NSWBA will give serious consideration to playing the ITS online in future years, so you can influence the way your state representative team is selected just by entering in 2021! Note that the Open ITS is a pairs event with IMP (teams) scoring. Stage I is open to all ABF-registered players and will be held over 3 Monday evenings on 25 January, 1 and 8 February. Later stages are only open to players eligible to represent NSW and available to play at the ANC in Perth (11-15 July). 

The NSWBA Online Summer Matchpointed Swiss Pairs on Sunday 31 January will also be held on RealBridge. 
The NSWBA Tournament Calendar now allows you to filter the list of congresses so that you can see which are face-to-face and which are online – the online congresses can be filtered by platform. It's never been easier to play in a bridge congress! All congress results can be found on the NSWBA website.

Keep updated with the latest restriction in NSW

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.
Please also take note of NSWBA Insight for bridge during COVID-19.

Upcoming Events

Forthcoming NSW events: note that planned events that 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.

Jan 26 (Tue) Sydney Bridge Centre
Australia Day Matchpointed Pairs

Feb 14 (Sun) Sydney Bridge Centre
Valentine's Day Swiss Pairs

Feb 21 (Sun) Trumps Bridge Centre
Summer Teams

Feb 7 (Sun) MasterBridge Online
February Online Swiss Pairs

Every Friday, 7.30pm start. ABF
National Online Pairs (Open, Restricted and Novice)

Every Sunday, 2.30pm start. ABF
National Online Pairs (Open, Restricted and Novice)

Jan 24 (Sun) North Shore Bridge Club
Australia Day Weekend Online Swiss Pairs

Jan 25 - Feb 8 (over 3 Monday nights) NSWBA
Open Interstate Teams Selection (OITS) Stage I

Jan 31 (Sun) NSWBA
Online Summer Matchpointed Swiss Pairs
Online Congress Stories by
Rakesh Kumar

Rakesh kicked off 2021 by playing in the first NSWBA Congress for the year, held on RealBridge. Players from within and outside the state joined him in the competition. 

NSWBA Summer Online Swiss Pairs
Not a flying start
Book Review

Paul Lavings is going to review Winning at Matchpoints by Bill Treble next issue. Why not read it yourself and compare your view of it with his?

Paul Lavings' other book reviews can be found on the NSWBA website.
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 NSWBA has established 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 reviewing newly published bridge books.

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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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