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Face-to-Face Congresses are well supported

This really is a new era of bridge, one that we wouldn't have imagined a year ago. While the convenience of online bridge has nurtured a lot of cross-state partnerships, recent face-to-face bridge congresses have been well supported by players who couldn't wait to travel again. 

The first face-to-face Congress organised by NSWBA will be the WITS Swiss Pairs on Sunday 25th April. This is a one-day congress, open to all, which will run alongside the Women's Interstate Teams Selection Final. That means at least some players who don't qualify to the Final are likely to join in the Sunday congress, so the number of entries will be more than what shows up on the list on the NSWBA website.
The first face-to-face NSWBA Monday Night Championship will start on the 26th April. The NSWBA State Mixed Pairs The first face-to-face NSWBA Monday Night Championship will start on the 26th April. The NSWBA State Mixed Pairs Direct Qualifier will be held over two Monday nights i.e. 26th April and 3rd May. Pairs finishing in the top sixth of the field will receive free entry to the Finals on 29th - 30th May. If you can't manage to play in the qualifying events, you can still enter directly to play in the Finals. 

Other upcoming F2F congresses: If you haven't visited the NSWBA clubrooms since the outbreak of Covid, you may be interested in this report about the Easter Monday Congress held in early April:
Sydney Bridge Centre Easter Monday Pairs - (Open) Fraser Rew - Julian Foster. (Restricted) Ron Szancer - Sarah Edelman. (Best Novice Pair) Agnes Levine - Deejay East (absent) with SBC director Paul Roach. (Restricted runner-up) John Dobies - Julie Mansfield (absent) with NSWBA Councillor Catherine Chaffey.
Central Coast Mini Congress Pairs  - (Open) Kim Morrison - David Weston with club president Louise Lewis. (Restricted) Nerida Gillies - Sandy Carter. (Best Novice Pair) Sarah Edelman - Ron Szancer.
Central Coast Mini Congress Teams  - (Open) Michael Chen - William Zhang - Xiao Yang - Wei Zhang. (1st Restricted) Nerida Gillies - Sandy Carter. (Best Restricted Team) Mitch Dowling - Tony White - Jake Andrew - Mary Poynten.
Every year NSWBA selects 4 teams (Open, Seniors, Women and Youth) to represent New South Wales in the Australian National Championships. This year the first two stages of the Open Interstate Teams Selection were run online on RealBridge, and the Final was held at the NSWBA clubrooms on 17th - 18th April. The top 3 pairs form the representative NSW Open Team. Congratulations to:
1st Warren Lazer - Pauline Gumby
2nd Kim Morrison - Avon Wilsmore
3rd Julian Foster - David Weston
Winners of the Open Interstate Teams Selection (OITS) Final: Avon Wilsmore, Kim Morrison, Warren Lazer, Pauline Gumby, David Weston and Julian Foster.
At the national level, the Tasmanian Gold Swiss Pairs was the first F2F national congress, held over the period 9th - 11th April. NSW players did well in this event and more are going to the next F2F national congress, the Autumn Nationals in Adelaide from 29th April - 3rd May. Please enter via MyABF, the new online entry system.

For those who are going to Adelaide, please note that you will need to complete a Cross Border Travel Registration form. You will also need to download a different sign in app for contact tracing during your visit there.
If you're craving something more than interstate travel, the New Zealand Bridge Association invites you to consider the NZ National Bridge Congress at the end of September in Mt Maunganui/Tauranga.

For those who are tight for time, online Congresses continue to offer convenience:

Upcoming Events

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.

F2F Apr 23 - 25 (Fri - Sun) NSWBA
Women's Interstate Teams Selection (WITS)

F2F Apr 26 - May 3 (over 2 Monday nights) NSWBA
State Mixed Pairs Qualifying

F2F May 10 - Jun 7 (over 5 Monday nights) NSWBA
GNOT Direct Qualifier

F2F May 14 - 16 (Fri - Sun) NSWBA
Seniors' Interstate Teams Selection (SITS)

Apr 25 (Sun) NSWBA
WITS Swiss Pairs

May 2 (Sun) Trumps Bridge Centre
Autumn Teams

May 16 (Sun) NSWBA
SITS Swiss Pairs

May 30 (Sun) NSWBA
Autumn Swiss Pairs

Jun 6 (Sun) NSWBA
Teams of Three

Jun 12 - 13 (Sat - Sun) Illawarra Bridge Association
Chris Diment Memorial Congress MP Pairs and Teams

Jun 13 (Sun) Wollstonecraft Bridge Club

May 15 (Sat) Coffs Harbour Bridge Club
Online Swiss Pairs

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

May 1 (Sat) MasterBridge Online
May Online Swiss Pairs

Congress Stories by
Rakesh Kumar

Rakesh was one of the NSW players who travelled to Hobart for the Tasmanian Gold Swiss Pairs. He also continues to support local congresses in NSW, whether they are held on RealBridge or F2F. Here is Rakesh's report on the recent Teams event at Trumps:

Trumps Easter Teams
On raising to 4M with 5+ support
Book Review
Bridge Outside the Box with Val Kovachev
by Dennis Dawson and Charlie Wilkins

Paul Lavings described Val Kovachev as a high priest of the black arts because of his fearless approach. He found it a most entertaining book, such that even if you don't plan to play like Val it is good to see how a totally fearless approach functions at the table.

Click on the image for a full book review by Paul Lavings:
Be a Director

Club Level Directors Course (F2F)
Date: Saturday 5th June, 2021
Time: 10am - 4pm
Venue: NSWBA, level 1, 162 Goulburn Street, Sydney
Course Fee: $55 (lunch included)
Please enrol online on the NSWBA website.

If you represent a club and would like to host Directors Course, please contact NSWBA for further details. 

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.

Subscribe now >
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. 
Submit your stories / photos>

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