Western Cape Bridge News - April 2021

Monday, 26 April 2021 by

This is the second of monthly bridge updates from the Western Cape Bridge Union (WCBU). Further information on all the topics covered can be found on the WCBU website. Please feel free to forward this to fellow bridge players who might be interested.


The WCBU and its affiliated clubs continue to organise well-directed pairs and teams competitions on BBO and RealBridge each day of the week. As of 1st May, the WCBU's daily BBO pairs schedule will be changed slightly. The start time of the Tuesday pairs is changed to 10h00.


Entries for the May JM Bridge Sunday teams competition are open and already there are strong entries from around South Africa and Europe. Who knows, maybe it won't be too long before the competition also attracts top players from the other continents! Contact [email protected] to enter and take them on.


At the other end of the scale, as part of our program to enhance the skills of beginner and intermediate players, our Friday 10h00 BBO pairs sessions will be restricted to players with a BBO ranking of 2 or less and who have not played in the afternoon J&M teams matches. Entry will be BBO$ 1.25 and we encourage social players from around South Africa to learn to enjoy duplicate bridge with their peers. There is no requirement to be a SABF member. If you are new to duplicate bridge or have social bridge playing friends who might be interested, then please contact me. We'd love to have you / them join us!


Details of all our events can be found on our Upcoming and (rather crowded) Calendar pages. The annual Western Cape Teams competition is scheduled for 26th and 27th June and the Western Cape Pairs takes place on 21st and 22nd August. More details and entry forms will be available on the website shortly. Also listed are the Petra Mansell BBO Pairs organised by the KZN Bridge Union on 4th and 5th June 2021 and South Africa's premier bridge event, the 2021 South African Bridge Congress, which takes place in June and July.


The WCBU has been fortunate in providing players - and not just our own members - with access to bridge lessons by the renowned Andrew Robson delivered through a partnership with the RealBridge platform. Those of you who missed these sessions - which covered weak 2 and splinter bids, fourth suit forcing and counting - will be relieved to know that we have included links to the follow up videos in the resources section of our Learn Bridge page. We are also grateful to players who have recommended bridge videos and web pages; these, too, have been included on this page and in the downloadable Learn Bridge PDF file. Please send me more recommendations.


In the News section we have included brief commentary on some of the interesting hands played in our tournaments recently. We hope these will prove instructive, even if you didn't yourself play the hands. Again we urge you to submit hands you found instructive for inclusion.


We try not to leave out also improving the playing ability of our stronger players. Chris Bosenberg, who was a member of the South African bridge team that reached the semi-finals of the prestigious Bermuda Bowl tournament, has written an article on Visualisation and the Law of Restricted Choice which can be downloaded from our Newsletter page. Although Chris is a world expert, he has a knack of presenting complex material in a way that is accessible to all of us.


A small, but valuable tip for those of you playing on BBO. Be very careful when generously offering to pay for your partner to play and don't by mistake click on the Pay to Play with a Robot link - your partner will definitely not thank you and you will be saddled with a robot who plays a foreign system at lightening speed!


The Pianola section of the WCBU website provides a facility for players to find partners. However, in order to use it, you first need to log on and agree to your contact details being visible to other registered players. Clearly this function is only going to be useful once a critical mass of members have done this. You can contact me if you have not previously logged in to the website and Pianola will send you an invitation and you don't even have to live in the Western Cape!


The WCBU website continues to throw up interesting statistics. The most popular pages, other than the home page, are the results, JM bridge club, calendar and learn bridge pages. While more than 90% of the website visitors are from South Africa, the website has also attracted visitors in the United Kingdom, China, America, Germany and further afield. The website also has a high ranking on the Google and other search engines.


Now, I need to ask a personal favour of each you which will, I promise you, take just two minutes of your valuable time at the most. The Covid lockdown has meant that the bridge authorities have lost the two way communication with our players that we enjoyed when we played face to face. We badly need your input as we plan the way forward. Please click here to access a very short questionnaire where you only have to tick 10 to 20 boxes and then press the Submit button. We thank you in advance for your participation. We will report the results in our next issue.