Western Cape Bridge News - July 2022

Thursday, 28 July 2022 by Brian Paxton

July newsletter highlights: Bridge and Lunch next Sunday / Western Cape Pairs / Jeff Sapire lecture / Teaching and Transformation / Bidding Competition / Alerting

As usual there's a host of bridge related activities coming up that will be of interest to bridge players and beginners, not just in the Western Cape, but around the rest of the country so read on. More information can be found in the attachments to this E-mail; by clicking on the links in the text below; or by visiting the WCBU website or our Facebook page which we encourage players to use, inter alia, for finding partners.

Face to Face bridge at our bridge clubs is slowly attracting more players. The next monthly Personal Trust Sunday Bridge and lunch session takes place in just a few days time on Sunday 31st July 2022 at 10h00 at the Bridge Centre in Green Point; again the cost is just R 65 and includes a glass of wine with your lunch - what a bargain! We look forward to seeing you there and again on 28th August; contact Shirley Phillips [email protected] for more information or to enter.. Other Western Cape clubs that are open for face to face bridge include clubs playing at the Bridge Centre, as well as Keurboom, Hermanus, Helderberg and Impala, where Andrew Cruise was the winner of the Winter Butler Pairs playing with a range of partners. Pinelands is continuing to play on BBO. More details of all the clubs and sessions can be found on our Clubs page.

The Western Cape Western Cape Pairs, taking place on BBO on 20th and 21st August, is South Africa's premier masterpoint pairs tournament taking place in August. Entries close on 16th August. Attached you will find a brochure giving more details, as well as a brochure for the PE Mini Congress Teams taking place on 27th and 28th August. You can click here to enter both these events on the SABF website. You should also diarise the Western Cape Teams competition taking place on 10th and 11th September. Congratulations to Mark Oliff and Trevor Pepper on winning the Knysna Oyster Festival Pairs.

On 5th August 2022, the WCBU's regular Friday morning session on BBO at 10h00 is being combined with a charity tournament organised by the Helderberg Bridge Club with all table fees being donated to hospices in the Western Cape, a particularly relevant cause given the average age of SABF members. We urge players to join in and support this very worthy endeavour where a number of overseas players will also be taking part. For more details please contact Beverley Hargrove [email protected] Further up the coast, the Plettenberg Bay Bridge Club is organising a face to face Tee to Trump Ladies' Golf and Bridge event on 15th and 16th August.

Our next Personal Trust sponsored Zoom lecture on Sunday 28th August at 15h00 features Jeff Sapire, who will discuss responses to opening 2 Club bids; more details, including the Zoom link, can be found on the attached flyer which we will resend nearer the time. If you missed Sven Bjerregaard's fascinating lecture on slam bidding last Sunday, you can click here to find the slides, notes and a recording of his lecture, as well as the video of Craig Gower's equally instructive lecture on leading. Note that these lectures are free and open to players around the country.

The winner of the June 2022 Warwick Wealth Bidding Competition is Paul Inbona, followed closely by Roy Danilovitz. Congratulations to both of them! Attached you will find details of the devilishly difficult August competition, again with a prize of R 250. Please wait till the 1st of August before entering. In case you still want to enter the July competition, that too is attached with entries to be submitted by midnight on Sunday.

The two biggest challenges facing bridge in South Africa today are teaching and transformation. There's no getting away from the fact that we are, by and large, a community of monochrome geriatrics. The WCBU is raising funding for teaching bridge at schools in Phillipi East, Gugulethu, Bonteheuwel and the City Centre, enabling us to meet both these challenges in one fell swoop. However, we desperately need bridge teachers prepared to teach at these education centres, even if only occasionally. You really do need to volunteer to do this if we are to have any hope of still having enough numbers to make tournaments viable even just a few years hence.

Unfortunately, the schools in question don't have the online facilities that would allow the kids to attend Carol Stanton's popular Zoom / RealBridge beginner classes. The next edition of her Beginners Bridge 101 course runs for 6 weeks starting on Wednesday 10th August at 19h30. Each two hour lesson comprises one hour of theory followed by one hour of practical supervised play on RealBridge. The cost is just R250 and participants receive a copy of Paul Marstons’ ‘Introduction to Bridge’. The brochure for this course is attached so you can forward it to your friends and family members. We continue to seek experienced players to mentor the beginners while they play RealBridge test hands.

I just can't understand why, after more than two years of Covid-induced online bridge, players, including some of our senior players, omit to alert their bids and then take umbrage when the TD is called after the dummy comes down. And when they do alert, they often just give the name of the convention they play instead of explaining their bid to opponents who might not be familiar with the details. How much easier to say "Majors" instead of "Michael's Cue Bid" and when you are the partner of a player who alerted "Puppet Stayman" you really need to explain your responses as the bidding continues. Maybe it would have been better if conventions had never been given men's names?

Finally, some more statistics. In the past two months the results from nearly 588 tables of face to face and online bridge have been recorded in the Pianola database on the WCBU website where players can compare and analyse their performance giving them an opportunity to compare their results in the two formats. Harold Bernstein and Shirley Karon have played the most times; with all that practice, it's no wonder Harold has won the past two Personal Trust Pairs and Lunch tournaments. Since the beginning of January 2022, the WCBU website has been used by 4,083 visitors who read 30,340 pages of information during 12,739 visits. Of the visitors, who live in 52 different countries, 85% reside in South Africa, 5% in the United Kingdom, 3.5% in America and 1% in Australia; 46% live in Cape Town, 18.5% in Gauteng and 3% in Hermanus. As you would expect, the home page was the most popular page over the past month, followed by the results, Bridge Clubs, Learn Bridge and Congress pages. Nearly 50% of visitors use a computer; 40% use a cell-phone; and 10% a tablet. And that's enough statistics for this month!