April & May – it’s virtually Bridge!
Online games with your Lockdown TD Team

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Hi everyone

Can you believe it. More than two months have now gone by that we have been playing bridge only online. It’s been a fun and challenging time learning all that is involved, while you have all been getting familiar with the clicks and chats and technology too. And then there’s the bridge to be played!

Our team thought it might be nice to give you a little update about all the goes on behind the scenes while you play.

Nicole has a short recap of April and May activity here. And gives us some insights into what  is coming this month.

Jose Julio answers some questions that we have been asked about time, gives some suggestions and tells us about the new games on a Saturday that anyone can play. CHECK THEM OUT HERE

Maurizio has spotted a couple of cute hands and written them up. Hand 1   Hand 2 Plus he shares a classic pasta lockdown recipe his kids love. TRY IT OUT

We meet the players from a club in the North of England who celebrated the club’s 10th anniversary on BBO – not letting necessity dim the mood!

We visit Killarney to tell you about the Virtual Congress that ran for 10 consecutive days.

Sarah has been a lot of fab things with players in Wales and the West of England – from new clubs joining to supervised duplicates with players zooming around, just as if she was moving East/West pairs – the chat experience is reported to be just like at the table – who would have imagined! FIND OUT MORE

Ian has a few words and examples to help explain what happens to boards that get timed out READ HERE

COVID-19 is very real and close to home for some, while distant for others. If you have had it, and are recovering(ed), we do hope you can look forward to the prospect of being safe to play, while those of us who have been sticking super close to home and skirted any risk, start to fear ever leaving home again.  In short, we are all in different boats but on the same ocean with unknowns depths and hazards. Be kind to each other online – we are all keeping sane together.

Stay safe and play. See you online soon.

Nicole, Sarah Jose Julio, Maurizio, Ian

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What an amazing couple of surreal months in lockdown!

In April it was all about getting everyone online – so many players had never tried bridge online, and the technology was new to us all. But with your patience and our support, by the end of the month 2000 players had registered for games watched over by the Lockdown TD team. – Can we say you all took to it like baby ducks to water? I think so – this lockdown has proved to us that we are never too old to learn new things!

We directed 2000 of you in 80 club games, while you made decisions on 1450 boards dealt by BBO. We trained 10 directors for 6 EBU virtual clubs.

In May, numbers swelled to record levels, some sessions are reporting greater table numbers than have played in the club’s real world session. As players, you got more familiar with life on line, and started to ask your friends who had been previously reluctant – so as well as new quirks to learn, we were able to meet your friends from far flung places, and catch up with players we hadn’t seen in the clubs through ill health or distance.

The Lockdown TDs had a wonderful virtual visit to Southern Ireland for the Killarney Congress – the format was similar to the annual event – Mixed Teams, Pairs, a two-session Championship Pairs, Swiss Pairs and a Swiss Teams. While everyone hopes to be back in Killarney for the real thing in 2021, the turnout for the 10 day event would have nearly filled the real playing room twice over. And we even got to enjoy Irish joviality as we watched the teams final together. Here is the news report which features a few English names among the mentions:

We finished the month by hosting the 1st Mutton Satelite Series of Individuals – great fun and some very fine players – look out for the next one on facebook – Jason Hackett runs them as exhibition events – so you can chat on Zoom while you watch, and follow your favourite players.

In May we directed 6500 of you in 170 club games, while you made decisions on 3080 boards dealt by BBO. We trained another 4 clubs, and another 10 virtual TDs.

LESSONS: Heather Dhondy is first teacher running a series of lessons wih us – Once a week we support her supervised session where students play then discuss the hand just played lesson. Sarah is doing similar with newcomers to bridge in Cardiff.

We have lots more in the preparation for the clubs we support in June.

BRAND NEW are ROBOTS – If you do not have a partner you can play with a robot – to do this please message
the host no later than 30 minutes before game time and we will explain what to do.

We will also be trialling filling half tables with a robot pair – unless you all hate it we think think this might be a nice modern solution to rude strangers filling in from the world at large!

Not having enough to do of a day, we are starting to help clubs and counties to Swiss Teams – The format is a little
different (ie you might play the same opponents again)– but it is a still day of bridge teams with match won masterpoints.

Ask for help: We know you like to ask us in the club after the game – we will do our best to give our bridge experience. Submit your questions at the lockdown TD website (check any of our profiles) for details.

AND of course the NEW EarlyBird and Night Owl Individuals are open to all of the players in Clubs we look after. Sign up on your own and meet some fellow locked down players from all over England. It’s free and perfect if you wake up early, or go to sleep late on a Saturday.