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 a multitude of 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 helped more clubs get online and supported our existing clubs to offer more games thereby tripling your chances to play, while you made decisions on 3080 boards dealt by BBO. And 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.

AND we hope to launch tailored games at night that you can join, because we want to play more too – and in our team we have WOMEN, MIXED, nearly SENIORS (that’s Maurizio) and EXPERTS (again that’s Maurizio!)

Ask for help: We know you like to ask us in the club after the game – we will do our best to give you that experience virtually too. Submit your questions to us on the form on the newsletter’s front page.

AND of course we’d like the NEW St James EarlyBird and Night Owl Individuals to be open to all of the players in Clubs we look after. That way you can sign up on your own to 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.


Most common: IPAD users who can’t get rid of displaying the explanations.  Short answer – click the thing you want removed. If that doesn’t work log off and back.

Cute: I’m 102 – I ‘m fine,can you call my partner tohelp her, actually she can’t talk but she can play!

They really did: One player asked for an adjustment because the opponents weren’t accepting her claim – turns out she had claimed based on revoking after the system would not let her.

Yes they said it!: Are you always a stuck prick West or only when you play bridge?” Fair warning – the TDs can see what you see in private chat to your opponents!

HOW do Is: Ask for UNDO?   Call for TD? seek SUPERVISORY HELP?

Use the BLUE BOX  with 3 whites lines usually(devices vary a little). NB Click the  UNDO option and wait – every player at the table who needs to will receive a request to UNDO. Say yes immediately please or it wastes valuable playing minutes!  Use the TD button for a supervisor (if supervised) or the  Director.