Those of you who are EBU members may have received an email regarding on-line Bridge options during the corona virus (CV) outbreak. There are three main options: BBO (Bridgebase on-line) is the largest and most popular and the EBU intend to run regular competitions via BBO starting this evening. The slight drawbacks are that it is predominantly American, so bidding systems may seem a little alien and also payments (when required) are in $US. Another alternative and one that I subscribe to, is FunBridge which is reliable and quick. Again, there are drawbacks. You are playing against a computer rather than real people and, in my opinion, it is a bit pricey.
The third option is the on-line Bridge Club, Bridge Club Live. I have been a member for many years and I rate them highly. It does have a global membership but is mostly UK based and therefore a lot of acol type systems are played. They have quickly reacted to the impact of CV on face-to-face (f2f) Bridge. Until 31st March you can become a member for one month for the princely sum of £1 (+VAT). It is normally £10 (+VAT) so it is a bit of a bargain. I would heartily recommend that you (and, if possible, your partner) give it a try. Just go to their website – subscriptions – and pay £1.20. For that you get unlimited Bridge for a month, playing with and against real people rather than a computer. Have a practice in their low key “Social” room before you venture into the competition rooms. You don’t need a partner as there are always players looking for a game and 99.9% of them are wonderful, tolerant, people (although not always wonderful Bridge players!). Etiquette is strictly along the lines of “be nice and do not be critical”. Post mortems are rare. There are some common text-type acronyms such as wpp, wpo, blp, blo, which you will soon get the hang of. (well played partner, well played opponents, bad luck partner, bad luck opponents). These appear on a little chat line in the corner of the screen.
In addition, Bridge Club Live have introduced a facility whereby members of specific clubs can be ranked by their results for a particular competition on a specific day. So, we could have a bit of a club competition – maybe on a Thursday or Monday evening or on a Tuesday afternoon. Statistically you would be unlikely to play against BCC members but it’s possible, especially if lots of us sign up and play at the same time.
Once you have paid your £1.20, go to members – then clubs – choose Bassingham. You will need an alias – the name you wish to be known by – mine’s AndyM.
Incidentally, it is quite possible for pairs living under the same roof to play – either as a partnership or as opponents. We assume honesty and integrity and the sophisticated software soon flags up unlikely successes. You will each need a device to play on and you would be best in different rooms so that you can resist the temptation to suggest specific leads or lines of play!
I was hoping to provide a direct link to the Bridge Club Live website but that has proved to be beyond my limited technical expertise! Just google it and follow the instructions above. I will be keeping an eye out to see how popular the offer is with members. Any queries (I’m bound to have forgotten something!) just drop me an email or give me a ring. Keep safe. Andy