Congratulations!

I was browsing through the Bridge Club Live website yesterday evening and, in the Results section, came across a couple of “Aliases” that I recognised!
Huge Congratulations to Pat Lucas and Derek Crumpton who are absolute top of the Monthly Improvers Tourney Ladder for December. They have had 6 wins and earned 130 on-line master points. This is a major achievement as there are hundreds of pairs who compete in this Tourney. Well Done both! Andy

Bridge for Beginners

After a decade of offering Bridge for Beginners tuition at Bassingham Bridge Club, Barry and Lesley Leverett have decided to take a well-earned “retirement”. We offer a massive THANKYOU to Barry and Lesley for all their hard work and for introducing our wonderful game to so many new players and members.
Covid restrictions permitting, for 2022 a small but enthusiastic team will be taking over, using the teaching materials that Barry and Lesley have passed on and adding some of our own.

These sessions will run in the Hammond Hall Tower room, from 7.00 – 9.00 pm each Wednesday evening starting on Wednesday 5th January 2022. There will be a small charge to cover the room hire but the first session is free. Adverts have been placed in local Parish magazines and on village notice boards. However, we would be grateful if members could publicise and promote our “Bridge for Beginners” course. If you can think of anyone who might be interested please ask them to get in touch with either Andy Milner or Pat Lucas.

For those of you who like a bit of mental stimulation … Can you figure out how North/South can make a Grand Slam in clubs, with just 21 points and five obvious winners, on Board 7 from Thursday evening? Click on results for Thursday 9th December and you will soon find the hand. If you do NOT want a clue, stop reading now. If you DO want a clue, here it is. In a suit contract, it is (usually) a good strategy to draw trumps early.

A couple of reminders. Sadly, our Christmas Bridge, scheduled for Thursday 23rd, has had to be cancelled, so this coming Thursday, 16th, will be our last for 2021 – we hope to provide Mulled Wine. Please wear a face covering unless exempt. We aim to re-start on Tuesday 4th for the afternoon social Bridge. Thursday duplicates re-start on Thursday 6th January.

A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers! Andy.

Covid Up-date

Following a committee meeting yesterday evening, we thought it might be pertinent to remind members of our Covid precautions.

As you know, we are fortunate to have a large well-ventilated room but do please remember to bring several “layers” of clothing, particularly on these cold winter nights. That said, this evening we will be in the tower room because of the W I Christmas Party. You may want to come a few minutes early as parking will be at a premium.

Please do not attend if you have any Covid symptoms e.g. cough, temperature, loss of sense of taste or smell.

Following government guidelines, Mask-wearing remains optional.

Please use the hand sanitiser provided.

Beginners Bridge and (on-line) Improving.

Hi Folks
Having successfully organised our Beginners Courses for the last ten years or so, Barry and Les Leverett are “handing over the baton”. Both Bassingham Bridge Club and the participating beginners, owe a huge debt of gratitude to Barry and Les for all their hard work over the years. Thank you both! We are currently recruiting a small team of volunteers to take over and offer Beginners Bridge in The Hammond Hall on Wednesday evenings from January 2022 – Covid restrictions permitting. More details on this to follow – see the club website.
I know that many of you have embraced on-line Bridge over the past 18 Months or so. It is an excellent way to get plenty of practice in and can massively improve your game. For those of you who use BBO as your platform it may be worth having a look at The Friendly Online Bridge Club (just google it). This is a not for profit club that has been set up by a few enthusiasts in Lancashire. They offer improvers lessons, often using “Zoom”, friendly duplicate sessions and much more. Most of it is free initially but they do have a membership fee after a while.

If, like me, your preferred on-line platform is BridgeClubLive, their Coaching Corner is very useful and you can always get a game in their Social room.
If you would like more information about any of this – please just get in touch.
Andy

Bridgeclublive – Update

Hi Folks
The data centre fire that I mentioned in my last Blog has been “catastrophic”, affecting about 3.5 million websites including the European Space Agency, some French Government departments and, of course, Bridgeclublive (BCL). BCL personnel are working hard to restore their facility and have several rooms available to play on-line Bridge. However, the earliest full restoration date is likely to be Monday 22nd March. Sadly, this means that we will be unable to participate in the Charity Simultaneous Pairs event this evening.

Could I suggest/recommend that, instead, pairs give the Daily IMPs Tourney a go? I know that several of our pairs have used this room in the past and enjoyed the experience. The room opens at 7.45 pm, play starts at 8.00 pm. It is 16 boards so should be finished by 10.00 pm. 44 pairs played in there on Tuesday evening so it is popular. It operates in a very similar way to our usual on-line F2F sessions. There is automatic movement but you may have to wait occasionally between rounds for slower players. The results are published the following day so we will be able to see how we all got on!

If you prefer an earlier start time or you don’t want that competitive edge, you could always use the Social room which is up and running as usual. If you can find another pair, you can have a private table by clicking on options.

Stay safe and stay sane. Andy

BASSHM Bridge this evening

Bizarre as it may sound, I’m afraid that a severe fire at a Data Centre in Strasbourg, France, has put paid to our on-line Bridge this evening. The OVH Data Centre houses cloud servers for thousands of clients and Bridge Club Live is one of them!
Unless something miraculous happens in the next couple of hours, our usual duplicate session cannot run. However, for those of you still wanting your Bridge “fix”, the Social Room is functioning fine. You can set up private tables in the Social room so if you can find another pair ….. I suggest that you liaise with your partner on this.
All being well, BCL will be able to recover their servers and soon be back to normal. I will try to keep you posted. All the best. Andy

On the receiving end! and … Simultaneous Pairs

We had 6 tables in our BCL “virtual” clubroom last night. That is a good number because every pair plays every other pair and, despite 11 rounds and 10 moves, we were all finished (24 boards) by about 9.45, which is good going. Congratulations to the winning Pair, Dave and Sally Williams with 62%. As always, there were some fascinating boards. In the first 16 boards, no less than eight of them were potentially “slammable”. Whether or not they were “biddable” or “playable” is a different matter! You can see the results and the hands on the club website. Several pairs managed to make one of the slams but special mention must go to Pair 5, Liz Salmon and Sheila Henry, who managed to make three slams in the evening. They were the only pair to make slams on boards 3 and 14. I remember it well because Bill and I were on the receiving end – we got well and truly “slammed”!

Ecats are organising another charity Simultaneous Pairs event. This time in aid of Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie. It will be offered on BBO, BridgeClubLive and Realbridge over the week commencing Monday 15th March. Please see the EcatsBridge website for all the details and how to donate. We will be running this as part of our normal club night on Thursday 18th March. We had one or two pairs who performed very well in the Children in Need event (see November 13th blog) – hopefully we can do so again. Please try to support these worthy causes – as a general guide, something like £3 per player per session would be an appropriate donation but it’s not compulsory and any amount will be most gratefully received by the hard-working organisers. Incidentally, Heighington B.C. will be doing the same on the evening of Monday 15th March (don’t worry – it’s different hands each day!).

I’m sorry to report that Stuart Walker, a regular Tuesday afternoon member, has died recently. Anne Lanes has sent a condolence card on behalf of the club.

Stay safe and stay sane. Andy

News up-date

Hi Folks. I trust that you are all keeping safe and well. I know that most/many of you have now had your first vaccination and are looking forward to your second. Fingers crossed that we may be back in the Hammond Hall by late Spring/early Summer.

I’m sorry to report that Bill Holmes is poorly. He has had a stroke, is in hospital at the moment, and is waiting for an MRI scan which should be done tomorrow. Shirley says that he has improved slightly since he went in, he is cheerful and is having a joke with his nurses. He is keen to get back home! Bill – we all send you our very best wishes for a full and speedy recovery.

Thanks to all who wished me good luck in the recent BCL Individual final. I’m afraid that I came a rather distant but well-deserved second! Andy

Thank Goodness for on-line Bridge!

Hi Folks. I hope you are keeping safe and well. I know that many of you have had or are about to get your first jab so there is some light at the end of the tunnel. However, face-to-face Bridge is still some way off. I am aware that members are using BCL, BBO and Realbridge to get their “Bridge fix”. In fact, some are using all three!

We had seven tables on BCL last night and all had finished their 24 boards in just over two and half hours. Mind you, there was one board where everybody passed out! If you haven’t yet “dipped your toe in the water” it’s never too late. Have a look at previous blogs and/or give one of us a ring; we would be only too happy to talk you through the process of getting started.

A bit of sad news. Our more “mature” members may have known June Sleightholme who played at The Lincoln Eastgate Club. She passed away last weekend at the grand old age of 101. She was a lovely lady, a formidable Bridge player and was still playing Bridge as a centenarian.

In my last Blog, I mentioned that I had won through to the BCL Indy Knock-out final. It will be played within the normal Monday individual competition from 3.00 pm on Monday 8th February (see “Events” on the BCL homepage).

Finally, a slightly bizarre, personal, request. Does anyone who lives locally, have a couple of builders bulk bags I could beg/borrow? The sort of cube-shaped bags that bulk sand/gravel gets delivered in. I’ve got a Spring garden project planned and I could do with a couple of these to store topsoil in.

Stay safe and stay sane. Andy

Score adjustment (and a final).

Hi Folks

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed that last night’s scores on the BCL Results page differ slightly to those on the club webpage. Unfortunately, we had a technical issue which resulted in some time lost. I therefore asked several pairs to pass out some boards. Subsequently those pass-out scores have been adjusted to 50%. The result is that positions 1 and 2 have been transposed. Barry and Les will be pleased about this, Bill and Shirley less so! Actually, having spoken to Shirley, I know that they are perfectly sanguine about it!

In my last Blog, I mentioned that I had won through to the BCL Individual Knock-out quarter final. I managed to narrowly win that match and I managed to win my semi-final also. I’m looking forward to the final which will be played next month sometime.

Stay safe and stay sane. Andy