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Click here to see the EBU poster of upcoming competitions.

18-21 July = Scarborough Summer Congress

8-11 August = Summer Meeting Eastbourne

10 August = Online 9-High Pairs on BBO for less experienced players, i.e. a national grade score (NGS) not above nine.

27-29 August = Northern Midweek Congress

OBA Competitions


Sat-Sun 17-18 Aug 2024 = Congress (Abingdon School F2F)

Sun 29 Sept = Wallingford Blue Pointed Swiss Pairs

EBU diaries

An EBU diary is circulated to all eligible members each year with the August magazine.  Anyone who wants a copy must opt in, e.g. by changing your account settings at My EBU. Click on 'Account' in the top right corner, select 'My Details', and then in the page's 'Account Settings' section, under the 'Magazine/Diary Preference' option use the drop down list to make your choice.

Any changes to the information printed in the diary are listed on the EBU's diary changes page.

Membership forms are available, complying with our obligations under Data Protection Regulations. If you haven't signed one, copies are available on club nights. Ask the Director. There are also simpler forms for visitors - one form for EBU members or another for those who aren't.
If you play at the club without signing the form, your agreement to its contents will be inferred. 
BridgeBase robots

BridgeBase robots are a great idea, but some people find them off-putting.  You can get used to them, though.  Click here to see their system and convention card (5-card majors, 15-17 1NT, three Weak Twos, 2-over-1 game forcing)...  and they think everyone plays that.  A 12-14 1NT is thus a great weapon against robot opponents, because they'll think you have 15-17.

Don't get sucked into their pace. If they make an unfamiliar bid, take as long as you like reading the pop-up explanation. They don't care. They're robots.  That's also true when you're their partner, and you can hover over any bid you're considering to see what the robot will think it means.

With robots, it's often good tactics to open 1NT (or 2NT) at every possible opportunity, even if it means stretching by a point or two.  They understand 1NT auctions.  You're less likely to have a disaster.  Also, when the auction goes 1NT 3NT, robots often "play safe" and find a passive lead that might even be your best suit.

Their defence is inhuman.  If they lead a card, you'll have no idea what they hold in that suit.  Honours?  Rubbish?  There's no way of knowing.

The craziest thing about robots is their competitive bidding.  They can be thrown completely by psyches (e.g. overcalling 2 at favourable vulnerability on a yarborough with two small hearts) and they'll make insane assumptions in situations that a human would recognise as merely competitive.  The following are real hands, which happened to me recently.  (I was the only human at the table in both stories, with the other three players all being robots.)


You hold ♠ K4  65 ♦ AK42 ♣ AQ1094 and your right-hand opponent opens a 12-14 1NT.  You double, since you're holding a pretty 16-count with good suits to lead.  Left-hand opponent bids 2 (transfer to hearts) and right-hand opponent bids 2 (completing the transfer).  You decide to compete with a frisky 3♣ ...  and your robot partner bids 3NT on ♠ J9853  10743  65 ♣ 86, which would only make sense if you held 24 points and only four clubs.  Yes, this gets doubled.


Right-hand opponent opens 1 and you double with ♠ K973  void  AJ108752 ♣ AQ.  Left-hand opponent bids 2♣ (should have redoubled), partner passes and right-hand opponent rebids 2.  You double again (still for takeout), which goes pass pass.  Your robot partner has converted your takeout double into penalties.  You're doubling for penalties at the two level...  so obviously you double again when right-hand opponent retreats to 2NT.  This is starting to look juicy.  Dummy rescues declarer back to 3...  and declarer accepts the "invitation" to 4despite having been doubled for penalties in two.  You double again (your fourth consecutive double in this auction) and collect 500 from 4x-3.

If anyone asks about robots' weak points, you can answer "the game of bridge".