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With the Covid-19 pandemic very little is the same. Online bridge is the norm and currently Carlton Club events are via Bridge Base Online (BBO). So now we have self alerting and this puts pressure on players to explain bids briefly and accurately.


Some friends of mine are great advocates of describing their somewhat complex agreements in text files. I tend to have far simpler arrangements but found their methods excellent for recording and communicating system notes. I now have a method for agreeing conventions where they have inferences that are not always immediately apparent, particularly when opponents bidding disrupts our intended bidding sequences. I coined the term Artificial Intelligence Counter Measures (AICM) for the methods employed.


Breaking Transfers – Why?

Finding a fit allows the partnership to bid or compete to a higher level than they otherwise might. Once a transfer bid reveals a fit there are options for a range of bids ‘on the way up’ and their use can considerably enhance partnership effectiveness.


So if you are interested in breaking transfers or my views on which options to choose, possibly my AICM ideas click here.

Targetting Regional Master Status

You will find that some Red Pointed events are quite difficult but others much easier to help add to your Red Point collection.

Generally short duration events yield more success and teams events tend to be less demanding of concentration levels than match pointed pairs. Some events are popular with Grand Masters and Internationals, others attract mixed ability fields.

Where you can go for one day teams of four events. Fortune favours the well organised. Swiss Teams is a great source of Reds as the matches are short and the Swiss format tends to match opponents of comparable ability.

Congresses are a good source of Master Points but note not all are Red Pointed, If you can only play one day pick the teams day. Swiss Teams should be preferred to Multiple Teams however

Some multiple teams events offer minor Red point awards for mini-matches won. So your team might be in a section scheduled to play twelve two board matches in a round robin event. You might have to win multiple matches, perhaps three to get any Reds but this could be worth the gamble so check the tournament regulations to evaluate the risk vs rewards.

Pairs can be a source of Reds and a good result in a Simultaneous Pairs might result in a shed full of MPs including a few Reds. District Events that attract Reds are superficially less daunting than SBU equivalents and usually involve less travelling (or during Lockdown lower cost of entry). Ranked events for example the Shenken Individual again should find you up against pairs of comparable ability.

I do not wish to put you off but Swiss Pairs are not easy. Not only is the fight for the extra trick demanding but it may be difficult to get a match to stay won. If opponents think they are losing [perhaps 5-15] they might play the last hand for a "top" to get narrow win, not caring if they lose 20-nil when it goes wrong. So you may find opponents bid very risky slams or stay out of obvious games looking for the miracle result. If you find Swiss Pairs good fun then go for it but do not expect an easy ride.

Always remember that on good days you can get into the place points [which can be very rewarding] and Bronze prizes may be up for grabs.

It is difficult for me to reflect current competition structures which are changing all the time. The SBU and East District web sites need to referenced for more up to date information.

Good Luck