Release 2.19n
Online Bridge

If you would like to give Bridge Club Live a try click here for the basic instructions, some 40 SBC members have joined BCL. Following the success of the league over the summer a BCL virtual club will run on Monday afternoons.  The SSCBA set up a County wide Bridge Base Online virtual club that meets on Wednesday evenings, see here for advice on how to get started with BBO.  Please don't see these as either/or options but rather as two different ways of enjoying online bridge which add variety to your game.

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Pages viewed in 2020

Those that went to the away weekend in Preston might be interested in this BBC news item from the Brockholes nature reserve very near the hotel (1 mile as the bat flies).


If you know of any member of the club who is unwell please let either Pat Martin or a member of the committee know so that appropriate wishes can be sent on behalf of all members.
The quickest response will be to tell either Pat Martin or any member of the committee at the bridge session then a card can be signed & posted immediately. Alternatively, you can email the secretary.

Welcome to Stafford Bridge Club: EBU Affiliated

New online League 'Winter Teams of Four' Starting November 2nd

The committee has been planning the SBC Winter Teams of Four League on BCL and Terry would like to update you on changes that are planned to make in the light of experience for the Winter TOF league.

Match slots.

Terry asked for and has had feed-back from most of the previous TOF captains and a suggestion from the majority is that we have fixed time slots for the competition.  As no matches were played at the weekends and very few in the evenings, Terry suggests restricting the slots to mornings and afternoons. Most matches were played in the afternoon and so Terry suggests  go with two afternoon choices and one morning.  Thus all matches will be arranged in one of these three slots. As players are much more familiar with playing on BCL the games are usually completed within two hours now and so we could set the morning time for a little later 10.15 or 10.30, and the afternoon’s for 2.00pm which was the most popular start time.  We should discount Monday’s and Friday’s when the virtual club sessions take place so Terry suggests we go with:

  • Tuesday 2pm start
  • Wednesday 10.15am or 10.30am start
  • Thursday 2pm start 

You should be available to play in at least TWO of these slots regularly.

Match schedules.

Terry would also like to build free weeks into the match schedule for teams to re-arrange any postponed matches , so with a 9 team league (though we may only get 8 this time) we could have the following schedule: 

  • Nov 2, 9, 16, (23rd November Free), Nov 30,
  • Dec 7, 14, 21 (28th December Free)
  • Jan 4, 11, 18 (25th January Free)
  • Feb 1, 8, 15, 22
  • March (1st March Free), 8, 15, 22, 29

As before there would be a home & away match.


Most of the captains agreed to continue as captains but two new captains are needed. Please let Terry know if you are willing to undertake this essential role.


Terry is sending out a separate email with the analysis of the effect of different handicaps & proposed handicap principles in a second email to follow. 

Next Step.

  • Send Terry an email by October 19th at the latest, if you wish to play in the Winter TOF league. You can enter
    • As a team (with a nominated captain)
    • As a pair (and you will be matched with another pair to make up a team)
    • As an individual (and a partner will be found for you).

Please email Terry by 19th October at the latest if you would like to take part.  Terry will then organise teams/match schedules and handicaps ready to start on November 2nd.

Virtual Club - 1 p.m. Monday afternoons from September 8th (see also Friday sessions below)

(see Carol's notes)

The first Stafford virtual club session got off to a flying start, 24 boards played in a little less than 3 hours without a hitch (not that has reached the webmaster's flapping ears anyway). Click results to see, slightly different from the usual format but quite recognisable. Well done organisers and participants, a very enjoyable afternoon.  If you didn't give it a try at the opening session, why not join in next Monday?   Winners of the first session were Carol and Rose with 63.19% a length or two ahead of Terry and Garry with 54.86%, very well done.  To cope with the numbers who played a Howell movement was played with 4 three board rounds followed by 3 four board rounds to make up the 24 boards over 7 rounds.

Stafford Bridge Club has booked a regular weekly session with BCL for our club every Monday afternoon at 1 pm. from September 7th.  You must be seated with your partner not later than 1:15 p.m. (best to arrive by 1:05 to be sure of getting a game, see note about half tabsles below).  Each club session will be a 24 hand session of duplicate bridge. There will be a short period while the server determines the movement dependent on the number of players such that play will not start for possibly another 10 to 15 minutes.  (The first session the delay was very short, maybe  only one minute.) You will be moved the end of each round when your next opponents also ready. 

Slow play will hold up rotations of the tables. BCL will not halt/cut a game so we need to exercise our own self-discipline. Please note the time you start a round. Each hand should average 7-8 minutes so if you are running over the time for the round please  think about agreeing to pass out the last hand (it is what the director would ask you to do at the club) and remember other people will be waiting to move.

It is important that you do not leave a table or move yourself. Just wait.

There are no half tables and so if an odd number of pairs wish to play the last pair to enter the competition will not be able to play.  We have initially decided not to have a stand-by pair as any pair excluded from the SBC Duplicate competition can always readily get a game in the daily DIDO tournament.

The club will of course operate a find a partner scheme for this event so everyone can play  By going to the "clubs" list in BCL (from drop down list under Members on the BCL home page) and selecting Stafford Bridge Club you can see detailed information or view the press release for general information. The normal "find a partner" Bridgewebs feature will be available in the members only area.

Make sure that your alias appears on the list of SBC members on the BCL list such that the system finds you when you take your seat at the start of the session. Webmaster suspects your real name should appear in your profile for your results to appear on the club website and the EBU but that may not actually be the case. 

Robin's Quiz - Weak Twos continued. Quiz 5 13/09/20 (answers now out, click "ans" by question)

Robin's Quiz again based on weak 2s lesson, please read the lesson notes (click here to see them) before trying the quiz. 

Bid the following hands: (West dealer, All Vulnerable for all 5 hands)

  Q 5.      
  West   East ans
K 7 4
A Q J  
J 9 7 5 3 2
Q 10 5
A K J  
K 10 9 8 5 3  
  Q 6.      
  West   East ans
9 5 2
A Q J  
A J 7 5 3 2
Q 10 5
A K J  
K 10 9 8 5 2  
  Q 7.      
  West   East ans
K Q 4 3
A J 5 2  
Q 9 8 7 4 2
K 6  
A K Q  
10 9
J 8 7 4  
  Q 8      
  West   East ans
7 6 5  
K J 10 8 7 2
A 9 6 5 4  
K Q 6
J 10 7 2  
10 9 2
  Q 9.      
  West   East ans
Q 4 3 2
A K 10 8 7 2  
A K 7 6 4 2
5 3  
A 10  
10 9
A K 6  

 If you enjoyed this, or want further information, please feel free to contact Robin, or 01785661059

Click the links for earlier quizzes, 13/7/20 2 response, 15/6/20 Opening Leads, 3/4/20 Bidding Quiz, 12/08/30 Quiz 4 Weak 2 bids.


Friday night virtual club (click here for a simple pictorial guide to reach your table in the Friday night club)

From Friday 25th September the Friday session has become a virtual club similar to Monday afternoon group.  You must not only be a member of Stafford Bridge Club, contact the secretary to join, but you must also be a member of BCL Stafford Bridge Club UK group.  

To enter the club after 6:30 on Fridays click the BCL "Stafford Bridge Club (UK)" club members page and select the Friday group to enter the virtual club.  From 14th October session times are now shown in local time ready for clocks going back on October 25th!  You will be committed to play 18 boards with seats to be taken by 6:50, play starting at 7 p.m. A rota of standby players is to be arranged to ensure everyone who turns up with their partner, sits down and has exchanged an SSD card by 6:50 gets a game. Once your seat taken and assigned opponents for Round 1, then put the kettle on or similar for 5-10 minutes!  The standby pair exchange their SSD just after 6:55 - for the standby system to work regular players must not be late!.  Carol has written instructions please take the opportunity to read them before you attend the virtual club session (these notes were originally written specifically for the Monday group as that was the first to start).  Hopefully this will have the same friendly ambiance as the real world club sessions, plenty of "well played partner" (wpp) and "well played opposition" (wpo) in the table chat!

The results will be uploaded to the club website when they are available, possibly not until early Saturday morning.  Results will first be available on the BCL site.  Unlike the real world Friday session you will not be assured of a game if you come without a partner however if you contact Ann with 24 hours notice she will do her best to find you one. You can also make use of the website "find a partner" system which Carol will pick up on or the BCL "sticky" note system for contacting prospective partners. Why not add a picture to your profile add that extra friendly feel to the session.

There will be a retrospective charge of 50p for each time that you play in this club to cover the p2p fees, probably collected from you by the club every 2 months or possibly every quarter. 

Improver Tournaments

Lou Hobhouse, editor of the EBU magazine, is running tournaments for improvers, click here for details.

General Information

Message from your webmaster:  (this page is updated most days with the latest news sent by members etc) For the Bridge Club Live basic information.for new converts to on line bridge click here.  See also news 12/7/2020 from BridgeClubLive (you can now put "towels" on the oppo chairs, see here, to reserve a table in the social room.    If you are on the list to receive an EBU diary it should arrive early September.

Loss of Connection: If you lose your connection to BCL mid game for any reason (could be an internet connection your end, their end or somewhere between) click on “Enter” when the system lets you.  Please report any cases where you find play not in the same place as you left it to the club Captain.

Reminder about mis-clicked calls:  can be corrected provided that your partner has not yet called see rule 9 in league rules. BCL procedure states that to rectify immediately “Leave table” and straight away return to your seat and explain that you Mis-clicked your call. The players need to click “Ready” again and the auction should re-start as per the original auction up to the point of the mis-clicked call.  If partner has already called not only can you not correct your call but also mustn’t give unauthorised information by revealing that you had made an error.

SSCBA launched virtual BBO county club on Wednesdays,  at  7 p.m. (started 10th June)
These events offer a different way of playing, a normal movement with an EBU director working from home. Regularly about 10 tables take part with several SBC members playing 

BCL Alias: For members who log in to the SBC site there should be an extra column on the membership tab for BCLalias where you can add your BCL alias for all members to see.  To add it to your details you have to scroll quite far down the list but to see the alias for others it appears to the left of their EBU number (webmaster had a headache trying to achieve this change!).

Fancy going to a Congress - Kent is holding one for all ability ranges.

Swiss Pairs, Swiss Teams and Real Easy Pairs. Saturday 31st October - Sunday 1st NovemberNo travelling except to BBO. Prizes in BBO$!

Other sources of information are:  

bridge base on line (BBO has a number of existing members from SBC) the County has up a virtual SSCBA group.  Watch over the shoulder of the experts, youtube videos, pick and possibly question, your expert in real time with Zoom.  EBU, EBU Webinar 16/5/2020, Andrew Robson BridgeCast and Bernard Magee.   All ideas/messages for members etc to In the real world please look out for one another, check your regular partners on the phone for example.


23rd October 2020
STAFRD Friday Virtual Club
6:30 for 6:50
Director: Ann
Host: Ann & Helena
26th October 2020
STAFRD Virtual Club
1:00 for 1:15 p.m.
Director: Terry
30th October 2020
STAFRD Friday Virtual Club
6:30 for 6:50
Director: Ann
Host: Ann & John W
Virtual on-line County Club

SSCBA No Fear Virtual Club Restarting October 15th

SSCBA are restarting the No Fears Virtual Club on Thursday afternoons at 1:40 for 2 p.m., spread the word!  A survey was conducted to find the most popular afternoon and that proved to be Thursday.

EBU Autumn Sim Pairs (Booklet)

The SSCBA virtual club entered the EBU Autumn Sim Pairs on Wednesday 7th October.  15 tables took part in this event with SBC players coming first both North/South and East/West in the SSCBA virtual club!  14 Stafford Bridge Club members participated in this one. Best Stafford pair 15th overall, out of 298 pairs, as at 18:30 8th October (some scores may yet have to be included).  The county virtual club also entered the EBED Sim Pairs on 9th September, 14 tables with 9 past or present SBC members taking part.

County League

It is hoped to continue with the County League this year albeit on line, click for the poster.

SSCBA virtual BBO county on line group at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays

If you would like to be a member of this “Club” please email the Membership Secretary –  John Withers on, with your real name, your BBO user name (exactly as you print it), EBU number (if you have one), contact telephone number and email address.  (This has to be done also by those players already registered with BBO.)  Only those that have registered with John will be able to take part in the SSCBA Virtual Club Events, please give him a day or two to organise this prior to the event you wish to join and get some practice games on BBO.   Click for information on BBO 

John Withers will email everyone on the Club’s membership list with details of how to log on the Club’s game.  Check that you know your partner's BBO alias.

THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Staffordshire & Shropshire Contract Bridge Association was held at 5 p.m. on Sunday 27th September 2020, click for minutes.


Bridge Club Live is the online favourite Stafford Bridge Club Members are invited to use to enjoy the on line club activities, to get going click here to see the basics.


Contact Numbers: 

  • 01785 600260 (Chairman),
  • 01785 665020 (Secretary),
  • 01889 801996 (Captain),
  • 01785 246611 (Club, during bridge sessions).

Stafford Bridge Club is located at the back of the Grandstand on the County Showground, ST18 0BD (Ordnance Survey ref:  SJ 958 053).  This "Staffs & Shrops" EBU affiliated club meets regularly throughout the year except during the County Show etc on Tuesday, Thursday & Friday evenings (7:00 for 7:15 p.m.) and Monday & Wednesday afternoons (1:15 for 1:30 p.m.).  In addition the club also holds American Suppers on Saturday evenings usually on the 3rd or 4th Saturday of the winter months (6:45 for 7:00 p.m.), see 'Club Sessions and Times', 'SBC dates' and 'Calendar'.

STAFRD Virtual Club
Director: Terry
Scorer: Bridge Club Live
STAFRD Friday Virtual Club
Director: Ann
Scorer: Bridge Club Live
STAFRD Virtual Club
Director: Terry
Scorer: Bridge Club Live