Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Back to the Internet – my favorites

With fewer distraction it’s time to continue my review of Internet resources.  I have decided that today I will talk about the bridge sites where I personally spend most of my time when I am on the Internet.  They are in this order: Bridge blogging, BBO, ACBL website and especially at this time of year, ecatsbridge.

If you are reading my blog I don’t need to describe Bridge blogging to you so I will move on to BBO.  I am on BBO every day.  I know there are other excellent online bridge playing sites but Bridgebase is the one I love.  I expect that all of you are there too.   I don’t really need to say much about it because you all know it so well but let me say a few things.  This is what I do on Bridgebase:

  • I watch Vugraph from all over the world.  Some times I am a commentator too
  • I watch other people play
  • I practice bidding in a bidding room setting parameters
  • I play with my favorite partners from around the world
  • I play set team games or pickup team games
  • I look at my results and study them, using the built-in GIB
  • I can review hand records from matches
  • I play with students in a relaxed game; we look at the results and discuss the hands together.  I can insert hands or control the parameters

BBO Forums. also has one of the top two most active discussion boards on the web.  The majority of the posts are on the forums about interesting deals.  For fair disclosure even on the expert forum a lot of the discussions is at a fairly low level from my point of view and it takes me a while to find an interesting hand but here is one:

Red vs White, you hold:





Auction: 2♠* X 4♠ ???

*Spades and a minor (at least 5♠’s, at least 4 in a minor)

This is a poll and the vast majority of the players opt for 4NT.

What is the difference between double here and 4NT?  The people on the forum seem to think it promises exactly two places to play but think it is much preferable to double.  There is one interesting comment that bidding five hearts might be better since you are not going to be playing in opener’s minor.  But the author missing the point that if opener has at least nine cards in spades and a minor hearts are probably not splitting either.

I gave this hand to Ray when we went for coffee and he doubled.  He didn’t like 4NT at all.  Even if you and partner are on the same wavelength do you really want to commit to a game at the five level when suits aren’t breaking.  After all you only have an Ace, Queen and Jack.  At the table I (who am a bit of a wimp vulnerable) would likely pass.  The question is what to do if partner doubles again.

BBO continues to grow and improve and long may it do so.

The ACBL website ACBL is well known to most North American players.  Over the years this website has been a leader in establishing a solid Internet presence on the web.   It is beautifully designed, well organized and chock full of stuff you want to know.  I am moved to write an email to the web manager and tell them what I think.

There are services for members (which you log on to using your ACBL number, the number everyone knows!).  Its been a very long time since I cared about masterpoints but I was amused to know that despite this (and almost never playing in a masterpoint game) that at my range I am well into the 90 percentile of MP holders (maybe they aren’t that easy to get?)

MP Range No >= No Below Percentile
2,000 – 2,500 10,006 150,829 93.78

To my pleasure I can also get copies of the Bridge Bulletin online back about a 3/4 of a year.  How cool is that.  If you want to see what is happening in unit and district MP races (strangely this is interesting) you can see them easily for your district (which of course big brother knows).  I wonder if I can see another district?

I can submit an answer to the It’s Your Call feature of the magazine.  I fill out all the answers and woops I get an error when I try to send it.  It was fun to fill it out though.  Oh well next time.

There is an extensive contact list with more departments than I knew existed.  The tournament section is a joy.  Want to see the hand records, daily bulletins, team roster, results etc. for NABC’s  You can even see the bracket sheets in major events all the way back to Reno, Spring 2004.  Wow.  I love the guide to NABC’s that you can download from the site.  (I already loved the IN – novice intermediate program) but seeing it spelled out in the guide it shone.   It was also fun to read Peggy Kaplan’s report on the Houston NABC’s with lots of interviews.  The NABC Insider also provide some good ideas.  Since we are driving to Washington I read with interest the section on where to park.  In fact the amount of information available for the upcoming nationals is staggering from tours and the weather, to  celebrity speakers and other events.  Regional and sectional tournaments are handled well too.  With information, links and results.

There is so much information on this site I can only say if there is something you want to know about bridge it is probably here somewhere.  Here is just a short list of some random questions I came up with and the answers on the ACBL website.

If you need gold points and you only play at the club what is your best best?  The answer is the ACBL Instant Matchpoint game where you can get 1 gold for a section top with the remainder being 50/50 red and black.  The event is sectionally rated and takes place once a year in September.

If you want to read the club managers newsletter which you can download you can find some interesting stuff.  The top clubs reporting the most tables in 2008 are actually Bridge Base Online, Okbridge and Swan games!  But the online clubs so have an advantage in drawing tables from the entire continent.  The fourth place club is the Essex Bridge Center in New Jersey.  Congratulations.

Want a defense to an opening one heart bid that actually shows five or more spades and an opening bid?  The ACBL suggests that you make the same bids as you would have if they had bid one spade and you use one spade as a kind of mini Michaels.

I even like to read the news that the ACBL posts and of course you can follow the results at all the National Tournaments.

Some of you may not be familiar with Ecatsbridge.  This website is operated by Anna Gudge and Mark Newton


Mark Newton

Anna writes a blog (we pick up the feed on Anna’s blog.  When I once asked why the website was named ecatsbridge, Anna told me that it was named after her cats!  There is a fair bit on this site but for me the most important stuff is the information about bridge tournaments especially all the world championships.  To start with their is an archive of all the WBF convention cards submitted by all of the players who play in world championships.  That means that if you want to know what system Meckwell play you can review their current convention card and you can even look and see how it evolved over the years.  I use this archive when I am doing commentary on matches on BBO or writing blogs about matches.  But it can also be helpful if you are looking for some system ideas.  You can also get a list of all the members of all the teams that are playing in the world championships (also available on the WBF site of course).  In fact you can get information about all of the WBF events.  Are you interested in Philadelphia which will be held October 16th 2010.  I was surprised to find a link to a brochure for the event.  I copied this schedule from the Philadelphia Brochure.  But please look at it yourself, I could easily  have made a mistake.

Dates (2010) Events
Friday October 1 18h30: Opening Ceremony
Saturday October 2 MIXED PAIRS – qualifying 1 & 2
Sunday October 3 Mixed Pairs – qualifying 3 & 1st final session
Monday October 4 Mixed Pairs 2 & 3 final sessions

Mixed Pairs plate

Wednesday October 6 Rosenblum/McConnell
Thursday October 7 Rosenblum/McConnell
Friday October 8 SENIORS TEAMS

Rosenblum (64)/McConnell (32)

Swiss Plate


Rosenblum (32)/McConnell (16)

Seniors Teams

Sunday October 10 Rosenblum (16)/McConnell (8)

Open and Ladies Pairs qualifying

Seniors Teams

Monday October 11 Rosenblum (8)/McConnell (4)

Open and Ladies Pairs qualifying / Semi Final

Seniors Teams

Tuesday October 12 SENIORS PAIRS


Rosenblum (4)/McConnell (2)

Open and Ladies Pairs Semi Final

Wednesday October 13 Rosenblum Final

Open and Ladies Pairs Semi Final

IMP Pairs

Seniors Pairs

Thursday October 14 Open and Ladies Pairs Final/ IMP Pairs

Seniors Pairs

Friday October 15 Open and Ladies Pairs Final/ IMP Pairs

Seniors Pairs

Saturday October 16 Open and Ladies Pairs Semi / IMP Pairs

17h: Closing Ceremony

In addition:

  • A Regional Tournament will be held all the days of the World Bridge Series.
  • It is more than likely that the World Youth Bridge Team championships will also take place during the   World Bridge Series.
  • A World Mixed Team championship from Wednesday October 13 to Saturday October 16.

One other tool is the document section which includes among other things the 2007 laws of duplicate bridge and the later revisions.  I did find the organization of the website confusing at times but for most of us the focus of this website is the worldwide events.  If you are interested in those you will often be on ecatsbridge.

Reviewed: BBO, ACBL, Ecatsbridge

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