The Links Bridge Club

Latest News:

It is with a very heavy heart I inform you of the sad passing of Bernard Scop.
What a loss!
On a personal note I've lost a wonderful bridge partner, a dear friend, confidante, advisor and esteemed colleague. 
The bridge community too has lost a valuable asset.
At the bridge table Bernard was the epitome of sportsmanship. Kind, gentle, courteous, a sharp mind and a true gentleman. 
Being the man he was, never seeking the limelight, very few people know how valuable he was to our bridge community.  He served on many bridge communities over the years, always adding value. But his legacy can be found in the manner in which he worked with Pierre from inception, 20 odd years ago, helping to develop The Links and all associated clubs from nothing, to being considered one of the finest bridge clubs in the world. He and Pierre went a long way together, and I know Pierre will agree he has Bernard to thank for much of what The Links has achieved. 
With his computer expertise he developed systems which took The Links from a manual system to a fully automated computer system. This provided automatic seating,  instant scoring and results to mention a few. He was hands on with installation of hardware and software that allowed us as players, many luxuries. Very few realize how many hours Bernard spent behind the scenes assisting with issues and trying to better what we already had. Anytime there was a special event or request, Bernard was there- in the background, doing what needed to be done. All for the good of the players.
In the latter years, Bernard has been an integral part of The Links committee, being a huge support to the committee, in particular Rob and myself.- our backbone. He guided us in so many ways. His financial expertise assisted us in setting up all necessary processes. His attention to detail has left no stone unturned and has trained Rob well in all administrative aspects.
He still had so much more he wanted to do. My last conversation with Bernard a few days back ended in him asking  "How is the bridge club?". That was the extent of his commitment. 
The bridge community is poorer for his passing.
But our loss is nothing. 
We offer our sincere condolences to his family.
A dedicated family man, devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren, above and beyond,  his family came first. He was fortunate too to have such a doting family.
To Denise, Stephen, Bradley, Carla and families, please know we feel your loss.
We hope you find comfort in knowing our thoughts are with you and that Bernard's legacy will live on.
With our best wishes.

Peta Feinstein ❤️
On behalf of The Links and BSA committee and all its members.







The Links Bridge is the largest bridge club in South Africa. Before Covid-19 arrived, The Links hosted various club games from its premises in Johannesburg. Since April 2020 however, all tournaments have been hosted online, on Bridge Base Online. Feel free to join our community online. Our tournaments take place twice daily, at 10:00 & 15:00 during the week, and 09:30 & 14:00 on weekends. All games cost $2.50. We also host a free Individual tournament on Sundays at 16:50, for members. 


UNDOS:
From the 1st June, undo's will no longer be an option in The Links tournaments. We've been playing on BBO for over a year now, so everyone should be used to the way the system works by now. 
Far too many players are abusing the way the system is now, where they're asking for undo's which aren't legitimate misclicks. This is both unethical as well as a time waster. It also causes unpleasantness when players automatically reject a request, instead of calling the TD first.
To resolve all these issues (as well as unauthorized information which occurs), everyone will simply be in the same boat now, where there won't be an option to undo at all. If you end up misclicking, simply accept it and move on. No communication is permitted to be made to the table or your partner in anyway notifying them of your misclick. Procedural penalties &/ disciplinary action will be taken if its discovered or suspected that communication was made in order to try recover the situation. This is once again considered collusion, and is unacceptable. 

As we've published before, there are ways to safe guard yourself against inadvertent misclicks. In the bidding specifically, we urge you all to enable your "confirm bids", under "Account", then "Settings" on BBO. This creates an extra "OK" button that you need to press after making a bid, in order to confirm the bid. This will at least guarantee that pass and dbl are not misclicked by accident. On top of this, "Confirm cards" can also be toggled, so that each card played is required to be pressed twice. This may not be as effective as in the bidding, but if you're prone to misclicking a lot, then at least it's a start. Another tip is to wait a few seconds before making your lead after the final pass. This is because the system re-sorts suits depending on the final contract and what trumps might be. 
Misclicks and their consequences should now be treated in the same vein as miscounting trumps, or forgetting system. Please use these last few days of the month, to change your settings, and experiment with the safeguards. 


Preannouncements:

At the start of each round, please give a brief description of your basic system, leads and carding.
Eg: 5 card majors, 15-17NT. Std leads, udca (low is enc)
Eg: Precision club (1C=16+) 14-16NT. Std leads and carding (high enc).
Please make use of the "Chat manager", to save this message, which then only requires a couple of clicks to send to the table chat each round. For video instructions on how to do this, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QxipNlxPNc  (Credit: Paul Gibson)

Alerts and Explanations:
Players are expected to alert and explain in full, all artificial and conventional bids.
Failure to do so may result in misinformation, and possible damage to the opponents. 
Bridge is a game of full disclosure, so whatever agreements you have with your partner, your opponents are entitled to know this. Explaining your bids when you make them, will often also save time, as opponents won't be required to request an explanation later on.
When explaining, use as much detail as possible. Avoid the names of conventions, especially 2 suiters like Ghestem/Michaels/Hamilton. Players get these wrong, or play them differently, so rather be more specific. Eg. "spades + minor". Or "hearts + clubs". This will also avoid misinformation to the opponents, if either you or your partner forget system.
Adjustments may be made by the TD, if bids are not fully alerted, and damage is caused as a result.