Glasnevin Bridge Club

Covid 19
Because of concerns about the current situation with regard to Covid 19, the club is now closed. This decision will be kept under review and updates will be posted here as they occur.
Aidan Synnott.

Bridgemate/Duplimate Workshop
The above workshop, scheduled for Saturday 21st. March 2020 has been postponed.

Message from The President - Easter 2020
Dear All
I hope you are all keeping safe & well during this very difficult time. We have no way of knowing how long this situation will prevail so in the meantime I wish you all a safe & holy Easter. Remember bridge is like an extended family for all our players. Please keep in touch with your partner/partners; a phone call is very important when we are isolated/cocooning.
Until we can meet again stay well.

Online Bridge
As some of you may be aware, I applied for Host Privileges on Bridge Base Online (BBO) so I could run online tournaments for the club while it is closed. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, BBO is completely over-run at present and they are not issuing any more such privileges until further notice. In the meantime, it is still possible to play as individuals on BBO, either with your partner against people you know on BBO, or with strangers, or using the BBO robots as your partner and/or opponents. You have to join BBO and they are still accepting new ordinary members. There is no membership fee, nor do you have to pay to play with human partners or opponents. If you need to hire a Robot, they charge about €1 per session for that. You should note that while their robots play very competently indeed, they use the 2/1 bidding system which will be new to many of you. If any of you need assistance, either joining BBO or finding your way around it, I would be happy to help. To try it, click

While BBO is by far the best developed online bridge system, there are other options. Fun Bridge is popular but I have no personal experience of using it. One that I do know and like is Bridge Baron. It runs on Macs, iPads, PCs and Android devices. The downside is cost. You and partner both need a copy of it running on your device. The iPad version costs €21.99, the Mac and PC versions are considerably more expensive. One advantage is that you can set it up for a variety of bidding systems, including Acol and Standard American as well as 2/1 and Precision. Again if any of you wish to contact me for advise on this, please feel free. None of the above are as good as the real thing (although once you are used to it, BBO comes close) but if you are pining away for the want of a game of bridge, they will do the trick!

Online Bridge Update - Glasnevin Virtual Bridge Club
In these exceptional times, more and more people are turning to BridgeBase Online (BBO) to at least partly satisfy their desire to play bridge. If you and partner arrange a game with another pair, you can play online and it's immensely satisfying. It's also free! It's also possible to run free tournaments on BBO and you will probably be aware that Eamon Galligan has been doing sterling work along these lines. To run a tournament, you must have "Hosting Privileges" on BBO.

Unfortunately, because of the pandemic, traffic on BBO has increased to the extent that during peak hours (approx. 18:30-21:00), the system overloads and can become unstable. As part of their response to this, BBO stopped granting new host privileges around the time of our lock down and have been curtailing the privileges of pre-existing hosts. That's why these tournaments tend to be available now only outside peak hours.

There is a bit of good news. BBO have set up a facility to run tournaments within a "Virtual Bridge Club". They charge a fee for this but the quid pro quo is that you can play in your own virtual bridge club during peak hours. Quite naturally, they started offering this service to the American Contract Bridge League. On 17th April, they made it available to the English Bridge Union and now our turn has come here in Contract Bridge Association of Ireland land.

Aidan Synnott and Dan O'Mahony are in the process of setting up two such virtual clubs, one to cater for the Bridge Clubs in the Clontarf Area and the other aimed at clubs in the Glasnevin area. Members of the clubs concerned are being contacted directly. We hope to have these up and running very soon.

We are still not 100% clear of all the details, as this is a work in process, but at this point, our understanding is that we will be able to run a virtual club night, on Mondays and Wednesdays, starting at our usual time. To play, you will need to be a member of Glasnevin Bridge Club, but we will allow members of other clubs in the area to play as guests, subject to there being sufficient space. These other clubs will be expected to reciprocate. Players will have to be members of BBO which is free and will have to inform us of their BBO usernames. The table money will be of the order of $BBO 3-4. This goes to BBO who, in round terms, retain half and return the other half to the CBAI. The CBAI in turn will refund that to the club. Hopefully, we will be able to assign master points in the usual way, subject to approval from the CBAI.

In the initial phases, either Aidan, Dan or John Moyles will act as Tournament Directors but in due course, it would be great if others would learn how to do that too.

A BBO dollar has the same monetary value as a $US (currently €0.90). You buy them on the BBO website using a credit card or PayPal. If you access BBO using their app (as opposed to the web version), you can purchase them “in app” but that method, though convenient, is very expensive, presumably because Apple or Google are getting a cut. The $BBOs you buy are credited to your BBO account. When you sit at the virtual table to play, the table money is automatically deducted.

This may sound a bit complicated but it’s not half as difficult as it sounds. However, it would be VERY important that club members who newly join BBO to avail of this virtual club, or indeed existing BBO members who hardly ever play; would have played a few times in ordinary BBO games, so they become familiar with the basic working of the system. It can be a little daunting at first but with a little practice, it’s easy.

Please keep an eye on this page which will be updated as developments take place.

If anyone has questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. By the way, I don't claim to be an expert on virtual clubs. This is totally new and I am on a steep learning curve, but this is the sort of thing that engages my enthusiasm!


Online Bridge Update - Glasnevin Region Virtual Bridge Club Established
We got word yesterday from BBO vis CBAI that the Virtual Club is up and running. I'm planning to run a small test Tournament this week and , all going well, start the full service next week. Anyone interested who hasn't sent me their BBO User Name should do so immediately.