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July12th, 2020

News Update
Dear Ann,

Teaching Server
Now fully operational with a Timetable here for those interested. A few more teachers can request a Session time if they wish to try this mode with their students. Full details about the Teaching area
here.

NeXTGen Upgrades
We are currently working on 2 major areas of development:

1) Already under test is the ability to name and password protect a table in the Social Room. A new release is due within several days. This responds fully to many requests for this facility and I am sure it will enhance everyone's experience in the social room.

2) A graphics design upgrade to make it cleaner, simpler to understand and easier to move around and make adjustments. We are about 30% through this phase which is begining to take shape.

Face2Face Clubs
Most are enjoying the extra features that apply for those F2F clubs that wish to have a listing with us (free of charge). I have been asked time and time again for the ability to have  dedicated club rooms for each club. Up to now, I have said we will not compete in this area. 

However, following the success of deploying our teaching server as a seperate entity, I am continuing to look at a dedicated session server just for F2F clubs which would operate in a similar manner, providing session slot times to individual clubs. As of today, a new Datacentre has already been activated in London and almost ready for further tests. A newsletter has been sent to all those F2F clubs currently online with us. More later.....

From Barrie, our CTD. 
I have recently updated some of the Information pages on the web site. 

There are various additions to the Code of Conduct page, including please don’t play when tired, please don’t play in the same room, and please don’t persistently bully players to be faster. There’s better advice on when you lose a player in the middle of a board, seating rights in the Social Room and commitment to play against opponents against whom you are drawn to play. 

On the Incident Procedures page, I have reduced the time limit to ask for a ruling to 48 hours after the play of a board. I have updated sanctions to reflect current practice including greater emphasis on taking past history into account. I have increased the deposit for appeals of TD rulings and added (as the EBU also have) score reductions for frivolous appeals. I have indicated for appeals that I would normally use a referee rather than a committee. I’ve had about four appeals in twenty years! 

The Quitting Policy page has been completely re-written. It is now much shorter but with greater clarity as to what actually constitutes quitting and the worst forms of quitting. 

The SSD's page has had a major re-write including mention that since we have allowed players to consult their own SSDs and Extras while playing, the EBU have now done the same thing as set out in their new “Sky Blue Book” of regulations for online play in EBU games on another site. Also, I have drawn attention to increasing cases of contradictory information between the 1st and 4th lines of SSDs 

There are minor changes to the CTD Advice page and the page on Mis-bids and Mis-clicks, and the page on Permitted Systems has been updated to reflect improved wording by the WBF in their description of Category 3 permitted systems.

From Malcolm, our Competitions Manager
Entries are now open for this years Timber trophy, a double elimination knockout pairs (i.e. you need to be knocked out twice before being knocked out!). There is also a separate Club diamond knockout, do note that entry to this does not also preclude entry to the Timber trophy (you are very welcome to enter both). Both start Sun 16 August, with entries due by 9 August.

There is also an Indyfest, starting Sun 9th Aug. Entry is easy, don’t enter, just play in a 5 of 7 individual events starting 9th August and you are automatically entered.

The current Swiss league had 142 pair entries and is drawing to a close, next event will be 1st September with entries by 25th August. The Handicapped pairs knockout and Plate are now into the semi-finals.

For those that haven't played in Special Competitions before, do consider it. It is an ideal opportunity to play competitive bridge with one 18 board match every two weeks (sometimes 20 or 21 boards). If a partner is needed, you can try advertising on the
FindaPartner Comment board.

The
2020 calendar shows all competitions for the rest of 2020  (the link can be found on the Home page). Details of all competitions can be found under "News & Events" on  our Home page. Currently running events are under "Events" and events coming up under "Soon".

I think that will keep us all busy over summer - wot summer?!


kind regards,
Nick Justice
Nick Justice
Managing Director
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