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National Congress News - April 2019

One more new event at the National Congress.

For several years, we have run the Back to the Future Teams for those players who did not make it to the top 56 pairs in the New Zealand Open Pairs and in more recent years for those who played in the New Zealand Restricted Open Pairs, which finishes a day earlier than the Open Pairs.

This event was popular as most players were keen to play bridge on the Monday. However, the structure of the Back to the Future event, whereby you played each session with a different member of your team, has created problems, both for players in finding teammates at short-notice and for the organisers in determining how many entries the event has.

Thus, to get around these problems and also to test an event which has already proven popular at other New Zealand Congresses, we are introducing the National Congress Match-point Swiss Pairs. This will be a 2- session event which will run on Monday 30th September, morning and afternoon.

You will have just one partner and will play 6 x 8 board matches, Swiss style, but with match-point Pairs scoring. Thus, those pairs who score well after each match will play each other, just like in the Swiss Pairs events later in the week.

The new event will be a 5A Point event and will cost $50.00 per player, although it will be included in the cost of the New Zealand Pairs, New Zealand Restricted Open Pairs and of course the full Congress package. The new event is already loaded onto the NZ Bridge website.

Meet our new Bulletin Editor

I am delighted to announce that Stephen Lester will be the Bulletin Editor at this year’s National Congress. Although Stephen has lived in Australia for many years, he is a Kiwi and started his bridge career this side of the Tasman, representing New Zealand at the Far Eastern Bridge Championships in 1986.

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   Stephen Lester

He has a very readable writing style. Stephen was Editor of Australian Bridge Magazine for 11 years and of the ABF Newsletter for 12 years. He still has an association with the latter, handling Bidding Challenge and edits the Waverley Bridge Club’s newsletter as well as being the Bulletin Editor for several Australian Congress Bulletins including this year’s Canberra Festival of Bridge. I am sure Stephen will produce Bulletins which will be interesting and entertaining and which will provide full coverage of the Congress.

Greater involvement from Ryman Healthcare
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Ryman Healthcare were an excellent sponsor of the 2018 National Congress. You may still have one of their bags and or pens from last year. They too were very happy with their involvement and have increased their sponsorship for this year and will be the sponsor of two of the main events, New Zealand Open and New Zealand Restricted Open Pairs. Watch out for more and better bags and pens again this year….and just a hint that prize money for these events should be increasing.

Jardine Lloyd Thomson (JLT) have been the sponsor of these events. We hope they will continue to be a Congress sponsor though the company has amalgamated and is now Marsh McLennan.

Thinking about Partners, Accommodation, maybe even entering events?

Congress is still 5 months away but just as when you see your dummy, a bit of forward planning can be a very good idea! If you need help with finding partners or teammates, use the on-line link. Remember, that you can enter events even if you are still to pay. The two are separate procedures. It is never too early to enter.

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2018 Open Swiss Pairs Winners: Marie Milsum and Alison Beer

Remember also that Congress is an event for Intermediate and Junior players as well as Open. There is a separate Junior Pairs for the first time while there are now Restricted Open Pairs, Teams and Swiss Pairs events for those of you who are National Masters or lower. There is even a one session Novice Pairs, too.

A truly National Event for all ranks of player no matter where you live.

Richard Solomon



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