[News] Bridge Club Live - July 2017
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July 2017

Dear ,

This is a long overdue newsletter so please take time to read all the items that may affect you!
  • Servers update
  • Our 'Next Generation' Server coming soon
  • The 2018 Reunion, Fri/Mon - April 20/23 - Book now!
  • From Barrie, our TD - The new WBF laws
  • Update from Malcolm, our Competitions Manager
  • Tips from Joke, in our Support department
  • A word from Peter, our President in New Zealand
Servers
A few of you may have experienced a spate of server outages recently so I am pleased to say we have found the most probable cause and fixed it permanently - and at the same time taken the opportunity to upgrade all our servers significantly which we completed on Friday 21st July.

The cause was simple (but very hard to find) - a rogue 'probe' on a rare port, (malicious maybe, but probably not!) that we had not firewalled sufficiently in our new ISP location. This oversight was our fault completely but compounded by a misunderstanding of the structural features and responsibilities of the firewalls at our new ISP. Enough said, except to apologise to all who were affected in one way or another. We have of course added an additional set of firewalls on each server so we are as hard as nails and thus nothing, but nothing can get through that we don't want to get through!

As a positive outcome we are now providing you with better 'transparency' of the state of our systems at any time. A special 'stats' page monitors our key servers from multiple points around the world, totally external to us - and provides you with a history and up-to-date operational status should you ever encounter difficulties connecting to us.

Please look here and bookmark it for future reference. If it says we are UP we ARE up!

The Next Generation Server - best of class!
Whilst we have been delayed around 12 weeks due to the server issues, we are now back on course with this development. The completely rewritten web based Bridge Program and the brand new associated 'Next Generation' Server will change the way we login to play completely.

A few selected members have already kindly signed up with Phil to help technically test this superb new system that is progressing towards an initial kibitzing version. In addition, I would also like to signup a few experienced members to help me with the release of the Web Site design that encompasses the new system from the end user perspective. Email me if you have the time and inclination!

2018 Reunion, Fri/Mon - April 20/23
Mark your diaries now! The 2018 Reunion will be in the UK and I have chosen the Queens Hotel Chester as being a delightful small city location, close to all transport etc.

As maximum economy and maximum enjoyment is our mantra, so this time, on the Sunday Morning, we are adding a picturesque river cruise but with bridge on board! - Barrie will have a cunning plan for that on the day. This gives us all an extra informal social opportunity to meet old and new friends without missing our bridge! We are also ensuring a much better organisation of the Gala Saturday evening meal - as was the sense of items needing to be improved from the feedback I had following our 2017 Reunion in Reading.

Of course as much Bridge as you can get throughout the weekend, to our well planned format, plus, we hope again to include seminar/s from our own expert members who kindly volunteer to share their experience - all of which all promises to make it a very memorable, action packed weekend.

Click here for Booking details - remember first come first served!

From Barrie, our TD
Many of you will be aware of the new Law Book that will come into effect during the next couple of months. The World Bridge Federation (WBF) review the Laws of the game every 10 years. This time, there are a huge number of very good changes in the way that TDs at your local club will do bridge rulings, but there is very little that players need to know about.

Here in BCL, we will be adopting the new laws at the earliest allowed date of 1 August, but with the software preventing many of the irregularities that can occur at F2F bridge such as bidding or playing out of turn, there will be very few changes to the way I carry out bridge rulings.

There is only one change that could possibly have affected us as players, which involves playing on after a claim or concession of tricks is made. Here in BCL, after a declined claim, we need to have play continue in order to provide a bridge result, and then either side can ask me to consider to adjust if not happy with the outcome.

The new laws allow a circumstance in which the four players can agree to play on and not involve the TD whatever, but this is absolutely not an option that would ever be recommended to players to be in their interests. This being so, I have recommended no changes to the BCL software as we will not cater for this option.

Therefore, the bottom line is that the new laws will not affect us as players in BCL at all other than very occasionally the way I do bridge rulings.

From Malcolm, our Competitions Manager
The 2017 calendar can be seen here and shows all competitions for this year. In particular the Timber Trophy knockout will be starting 13 August (entries due by 6 August) and all are very welcome. Also Clubs/Diamonds may enter for the C/D knockout running at the same time as the Timber Trophy and also may enter both.

The IMPs, Swiss and Euro pairs leagues are all running the second time this year with 68, 66 and 18 pairs competing respectively.

The Individual, Improvers, IMPs championship will again run over the year. No entry as such required for these, just play in the regular Individuals, Improvers and IMPs.

The 'SpecialComps' alias has existed for some time to be used for all the Admin relating to the varied Special competitions. A couple of observations are in order.

'SpecialComps' sticky notes
'SpecialComps' does not normally send acknowledgements for entries. It is a very simple system, exactly the same as your own sticky note system. Not sending acknowledgements is an attempt to cut down the clutter in the 'SpecialComps' sticky display so as to reduce the chances of overlooking the important messages from yourselves. Entries will always be listed in a day or so on the relevant competition web page, so this serves as an acknowledgement.

The 'SpecialComps' stickies are read by a semi automated process to keep track of entries. Any competition related queries should also be sent there (rather than the Tournament Manager, Malcolm’s  alias). This allows other members of the management team to easily review competition correspondence if necessary.

From Joke, in our Support department
Do you know that you can make changes to your profile? - Click here for the FAQ's

1. Go to our main page and click the Members tab --> My Profile.
2. Here you can modify/add /delete text, and tick or untick what you desire.
3. Don't forget to press [Update Personal Profile] at the top or the bottom of the page to complete the process

Do you know our 'Sticky Notes' system? - Click here for the FAQ's

Sticky Notes are used to send a (short) message to another member of BCL knowing only their Alias. Simply Log on to the BridgeClubLive webpage using your ID and Password and you will see full access to this system.

From Peter, our President in New Zealand.
The new release of our "best-in-show” Next Generation Server presents the opportunity to launch publicity campaigns in the USA and Asia, emphasising our superior quality – and international appeal.

Once Europe sleeps, our tables in play often become sparsely supported. A major aim is to rejuvenate activity, to the benefit of our many loyal members in those regions. We will end that frustration, shared Down Under here in Australasia – personal experience which gives an understanding of what it can be like!



Finally - please please please.....If you email us for support, please mention your BCL memberID and whether you are using a pc or a tablet. :-)


kind regards from myself, Peter, and all the team,

 

Nick Justice Managing Director

 
       

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