North American Pairs

A highly prestigious “grass roots” event, the North American Pairs starts at the club level in June, July and August.

VBC-St. David’s held a qualifying game on Monday, July 7 and may hold one for our Wednesday game depending on player feedback.

An open game is stratified none/2500/500 masterpoints.  A player earns a qualification for a 50% or higher game.  A player can also qualify with a less than 50% game if they finish in the top half of their quantum.

Unit-level qualifiers are optional and held after Sept. 1 and before the district final, which may be held after the unit final until the third week in January. At the district final, both players must have qualified at the club level and must be members of the parent district.

At the National final, each District may have three pairs in Flight A (Open) and four pairs in Flights B (0-2500) and C (under 500 Non-Life Master).

Will the optional Unit-level games, the District 19 final and the National finals be online or face-to-face? Stay tuned.  To be decided.

The Finals will be held at the Reno Spring Nationals planned for Mar 11-21, 2022.  Reno presents a close-by opportunity to experience the excitement of a National tournament with thousands of bridge enthusiasts  ranging in experience from beginners to international stars. The schedule allows you to compete in a National event or events with players at your level.

Alert Procedures

Players are required to alert and announce special system agreements. In online games, these are made by the player making the call. A major revision of the requirements is now in effect.


A summary of the common changes is in the January issue of the ACBL Bulletin, p35. The full document: https://web2.acbl.org/documentLibrary/play/AlertProcedures2.pdf


A few examples of some changes …

Pre-alerts. Before auction begins on first board of a round, you must pre-alert if your system includes one-level bids that are not natural. Examples: “We play 1C could be short – may be only one”; “We play a strong 1C opening bid, may not have clubs”)


Alert a direct cuebid that is not Michaels.


Alert a new minimum level suit bid by an unpassed hand that is non-forcing.


Announce the suit of a transfer bid. Eg: 1NT-2H, announce “spades” not “transfer.


Announce the HCP range of any 1NT opening bid

Suspicious Play

Unfortunately, virtual bridge can include suspicious play and the temptation to cheat is greater than in face-to-face bridge.  Some players talk on the phone, others are in the same room as their partner when playing.  Any form of cheating is not acceptable.  Fortunately, most players are honest and every pair can have a run of luck that seems unusual. The ACBL takes cheating seriously and they do have mechanisms for reviewing and analyzing hands.  As players our role is to send ACBL the links to any hands that seem suspicious.  This can be done completely anonymously.  In your History (after the game) find the hand in question and click on the blue “hamburger”, select Export and then Send Abuse Report.  This will go to ACBL and they will review the hand and begin to watch the players.  If the ACBL deems them to be cheating, they will notify the players and the Unit board.

Help our Club

To all our bridge friends

Nearly a year has passed since our games — Monday and Wednesday — moved to virtual ACBL tournament games hosted by Bridge Base Online.

As play moves into 2021, we anticipate that play will continue online for quite some time yet — likely until September, at least

We still think that quite a few of our St. David’s friends have not yet become part of our online community. We want to encourage them to join us.

Perhaps you would like to help. Be a mentor to one of your St. David’s friends who is not yet online. Offer to help them get set up with a BBO account and invite them to play with you in a game, just to get them started.

Make it your personal contribution to keeping VBC-St. David’s an active, vibrant community until we can return to St. Davids.

Thanks from Homa and Steve.