We have been approached by a number of clubs and members wondering whether they can run bridge tournaments online while real-life bridge may be curtailed by health concerns. The good news is that it is, provided that the organiser has some facility in using the main online bridge platforms.

We have set out inĀ this document the key requirements for running, and for entering, an online tournament using Bridge Base Online (BBO), the leading online bridge platform. We are aware that several clubs are already testing the hosting of tournaments on BBO for their members. In addition, Eamon Galligan has committed to running an open-entry tournament on the site periodically when he is not otherwise engaged – look out for the Ireland IMP Pairs Tourney, or see http://eamongall.blogspot.ie for more details. (Update – BBO has been experiencing capacity constraints, given the volume of people and clubs looking to play online, and we have been advised that they may be limiting requests from new tournament organisers, though you clearly lose nothing by asking.)

We hope that you will find this helpful, and that online bridge may represent an acceptable substitute for anyone deprived temporarily of real-life bridge. As mentioned in the note, we will explore the other online options and will revert with any suitable suggestions.

Of course, you can do lots of things on BBO other than play in scheduled tournaments. You can play casually, you can practice your bidding with a partner, you can use the free tuition features of the site, and you can watch top-class bridge on Vugraph. If you haven’t tried it before, why not give it a go, especially if you can’t currently access any real-life bridge.