Blog #3 - 2012

Hi All,

We are really on the final countdown to the  National Congress  which promises to be a bumper tournament.

We have 60 teams and 148 pairs which is a great entry. Furthermore, we have no night bridge! And that is an added bonus. The WPBU are feverishly getting all the I’s dotted and the t’s crossed. Peter Bircher has planned the pairs’ portion of the event down to a fine art and Heidi is very busy organizing her part of the proceedings together with Jan. I must thank Neil Hayward for offering to do the bulletin at such short notice. It is really appreciated. Kick-off is at 2.00p.m. on Friday the 11th with registration starting at 12.30p.m.

At the A.G.M there will be a new committee elected and as a result I have created a new e-mail address for the SAB F President so that we can have continuity. The address is: and I urge you to all use the address in future.

I have had long discussions with Maccabbi  South Africa and they have invited us to send a team next year 2013. The cost however, is quite prohibitive, being R48,000 which includes all flights, accommodation, entry fee and any tours on offer. If you have any interest in representing South Africa please advise us so that we can arrange trials if necessary. Unfortunately this is one event that is closed to players not of Jewish descent.

After congress the next event is the  WW Sims  in June, that Anna Gudge is handling from the U.K. All clubs have dealt directly with her and I an sure that it will work very smoothly.

The masterpoint cards will be available at congress at long last!

See you soon

Blog #2, 2012

Hi all,

It sure has been a long time, but I really had nothing to report. Now I have news!

We have just completed the Senior trials. We had two teams enter and it was a 96-board playoff. Interestingly enough there was a move to have the Open and Ladies separate from the Seniors. I believe that was to give players a chance to enter both events. However, the entries for all were very disappointing indeed and I strongly recommend that next year all the trials be held simultaneously.
Congratulations to the winning team: Gordon and Kathy Driver, Val Bloom and Tas Nestoridis and Nelonia Vorster and Jackie Dorfan.
We wish you every success in Lille!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We now have our full compliment of teams that will be competing at the World Mind Sports Games in Lille France from the 9th till the 23rd of August, 2012. SASCOC has finalized an agreement with SAA to give all sportsmen, nationally and internationally discounted fares.
At this stage not sure what the deal is but we are actively pursuing this avenue. As you are no doubt aware the cost of competing internationally falls mainly on the shoulders of the actual competitors with a very small subsidy of R5000 per player from the SABF which really doesn’t go very far. What we have always needed and are desperate to find is a sponsor for all these events. But at this stage it is still a pipe dream.

We are fast approaching Congress which promises to be a superb event. The Western Province Bridge Assoc. with Kitty Cruise and Hilary Nick as well as their able team have spent many hours planning and I am sure it will prove to be worth all the manhours involved.
Congress will take place from Friday 11th until the 18th May 2012. We will start at 2.00 p.m. and finish the following week at 12.00 midday to facilitate our members travel home to various distant places. The Kelvin Grove, will I am sure, prove to be an excellent venue.
We can only confirm the actual programme of events once we have received all the entries. We will endeavour to keep sessions at night to a minimum. But this is truly dependent on the number of entries that we receive.

Wishing all ‘Chag Sameach’ and a very Happy Easter


2012 - Blog #1

A Happy New Year to you all!

During the last week in January each year ECatsBridge organises a Worldwide Sims to raise funds for charity for UNICEF and this event was played over the past 6 days. It seems that this event was not very well supported in South Africa but I want to congratulate six (!) Natal clubs as well as Benoni Bridge Club for taking part. Perhaps next year more clubs across the country will participate. I do hope so.

We have just concluded the 2012 Trials and I have great pleasure in announcing the successful teams -
Open Team: Alon Apteker, Craig Gower, Neville Eber, Chris Bosenberg, Larry Chemaly and Rob Stephens.
Ladies Team: Charmaine Lipshitz, Renee Kenny, Roz Factor and Marina Breytenbach won the trials and invited Maureen Narunsky and Joy Swiel from Cape Town to join them as the 3rd Pair.

Congratulations to you all and every success at the World Mind Sports Games to be held in August of this year.

The Senior’ Trials will take place a the end of March and entries close on the 10 February. This will follow the same format of teams as was just held. The entry is R1,100 per person and players from provinces that will entail air travel, do not have to pay an entry fee for this event.

The entry form for Congress to be held in Cape Town from the 11th till 18th May, is now up on the SABF website. Please get your entries in as soon as possible. The entry form is very user friendly and you should have no problem at all.

The A.G.M will take place as usual during congress and I urge you to look to your committees for nominations for all the executive positions and we will be sending out nomination forms as per our new constitution that states that all nominations must be received prior to the meeting as no nominations will be taken from the floor.

I believe that it is time to have a new president, as I have been in the chair for the past three years and it is time for new blood (not to be spilled of course). Our new constitution provides for a 2-year term of office with an option of a further term. I will, however, continue as the secretary of the African Bridge Federation.

I am please to announce that the Kenyan issue is now at an end and the rightful NBO is the Kenyan Bridge Association. This feud has been in existence for the past 10 years and I wish Mrs Kala Shah every success.

Warm Wishes


#11 - 13 December

Hi All,

I find it hard to believe that we are once again at the end of another year , I have never known one to fly by so quickly.

Bridge has prospered this year and I thank all for all the hard work that has been put into promoting the game. It is very heartening to visit all the clubs and see the renewed interest in the game.

This has also been a year of great interest in masterpoints and the promotions that have taken place. We have had more promotions to Grandmaster during this year than in any other previously, and I congratulate: Di Balkin, Roz Bernstein , Marina Breytenbach and Elywnne Geraghty for this achievement

We also had 24 Premier Life Master promotions and 42 National Life Masters !

Congratulations to all!

The promotion are published on a monthly basis and can be seen on the masterpoint website.

We will be holding trials early in the new year. To date we haven’t heard whether the Mind Sports Games will be taking place, but it seems that if not the MSG the WBF will revert to the Bridge Olympiad held in previous years. We have had 4 ladies teams enter and 2 Open teams .

I want to take this opportunity of wishing all our players a wonderful festive season, safe travel and a very Happy, Healthy and peaceful New Year.

Warm wishes


#10 - 31 October

I have posted the final draft of our new constitution on the web for your perusal and, if necessary, for any comments you may have.
I want to thank all of those players that took the time to send us their views and in particular I must mention Peter Maybury who obviously spent a lot of time on this project and I’m pleased to say that we were able to include many of his suggestions.
If anyone wishes to discuss any issues before final voting on the adoption of the constitution, please let me have your comments in writing before the 7th November for inclusion in our discussion at the bi-annual A.G.M.

I want to take this opportunity of thanking Sid for the outstanding coverage of the Bermuda Bowl, Venice cup and Seniors. He really brought the whole tournament alive for those of us that were unable to watch all the matches. I have received many letters of congratulations to Sid for his consistent and extremely valuable efforts.

It was indeed unfortunate that our team got off to a rocky start, but that is the nature of the game and hopefully we now can look forward to the World Mind Sports Games to be held next year in Manchester.

The interclub is almost here. We have 26 teams participating and therefore the event will comprise of 25 x 8 board matches. The teams and times of play are on the SABF website for all to see. Please remember the SABF invite you to a dinner at the Sirocco Restaurant on the Friday evening instead of the prizegiving lunch . We will finalise numbers on Thursday afternoon at the tournament. Partners or spouses are more than welcome and the cost of their dinner will be R80.00 per person.

Wishing you all great bridge.


#9 - 11th October

I want to take this opportunity of wishing our South African Open Team, namely: Alon Apteker, Chris Bosenberg, Bernard Donde, Neville Eber, Craig Gower and Rob Stephens every success in Veldhoven, where they will be competing in the Bermuda Bowl.
I am sure we will all be watching your every move and bid on the BBO coverage and I speak for all when I say that we will be behind you every step of the way.
Go well and return safely!!!

On more mundane matters, a reminder that the entry for the Interclub to be held in Knysna closes Friday, 21st October. It promises to be a great tournament and a wonderful opportunity for all the clubs to compete against each other. Any player wishing to bring a partner along to the Friday evening dinner at Sirroco is more than welcome. The charge for the dinner will be somewhere in the region of R80 per head.

Wishing you all good bridge


#8 : 23rd September 2011

Hi All,

I haven’t been able to write my blog for some time now as I had nothing of significance to report.
However, after having our SABF board Meeting this past weekend I have lots to tell now!

Firstly, the Interclub which takes place from Thursday the 10 November till the 13th is being held at Brenton as you all know. Accommodation is posted on the web for all to see but we have made a change regarding the final prizegiving lunch. As most people will be in a hurry to make their way home after the final round of play, we will be having a dinner on the Friday night instead. We have booked out the Sirrocco restaurant on Thierssen Island which I am sure will be great fun as we will all be together with time to enjoy ourselves. The meal is with the compliments of the SABF but regarding drinks, there will be a cash bar. On the Thursday we will get final numbers from all of you to confirm that you will be attending. Heidi has spent an enormous amount of time on this project and came up with this great idea. My thanks to you, Heidi.

Next, we have a draft constitution for all to see on the SABF website and your comments will be most appreciated - to my email - see RHS of this page for address. However, the closing date for these comments will be the 15th October, 2011 and we will then finalise the document and present it at the Bi-annual A.G.M for ratification. Please be aware that after the 15th Oct, no further changes will be entertained.

The Mind Sports Games takes place in Manchester in October 2012. The trials for this event will take place during the week of the 26th January 2012 and entries will close on the 10th December 2011. The entry fee will be R4,400 per team and this fee will be waived for out-of-town teams. Furthermore we will offer accommodation in our homes for any players.
Unfortunately it is impossible to give exact dates until we know how many teams we have to accommodate. The format will be team trials and once again all is dependant on the numbers game. The committee approved the format of a long board round robin. We encourage all those who feel that they have a chance, to enter, however, the SABF retains the right to use the PI Index or masterpoints at their discretion. We will be holding the Seniors trials on the 21st till 25th March 2012 and entries will close on the 10th February 2012. It will be the same format.

Congress 2012 will take place in Cape Town at the Kelvin Country Club from Friday the 11th till Friday the 18th May;
Interprovincials Medwin and Berkowitz will be held on the Weekend the 10th - 12th August 2012 and will be held in Gauteng. As soon as we have confirmed the venue we will let you know.

We are very fortunate to have Mr Eitan Levy, an international tournament director, coming to South Africa and will be holding an accreditation seminar for aspiring directors. The numbers are limited to 6-8 applicants and if you are interested please let me know asap as it will be on a first-come first-serve basis.
Applicants will be required to write a open book pre-exam in January as well as a final exam. The course will take place in Johannesburg on the 25th and 26th February 2012 and will comprise of 5 – 6 sessions, which may include the evenings. The cost of the course will be borne by the SABF.

Carol Grunder is compiling a list of all the red point events for the coming year and we urge all the Unions to please let her have the information so that we can avoid the clashing of events.

It is with great sadness, we note the passing of Val Pearce who was an integral part of bridge in South Africa. From the early years when I first played in a congress she was there always with a wonderful smile on her face and an amazing love of life. She will be truly missed.

In conclusion,

I wish all our Jewish bridge Players a Very Happy New Year and Well over the Fast.