Entertainment

Isolation Challenge North Cyprus Duplicate Bridge Clubs go Online

In response to the article we published with entertainer Andy Reay click here on the subject of what do you do during Self Isolation, we have started to receive messages from many happy people as you will see.

For those readers who would also like to share their experiences please email  kyreniacommentator@cyprusscene.com and we will try to publish them on our website and in our weekly online e-newspaper. Let’s try to make the world happy again by sharing good news.

For those people who are wanting to return from the UK to the TRNC or go from the TRNC to the UK please go to Facebook page “TRNC Residents trying to get homeclick here and register your details as directed.

******

As a way of coping with the lockdown and isolation a North Cyprus Online Duplicate Bridge Club has been established from the end of March and is now running three tournaments of 5 to 6 tables a week (Monday, Friday and Saturday) with an ever-increasing number of Cyprus players based in different countries.

Colin Pearson

Organiser Colin Pearson said that the idea stemmed from the fact that the regular Monday, Wednesday and Friday club meetings in Cyprus had to be cancelled due to the lockdown. In addition, a number of regular players found themselves in the wrong country due to the travel ban. Colin said that it was fortunate that he was able to receive assistance from Ellen in Oregon USA and a former bridge partner Stephen from Manila, Philippines, in getting the online club established in less than a week. Most of the players had never played tournament bridge online before and one of the key measures was to restrict the numbers to just North Cyprus bridge players. This was to avoid being swamped by seriously good bridge players from across the globe which those new to online bridge might find intimidating. After a short training at the start most players were now doing well with tournaments lasting 80 minutes and a monthly league table has now been created. However, there was a condition that any winners would have to come back to the TRNC to collect their prizes when lockdown/travel bans were lifted!

Chairman of the Monday Bridge Club Susan Cahit based in Çatalköy said “Normally we play Duplicate Bridge on Mondays at Sammy’s Hotel Girne. Since the lockdown in TRNC  our saviour Colin Pearson has come up with a way of us meeting our friends online and keeping our minds active. I am sure everyone is enjoying the tournaments he is organising, it has certainly stopped me from going completely STIR CRAZY. Looking forward to getting back to our Bridge afternoons soon”.

Susan Cahit left and members enjoy a summer barbeque

Suzi Moir

Chairman of the Friday Bridge Club Suzi Moir based in Karsiyaka said “Karsiyaka Bridge Club meets at the Park Cafe Karsiyaka on Friday afternoons. We were playing on Friday 13th March when we learned that our venue would not be open in the next few weeks as part of measures to combat the spread of coronavirus. This, and subsequent measures, certainly left a void in my life. It was therefore with interest that I read an email from Colin offering to set up online bridge tournaments to replace the ‘live’ bridge sessions. While it is not the same seeing only a computer screen and not having the social interaction of the bridge club, it is good to be able to play and ‘meet’ some of our regular members. A big thank you to Colin, Ellen and Stephen for setting this up.

As soon as restrictions are lifted we will resume our usual sessions at the Park Cafe for those of us who are in North Cyprus. We will miss those who remain in other parts of the world due to travel restrictions, but hope to see all our usual faces in the not too far distant future. Meanwhile, stay safe and well”.

Lalitha Scott currently based in Tiruchirappalli in the state of Tamilnadu in South India with her elderly mother said initially she found the idea of Online Bridge daunting but, after a couple of games she started feeling at ease. Lockdown in India was a little different to Cyprus in that most people don’t have private transport and tended to use street vendors who were more adept at maintaining a social distance. She had been advised by Turkish Airlines that the earliest flights from India weren’t until 20 May which at the least was making her mother happy.

Janice Harper in UK

Tony Armstrong, currently based in Alsancak, and organiser of the Wednesday Bridge Club said that this bridge club was formed over 25 years ago and play a Chicago movement. Members play with multiple partners throughout the session. It’s a relaxed, friendly atmosphere and you do not require a partner to play. Newcomers and beginners are all welcome and we play at Sammy’s Hotel in Girne. If you’d like to come along after the lockdown finishes please e-mail him at harry19620615@virginmedia.com or telephone 0533 835 4288.

Janice Harper currently marooned in Devon UK said “Playing bridge online with my Cyprus friends has been such a wonderful, positive experience.  It’s great to have a focus and purpose to the mundane life in quarantine. I have been back in England for just over 4 weeks,  with no end in sight, so my weekly bridge games keep me connected to my home in the TRNC.

A big thank you to Colin Pearson for all his hard work and organisation”.

 

League Results at 20th April 2020