"Promoting Real Bridge in a Virtual World" - Developed by Mark and Anna Newton (married 20th March 2024)

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Running Sims with a Virtual Club through BBO

ECatsBridge "virtual" Simultaneous Pairs

At the moment, club events are set up on BBO, and now RealBridge, StepBridge and Bridge Club Live are also able to run them which is marvellous!

So for club heat organisers, this is how it happens ! I know it looks a lot to read through but it's not difficult, truly ! Mark and I are on hand to help if you get in a muddle !


Uploading the LIN file to BBO

Click here for details of how to do this. The practice file which you can download from the link below contains 21 boards, but different events will have differing numbers of boards and you will be given that information when you are sent the relevant file.


Getting the results to us as an XML.

Many of you will already know by now how you can get the XML file from BBO so that you can import it into BridgeWebs, and you may also have a “translation” method yourselves for getting the right names instead of the nicknames (see below for what to do if you are not able to get the real names in).

In that case all we need is the XML file sent to results@simpairs.com. But PLEASE NOTE ...The ESSENTIAL bit there is that the subject of the email must only be the SESSION NUMBER and your country – so it would look like

9999 England

and must not contain anything else – no other files, no messages, nothing else in the subject line ...

This is the convertor whichs should get you the XML files from BBO - you can find it here: https://mirgo2.co.uk/bboextractor/


Please PLEASE PLEASE have a trial run

Please try a test before the event to make sure you are quite happy with the way it all works, some of our code on the servers has been adapted so it will help us make sure all is OK.

The best way is to download our practice "set" which you can do by clicking here. This file contains a LIN file of 21 boards, plus a set of the hand records and a commentary, so you can upload the file, your members can play the boards and be sent the commentary and then you can find and upload the XML file beinng sure to follow these instrucitons:

Attach the XML file that you produce from your BBO results ( the one that you upload to Bridgewebs ) to an email to results@simpairs.com with a subject of the session number and the country of your club ( this information is not normaly in the XML file ) so for example if your club is from England and you were sending a set of test results the subject line would be - 9999 England. Please don't attach any other files or add any message to the email as our system is fully automatic and we don't normally see these emails. If you need to contact us about anything please email us at anna@ecats.co.uk.

Testing can be done any time and is just a case of sending in some results to results@simpairs.com as you would for the 'real' event but using our permenant test session number of 9999

If all is well it will appear here: https://www.simpairs.com/clubs.asp?session=009999. It’s better to give it a try than get in a muddle at the time so please give it a test first.


Real names instead of BBO nicknames

If you aren’t able to get the “real names” in, we will need a list of the players, with their nicknames, their real names and their EBU/WBU/SBU numbers and we can do it for you – if that’s the case please click here to download the file to fill in and send to anna@ecats.co.uk

The Charity donation

We ask each player for at least £3 ... but if they can make it more that would be great as we want to raise a much money as we possibly can. The club can collect the donations if they want or, if it is easier then the players can send them directly to us - click here for details of how to send in the funds, whether you have collected it as a club or whether individuals are going to send it

Playing with robots :

Yes, a player may play with a robot but ONLY if they are doing so for the whole session. What we can’t have is someone playing with their “real” partner for half the session and a robot for the other half – after all if it was face-to-face bridge at your club, players don’t switch partners half way through! This would be really difficult to cope with as one of those players would have two sets of results, so we ask the TDs not to let it happen please.

Kibitzers :

I understand that you can set the parameters so that kibitzers are not permitted – please note that for this event kibitzers are NOT allowed.

Number of Boards and how they will be sent

At the moment I am not sure how many boards there will be in the set, but I will advise this when I send the files out - a LIN file will be sent to you the week before and you will need to upload it for the session you are playing. Instructions on how to do that can be found by clicking here. Once again, practice is the key so please give it a trial run.

The best way is to download our practice "set" which you can do by clicking here

UMS file to the EBU

It is important also for the English clubs at the end to send your UMS file to the EBU – don’t forget that will you ? Remember for Children in Need that the EBU very generously waive the Pay to Play fee but for any other events you will need to pay it.

Overall Master Points -

The “normal” overall masterpoints will be awarded to members of the EBU, SBU and WBU, and I will send them off as normal when we finalise the event. However, the January Charity pairs are not licenced so points will not be awarded.


When can my club play ?

For most of our events, there are different hands each day so you can choose the day you want and we will send you the appropriate file - then all we ask is :

  • That you help us by making sure you don’t put the hands up on Bridgewebs or any other site until the evening when our frequencies appear.
  • That you ask the members playing not to play the hands again at a different virtual club that day if you are playing in the morning or afternoon

But most of all, enjoy the event !