Stepbridge Australia Bridge Club Inc
Australian Internet Bridge Club

2018 President's Report

Dear Stepbridge Members,

I am pleased to report that the current committee members have recommitted to SBAU. They are as follows:

President: Richard Lawrie
Admin Secretary: Maureen Sarah Anwar
Treasurer: David Adams
Masterpoint Secretary: Antonina Hayles
Public Officer: Eric Taylor
Committee:  Brenda McClean
Committee:  Kevin Kendell
Committee:  Mardi Hogarth

My report sent to you outlines our future path so I won’t bore you again with details. I am keen to improve the experience of players on Stepbridge, but it is not something I can do alone, it requires a concerted effort from all our players. Stepbridge operates under the rules and regulations of bridge and the alerting procedures apply. It is not necessary to alert self-alerting bids, i.e. cue bids, Xs, XXs and all bids over 3NT except artificial 4 or 5 level openings, but if requested please provide an explanation. You can download the rules and regulations from these websites. In addition, if you commit to play, you are obliged to complete the tournament. You wouldn’t walk out of a local Bridge Club match. Penalties may apply. 

Alerting is one of the most complained about issues on Step. Most of the errors that occur in club bridge are avoided on Step, e.g. exposed cards, play out of turn and so on, but to be fair to our opponents they deserve to know what your system is and you should alert anything that cannot reasonably be understood. All agreements must be fully available and fully disclosed. You cannot expect players to peruse your card and be aware. Give a brief description when warranted and when asked. In addition, appropriate ethics between players enhances the experience.

Please read the following. 

Further, players have stated they have been disadvantaged as a result of delays in play. This comes about for a number of reasons - lost connections, delays in Director responding to a request, (Directors can be overwhelmed with issues resulting in a delay), players themselves taking excessive time and thereby disadvantaging their opponents. Players may also refuse to be cooperative with opponents in providing alerts and in describing their bids and thereby create delays. It is not possible to make accommodation for every eventuality. In situations where players become uncooperative and/or refuse to give timely explanation on request, then Directors have the authority to make score adjustments so that the affected players are not disadvantaged. Importantly, call the Director ASAP. Directors will try as much as possible to make the necessary time adjustments to ensure players are not significantly disadvantaged as a result of circumstance beyond their control.

Finally, I ask that you respect the decisions of our Directors. You are entitled to ask for a review when you believe you are disadvantaged, but the Director’s decision is final. If you have a complaint, please make it later and do not get into arguing your case. It becomes unpleasant and spoils the game for partners and opponents. If you feel players are acting inappropriately for whatever reason, then call the Director and explain privately your concerns. For example, a failure to alert and failure to fully explain when asked. Don’t demand an explanation as it may lead to unnecessary verbal conflict. It also uses up valuable playing time.

With your help and cooperation, Stepbridge will be enjoyed by all and be something to look forward to.

Happy Bridging!

Thank you for your attention.

Yours Sincerely,


Richard Lawrie

Stepbridge Australia Bridge Club Inc

P: 03 5222 3238     E:   
Stepbridge Australia Bridge Club Inc

Which Bids must be Alerted


1. Artificial Bids (sometimes called ‘Conventional Bids’) where the bidder is not showing a willingness to play in that denomination (it can be either a suit or NT). For example:


a) 2♣ or 2♦ opening which promises a big hand

b) Waiting or negative responses to the strong 2♣ or 2♦ opening

c) 2♦ response to Simple Stayman

d) All responses to Extended Stayman

e) Transfers after partner opens 1NT

f) Transfer acceptances if the NT opener is playing super-accepts 

g) 2NT opening which shows 5+ in both minors and 6-9pts

h) A jump response that is weak and non-forcing e.g. 1♦ – 2♥ showing 0-5pts and 6 hearts 

i) All Bergen raises and 4th suit forcing 

j) A forcing 1NT response in a 2/1 system

k) A bid in a ‘Pass or Correct’ sequence, e.g. 1NT - 2♠ - 3♣ - ? 2♠ is a transfer to a minor, the NT bidder doesn’t know which minor his partner holds          but must bid 3♣ and his partner will Pass with clubs or Correct to 3♦ with diamonds. 

2. Natural bids which have a different meaning from that commonly expected. For example:

a) 1♦ - 2♦ which shows 5 card diamond support and 10+ points (Inverted minors)

b) 1♣ - 3♣ which shows 5 card club support and 6-9 points (Inverted minors)

c) 1♥ - 3♥ which shows 4 card heart support and 0-5 points (Bergen Raises)