EBU online competitions with Funbridge start on 2nd September. We hope the following FAQ are useful - if there are any other questions you need answered please get in touch.
- How do the competitions work?
- When do the competitions take place?
- How much does it cost?
- Who can take part?
- Can I earn Master Points if I do well?
- Are there any other benefits of playing?
- Do the games count towards the NGS?
- What do I need to do to play?
- What measures are in place to stop 'cheating'?
- What other features are linked to the game?
- What does the Funbridge platform look like?
- What else does Funbridge offer?
The competitions will use Funbridge's 'Federation Tournaments' feature.
You will play 20 boards, and these will be available for you to play throughout the day. You can stop and restart as often as you like - you don't need to play all 20 boards in a single sitting. The competition starts at midnight, and finishes at 10pm later that day - so you will be able to see the final results before you go to bed.
You will partner another 'robot player' against a pair of robot players. As you will have a robot partner you can play 'on your own' and don't need to make arrangements to play with another human.
As you are competing against the same robotic opponents as everyone else, you will be able to compare your results with the others in the competition.
You can choose the system you play with your robot partner, and can choose to play Acol - unlike other platforms which are set up only for American systems - so it's ideal for British bridge players. Your robotic opponents always play the same system against you, however - "5-card major at intermediate level" (you can see of the features of this system when you look at your own system options).
The competition is scored by Match Points.
At present they will take place every Saturday and Sunday.
They start at midnight and finish at 10pm, i.e. you can play
- 00:00:01 on Saturday to 21:59:59 on Saturday
- 00:00:01 on Sunday to 21:59:59 on Sunday
You don't have to play all the boards in one go, so you could play some over breakfast, some in the afternoon, and the final few before you go to bed.
Each game costs €2 (by charging you in Euros we can charge less than £2).
You can buy credits for multiple games at once (see below), so if you are using a card which charges a foreign transaction fee you need only pay this once, rather than for every game you play.
The competitions are open to everyone, though you will need an EBU number if you wish to earn Master Points (see below).
Yes, you can! Master Points will be awarded to any EBU Members, and to members of those unions with which the EBU has an agreement (though we understand that Scotland does not recognise Master Points earned in online games). Anyone who wishes to take part, and who doesn't have an EBU number, should contact us so an EBU number can be allocated for the purposes of collecting Master Points for submission to their home union.
If the chance to play bridge, the thrill of the competition, and the chance to win Master Points aren't enough...then no. Sorry, but there are no cash prizes. Playing does not give you membership of the EBU through Universal Membership, and existing members cannot earn Magazine Points through these online games.
No, they don't.
The competitions take place on Funbridge, a platform which enables you to both play, and watch, bridge.
Funbridge can be downloaded to your desktop/laptop, or you can download the app for you table/smartphone - it is available for both iOS and Android.
Using a desktop/laptop
To download Funbridge go to https://www.funbridge.com/en/index and click on 'Play bridge' this will start the download process, and the following screen will give you instructions as to how to complete the download process.
When you open the software it will prompt you to log-in, or set up an account. The latter can be done in the traditional way, or by using your Facebook account. If you already have a Funbridge account you can use this to log-in.
Pick a bidding system
You will then be asked to pick a bidding system. You should pick from the numerous systems which are available, but then once your account is established you can change your system using the option in your personal settings. Funbridge is one of the few platforms offering robots which can play Acol.
Your robotic opponents always play the same system against you - "5-card major at intermediate level" (you can see of the features of this system when you look at your own system options).
Once your account is established you will receive a number of free deals which you could use to practice and get a feel for the platform, and make any tweaks to your system.
Where do you find the competitions?
If you click on 'Play a tournament', and then 'Federation tournaments', you will see a list of the NBOs who use Funbridge to host their games. Depending on when you look the EBU games may or may not be available - you will certainly see the games hosted on behalf of the French, Swiss and Norwegian Federations.
When the EBU games are available, and you click the icon, the list of competitions will open.
Entering your EBU number
You should enter your EBU number at the top of the page so any Master Points can be credited to you (you will also be prompted if you try to enter a competition without having done this). If you do not have an EBU number, please contact us to be allocated one for this purpose (please note that this may take two-working days; please also give your membership for your home union if appropriate).
If you have not yet purchase credits with Funbridge click 'purchase tournaments'. If you are using the 'desktop' version this will open a page in your web browser where you can buy a certain number of credits. If you are using the app then your purchase will be like other in-app purchases.
There is no discount for buying in bulk, however doing so will save time in future and, depending on how your bank/card company deals with such transactions, you may save on currency fees (though remember as you are paying in € not £ the final bill will likely be cheaper than if the games was set to be £2).
Click 'get registered' next to the competition in which you wish to take part, and you're all set to play once the game starts.
Cheating is very rare in online competitions, however there are things in place to make it harder to do, and to help identify any culprits.
For security purposes the 20 boards you play will be from a larger set of boards which are in play for the competition. You won't play exactly the same set of boards as others. This is to ensure that you cannot share information on your results with those who are yet to play - these games are obviously very different to a regular 'club session' when you all play at the same time.
EBU members must give their EBU number if they wish to earn Master Points. They cannot play twice using the same number so can't 'have another go' if they have a bad results in their first game.
The IP address of each competitor is logged, thus helping to identify any fraudulent activity, should any occur.
No cash prizes are offered, so the incentive to 'cheat' is minimal - we hope people will simply be playing because they enjoy it, and that the chance to compete, and possibly win some Master Points, is sufficient.
There is a replay function so you can see alternative lines of play. There is a chat function, so you can share messages with other players.
Funbridge is bright, clear and easy to use. Please see the screenshots below, but the best way to know is to try it using the free deals which you get for registering.
It also got an excellent review from Laura Porro when she gave her independent review of bridge apps in a recent issue of English Bridge - see here for her review.
There are other tournaments in which you can take part, and a number of different practice options offering various ways to develop your game. There is a fee for purchasing additional deals once you have used the ones you receive free on registration.
Watch live bridge
Funbridge will be an official partner of the World Bridge Championships in Lyon, and will be broadcasting live coverages of matches from the event from 12th - 26th August.
The EBU will also be using Funbridge to show coverage of the finals of the Crockfords Cup on 2nd & 3rd September. More details on the coverage will be available in due course.