Due to the pandemic restrictions, all live bridge events have been canceled. As result, several organisations were created to run online events. In this article we introduce you the ALT INVITATIONAL World Class Online Bridge Events.
“The ALT events are invitational events. The original idea behind the ALT was to organise tournaments with world class players on BBO to provide an opportunity for top level bridge and potentially creating an income for professional players during corona. Furthermore the ALT wanted to give a chance to all the bridge enthusiasts isolated in their homes to be entertained by world class bridge.” (ALT Mixed IV BULLETIN 1 • Tuesday, October 6, 2020)
A brief history of ALT
“The ALT concept was invented by Paul Street early in March 2020 as an alternative for the cancelled Columbus Nationals. As far as I know, it was the first serious, world-class, online bridge event. Jan van den Hoek, a bridge afficionado (and lawyer) who had already built a solid name for himself in The Netherlands and Europe, took up organizing the matches. Van den Hoek, with the help of Sjoert Brink, did, and has done, a brilliant job, attracting world stars to the Alts. Alts are now played about every other week (e.g., Minor, Major, Mixed, Montrealt). The events last for five days in a row, starting with a round robin, then quarterfinals, semifinals and final. Most Alts come with a lively Daily Bulletin, with Christina Lund Madsen as the editor and with contributions by well-known journalists such as Mark Horton and Toine van Hoof.” (Jan van Cleeff, September 2020 IBPA Bullettin)
ALT page: https://alt.bridgeresults.org/
ALT Bulletins: https://bid72.com/events/
ALT Bulletin can be also found at http://www.bridgedailybulletins.nl/index.php/en/
COLUMBUS ALT (First ALT Event): https://tournify.nl/live/columbusalt
ALT events are played on BBO – BridgeBaseOnline and Kibitzers are allowed.
How to kibitz the Alt tournaments on BBO
“Even though the Alt is not broadcasted via the BBO Vugraph, you can still watch any of your favourites. You simply search for your favorite player’s nickname and join his or her table. If you wish to watch the players whenever they are online, you search for your chosen one (fx Cecilia Rimstedt “Cillar”, click on the name and choose ’follow’ instead of neutral. Any time you see her online, you can click on her and take a seat at her table. See you on BBO! “(ALT Bulletins)
ALT & CAT – As Boye Brogeland wrote on BridgeWinners: “Sjoert Brink, one of the organizers of the ALT events, contacted quite a few players who he trusted and asked for help to make the ALT tournaments credible. He could see that there was cheating going on and wanted to make fair tournaments.” So, ALT follows the advice of Crendential Advisory Team (CAT): “First and foremost, CAT deals with ALT and OCBL invitational tournaments. The organisers of those events have agreed to follow our advice in its entirety […] We seek to support a level of integrity in the interests of all participants and followers of these tournaments. Our team works hard to analyse suspicious play and results. If we believe the evidence across many hands reaches a level that justifies the relevant player not receiving an invitation, we inform the organisers.Our goal is that participants in ALT and OCBL events have a reasonable level of assurance that steps are taken by the organisers, in so far as possible, to ensure a level playing field for all participants and that the result of their events can be regarded as meaningful.” (Boye Brogeland, BridgeWinners.com, July 14-16, 2020)
The Second Chance – ALT Statement: “A player who has not been welcome due to violation of our CoC will now have the opportunity to play again in our world class online events on the following condition: The player has to declare that he/she has violated the ethical conducts of bridge during online matches with the risk of influencing the results of the match/tournament. The player must agree to make such a statement in the ALT bulletin – a statement for the ALT organisers alone is not sufficient. The ALT provides the player with a second chance by revoking the non-invite decision, effective the next tournament after the statement made by that player. Should the player once again violate the ethical conducts of bridge (including online bridge), the player will not be allowed back ever.” (ALT Mixed IV BULLETIN 1 • Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – Full Text).