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Silver points are earned in tournament play - at "Sectional" tournaments.  Each bridge Unit (including San Diego Units) is required to have a Sectional tournament at least every two years, although most Units have several each year.  Units are allowed to have two Open Sectionals each year (where anyone of any experience can play); these usually have a limited masterpoint section within the tournament for advancing players (or a "499er Section" for each pairs game).   Most Units also have two "limited masterpoint" or "Non-Life Master" tournaments each year.  Although there are no Open players allowed at these limited masterpoint events, they are still "stratified". . .meaning a 499er game could have stratifications of 0-100, 100-300, and 300-NLM (up to 500 masterpoints).  This way even the most inexperienced of players can play against players of their own level.  For some bridge players, silver points are the hardest to get. . .for others, they get the 50 silver points they need for Life Master early on!  Remember - you can only get silver points at Sectional tournaments (not Regionals), and three times a year you can earn them during STAC Tournaments at your local club.


Red points are earned primarily at Regional Tournaments, although you can earn some red points at the Club level.  At Regionals, red points are awarded for single-session events or most limited masterpoint games at these Regionals.  At the club level, you can earn red points at games that are qualifying games for the North American Pairs (these games run during June, July, and August if your club holds them) - and also for team play in the Grand Nationals Teams games (they run in the winter and spring months, again, if your club holds them).  There are also some special event games, like the Worldwide Pairs, that award some red points.  When it comes to tournaments, red points are awarded only at Regionals - and are not awarded at Sectionals.


Gold points are earned at Regional Tournaments, although you can earn gold points at the Club level two times a year:  there is an "instant matchpoint game" held once a year, and if your club participates in this game it awards one gold point to the overall winner of each direction in that game (in other words, the winning North/South pair get 1.00 gold point, as do the winning East/West pair).  You can also earn gold points at your club during October, which is Club Appreciation Month, when team games are held.  Those games award 5% gold masterpoints, which is really more like gold "dust" than anything else, but it can add up!  And every bit of gold helps.  Like red points, gold points are NOT awarded at Sectionals.  If you're serious about gold points, you'll need to play in Regionals.  You can learn more about getting gold points at the Regional tournaments by clicking here.