Thursday, 7 August 2008


It’s that time in August when most of the EBU seems to decamp to Brighton for the Summer Congress. I love Brighton, a little seedy but lively and cosmopolitan, lots of places to eat and for the second week in August bridge-players everywhere with those sacred pieces of paper with hands on engaged in that holy ritual “What happened to you on Board 32?”

There’ll be lots of juniors of course. Big Swiss events are great for young and upcoming players because, a couple of good matches and you get the chance to play against the leading stars of our game. In eight board matches anything can happen. It’s pairs this weekend and though I won’t be in Brighton until Sunday, I’ll be following the results carefully to see how all of the Juniors are doing.

It’s an important time especially for the Under 21 Team selected to go to Beijing to play in the Mind Sports Games. They have been preparing assiduously, brushing up systems and making sure their agreements are all tidied up. Look out to see how they get on this weekend. I predict good things for our three pairs:
Ed Jones and Tom Paske
Rob Myers and Ben Paske
Adam Hickman and Dan Macintosh

James Paul and Graeme Robertson are not going to Beijing because of university commitments, but they did well in the European Youth Pairs in Poland recently (finishing 6th) so we can expect them to finish high up as well.

A team of young Dutch players are also preparing for Beijing by coming to Brighton and will play a midweek challenge against our team which is sure to be fun as well as competitive.

Junior Bridge is not just about internationals and high level competition. I’m getting lots of enquiries at the moment about bridge in schools and how the EBU can help. We have good teaching materials and Minibridge is a great way to start even for those as young as seven or eight. If you are involved in a school in any way and think you might be able to start a little group, get in touch and we may be able to get some more young people involved.

The Junior Teach-In in Loughborough is only a few weeks away, but as always there are still some places. Click here for details. Young bridge players are just like their seniors, entries are always left until the last moment. Individuals or groups are welcome and it’s a great opportunity to come along and meet others and enjoy some expert bridge tuition. All standards are catered for from complete beginners to experienced Junior internationals.

I’ve been busy preparing hands for the Autumn Simultaneous Pairs which will be played as minibridge, and as bridge in competitions in Schools and Universities. It’s another chance to get involved so look out for details of that on the EBU website.

Finally are there any university students out there who would like to form a Bridge Club at their university next term or perhaps need some help reviving a club that needs a boost? Let me know and we may be able to help with tuition and advice:-

I’m pretty busy next week at Brighton with TD training during the week and helping with the Swiss Teams at the weekend, but do come and talk to me. I’m free all day Friday so if you’d like a chat drop me an email or leave me a message at EBU reception and we’ll fix a time.