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Memories of Gold Coast 2000

by David Stevenson


Contents Contents:



Memories of Gold Coast (1)

I have made my way across Australia from Canberra, surviving mosquitoes in Brisbane and wombats in Victoria, a monorail in Sydney, trams in Melbourne and a steam train in NSW, to reach the Gold Coast with many stories already! I visited a cat in Darra - and he bit me!

I helped run a Congress in Yarra Bay, Melbourne with Martin Willcox. I found that threatening the players that if they did not behave I would set Uncle Martin on them was very effective!

At Roma Street, Brisbane, there was an announcement over the tannoy: "Attention all railway staff: please remove your finger from your radio button". It amused the passengers! If you want a little game, try finding platform 14 at Flinders Street, Melbourne. It is nowhere near platform 13, and it is not even in the main station - no signs, they keep it a secret!

I told someone that I was directing here as well as at Canberra: he thought, then said "They must be very short of Directors". Thanks a bunch! My hostess in Melbourne burnt the toast - in a toaster! When I asked how, she said "It was too light, so I toasted it again."

Actually, she surprised me when I played with her at Waverley BC. I did a weak jump overcall in hearts, the opponents played in game, missing a routine slam, and after the hand she said "You had four hearts!". "Yes," I said, "but how did you know?" "I counted!" she said. At the end of the session she admitted that she had difficulty finding our name on the results list. "Why?" I asked. "I always start at the bottom and work up" she admitted, shamefacedly!

I finally decided the heat must be getting to me when I tried to get in the driver's side of a car. "Don't you drive on the same side?" I was asked. "Yes," I replied, "but not when I am overseas."



Ron Defends

Some people have been asking me whether I can play this game as well as direct. Well, judge for yourselves! Last time I played at the Young Chelsea, London's most prestigious duplicate club, I scored 23% with a British junior international! Anyway, playing with my great friend Ron Higgins, this was our defence:

S KQJ762
C J3
[ ] S A54
H 762
D A763
C 764

North opened 1S, 2H from South, raised to 3H, 4NT, 5C from RHO, 6H, partner led C5, J, 4, 9. Dummy leads the SK and you intelligently deduce the void from the two aces. You duck, and declarer and partner follow small, partner showing three cards. Whoops!

Declarer now leads a small spade from dummy, small, ruff, small, then he leads the DJ, 9 (= even number), K, your turn. What do you do to avoid making a total prat of yourself?

Click here for solution



The Road to the Gold Coast

Tony Jackman has asked me to tell you about myself, so here is a potted history. I live near Liverpool, in England, UK, with my wife, Liz, and two Siamese cats, Quango and Nanki Poo. I am a Grand Master in England, having won the Grand Masters Pairs (our top pairs competition) twice, plus various other National events.

I am the Senior Consultant Tournament Director of the English Bridge Union, and the Chief Tournament Director of the Welsh Bridge Union. These grand titles are all very well, but what it means is that I am a big fish in a small pond in Wales, and in England they respect my ability with the Laws but think others may be better than me at organisation.

As I developed as a Director I found a talent for understanding the Laws and communicating them to other people. I have made friends and contacts around the world through the Internet. Directing opportunities in England and Wales are limited, so I have been looking overseas for more experience.

I have directed at a small friendly invitation tournament in Denmark. I also played with Liz, and won our first tournament after twenty-three years of marriage! Next year I directed and played again, with less playing success. In 1999 I was asked to direct in Warsaw at the European Pairs Championships (despite not having the European qualification because of English politics {spit)) and also a Russian invitation event. When I arrived in Moscow I found I had been put in charge of the event despite knowing no Russian! The players attempted to bully me (as they had my predecessors) but I managed to say "nyet" frequently enough!

I have also served on the Tournament Appeals Committee at the World Championships in Lille. I contribute to the ABDA's Directors Bulletin and comment on North American Appeals Committee decisions in their case- books. I have re-written a booklet called Duplicate Bridge Rules Simplified. I have developed an extensive web site including a large section on the Laws of Bridge. I am one of the most prolific contributors to the influential Bridge-Laws mailing list.

Eventually I offered my services to Tony Jackman here at the Gold Coast Congress and John Scudder at the Summer Festival. To my surprise and pleasure both accepted so I am spending seven weeks in Australia, the first three with my wife, and so far it is great and I have met many wonderful people. I have seen Canberra, Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Brisbane and Melbourne (including helping to direct small events in Brisbane and Melbourne), been on two steam trains, and have visited trotting, a casino, a zoo, a nature reserve, two ferries, a monorail, two trams, played in two bridge clubs, lost a private match by 1 imp and traveled on as many trains as I can fit in!



Memories of Gold Coast (2)

Laurie is an excellent Chief Director, and nearly everything works for him. However, he tried to run up a down escalator - the score is Escalator 1, Laurie 0 !

I find many people do not keep their hands in the air after calling for the Director, which reminds me of Guillermo Poplawsky, a fine Director from Mexico, who says at such times: "Sorry, I can't see your voice."

What do you need to be a good Director? The ability of an eel to get between tables, the hide of a rhinoceros, the stamina of a camel, the tenacity of a bulldog and the charm of a baby koala - a very strange animal!

Nice to see Tim Seres here, one of the really great players. He played once in a team in Sydney in an event where three novices rotate in a team with one expert player. His team asked their friends in another team what their expert was like. "Ours is a VERY good player," they said, "whenever we make the least mistake he always tells us in detail: what about yours?" "He is very nice," they said about Tim, "but he can't be any good: he never mentions our mistakes."

I gave one ruling in the Pairs Final, which involved reopening the bidding and various complexities. However, it was all a waste of time: both pairs had played the board the round before (someone forgot to move the board) but neither noticed!


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