April 2016 English Bridge
OUR COURT case last year had the effect of
producing media interest. For those of you
interested in what is happening I can only tell you we
are stuck in a legal quagmire awaiting a decision on
how and whether we will be able to proceed. At some
future point people will wonder at the argument and
how it was not clear that promoting a game which
helps with social inclusion and stimulating mental
activity could ever be in any doubt.
STAY LEGAL IN THAILAND!
Policemen in the Thai town of Pattaya found a
different way of generating publicity. They turned
up in considerable numbers to arrest the
participants in an afternoon duplicate at the local
club. There were various possible offences including
breaching gambling laws and when that failed there
was an obscure Thai law concerning the possession
of more than 120 playing cards (fairly clear that
whoever drafted that had no idea of the number of
cards in a deck). Happily the immediate
incarceration of the players ended reasonably
quickly but it gave the press a good day ridiculing the
policemen who conducted the raid.
Lest we think that this can only happen a long way
away the early days of duplicate bridge in England
were also affected with the police turning up to raid
the Harrogate Congress in 1935 and it wasn't until
the 1960s that it was accepted that duplicate bridge
was not a gambling game.
I rather hope the police won't be turning up to
stop the Summer Congress at its new venue at
Eastbourne in August (p23). We very much hope our
new venue will not only be a pleasant one but also
more cost effective for our members so I look
forward to seeing you at our premier congress this
year especially if you haven't been for a while. It is
still a few months away, but it is a good idea to get
accommodation sorted at what should be cheaper
rates than in Brighton. The event will feature a
Seniors midweek event, a Really Easy congress (p15)
and some shorter events (p52), hopefully appealing
to a cross section of the membership. Full details on
Early bird sessions will make travel home
afterwards a realistic proposition for those who
AND FOR OUR YOUNGER MEMBERS . . .
Attention if you are a junior! The editor of Bridge
Magazine has made a generous offer of a year's free
subscription to the magazine for all EBU junior
members. If you want to take advantage look at the
EBU youth pages at www.ebu.co.uk/node/2294.
This is a good moment to say thank you to a
couple of sponsors for our juniors. They don't want
to be named publicly but have been most generous
in assisting the EBU support its junior teams. The
number of junior members has gone up in the last
year but we still need to increase the flow of those
learning bridge or minibridge at a young age. There
are areas of the country where there is a culture of
teaching juniors and involving them in the game.
This is led by volunteers who give up a lot of time
and devote their expertise to making it happen.
Sadly there are areas of England where not a lot
happens in this regard and it can be hard work to
get something started and even harder work to keep
it going. Our sister charity EBED has a project to
increase the amount of teaching of junior bridge.
This can take place at schools but there are many
competing demands on staff and student time.
Some clubs have been successful at introducing a
programme for juniors and welcoming them to the
club. I recall playing in a league as a university
student. The league organiser wanted to ensure that
no university students took part. Fortunately there
aren't too many like him and most would positively
like more young people to participate. If you are on
your club committee perhaps you can raise it as a
topic - the promotion of our fantastic game to a
wider audience. r
Challenging the law by Jeremy Dhondy
From the Chairman
From the Chairman
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