DEC_08_EB_p38 Dubrovnik 13/11/08 5:33 pm Page 34
Bridge congress in
The following deal from the Swiss Teams Town took about an hour, from which
would be worthy of a place in David Bird’s could be seen the old buildings below, the
Bidding Quiz: new town and out to sea several islands.
Roy Garthwaite Below was a cathedral, a Franciscan mona-
stery, several churches, a tiny synagogue,
N/S Gamel. Dealer North. many shops and restaurants. Most of the
THIS year’s EBU autumn overseas congress ♠K3 restaurants specialised in fish – especially
took place in Dubrovnik, the southern- ♥K5 shellfish and risottos. Unlike Luxor, there
most city in Croatia. ♦KQJ6 was no hassle from the shopkeepers and
The medieval city of Dubrovnik has a ♣ K Q 10 8 7 from the restaurants only polite requests to
history dating back well over a thousand ♠ Void ♠9654 enjoy their offerings.
years. At its height in the sixteenth century ♥ J873 W
♥A62 There was an organised excursion to
it had the third largest merchant fleet in ♦ A 10 9 7 3 2 S ♦854 Ston, another fortified town, famous for
the world. Marshal Tito, with his fairly soft ♣ 653 ♣942 its saltpans and for its oyster and mussel
communist regime, kept the various Slav ♠ A Q J 10 8 7 2 beds. Another was south to Montenegro.
states together as Yugoslavia but following ♥ Q 10 9 4 For those who did not wish to go on the
his death in 1980 civil unrest grew. Du- ♦ Void organised outings, there were sea trips
brovnik’s population was mainly catholic ♣AJ available from the small harbour adjacent
Croatians but there was a significant Serb to the Old Town. In addition to the trips to
minority. Croatia declared its independence the various islands there was a regular
in 1989. The city was shelled by the Serbs One pair fell on their feet with this ‘bull in boat service to and from Cavtat, a lovely
in 1991-92. Thanks to local efforts and a China shop’ auction but they could have seaside resort which could also be reached
international aid, the city and in particular had two heart losers: by bus from Dubrovnik.
the walled Old Town has been restored to On this occasion there was no formal
its former beauty North South farewell gala dinner. Instead there was the
The congress hotel was the excellent five 1♣ 2♠ opportunity to have dinner at a lovely
star Excelsior with magnificent sea views, 4NT 6♦ restaurant featuring working waterwheels
recently reopened after a refurbishment 6♠ All Pass in a lovely setting up in the mountains.
costing 22 million euros. An alternative If you have not been to Dubrovnik, I
hotel, the three-star Lero, was offered but 4NT was Roman Key-Card Blackwood recommend that you do so. The country-
unfortunately this hotel was not within The 6♦ bid was not anticipated: it showed side is beautiful, the locals are courteous,
walking distance to the Excelsior. Although two aces and a void in diamonds and was and whilst Croatia depends on the tourist
Mercian laid on transport between the looking for the grand if North had the ace trade, it has not been subjected to high rise
hotels before and after each session, some of hearts. hotels and over-development.
considered that the separation reduced the We were very fortunate
social side of the congress. with the weather. The average
This was the first overseas congress to maximum temperatures
benefit from the inclusion of players from quoted in the guide books
the local club. Although not all playing at for October are about 18
the same time, a total of twenty Croatians degrees, but for us the sun
played and a team of six finished in the shone everyday from break-
middle in the Swiss Teams. Hugh Brewster fast until sundown and the
and Beng Richards, two of our members (in temperature was in the mid-
Photo: Peter Jordan
the picture, with Hugh wearing his ‘Dubrov- 20s. One regret: although we
nik Bridge Club’ shirt), flew the flag for us were in Dalmatia, we did not
one evening by winning the duplicate at the spot a spotted dog!
Dubrovnik club. The EBU team of Peter
One EBU member always appeared and Barbara Jordan, David
dressed as a cowboy. It was noticeable that The Old Town, which was only a ten minute and Marilyn Jones, and Neil and Winnie
in the Swiss events, he was the quickest on walk from the Excelsior, was fascinating. A Morley ensured that this friendly congress
the draw! walk round the walls encircling the Old ran smoothly.
34 English Bridge December 2008 www.ebu.co.uk