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August 2017 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

G

ordon Rainsford has been England's Chief

Tournament Director for nearly five years

and is a familiar face at many of the major

tournaments played in this country. He sometimes

manages to play a little too! Gordon has been

appointed the new General Manager of the EBU,

replacing Barry, so let's quiz him about his bridge

and his plans for the role:

When did you first take up bridge?

I played rubber bridge at home with my family

when I was a teenager living in Kenya, and

remember supplementing my pocket-money

playing with my grandmother against her friends. I

played for a few years when I was at school in the

1970s but then stopped completely until I was in my

mid-thirties. I knew that when I took up the game

again it would take over my life, and it has.

How did bridge become a career rather than a hobby?

It sneaked up on me gradually! Helping to run

small bridge clubs, trying to teach people to play

and eventually running the Young Chelsea Bridge

Club before joining the staff of the EBU.

Tell us about the highs and lows of your time as Chief

Tournament Director.

It's a pleasure whenever players tell us they've

enjoyed one of our events and thank us. The

international cheating scandals a couple of years

ago were a low point for the world of bridge. And I

do find it disheartening when members resort to

moaning on social media rather than informing us

of problems we can do something about.

What does the General Manager do?

I'm in charge of the staff at Aylesbury and, with

their help, I hope we can be as effective as possible

as a membership organisation. I'm responsible for

the entire organisation including members, clubs,

counties, competitions and internationals and

answerable to the board. I'll work closely with

Donna Wright, the new Chief Executive of EBED,

liaising with her and the EBED staff about

education and teaching matters. Another part of the

GM's job is Data Protection Officer and, with new

legislation coming into effect next year, it is likely to

occupy me a fair bit at the start.

Have you any particular visions for the EBU ?

I'd like to work towards members, volunteers and

staff all feeling the EBU belongs to them and we

should all be working together to promote this great

game of ours. I'll try hard to listen to everyone -

even if I can't always agree with every point made!

How do you like to spend your free time?

My partner Arnaud & I like to travel and our

most recent long trip was to Cuba last Christmas.

I've also been to various European places in the last

few years in my capacity as a European Bridge

League TD and Arnaud often comes to join me for

a few days at the end of the event - we've seen

Tromso, Prague and Budapest like that, and expect

to spend some time in Florence shortly,

I watch quite a lot of things on the television,

usually recorded series such as the Nordic Noir

genre, or we watch box sets all in one go. Versailles

is a current favourite, and it's where Arnaud is from.

What are your highlights as a bridge player?

Winning the Guardian Trophy with Paul Martin,

and winning the Premier Life Masters Pairs three

times in a row with Dom Goodwin. Dom & I were

also in a Young Chelsea team that won the Garden

Cities trophy a few years ago. Maybe I'll get time to

play a bit more again now! r

Gordon Rainsford

And Please Welcome . . .

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