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56 English Bridge August 2017


I have today received copies of

the new book on the laws.

Although aware that the book

would be paperback, I do have

concerns about its future


Most books are read through

fairly rapidly on purchase and

then they are read less often - for

many people, books are only ever

read two or three times at most.

However, this book will be used

on a regular basis, often

involving moving backwards and

forwards to find and read the

appropriate law. Each time will

involve stress on the outside

cover and I would not be

surprised if it will not be long

before it starts to fall apart. The

book is supposed to last 10 years,

but this at the moment seems


There is a saying buy cheap,

buy twice - I hope that the EBU

is not falling into or, worse,

deliberately encouraging its

members to fall into, this trap.

John Portwood

I am training to be a

tournament director and have

ordered the new 2017 book of

rules. However, I have been very

disappointed with the quality of

the book. The old (2007) one

was robust and with a hard thick

cover whereas the new one is

paperback and I doubt whether

it will last ten years. In addition,

I felt chagrin at the included

errata: surely proof-reading

should be done before the book

goes to press? Might we get an

explanation from the EBU? I

would rather spend a little more

on a hardy book that is correct.

Alan Richards

I have received a few letters on

this issue. The new format for the

Law Book was chosen after quite a

bit of consultation with our TDs

and with countries abroad that

have had different formats.

The main intention was to

make it easy to carry around in a

pocket, which the old one was not,

so that TDs would always have it

to hand, as they should.

It was primarily modelled on

the Dutch one which has been

very popular in the Netherlands

over the last ten years and we

ensured that the pages were sewn

rather than just glued so that they

shouldn't fall out even with quite

heavy use. It should also be fine to

open them fully so that they stay

open where you are reading.

When it comes to the type-face,

this is exactly the same as in the

previous book and while the

section headers are slightly smaller

type, the main body itself is

precisely the same size though

slightly more generously spaced, so

I don't think it should provide any

greater difficulty in reading. We

also now have the return of the

Contents pages at the front,

missing in the last editions, which

most TDs find very useful for

finding the right law and

following the flow of the laws.

In the past each new book has

had a different colour (the 1997

ones being blue while the 1987

ones were green, both of which

had popular soft editions).

However, having the text available

to download freely from our

website in various forms means

that with modern printing

capabilities anyone can print it for

themselves in the format they


The contents of the laws

themselves are not produced by

the EBU but by the WBF for the

whole world and while we did

manage to alert them to a couple

of typographical errors there were

a couple of other very minor ones

that slipped past our proofreaders.

The WBF has also

subsequently made a change to

Law 26 so we will have to issue a

correction notice for this, but I do

think it is better to accept this

minor inconvenience than to

choose an inferior law.

Gordon Rainsford

Chief Tournament Director


With regard to Mike Leach's

letter (June 2017, p52), I know of

another dual international at the

two sports. Sri Lankan Ashantha

de Mel,

played 17 Test Cricket matches

from 1982-86, performing

serviceably with 59 wickets. He

also represented Sri Lanka at the

Commonwealth Nations Bridge

Championship in Manchester,

Kieran Dyke

Send your letters to the editor,

Lou Hobhouse, Raggett House, Bowdens, TA10 0DD, or e-mail

(please include your postal address)

The editor reserves the right to condense letters. Publication does not mean the

EBU agrees with the views expressed or that the comments are factually correct.




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