Tournament Focus: Autumn 2012

Meet Gordon Rainsford


Most readers will know that Max Bavin, who has been the Chief TD of the EBU for over a quarter of a century, is retiring from the EBU this month – although he will continue in his roles for the European Bridge League, and for the World Bridge Federation whose Head TD he is. His place at the EBU will be taken by Gordon Rainsford, who has been its Assistant Chief TD for the last eighteen months.

Gordon first joined the EBU panel of tournament directors only about seven years ago, but rapidly became well known on the tournament circuit and rose through the ranks to become a National TD. This has all been due to his great expertise and skill as a TD, which eventually led to being appointed Assistant Chief TD. He has also been the full-time manager of the Young Chelsea Bridge Club during most of that time, prior to which he was a part-time TD at various London bridge clubs, while being a self-employed photographer.

When he directed at Richmond Bridge Club, Bridgemates were tried out while they were still at an experimental stage, and so Gordon was one of the first directors in the country to use them (owning up to having had more than his fair share of technical disasters!) He has been primarily responsible for popularising Web Mitchell movements in England, which allow large numbers of tables to be in a section without having un-played board-sets; and he has introduced timers displayed on computer monitors into most of the EBU’s tournaments, to help players keep to time.

Gordon says he is looking forward to the challenge of the new job, but is very conscious of what a hard act it will be to follow Max Bavin, who really is the ultimate authority when it comes to directing. Fortunately Max is going to continue in a consultant role for the EBU, and there is a helpful & knowledgeable group of senior TDs that Gordon can rely on for advice. Gordon’s final word on his new job is “I can’t believe how lucky I have been to be in the right place at the right time. After all, it’s twenty-five years since this job last came up!”