Paul Gibbons

I learnt to play bridge from a book by Terrance Reese when I was about 9. I played with a group of friends some of whose parents played. At secondary school I played in the school team but we never got further than the semi-finals of the Schools Cup. 

In the decade from starting university I hardly played any bridge, being too busy trying to change the world. I had a career in IT and I started playing again in local clubs in my 30s. Gradually I played more and more serious bridge. I took up tournament directing at club and some time later at county level because I wanted it to be done well for the players. I must have succeeded in that aim because I got asked to join the EBU TD Panel. I had just retired from my day job and it was a new intellectual challenge.

In bridge administration I joined the committee of Kent Contract Bridge Association. It is pretty much inevitable that most of those who give their time to bridge administration are drawn from amongst the better players. Most of the discussions on the Committee related to areas of interest to the better players. I had a big battle to transform the County’s premier pairs competition which could not fill a 13-table final with good players into over 50 tables of semi-finals with plenty of people who had never played in a county event before. Kent has now also started running the online 9-High events for the EBU bringing more ordinary members into EBU competitions.

I want to ensure that the EBU remains relevant to the vast majority of bridge players in England and thereby has the resources to expand the number of players.