Timings for Eastbourne

The following schedule was proposed for next year.

Proposed times for Eastbourne Summer Meeting 2020
Each weekend:
Friday      7:00pm – 10:30pm    Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 1 (3 matches)
                No staggered start
                11:00pm     Late-night Speedball Pairs 
Saturday    10:00am     Discuss it with an expert (?)
                11:00am – 2:15pm    Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 2 (3 matches) 
                3:15pm  –  7:45pm   Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 3 (4 matches)
                10:00pm             Speedball Teams (first weekend)
Sunday      10:00am     Discuss it with an expert
                11:00am – 7:10pm    Four* Teams final (second weekend, top 16 teams)
                11:00am – 3:30pm    Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 4 (4 matches) 
                7:00pm              Open Pairs and Open Teams (first Sunday)

Midweek evening events to start at 7:00pm, no early bird sessions.

Of those who expressed a view on a feedback form, nearly 80% were in favour of this change.

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Comments

  • I would be interested to know why the staggered start on the Friday is being abandoned. The reasons for the much earlier finish on Saturday is to allow players to dine and drink after the bridge, while it also allow players to commute if they so choose to do so. Why not have it on Friday too, at least for those that want it (and for an early start I would suggest play should finish before 8pm), while retaining the later start for players that prefer it or need it? Is it deemed to make the tournament unfair, because the teams are being forced to play different boards in the two sections, or is there another reason?

  • A couple of comments on the proposed schedule -
    * I think it's likely the Saturday speedball would be unviable; a shame if so, but not something the whole schedule should be built around.
    * A 3.5 hour gap on the Sunday seems excessive. Not sure what's best to do about this; starting earlier than 7pm would make dinner plans problematic, I guess, so I think the options would be - start the swiss slightly later; add an extra match; hold a speedball after the swiss finishes.

  • The staggered start has caused practical problems in both years when it was used, it prevents scoring across the field in the Swiss Pairs and this year the numbers were so tilted towards the early start that it seemed better to go earlier if we were going to have one start time.

  • edited August 2019

    What is the point of having a seaside congress if there is no time to enjoy the sea air at least on the Saturday morning? It's not like Eastbourne restaurants are extraordinary. Are continental seaside tournaments' numbers falling? We are going to Pula next month where bridges starts at 4pm and are thinking of Deauville next year rather than Eastbourne. Carrie Eden.

  • I like the earlier finish on Saturday but would like it even more if it was 7:15 as this really opens up the possibility of an enjoyable evening away from Bridge

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • It is not true that there is nothing to do in Eastbourne on a Saturday morning. Besides the obvious walks, with maybe a stop for coffee, on the beach, along the seafront or on the pier, the shops are now similar to Brighton, without The Lanes of course. The nearby countryside including Beachy Head is more interesting than Brighton. But if you can't live without Brighton it is only just over half an hour away on the train easily doable with the current session timings. In fact on the first Saturday morning you could have done what I and my partner did and watched the Golf Croquet World Championships.

    The proposed revised times would take these mornings away from us. And what options would we have in the evenings after eating? Either join the drinkers discussing the hands or watch TV in our hotel room. I challenge those proposing the new times to say what other alternatives are available. We are in danger of being railroaded by the drinkers into changing the session times to the detriment of most of us.

    If we must give up the mornings then start and finish early enough that the theatre and the cinema become options. As someone else has mentioned both the shows in Eastbourne during this year's Summer Meeting were worth seeing.

    Actually a thought occurs to me that if we can ever have another Congress in Stratford let's organise a bridge, dinner and theatre package. Even if we only got 20 people we could probably get discounts at the RSC and Carluccio's that might bring new people to the Congress.

  • For early finishes 7.45 cuts out the possibility of taking in an evening show. I spoke to a pair this year who played in the second weekend Swiss and were able to take in a play, a musical and the evening concert at the bandstand. The proposed Saturday timing removes this option whilst simultaneously removing the advantages of a later start. I personally think that the earlier timings are the way forward, but a 7pm finish would be better still.

  • I was fine with the Friday and Sunday proposals, but did not like the Saturday timings at all because one would not be eating one's main meal of the day until about 8.30 pm, which is too late for me. I would still want an hour's break between the sessions in order to get some lunch, but if the Saturday timings were brought forward so that play started at 10.15 am or 10.30 am and finished at 7.00 pm or 7.15 pm then I agree that would be significantly better than what is proposed. (However, I am also quite content with the timings as they currently are.)

  • I reiterate in capitals WHAT IS THE POINT OF A SEASIDE CONGRESS IF THERE IS NO TIME TO ENJOY THE SEASIDE? Might as well move summer congress to Coventry and leave the holiday aspect to venues abroad.

  • @18863 said:
    I reiterate in capitals WHAT IS THE POINT OF A SEASIDE CONGRESS IF THERE IS NO TIME TO ENJOY THE SEASIDE? Might as well move summer congress to Coventry and leave the holiday aspect to venues abroad.

    I'm not sure why your view deserves being repeated verbatim, especially in capitals which is generally considered bad manners. But to answer your point, it's certainly possible to enjoy being at the seaside without having to spend the whole morning there during the weekends. And midweek the mornings would be free to do just that. Or you could come early on Friday.

  • I prefer the existing weekend timings to those proposed, but even with the proposed changes I agree with Gordon that there is plenty of time to enjoy being by the sea.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @18863 said:
    I reiterate in capitals WHAT IS THE POINT OF A SEASIDE CONGRESS IF THERE IS NO TIME TO ENJOY THE SEASIDE? Might as well move summer congress to Coventry and leave the holiday aspect to venues abroad.

    I'm not sure why your view deserves being repeated verbatim, especially in capitals which is generally considered bad manners. But to answer your point, it's certainly possible to enjoy being at the seaside without having to spend the whole morning there during the weekends. And midweek the mornings would be free to do just that. Or you could come early on Friday.

    SORRY, bad manners NOT intended; would edit if I knew how. The point about Saturday mornings stands though, as the post lunch start made the event more of a holiday which was nice for working people and families. We used to bring our children to Brighton - The Ship had a child-minding service - and, when they were younger, shared a nanny with another family. When I was much younger, we enjoyed staying up late, playing speedball and then chilling (sometimes literally) on the beach, in the sea or ambling around the lanes. It combined a challenging bridge event with a holiday atmosphere. Early morning starts are fine for some places but for me being shut away in a windowless basement for almost an entire summer's day is just not attractive. I understand that the London Easter and Xmas congresses are planned to start early so why not leave the summer as it is?

  • @18863 said:I understand that the London Easter and Xmas congresses are planned to start early so why not leave the summer as it is?

    The main reason is because it seems to be the overwhelming preference of the players who were there, and one hopes that it might attract some of those were were not.

  • @gordonrainsford said:

    @18863 said:
    I reiterate in capitals WHAT IS THE POINT OF A SEASIDE CONGRESS IF THERE IS NO TIME TO ENJOY THE SEASIDE? Might as well move summer congress to Coventry and leave the holiday aspect to venues abroad.

    I'm not sure why your view deserves being repeated verbatim, especially in capitals which is generally considered bad manners. But to answer your point, it's certainly possible to enjoy being at the seaside without having to spend the whole morning there during the weekends. And midweek the mornings would be free to do just that. Or you could come early on Friday.

    ++++It's quite possible to enjoy being by the coast simply by doing what I did, and booking a hotel a mile down the front from the playing venue (by accident, not design, of course). I enjoyed my healthy strolls in, and walking back late at night was completely unthreatening, unlike Brighton, where the risk of being thrown up over by a hen night is roughly equal to the risk of being threatened by would-be hard boys too drunk to even stagger properly, let alone throw a punch.

    There is one comment with which I sympathise a little - that earlier starts and finishes favour "the drinkers". Well, up to a point, but by the same token late starts and finishes disfavour them. I think those that will really benefit are those who want to take their time over a meal, and have a drink with it if they want to, knowing they don't have to return to the table. You don't have to be a raving alky to appreciate that.

    We're considering alternative "entertainment" for the Saturday night after a reasonable dinner break. Perhaps a quiz, or even a desperately serious (irony) bingo session. Eyes down...

    IP

  • You cannot please all of the people all of the time and even the detractors must see that change is vital if the event is to recover. I believe that somebody, even cleverer than me, noted that if you continue to do the same thing and expect a different result, then you might be missing something. The key word in Eastbourne Summer Bridge festival is surely Bridge! If you want to have a bracing Saturday tour of Eastbourne, enloying the beach and the coffee shops and the shopping, go at a different time. If you want there to be a Summer Meeting in years to come, then look at what is happening now and applaud the EBU for listening (they get enough flack when they don't) and hope that the Meeting can survive - if you have your way, it will not - but at least you will have nothing to interrupt your Saturday morning!

  • edited August 2019

    @Ian_Payn said:

    We're considering alternative "entertainment" for the Saturday night after a reasonable dinner break. Perhaps a quiz, or even a desperately serious (irony) bingo session. Eyes down...

    Couple of ideas: maybe a 10PM Speedball could be quite popular after people have had a nice DInner?

    Or a 10PM 45 minute 'a few interesting hands from today' followed by an 11PM speedball?

    Or a Poker Tournament (I have enough Chips and cards for a 30 person tournament)?

    Also how about a midweek dining club? Maybe have groups of say 20 booked in some of the interesting restaurants (locanda del duca, dem Shish, etc, etc) and the different groups rotating between the restaurants each night?

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • @Peter said:

    @Ian_Payn said:

    We're considering alternative "entertainment" for the Saturday night after a reasonable dinner break. Perhaps a quiz, or even a desperately serious (irony) bingo session. Eyes down...

    Couple of ideas: maybe a 10PM Speedball could be quite popular after people have had a nice DInner?

    Or a 10PM 45 minute 'a few interesting hands from today' followed by an 11PM speedball?

    Or a Poker Tournament (I have enough Chips and cards for a 30 person tournament)?

    Also how about a midweek dining club? Maybe have groups of say 20 booked in some of the interesting restaurants (locanda del duca, dem Shish, etc, etc) and the different groups rotating between the restaurants each night?

    I wondered about a fast tournament that is not so fast and a bit more serious than the speedballs usually are. 24 board in 2.5 hours starting at 9.30pm for example.

  • These are really good ideas. It may be a little left field, but how about an actual, play with an expert day/session. Get the better players to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak, and give up a session, or a day to physically turn up and play with a less experienced member, who might just stay on to play other events. Bridge is one of the only games where the normal player denegrates and fears its experts. This could be a way of, "Humanising" the better known figures of the game. I would do it, I know others would too!

  • Hmm! This is not really a discussion board is it? At Eastbourne I wqas told to use these forums rather than Bridgewinners. On Bridgewinners there is a healthy discussion, here, nothing! Why bother?

  • @032170 said:
    Hmm! This is not really a discussion board is it? At Eastbourne I wqas told to use these forums rather than Bridgewinners. On Bridgewinners there is a healthy discussion, here, nothing! Why bother?

    167 replies across 22 threads is "nothing"?

  • And enough constructive suggestion that some changes are very likely for 2020.

  • @gordonrainsford said:
    The following schedule was proposed for next year.

    Proposed times for Eastbourne Summer Meeting 2020
    Each weekend:
    Friday        7:00pm – 10:30pm    Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 1 (3 matches)
                  No staggered start
                  11:00pm     Late-night Speedball Pairs 
    Saturday  10:00am     Discuss it with an expert (?)
                  11:00am – 2:15pm    Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 2 (3 matches) 
                  3:15pm  –  7:45pm   Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 3 (4 matches)
                  10:00pm             Speedball Teams (first weekend)
    

    Sunday 10:00am Discuss it with an expert
    11:00am – 7:10pm Four* Teams final (second weekend, top 16 teams)
    11:00am – 3:30pm Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 4 (4 matches)
    7:00pm Open Pairs and Open Teams (first Sunday)

    Midweek evening events to start at 7:00pm, no early bird sessions.

    Of those who expressed a view on a feedback form, nearly 80% were in favour of this change.

    Gordon: when you say that nearly 80% were in favour of the change, what question was asked? Was it simply asking people which they prefer out of two specified options, namely the timings above and the timings in the 2019 congress?

    One comment made in the verbal discussion was that the number of Sussex players attending was very low. This suggests that very few people are commuting from home on the Sat/Sun mornings, which I presume to be the rationale for the late morning start in the Easter & Y/E events.

    Meanwhile, a lot of the accommodation available in Eastbourne is small B&Bs which tend to have a modus operandi of offering breakfast 8am-9am or 8.30am-9.30am.

    Looking at the other end of the day, several people have made the point that the proposed finish time of 7.45pm means that they are obliged to eat fairly late, whilst those who wish to attend other evening events will probably have missed the start.

    Putting all this together, it seems to me that if you wish to start the Saturday and Sunday sessions in the morning then you should start somewhat earlier than 11am. I would suggest 10am, which is the most popular start time in various national events I have seen in various European countries (I have not played in Finland, but I'm told they start at 9am or 9.30am there). 10am is also common in EBL/WBF events.

    Then we end up with something like this:

    Friday 7:00pm – 10:30pm Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 1 (3 matches)
    No staggered start
    11:00pm Late-night Speedball Pairs
    Saturday
    10:00am – 1:15pm Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 2 (3 matches)
    2:15pm – 6:45pm Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 3 (4 matches)
    9:00pm Speedball Teams (first weekend)
    Sunday
    10:00am – 6.40pm Four* Teams final (can now have a slighly less rushed break after 3 matches and still finish at a sensible time) (second weekend, top 16 teams)
    10:00am – 4pm Swiss Pairs/Teams, session 4 (5 matches with a short break, or could play 4 matches and finish earlier)
    7:00pm Open Pairs and Open Teams (first Sunday)

  • Michael, actually, yes, it is really pathetic really. Look at Bridgewinners and you will see what I mean.

  • I did look at Bridgewinners and couldn't see what you mean. In fact I was unable to find any discussions at all on EBU Tournaments. Certainly not in the last month anyway.

    Barrie Partridge - CTD for Bridge Club Live

  • One problem with Bridgewinners is that threads, unless they are phenomenally popular, disappear down the list so after a week or so you won't be able to easily find them. I saw a couple of threads over a month ago and they certainly had some contributions but my view was that they were less constructive than found in the posts in this section.

  • Following various other bits of feedback, the revised plan is to have one fewer match on the Saturdays and one more on the Sundays, which should address the points you made without needing earlier starts. Perhaps the Four Stars finals would still benefit from a slightly earlier start.

  • Well done Gordon!

    Peter Bushby Suffolk

  • Senior Kibitzer and Jeremy. I think that you misunderstand. Firstly, my comment was on the volume of discussion generated by the forums. A forum, by definition is a place of discussion. If nobody posts then what is the point? This forum is too genreel and everyone seems to be very keen to be non controversial. Ok if you like this but it generates nothing of value. As for Bridgewinners posts dissapearing down the list if nobody comments, is that not the point?. I have yet to see a spirited debate in these forums and guess that unless I post like this, I never will. Oh, and if you want to find a topic that has fallen down the lists on Bridgewinners, you can still find it by using the Extra Content function, but there is usually a reason that it has dropped and it does not take a genius to work out what it might be!

  • Posts are listed on BW based on when the original post was made - other than some "Featured Articles", nothing posted more than five days ago is on the front page.
  • @gordonrainsford said:
    I wondered about a fast tournament that is not so fast and a bit more serious than the speedballs usually are. 24 board in 2.5 hours starting at 9.30pm for example.

    A shame to lose a match out of the qualifying for the Four Stars final, but the earlier finish/shorter day combines well with having a proper third session in the evening.

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