Tournament Focus: Winter 2011

What do I do?

by Gordon Rainsford

Since April 1st this year I have been the Assistant Chief Tournament Director of the EBU. This is a new post, created at the suggestion of Max Bavin (the EBU’s Chief TD), to allow him to reduce his commitments to the EBU.

I work one day a week, mostly from home in London, and I am also TD in charge of the events Max used to run. I go to the meetings of the Tournament Committee and the Laws $ Ethics Committee, and I liaise with the Tournament Directors Development Group. In principle I am in charge of matters that concern the TDs and the running of events, while Max does all the overall planning and advance organisation, arranging the venues and dealing with hotels.

One of my other areas of responsibility is the IT (computers/scoring) side of directing, and I’ve tried to iron out various problems we encountered when we upgraded to the new Bridgemate II scoring system. Currently, my concern is to improve the results service on the website, and I’m trying to develop systems so that it’s possible for more information to go up on the EBU site as the events are in progress. I also deal with complaints and feedback that arise from events, and some of my Monday mornings are spent finding out about things that have arisen during the previous weekend, so that I can explain, apologise if necessary, and try to improve things for the future.

Although the idea is that I work for the EBU on Wednesdays (which is my day off from my other job as full-time manager of the Young Chelsea Bridge Club), everything is very flexible, and I find I often do a bit of work on other mornings before I go to the Young Chelsea, answering emails and following up questions. I’m also lucky that the club are very accommodating, so I can deal with EBU matters if they arise while I’m there.

The two people I work closest with are Max Bavin and Gill Pain. Gill is in charge of Tournament Organisation and works extremely hard behind the scenes providing all the resources and backup necessary for us to run events smoothly. She is a fount of knowledge about the various events, how they run, what we should avoid doing, traps waiting to ensnare us, who is most suited to working with whom, and where $ in short, almost everything I need to know of a practical nature to run an event.

Max Bavin is my manager, and is the person I go to with most of my problems and questions relating to the laws and regulations (though I try not to overload him, or he wouldn’t gain any benefit from me being in my post)! He is incredibly helpful and generous with his knowledge and experience. Since he has been Chief TD of the EBU for about 25 years and is also the Head TD of the World Bridge Federation, there really is no higher authority to whom I might turn. I am also very lucky that we have a helpful and knowledgeable group of other senior TDs in the EBU, and I often turn to them for help and information and I value their advice.