Appeal Focus: Spring 2010

European Bridge League Course for top directors

by David Stevenson

In February the European Bridge League ran a course for Europe's top directors in San Remo, Italy. To get there I had to leave the Iceland Express tournament in Reykjavik early, with three matches to go. The four Icelanders and Liz Commins did well without me! I had been invited by the Iceland Bridge Federation to act as Chairman of Appeals and was very worried when I realised they clashed.

Staying overnight at Gatwick, and setting my alarm for 5.42 am [I did not know such a time existed] I got there via Nice airport and coach transfer. That evening there was an entry test, in which I did poorly by misreading two questions. But it mattered little.

The main part of the test was many simulations over the next few days. Despite not always agreeing with the official view, I finished with the best score of over 80%. However, the final written test was still to come.

In the final test three others got a better score than me, but not the people who had done well in the simulations, so my overall mark of over 80% was a few percent ahead of second. Gordon Rainsford, the only other TD from England or Wales, did reasonably well.

I was made a European Bridge League TD. Only the leading score gets this honour first time. Otherwise it takes two successful exams to get this honour. I was very pleased.

I met many old friends and made many new friends in San Remo. I have been trying to take that test for 17 years, and it is a long and sad story as to why I never have taken it. Now I can forget that.

Will I get to direct in Europe? I hope so, though it is not guaranteed.