Tournament Focus: Summer 2010

Really Easy in Brighton

by Gill Pain

Bridge is a competitive, addictive, frustrating but highly satisfying game. If you know people who have been learning to play this great game, please let them know about the next step -- REALLY EASY BRIDGE!

The transition between learning in a classroom and actually putting all your learning into practice can be a very daunting first step. In reality it is a natural transition, as the process of learning continues throughout the play.

The EBU have set up the Really Easy Congresses to assist new players in this first step. Along with one or two lessons and workshops, the main raison d'être is getting out and meeting new bridge challenges. The congresses also provide a safe environment to stretch beginners' wings and practise interaction with others who feel the same. Remember that every attendee will be worrying about the same things: which card to lead, what their partner thinks, etc., but with our Congress you are not alone.

This year for the first time, we are also offering "Next Step" at the Brighton Congress. Who is it for? These players are now too good for Really Easy events but not yet ready to play in the big events. There are so many players in our bridge clubs who have never played outside of their club, and are missing out on the fun. So, this is the time for them to give it a go! The "Next Step" takes place from Tuesday until Thursday during Brighton.

So what happens? On Tuesday, it is time to settle in and simply play some bridge. Everyone plays pairs in the afternoon, and then in the evening after supper we have a teams session.

On Wednesday we play Swiss Pairs from 10.30 a.m. until 3.30 p.m. After some free time come back and play in your best pairs session ever. You should be in the zone now. If you are still awake at midnight come and join in the Speedball, three minutes per board no thinking permitted, or just watch. The challenge in this game is not how to make 3NT but finding time to get to the bar before the move is called.

On Thursday morning we have a lecture with the ever popular Andrew Kambites, and the final bridge session finishes at 4.30 p.m.

Dawn and Avril came for the first time last year and enjoyed it so much, they booked for the 2010 event before they had even left. Once they said goodbye to their husbands at home, the two ladies almost struggled to fit in shopping trips up the lanes, new handbags, coffee, lunch and dinner out with their new friends. Which reminds me, don't forget the aquarium, an ice cream on the beach, the antique shops. Who remembers Lovejoy? Relax and cool off in the hotel pool. There's so much to do for everyone.

While more and more counties are organising events for players below a certain rank, unless they get support these will fail. To play at these events, please look at your county's website, by looking at the EBU Map.

Bridge is a competitive game. Don't let anyone tell you anything different. Come and play at our Really Easy Congress in Brighton during August and discover your competitive side.