Tuesday, 18 December 2012

BLOG 18 December 2012

Congratulations to JBC1 who comfortably won the Interclub Teams. The top three placing were as follows:

JBC1              490
Hillbrow         425
Alliance         399

I express my thanks to the Links and in particular, Peta Feinstein and the Orchards for the hosting of the event. I would also like to thank Mrs Bernstein and Carol for all their assistance in the tournament.

Bernard Scop has tendered his resignation from the SABF Committee. I expressed my regret as I was able to formulate a number of insightful ideas. Bernard believed that communication between the SABF, the Unions and players needed to be improved. This is of vital importance and it was decided at our meeting that before Congress next year the SABF Committee would meet with a representative from each of the Unions.

The GBU have nominated Philip Feinstein to serve on the SABF Committee.

Heidi Atkinson ran a very successful Tournament Director’s Course and furnished a very detailed report back from the Interclub.
I am pleased to report that Heidi will attend the European Bridge League’s Tournament Director Course in January 2013. Heidi has undertaken to organise and run local TD courses in 2013 and will be conducting one prior to the Western Cape’s bridge festival in December.

I am also pleased to report that commencing late in January a SABF initiative will commence with Tim Cope providing lessons online on Sundays on BBO. A roster will be created by Anne in consultation with Tim. Only SABF members will apply for the coaching. Tim will thereafter prepare notes that will be available to SABF members. This promises to be a fantastic opportunity for all SABF members and I would like to thank Tim for his efforts herein.

On a sad note I have been informed of the sad news of two members passing away. Fiona Wade and Aboo Lachporia who will be missed.

Congratulations to Hilary Nick and Jan Chemaly on reaching the status of Grand Master.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012



It’s been six months since the election of the present SABF Committee. I would like to thank my whole committee for their assistance and a special thank you to the Executive, who I am almost in daily contact. They always make themselves available to bounce ideas and I value their input.

1.                  As you are aware, the SABF has invited the Unions to co-sponsor seminars presented by experts. So far only KwaZulu-Natal have utilised the offer and Craig Gower’s seminars were very well received. There have been enquiries from other centres and we urge the Unions to take advantage of this initiative in order to expose their players to the international players.

2.                  Commencing in the new year, there will be online lessons given by Tim Cope on BBO. Anybody will be able to kibbutz four players being given lessons. There will be a roster that you could apply to play and be coached online. Tim will thereafter prepare a body of notes that will be available only to SABF members.

3.                  I am pleased to report that through Carol’s efforts we have, at last, started to make contact with the Society of the Deaf and plan, with the GBU, to teach bridge at the their community centre on Thursday mornings.

The rest of the provinces are nearly a full decade behind the Cape although I have heard very positive reports from what is happening in Pretoria. We are hoping for SASCOC to provide us with the necessary entries into the schools. Experience has shown us that only if you are lucky enough to have a bridge playing teacher or principal can the program retain its impetus. The Minister of Sport has emphasised the importance of school sport and we need to get involved. One can only look enviously at the success that chess has had.

Heidi Atkinson has been selected to attend a course in Germany through which she will hopefully obtain EU accreditation. Heidi will thereafter be conducting Tournament Director workshops throughout the country. I am advised that her workshop on Wednesday at the Orchards was informative and very well run.

The overall aim of the SABF committee is to make the SABF more visible and to provide answers to the old age question “what do I get out of joining the SABF?”

Before Congress next year the SABF Committee will meet with a representative from each of the Unions for further attempts to open up the channels of communication.  We believe that having difficulty in communicating our messages and look for ways to improve the communication.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

BLOG 6 November 2012

On Sunday night, Carol and I went to the SA Sports Awards dinner at the Sandton Convention Centre. They served no whiskey during the entire 2 hours; they must have saved themselves a fortune. We were placed at a table with Caster Semenya and two tables away from the entire Le Clos family when Chad thanked his adopted family (I thought it must be Carol – see earlier blog).

The Interclub teams start in Johannesburg as well as the bi-annual meeting (Roz - will we be serving whiskey?). There is also a second Committee meeting with a long agenda, this promises to be an interesting weekend.

BLOG 31 October 2012

KZN held the Greyville Tournament which had 98 pairs competing. We were fortunate enough to have Craig Gower who gave lectures on Thursday night and Friday afternoon which enthralled the Durban crowd. Craig also had the misfortune of playing with me at Di Adrain’s club on the Friday morning before he went through each and every hand with the members thereafter. The SABF have invited the unions to put forward proposals with respect to seminars held by the top players that will be co-hosted by the SABF and the unions.

Congratulations to Craig Gower and Merle Modlin for winning the Greyville, beating out Tim Cope and Glen Holman. Further congratulations to Roger Wilson and his team for an event that ran very smoothly.

Next week is the Interclub teams being held at the Links as well as the bi-annual meeting.

BLOG – 7 October 2012

On the 28th to the 30th Carol and I competed in the Bedford teams of four. I confessed to having to Google how far Bedford was from Port Elizabeth and was told that the driving distance was 8 ½ days to reach Southern England. Carol drove and we got there a lot quicker.

The 24 teams competing in the Tournament, which when one considers Gauteng for their mini congress managed 18 teams and Durban only 10. This is a fantastic credit to the Tournament. The only time not playing bridge was spent eating and then eating some more and drinking. As with all tournaments in the Eastern Cape as posted by Tim Cope, players are to endure a starvation diet (I had to take my trousers out a further level after the weekend). The Tournament was very well run by Heidi and Carol was an absolute pleasure to play with. She only looked disappointed once when I passed a cue bid raise and made her play in the opponent’s suit in a 3-2 fit (I think she could have played it better). Carol and I received useful information regarding the development of bridge in the Eastern Cape. 

Friday, 21 September 2012

Durban Tourism Exhibition

BLOG (18 September 2012)

I was told to up my game on the blog by a colleague who’s sentiment was repeated by Ros Whitburn at the Wild Coast pairs. The event was won by Trish Crosse and Bev Hewitt (their second win at a Red Point Event).
Carol has been in Durban to run the SABF site at the SASCOC and Durban Tourism Exhibition. I enclose photographs of the stand with the Clarence Road School children playing. This idea was Mrs Adrain’s and certainly made our stand, stand out from the rest. We were also positioned next to SASCOC.
I attended some meetings with Carol and some valuable contacts have been made, which we will be following up. (Enclosed are photographs of the stand)
However, if we do not receive any SASCOC sponsorship, the blame can be attributed solely to Carol’s behaviour at the Gala Dinner. While the Press interviewed Chad Le Clos, somebody asked Carol if she was the mother. Carol responded by saying, “yes, I’m Chad’s mother” with which Burt Le Clos bounded over to introduce himself to Carol, as Chad’s father. This had all played out directly in front of the whole Le Clos family.
We have been advised that Zonal qualification dates for the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup will now clash with the proposed date for the Nationals. We are looking at alternative dates and hope to be able to revert shortly.
The SABF has invited unions to set up seminars with an expert – which will be co-hosted with the union and SABF. As at date of writing this blog, Natal have taken advantage of the arrangement. I have also had an enquiry from Di Pennington from EP, but as yet nothing from other unions.
The unions are being requested to put forward proposals regarding their development plans and request for sponsorship. Hillary Nick and her team have submitted a proposal in respect of the Jack Cheatham Award sponsored by Murray and Roberts. This is an award that is aimed at promoting sports development projects.
Natal is set to increase its school projects next year and I urge the other unions to give serious thought to development.
The SABF is also looking at applying for Lotto money, but it is vital that we can show as the bridge community that we are giving back to the community as a whole.
Entries have opened for interclub and as space is limited, early entry is advised. Our next SABF meeting is to be held during interclub with the Bi-Annual meeting.
World Bridge have proposed for new Simultaneous Pairs in October, December, March and August to raise funds to help “Youth Bridge”. The dates for the first two are Monday, the 22nd and Wednesday, the 24th of October and the 17th and 19th December 2012 (these dates are still to be confirmed). Clubs are encouraged to participate. Material will be sent by email to the organisers and booklets and hands will be available on the website, www.ecatsbridge.com

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

I have received useful report backs from all the team captains from the teams participating in Lille. Unfortunately, in the open team were drawn in a section with Italy, Sweden, Canada and Russia who all advanced to the quarter finals with Sweden being the eventual winners. As Helen pointed out in her report, that other country’s travelled with coaches, captains and masseurs in attendance.

I have been advised that the individual system cards to be utilised against the opposition prepared by Tim Cope proved to be invaluable. Both the ladies and the seniors teams benefitted tremendously from the coaching.

In mid-August SASCOC flew me up to attend the SASCOC AGM and I was astounded at the figures that SASCOC is pouring into other sports. It is essential that we meet all SASCOC’s requirements in order that participants in our teams can be properly funded rather than effectively having to fund the trips themselves.

The World Bridge Federation have just published their calendar with Zonal qualifying now clashing with our Congress causing us to reschedule the SABF calendar. As, no doubt you are aware, next year’s Congress will be held in Johannesburg and further details as to the date and venue will hopefully follow shortly.

Congratulations must also be given to Western Province for winning the Medwin and Gauteng for winning the Berkowitz. It is unfortunate that we only had four unions represented in both the Medwin and the Berkowitz. These are two of the most prestigious tournaments played and it is disappointing that the event is not garnering the requisite support from the other unions. A special thanks to Martha Pistorius who ensured that Northern Gauteng were the most hospitable hosts. The tournament was controlled by Sid Ismail who also represented the SABF at the Paralympics Gala.

I want to congratulate Desiree Pieters and Susanne Weide for winning the Jan Prins Tournament on 9 August 2012.

I have just returned from a very successfully run Port Elizabeth Mini Congress. The pairs event was won by Desmond Duckett and Di Pennington and the teams by Hennie Fick, Kevin Smith, Chris Bosenberg and Claire Whitburn. The teams event consisted of 20 teams and as with my visit to East London I am impressed with the enthusiasm of the teams. In Natal, there seems to be a reluctance to enter teams event whereas the pairs events are generally well supported.

Congratulations to Ian and Gabriella Hunter who were victorious at the Hunters Rest Tournament.

Perhaps, with results such as the one below, which took place during the Medwin that contributed to the lack of enthusiasm for teams:

West                           North                          East                            South
1 Club                        Pass                           1 Spade                     2 NT
Pass                           3 NT                            Double          
Pass                           Pass                           Pass

I am advised that there was much thought before North bid 3 NT and much thought when South elected to leave the double in. The end result was, a not so pretty, 2300 (2 NT played for 5-5). This should have made for an interesting scoring with partners.

As you all know, we lost a true bridge legend in Petra Mansell last month. I only played in one teams event with her. Teams of eight, where I was paired with Denise Nordengen. Playing as the fourth pair and having one opponent who bid twice on two points to land in an unbeatable 3 NT did not receive much sympathy from Petra when the scores were called out. Towards the end of the afternoon, neither Denise nor I wanted to venture near the scoring table.

I want to thank Di Adrain and Roger Wilson for their very personal and touching obituaries of Petra who will be missed by all.

SABF’s next major event is the Interclub Teams which is being held at the Orchards. Teams are limited and I would urge the club secretaries to ensure early entry into the tournament.