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.


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