Blog 14 - 29 October 2010

Well, I have been back from Philadelphia for the past week but only now do I have the energy to write all about the trip.

Philadelphia is such a fascinating city with wonderful history and great art and in fact, they have between 2,500 and 3,000 murals on buildings all over downtown Philly. There are statues on all street corners and although I don’t believe that Philly would be on your list of cities to visit, once you are there, it’s well worth it.

A very popular venue for all of us, was the Reading Market, which is an enormous market with lots of stalls right next to our hotel, we all had breakfast there before bridge commenced at 10.30.

The actual convention centre defies description in terms of its size. It used to be the old Philadelphia railway station and goes on for miles, you certainly could get lost in it. We took a trip in the open air bus to orientate ourselves on our free day and the guide on board was so fascinating that Ann and I took a further 3 trips which lasts at least 2 hours each , as each guide had a different perspective and we were enthralled with it all.

Back to the bridge, disappointingly, there were only 2 South African teams and 2 teams that were a combination of USA and South Africa that entered, but we were very proud that Tim and Glen finished 16th overall in the pairs event. There were 141 Open teams and 35 Women’s teams, equally the woman’s pairs was a very small event indeed, which makes you wonder what is happen to ‘women only’ bridge, it seems to be dying out throughout the world. There is a Womens’ Committee that is committed to reaching out to all women and trying to keep this aspect of bridge alive.

I attended the WBF Annual General Meeting and it was great meeting with so many different people all with the same problems and joys of trying to steer bridge in the right direction. The new president is Gianarrigo Rona who has taken over from Jose Damiani, who was in the driving seat for 16 years. We wish him every success.

Personally, I must say that I was really aware of the male dominance of the game. The WBF, for the first time in its history, have allowed 2 women on the executive committee, and they seemed inordinately proud to have made this allowance.

We in South African, cannot imagine, the magnitude of organising and running such a tournament. There were 4,000 players and everything ran like clockwork. I hate to think of the expense of putting on such a show, it must cost millions and millions of dollars and millions and millions of manhours.

Back to home, in just over 2 weeks time we will be holding our interclub event in Milnerton, at the present time we have 26 teams but you still have time to enter your team as entries close on Friday the 29th.

As most of you know, Pat Truter has not been well and we wish her a full recovery and although it may take quite a long time, we are sure we will once again see her at the bridge table and organizing events in Cape Town. To Andre, we acknowledge that his priority is Pat and we wish him success in looking after his wife and once she is well again, we look forward to him back in the thick of things.

Ann Sturrock has now taken over the job of masterpoints and I thank her for stepping so promptly, averting a national crisis. She has advised all clubs of the new address to which you send your tournament results and as a reminder it is:

Our team in Delhi finished 12 out of 24 in the round robin and spent today visiting the Taj Mahal. Tomorrow the semi finals begin which can be viewed on BBO.

Look forward to seeing you all in Cape Town for the Interclub.

Happy Diwali


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