A happy new year to you all and I hope your bridge playing exploits, whether on-line or face to face, continue to give you enjoyment over the coming year. Also, congratulations to each and every one of you for winning the Tony Priday award, given out by the EBU in recognition of outstanding contributions and enhancing the game of bridge.
First of all, I would like to draw your attention to a couple of upcoming events. The first is the Yorkshire pairs to be held at York Bridge Club on 22nd January, 1pm start and secondly the Spring Congress at the Crowne Plaza in Harrogate, 10th-12th February which the YCBA run on behalf of the EBU. Details of the Easter festival (again, run on behalf of the EBU) will also be following soon. All the details for entry into these events (the first two) can be found on the YCBA website.
As you may be aware, the YCBA set aside some money for grants to assist clubs getting restarted and so far, £6000 has been taken up. Some of this money is still available and if you have a specific targeted initiative that you think may help your club, eg. to get an afternoon session organised which may need extra room hire, then please do not hesitate to contact us. On this note, the EBU has money available for ‘struggling clubs’ (I do not have the definition!) as well. To avail yourself of this, you would have to contact the EBU directly.
The teaching campaign which proved so popular, looks set to return later on this year. Our board member, David Guild, has worked hard to get the original scheme off the ground and will be trialling it again in the North Yorkshire region to start with in the near future. There is now new material available from Jim Edwards to back up the lessons broadcast and the tuition that follows, so watch this space. For those who have completed perhaps one or two years there are also supervised play sessions available on BBO through EBED. If you look on the EBED website, details are there.
The weather this winter has been very mild so far, so you may think that having a break in the face to face Yorkshire league was unnecessary. However, we still believe that this is the way ahead and with 40 odd teams playing in the on-line league that fills this winter break, it would seem to justify making bridge available throughout the period. Special thanks go to Mike Jackson and the YL committee for all the work that goes into making these events run as smoothly as possible. The introduction of RealBridge as well as BBO, I think is a great enhancement and would encourage you to have a look/go at it if you are not familiar with it. All the work is done by the team at RealBridge and it is very intuitive to use, plus you get to see the whites of the eyes of the opposition!
Lastly, rather like that record that has stuck in its groove, I would like to mention that we still have a vacancy on the management board of the YCBA. We have a plan to contact all clubs in the future as part of a recruitment drive but if you would like to pre-empt this manoeuvre by all means contact any member of the board. We are happy to invite people along to have taster sessions to see how we operate with no obligation! I appreciate that this does mean a commitment on your behalf but the YCBA has always been able to find excellent volunteers to run the organisation and hope that some of you may consider joining us.
Nick Woolven (YCBA Chair)