Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome to the 84th Annual General Meeting of the SBU.
There are some minor amendments to our constitution as advised in our agenda and I trust it will be approved.
It has also been decided to stop charging fees to our member clubs, which, I am sure, will please our club treasurers.
We had a problem with the men’s pairs this year and a decision was made to refund the entry money. The wrong movement was used resulting in us only playing 11 of the 24 pairs. Plus the results were not available for checking by the players. Finally all the results when published were allocated to the wrong pairs, which, with the help of many of the players took 3 days to finalise.
We also had problems with our ladies pairs and the competition, due to the collapse of the computer, was not properly graded for the matches in the swiss pairs. Who says we are not an equal rights organization. Unfortunately we had to refund the entry money for both events and the SBU met all the overheads plus prizes were still awarded.
Richard Jarvis, one of our past Presidents and a strong supporter of our competitions, died in February and he will be sorely missed. Believe it or not the last hand he played was 7NT requiring a squeeze play. We also lost Ian Morison who was one of our top players in the 70s and our second grand master.
In my second year as President, in connection with the European Bridge League, I have had the pleasure of visiting Belfast for three days of meetings.
Our ladies went on to represent us in China following their good result in the World Championship. In a very strong field of eight teams they were doing well but unfortunately fell away at the end due to exhaustion as they only had a team of four , however we did win the prize for the best played hand by Sam Punch. Our ladies have once again triumphed in the Lady Milne winning by a narrow margin over England. This has been followed up by our seniors winning the Senior Camrose comfortably with a match in hand. The rest of our international performances were poorer.
Liz McGowan is still trying hard to reduce her workload but has continued on the temporary editorship of the magazine and is doing a great job. Still would appreciate someone else taking on the task.
Thanks are due to our TDs who are having a few problems in placing results on the web but provided there is a working wifi this will be improved. We are also going to increase our training but are waiting the results of a report we have commissioned to find the best way forward. This year in an effort to improve our director’s standards, we again had Fearghal give a training session in Edinburgh that was well attended by a number of our intending directors.
Currently investigations are under way by Alan Officer to make improvements to our web site, as currently it is not always easy to find what you are seeking. This will require funding but currently no figures are available.
Our national league continues as our most successful event. I am still appealing for more home grown players in our congresses and we are trying out format changes as you will see in our July Congress brochure allowing you to play in the pairs on Saturday and teams on Sunday. Future weekends may also change please watch our SBU site.
Our overseas congress continues to grow in strength and as I predicted this was our largest turnout yet despite a number of our regulars not being able to make it but many new faces replaced them. All participants enjoyed this congress very well run by Duncan and Russell as our directors.
This coming year we go to Porec in Croatia, which I am sure you will enjoy. I look forward to seeing many of our members there.
I was invited to attend a dinner at St Leonards B C in Ayr celebrating being 75 years old. Very pleasant evening.
I attended the Scottish Swiss Pairs, which went very well, and the new premises were certainly spacious.
Our aims for education have been extended in the past year and a great deal of work has been put in by our education committee in designing new teaching courses These courses are to differentiate between various categories of pupils. The education committee has also been involved in running and organizing mini bridge competitions plus other bronze events.
Another project linked to the education committee which is suitable for part of our EBL fund, is the bridge film “Double Dummy” which is designed to entertain and generate interest in learning bridge. This film will be shown on 3rd June in the MacRobert Filmhouse at Stirling University at 5.00 pm with an entry price of £5. Come along with a non bridge-playing friend. Please.
What do the SBU do for our members?
- We organise competitions and congresses (usually successfully) for all classes of players and employ the directors and scorers plus display the results on our web page
- We train the directors and scorers from club level upwards
- We assist clubs or players with movements when requested
- We have lessons available for club teachers to use
- A body where any one teaching can obtain advice
- We organise our national teams representation
- We have public liability insurance covering any injury or damages caused by the bridge club members in any rented premises, which usually costs £75+. Any non affiliated club would not have the benefit of our free insurance cover. Nor can any non member of the SBU play in any SBU or district competitions though members of affiliated bridge unions may play in some competitions. The only open competitions are the SBU congresses.
One year gone and to be honest due to the resignations a difficult year and my thanks are due to my team for doing the extra work required.
I know results, including posting and tournament directing involving starting times and lack of Wi-Fi, have spoilt some of our tournaments, these are on our urgent list for improvement.
I have to say our web page is not the easiest for finding items. Currently research is proceeding on finding a more user friendly format with a better layout but as my computer knowledge is limited I cannot supply any technical details.
In April Irene & I played in the CD charity Pairs which raised over £1500 for Marie Curie. A very friendly event with a mixed standards of players.
Unfortunately we did not qualify for National Pairs or Spence cup at the end of May.
Due to our departure on Monday 8th May to Isla Canela we did not manage the Scottish Swiss Pairs but hope to manage next year.
With regard to our well attended overseas congress I can report that the Hotel staff and catering were excellent. The Hotel had three show cooking stations plus an amazing display of other dishes. We had mainly good weather though our visit to Seville, a beautiful city, was a bit uncomfortable at 33 in the shade.
The bridge was very enjoyable well run by our TD’s Duncan & Russell assisted by their spouses. We also had the assistance of Joan who, though retiring as congress convener, was still helping with the assistance of Jack.
Many of those at the congress have already made bookings for next year at Paphos in Cyprus. The hotel is our players favorite hotel, even better than this years hotel.
Back when I was Convener of the Tournament Committee we were considering scrapping the individuals due to lack of support but this year we were over subscribed and my apologies to those who were not accepted.
The problem with an individual is the players expect to play with all the other players and 25 is the ideal number. We will look at the possibility of a different format where players play with a reduced number of players. I myself played in the Benjamin, which was also fully subscribed.
Players please note that if you can’t attend it is important to let the TD or organisers know as soon as possible due to the problems in setting up movements especially for an individual.
I have only played locally and at a teams event in Stirling but will I hope get round more clubs this season.
We are now looking for an individual to take responsibility for our trophies as so many are left at the AGM or not even returned. This position will have expenses paid but has no responsibility for the theft of trophies. Please apply to myself, George Plant or Avril Sloane our secretary in the first instance.
During the last period we have had the mens pairs and teams which I had to miss plus our ladies weekend and we had an increase in the number of teams playing even if only by two. Was it a success? I don’t yet know.
Unfortunately I have played in fewer competitions than I hoped this season. Hope for more involvement next year.
The dates have now been published for the National League together with the venues on our web site. On improving our web site still awaiting further information.
In Dundee Bridge Club they had a very successful schools mini bridge tournament. The youngsters (primaries 6 & 7) really enjoyed the event. Bridge mates were used to score with an adult at every table to assist.
A new event was trialed in March. A national bronze teams event with heats in various parts of the country, which has had favourable comments from the participants.
Sadly Bill Clow an ex president of the SBU died in March. My best wishes to Molly and his family. I always remember how kind Bill and Molly were to Irene and I when we first attended congresses. I was pleased there was a good attendance at the memorial service.
Please note that all league players must be members of the SBU plus if required by their district members of a club within the district.
I have seen a growth in afternoon tournaments which is alright for clubs with their own premises and possibly afternoon events should be advertised in all the clubs in their locality. The downside is it may take a few away from evening tournaments.
Our best wishes for our Lady Milne and Senior Camrose teams in their forthcoming matches.
Ian Hunter SBU President
Best wishes for a happy new year for all our members.
The Scottish Bridge Union is going through difficult times due to the lack of volunteers coming forward to assist in the running of our organization. We may have to make major changes in how the SBU is run if we cannot find these volunteers. We have a number of members currently doing extra work but we cannot carry on at this level without errors and omissions occurring. I know some have already been noticed.
I am sure there are recently retired people or others looking for something to give them an interest and you would be helping to promote our wonderful game. Your own bridge standard is not relevant for these advertised vacancies. Nowadays with computers, location is not so important.
Please feel free to contact me at .
I would like to thank Sandy Forbes and Norma Bain who assisted as secretary until our new secretary Avril Sloane was appointed.
My activities over the last couple of months included the December Congress in Peebles with Irene but our bridge was unfortunately mixed and ended up in the lower half of the field for the teams and above the middle in the swiss pairs.
The hotel was again in good form with their new chef continuing to provide a good standard in the dining room. This is the first time for many years that we did not have a complaint against the hotel.
I also went to Coventry to support our teams in the Camrose. What can I say! but they did get I feel more than their share of bad luck. I did notice that the bidding was very competitive and in one match both pairs bid on every board. Frequently the bidding was pre-emptive forcing the opponents to make difficult choices at a high level. However the hotel selected by the EBU was very nice and the train journeys were pleasant.
I intend going to the holiday Inn in Edinburgh too, to watch the second half of the Camrose and I do hope they can improve.
I do hope to get to visit more clubs over the March & April but something always seem to disrupt my plans.