was supposed to be Eitan’s swan song. After eight years as
a member of the European Bridge League Executive, he was not standing
re-election. If and how he was to continue his connection with
League was an unknown. But we did know that we would continue to keep
contact with friends that we have met during the years of Eitan's
involvement with bridge. We look
forward to these events because of the 'Two F's' - Friends and Food. In
addition to the official dinners we were delighted to go out and eat
for the European Junior Bridge Championships later this month this was
the last tournament where Eitan had chosen the tournament directors
with whom he has worked for years.
constantly consulted on various issues and every morning
when we went to breakfast
a director or a player would come to Eitan with a question or asking for clarification.
staff party at the end of the tournament when
all the staff got a small gift, Eitan
received a standing ovation. It is heartwarming to know that his continued effort to
improve rules and regulations, the standard of the tournament directors and be a
reviewer (the ultimate judge in cases of dispute), is acknowledged and appreciated.
So while Eitan worked I played. On
an outing with friends on a catamaran we were rewarded by seeing
managed a quick swim in the cold Atlantic waters. We went to the
Gardens in Monte by cable car and enjoyed the beautifully maintained
its trees, statues and mineral museum. Afterwards Corine joined me for
hair-raising ride on a road toboggan careening down a paved
road where the fear of crashing into a wall was very real. It seems
paddle from behind are very experienced and do this for our enjoyment!
Madeira for me was an action-packed holiday. I had two tennis lessons with Sergo and was happy to improve my game, playing again after a ten year hiatus.
highlight of my trip was scuba diving. Because of my
(over 75) I needed to
undergo a series of tests in order to get my diving insurance. My first dive, a refresher dive was very
successful. The second dive was less so. I learnt at the last minute that we were going to do a wreck dive.
Eilat does one suit up and walk into the water to see the
corals and fish.
Here we had to walk from the diving centre down to steps leading to deep water and then swim out to the waiting
speedboat. The guy in charge told me to jump into the water and threw my buoyancy jacket with
air balloon into the water. I screamed at him asking how was I to put on the jacket. "Hold it and
swim to the boat" was his reply.
The dive instructor
and boat skipper were very helpful, assisting me. But the first time I
equipment was when I was sitting on the boat platform about to dive into the water. The jacket
was a little too small and I didn’t realize that the jacket straps were too loose and in addition they had
given me more weights than I needed. I went down by the anchor line, because of the current
and struggled the whole dive to maintain my balance. In the wreck I was either sinking to the floor
of the ship or hitting my head on the ceiling. Not my most successful dive!
is a volcanic island and it is all ups and down with very
few level areas.
Oryah and Ziv and Reuven and Eti on a guided tour of the
north-west of the island. We stopped at Cabo Girao, the highest sea
Europe and were rewarded by a video taken over the sea from Ziv’s drone . At
our next stop (Encumeada) while Ziv was activating the drone a gust of
caused it to crash into the thick undergrowth covering the steep slope
the viewing platform. Sadly there was no way to find it. When we
Porto Moniz for lunch the driver/guide offered to take Ziv to look for
drone. Amazingly he accompanied Ziv, walking through the scratchy
the slope looking for the downed drone. Just when Ziv decided it was a
he saw the lights of the drone blinking; somewhat damaged but recovered.
story of the help of the guide epitomizes the incredible
helpfulness and friendliness of everyone we met in Madeira. They are
their island and want every visitor to like it as well. The weather was
there is very little crime and much to do, making it an ideal place to
last day Eitan even had some free time, so we took a taxi to
Camara de Lobos, a delightful fishing village not far from where we
staying. It’s most illustrious visitor was Winston Churchill, who in
holiday with his family visited the village and painted a picture of
We found the statue of him and recreated the event. Eitan is in front
of the bay that Churchill was painting.
At the end of the month there is a holiday
celebrating St Peter, an important saint for a fishing village. The
streets were festooned with various recycled objects - netting and
plastic fish, plastic gallon containers, and my best, cooking pots and
An official bridge
championship is not easy to organize. Just a few examples. To reduce
luck factor everyone plays the same hands. The cards are "dealt"
randomly by computer and then the actual cards are sorted and placed in
"boards" semi-manually with the aid of a duplicating machine. For this
event over 70,000 boards had to be prepared and the duplication staff
worked tirelessly to achieve this.
There is a camera at every
table and matches with
commentary are shown in a large hall. The play at some tables is
broadcast and watched live by enthusiasts all over the world. Eighty
staff members are needed, from the Championship Commitee to judges, IT
personnel, secretarial staff, bulletin
I was on the Championship Committee and was the 'reviewer' adjudicating rulings given by the tournament directors (judges). I spent many years as a tournament director. My first international role as a TD was in 1980 but I took a 17 year break from bridge because of work. In 1997 I went on a training course and resumed my activities as an international TD. I worked my way through the ranks and eventually was appointed head of the TD training courses which are held every year. The next course will be in Warsaw in September and that will be my last as organizer although I will still be involved in the preparation of future courses.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my years as a TD and as a trainer of TDs. Apart from bridge, the two F's (friends and food ) have been amazing. We have visited many countries and there is a special relationship between the people involved in bridge; the differences in country, culture, food and religion are unimportant, we all work together. We have made friends from all over the world and we are always delighted to see each other again. We maintain contact and friendships with many of them even when we are not at competitions, and have visited and been visited by many of them.