Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Blog 29 - It's all over now..

The Brighton Summer Congress is over for another year. On the bridge front, all went very well. We had larger numbers of top European players coming to the events than for a long time, which shows that the prestige of the events is growing. Some of the events are among the largest of their types in Europe and the World. I am advised that our first weekend event, the fourteen round Swiss Pairs is the largest single field event in the World.

In which case, it is now the largest single field event to be scored electronically, as this year we scored the event with the aid of Bridgemates and some new software developed by one of our members; the fact that this huge event went off without the slightest (apparent!) technical hitch is a testament to the background thinking and rigorous testing by our Competitions staff and the on-site support of Jeff Smith, the software’s author. Many thanks to all involved.

Of course, the event had its logistical problems. Despite a whole year of assurances from the hotel, we still had air conditioning difficulties. Peter Jordan (our Congress Manager) spent hours every day with the staff and management trying to ensure that things were as good as they could be.

Despite that effort, problems still ensued. We will, of course, be taking these problems up with the hotel. Which leaves us with the usual dilemma? The Brighton Summer Congress is now a traditional feature enjoyed by many of our regular tournament players and now, by quite a few members new to our tournaments, as we had 25 midweek tables playing in our Really Easy Congress, an increase of around 20% on 2007. The cost of moving the event to another venue in the city may be prohibitive. Would you like to pay more to stay in Brighton? Or should we attempt to move the congress from Brighton? Or are you happy to pay a similar price and stay at the Metropole, despite the problems because you love the ambience of that City?

Please let me know any ideas you may have.