Wednesday May 21st, Gaborone, Botswana
I really enjoyed teaching today. We started with the first six presentations by the course students. The theme today was opening 1NT or 1 of a suit with various different responses. They coped well using material geared for one system (12-14 and 4-card majors) adapting it for strong NT (15-17) and 5-card spade suit. It’s very difficult to keep to a micro-lesson lasting only 20 minutes but they all performed satisfactorily. Another six tomorrow where we move on to responding and rebidding.
After the break we moved on to the second phase of the course – the introduction to club tournament directing. Many of the course members are hoping to set up clubs within schools or else to set up ‘community clubs’ in different parts of the country. I’m very conscious that some of the things we take for granted at home are by no means so here.
At home it’s easy – we want to start a new club, what do we do? We ring up the EBU to order tables, cloths, boards, cards, bidding boxes etc, etc and everything is easy. The BBF does not have easy access to all the equipment we use. So making the assumption that we can find venues and get equipment how do we proceed to run an event?
Movements and scoring took up most of the afternoon. Question: how do you explain a 7 table Mitchell movement? The following seemed to work!
Stand 7 people in a circle and give them each a board numbered 1 to 7. These represent the 7 NS pairs. Stand another 7 people, one each in front of the first 7 – these represent the 7 EW pairs. Now move the EW people one place clockwise and tell the NS people to pass the boards to the next person anticlockwise. Now you have the basics of a 7 table Mitchell. Keep moving the pairs up and the boards down until it is complete.
Next we tried an 8 table movement by putting in an extra pair of people to represent table 8 and an extra board and we were able to show why we needed a skip or a relay-and-share to make it work. (it may sound complicated here, but it really worked like a charm!)
Further information on my travels can be found here.