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Bridge Down Under - Aussies Come Through Again!

We are attending our second Gold Coast Congress in Broadbeach. I was a little concerned that our wonderful memories from last year couldn't possibly match our second experience. Wrong.

This tournament is definitely the best. From the welcoming party for foreign players to the final banquet it is a testament to great planning, combined with a terrific directing staff and nice players. The organizers manage to run the event with Swiss precision while eliminating all the little irritating things that can detract from the experience. 

I had one moment of panic when opening 1nt with a small singleton. It occured to me that it might be a no no. After they got done laughing at me for my concern I remembered how much latitude the Aussies give when it comes to system. Few pre-alerts and no books yet all manage just fine.

For a relatively small number of players in a huge country they are really thriving. Their table count for the last 10 years has skyrocketed. 

Pairs    578 in 2006 to 1046 in 2018

Teams 386 in 2006 to 464 in 2018

Really impressive is that their intermediate/novice pairs and teams have doubled in 10 years. Plus lots of young people. 

It begs the question. What are they doing right? I recommend that our leaders find out.

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