Teltscher Trophy - Captain's Report

Started by Simon Richards, May 26, 2023, 10:59 AM

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Simon Richards

WBU Captain's Report for the Teltscher Trophy (Senior's Camrose)

The Teltscher Trophy ( Senior's Camrose) was hosted by the WBU this year and was held at the Holiday Inn adjacent to the Coldra in Newport over the weekend of 19th – 21st May 2023.

Being the hosts, Wales had two teams for this event, designated as Wales and WBU.

The WBU team comprised:
Gilly Clench & Dave Birt
Simon Gottschalk & Chris Rochelle
Steve Jarvis & Nick Forrest
NPC Simon Richards

It is normal practice for the Team Captain to prepare a brief report for the Selectors, and where appropriate, the Management Committee in order to provide feedback on the performance of the team, the suitability of the venue and report any issues associated with the overall organisation. This Report is normally prepared and circulated in confidence, but this year I would like to take the opportunity to present my Report to wider audience as it will also provide feedback on the discussions that I had during the course of the weekend with players and captains from other teams and hopefully the Report will correct a number of misconceptions that have been circulating regarding international bridge in Wales.

The results of the weekend are available on the WBU website (see link below) and show that the Wales team finished in second place, behind an England team that won all their matches, with the WBU team in fifth place, close behind Ireland. However, what this table does not show is that, with four boards to play, the WBU team was lying in second place.

The venue for the event was Holiday Inn hotel in Newport and this venue had been successfully used when Wales had hosted the Lady Milne event the previous year. Like many venues in the hospitality sector, the hotel is getting a little "tired" and is in need of some reinvestment but the staff at the venue could not be faulted. The costs associated with the use of this venue had also increased in the past 12 months and this had led to cutbacks and reductions in the level of hospitality that the WBU was able to provide our guests from the other National Bridge Organisations (NBO), such as no wine at the closing dinner!

To continue on the negative side, the lighting in the playing areas was poor and this may have contributed to a higher than normal number of revokes and miss-bids occurring, particularly as some of the senior players had various levels of visual impairment. Some of the miss-bids had to be seen to be believed, and it was evident that they were not seen by the players in question – and therefore could not be believed. 

The event was competently run by Sarah Amos, as Chief Tournament Director, and she was ably supported by James Vickers. However, I did receive some negative comments from the WBU team in that the communication of the mandatory slow play fines, of which there were too many, could have been better communicated to the players being fined and everybody assumed that the slow play that occurred at the other table.

I will not comment too much on the bridge results, as the hands and results are available for study on RealBridge, only to say that Simon Gottschalk & Chris Rochelle were the leading Welsh pair, being second in the Cross-IMPs, and they were responsible for bringing in 0.88 IMPs per board. The three pairs each played a similar number of boards over the course of the weekend. The WBU team started well leading the Wales team by 5 IMPs after the first stanza but an expensive revoke by a WBU player in the second stanza ultimately led to a Wales victory. 

During the course of the weekend I spoke to a wide spectrum of players and Captains from the other NBOs. The players from each NBO were each there at their own expense and, where flights were involved, such expense often amounted to amounts in excess of £450, notwithstanding any drinks that may have been consumed over the course of the weekend. The players and Captains that I spoke with agreed the current situation was not sustainable; some players had played in one or even both Camrose weekends, the Lady Milne and in the Teltscher Trophy so it is increasing becoming a rich person's game. Options that had been suggested to over the course of the weekend for consideration included holding the Teltscher Trophy every two years (possibly with an online option in the alternate years) and even reducing the Camrose to a one weekend event. However, there was almost complete agreement that, with the exception outlined above relating to the Teltscher Trophy, these events must remain as Face-to-Face events with the vast majority of players expressing a view that they would not participate if they went solely online.


Thank you Simon for publishing this. I believe the more openness we have in Welsh bridge, the better.

The cost of international tournaments is inevitably a problem - and not only for the WBU, although our modest membership, and hence income, makes it a particular issue for us. As a latecomer to these tournaments I view them in the same light as any other event I might choose to enter. It costs money to play tournament bridge, and I'm not sure that the fact that one is representing one's country need make any difference. All too obviously it's an amateur sport, with no income (for most of us) from sponsorship or spectators.

If it proves necessary to reduce costs further, I would be firmly in the camp of reducing the number of events (for example, making them biennial) rather than moving them online. I have played four Camrose weekends - two online and two face to face. The former were interesting enough, but almost instantly forgotten. The latter two were the best experience of my bridge life.

Gilly Clench

Thank you for your comprehensive report Simon - very welcome.  Sadly there only seem to be about 30 members of this forum so I hope there is a link elsewhere for people to be able to read it - perhaps have a word with Tony about it.

There are five National competitions every year, so a reduction seems the way forward, unless anyone comes up with a way of reducing the costs....not easy.