The English Bridge Union are pleased to be using this BridgeWebs site for a condensed summary of our news headlines.
To contact the EBU please send us an e-mail or telephone 01296 317200.
The news is updated periodically by the EBU to give club members a summary of recent news and information from the EBU. For the most up to date news and information please visit www.ebu.co.uk.
If you wish to comment on anything on this page, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have launched a new directory, which hopefully makes it easier for anyone to identify their nearest club or bridge teacher, and to find out information on any in which they are interested. This replaces the map which used to be accessed via the menu on the right of the homepage. You will now see the EBU/EBED Directory in its place.
You can search using your postcode, or can generate a list of clubs and teachers by county from the menu at the top of the page.
The October 2018 issue of English Bridge is out now and will be delivered to eligible members in the next few days.
The online version, which contains extra content, is available to members via My EBU (once you have logged in use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here.
Fiona Brown and Sally Brock are World Champions! After success in recent years for England's Women's team, they have now added the McConnell Cup, the World Championship for Women's teams at the World Bridge Series. Unlike in other Championships, where teams are restricted to players of the same nationality, this event is open to teams of players from more than one country, and in combination with four players from the USA Fiona and Sally have claimed the gold medal.
Whatever the result in the final, there would have been cause for British celebration, as they defeated a team which included Nicola Smith, Yvonne Wiseman, and Scotland's Paula Leslie.
And to complete the set of medals, a bronze medal has been won in the Rosenblum Cup (for Open teams) by the team of Andrew Robson, Alexander Allfrey, Tom Paske & Ed Jones.
Congratulations to them all. This medal haul makes it the best result by English players in the event in many years - and with more competitions over the next five days there may still be more...
You can follow the competitions in Orlando on the event website and through the live coverage on Bridge Base Online.
We are pleased to welcome Tim Anderson to the EBU staff. Tim started on 3rd September as our Membership Development Officer, and will be working with the regions involved in the expanding Membership Development Project - initially started, with success, by Yorkshire CBA - to help them bring more members into affiliated clubs.
In this part-time role, Tim will be using his background in marketing, publicity, and most recently in journalism, to help clubs and counties involved in the Membership Project reach out to existing, and potential, bridge players in their region. Tim has acted as Chairman, or in other committee positions, at various bridge clubs, and is also a County TD, so has a wealth of experience in bridge to combine with his professional skills. Once he starts in the role he can be contacted at email@example.com (the address will not be active until 3/9/18).
The updated White Book for 2018 is now available - 2018 White Book.
A list of changes made to the 2017 version is available here.
The significant change for TDs and players is the increase in procedural and disciplinary penalties - 25% top/6IMP/1VP and 50% top/12 IMP/2 VP (though of course, for players, this only affects them if they fail to follow procedure or behave badly!). Other changes relate to the new laws of bridge from 2017, updates made by the EBU, and changing interpretations by the Laws & Ethics Committee.
The Blue Book is unchanged in 2018 - the 2017 remains the correct book to use.
Kripa Panchagnula was presented with the 2017 Young Player of the Year award at the Summer Festival yesterday. Congratulations to Kripa for a great year in which he was a key member of the U21 team which earned a bronze medal at the European Championships, won the Peggy Bayer Trophy, and finished second in the Channel Trophy competition. He is pictured receiving the award from EBU Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy.
Other awards - including the Young Pair of the Year - will be announced and presented later in the year.
Despite some excellent performances at times, all four England teams at the World Youth Team Championships in China missed out on qualifying for the knockout stages. The U16s narrowly missed out, finishing just outside the top eight in 9th place. The U26s and U26 Women both finished in 12th, and the U21s finished in 16th.
That all four England teams qualified for the competition exceed all expectations, so their performances in competing among the elite of world junior bridge, against countries where bridge is given far more importance in the national curriculum, is a credit to the players and their coaches. Whilst there will be a sense of disappointment in the squad that none of the teams progressed to the quarter finals, we can all be proud of their efforts, and be confident that England has a bright future in international junior bridge. Only a few of those in China will be too old to play in the 2020 WYTC, so the squads will be looking to use this event as a springboard to compete for medals at future events.
The NPCs have been writing blogs whilst in China, and these give an insight in to the highs and lows they experienced at the event - read them here.
Consolation events: The U16s led in the early stages of their consolation event, but with little to lose the other teams got more and more wild, and England slipped out of the top places. So they may not leave with any honours, but as Giorgio writes in his final blog, it has been "an amazing experience" for the team, and he gives his sincere thanks to all the supporters, particularly their sponsors Tetragon and No Fear Bridge, for making it possible.
In the Transnational BAM (point-a-board) competition, the England U20 Lions finished 10th and the Ingerland team (the U26s) in 11th.
The teams were:
We would again like to thank everyone who has contributed to the fundraising. The response has been fantastic – not only because it has provided financial support but also because it has emphasized the importance that the membership places on junior bridge, giving a boost to all of those involved in knowing that they are appreciated. If you intend making a donation, but haven't yet had chance to do so, please note that the donation page on the EBED website will be closed at the end of August. You could still donate by other means, but if you want to ensure gift aid is included, please use that donation page before the end of the month.
England's Juniors have enjoyed a successful trip to Croatia for the European Youth Pairs Championships, leaving with two bronze medals and a number of other good results.
Pictures copyright European Bridge League
England's U16 squad has reached the finals of the WBF Youth Teams Online Championships, after victories over France in the quarterfinals and USa in the semifinals.
Tetragon will be sponsoring the U16 squad. We are very grateful for their donation, and this takes the fundraising through the £50,000 barrier.
Giorgio Provenza, squad leader for the U16s, has written another blog with further news on the squad's activities - that can be read by clicking here.
The England U26 team lost at the semi-final stage of the Tel Aviv International Bridge Festival, by just 7 IMPs to the eventual winners.
Thanks to the continued support of the membership fundraising for the junior teams has passed £52,000. This was aided by recent events organised by Warwickshire and Gloucestershire CBAs
EBU General Manager Gordon Rainsford has written a new blog about his recent visits to two growing bridge clubs, and you can see it by clicking 'read more' below.
We're pleased to announce the top clubs by number of player sessions in the year (2017/18). The top 5 are below - click 'the link below' for the top 50.
The June 2018 issue of English Bridge is out now and will be delivered to eligible members in the next few days.
The online version, which contains extra content, is available via My EBU (use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here.
Congratulations to Megan Jones on becoming the first ever recipient of the Junior Award Scheme's highest award, the Diamond Award. The certificate was presented by EBED's David Emerson at Stratford-upon-Avon Bridge Club, where Megan regularly plays and directs.
The Junior Award Scheme is run by English Bridge Education & Development, and recognises achievement and improvement in all levels of bridge, from minibridge up to the Diamond Award. For more information on Megan's achievement, and on the scheme, see the EBED website.
You may already have seen reference to the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which comes into force on 25th May 2018, either in English Bridge magazine or in the wider media. We have made a start on implementing it with information on this webpage, not only for individual members but also to help clubs and counties comply with their legal obligations.
Update: All members for whom we hold an email address were emailed with information on 27th April*. Please check your inboxes, however please note that action is only required if you wish to change your information, or how we use it.
* - a follow-up email to those to whom the original email bounced, and addresses were subsequently corrected, was sent on 18th May
The purpose of the GDPR is to provide a set of standard data protection laws across the EU, making it easier for you to understand how your data is being used and to give you greater control over its use.
The EBU undertakes to collect and use your personal data in compliance with the GDPR. Our legal basis for processing this data is our legitimate interest as a membership organisation.
We use the data for the administration of your membership, the communication of information and the organisation of events. We only share your contact details with English Bridge Education & Development (EBED) and your county of affiliation; we provide a limited amount of data for use by scoring programs to ensure that they correctly identify members.
We have a Privacy Notice which is where you can find full details of all these matters including:
Your club and county will likely contact you in due course with information on their policies.
For further help or information please contact Gordon Rainsford - firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the Shareholders Meeting this week the EBU Strategy Document for 2018-2023 was launched. It has been produced by the Board of Directors and is designed to guide and measure the EBU in its progress over the next five years.
The document is available here and will be printed in the forthcoming June issue of English Bridge.
We are delighted to report that fundraising for the junior teams' participation in the World Youth Team Championships has passed £30,000. This means we are over halfway to our primary target, and we know of more donations which are still to come. Many thanks to everyone who has donated so far.
There is still lots of time to make a donation before the young players fly to China - the event is not until August - so we can still hit our target. No donation is too small, and all are gratefully received. Individuals can make a donation through this page on the EBED webpage so gift aid can be reclaimed. Any bridge clubs, counties, or other organisations should contact us to find out how to donate.
English Bridge Education & Development and partners are funding a 3 year PhD Studentship in the Sociology of Bridge - Bridging the Gap: An Exploration of Transitions in Play through the Lifecourse.
A suitable PhD candidate is sought. Bridge knowledge is not essential. For more details see this page of the EBED website, and for full further information and application details please see here.
Queries about the position should be sent to Prof. Samantha Punch - email@example.com
English Bridge Education & Development is undertaking research in to the cognitive benefits of playing bridge, and needs volunteers - both bridge players and non-bridge players - who are willing to participate in the study.
They are looking for right-handed women, aged between 60 and 80.
Please see here for more details, and for information on how to find more about what your participation will involve.
The Bridge Warehouse has a new online shop. We hope you like the new, modern platform, and that you find it easy to use.
All profit from sales in the Bridge Warehouse is reinvested by the EBU in activities and services for its members and affiliated clubs. If everyone shops at The Bridge Warehouse we will all be better off, so please support it. If you see an item that is cheaper on another site then please get in touch with us before you shop elsewhere - we will match competitors’ prices where possible.
A very short survey is available online for all members to complete. It is intended to get a snapshot of the membership's general feelings, and should take only a minute to complete.
Nominations are now being accepted for the teaching awards presented jointly by the EBU and English Bridge Education & Development.
The Alec Salisbury Award is made to the school teacher who has made the most effective contribution to promoting bridge.
The Tom Bradley Award is made to the (non-school) teacher who has made the most effective contribution to promoting youth bridge.
More information on the awards and the process for making a nomination is available on the EBED website. Nominations should be made by 26th May.
Changes have been introduced to the National Grading Scheme. These were made in response to feedback received during the consultation of clubs which took place last year.
These changes are now in effect.
The April 2018 issue of English Bridge is out now.
Please note the change to the policy for the distribution of magazines to households of more than one EBU member, with only one copy sent except to those households opting in to receive more - please see here for more details.
The print featured on the cover can be purchased, with proceeds supporting the junior teams competing in the World Championships in China - see p.59 (or here) for details.
The Young Bridge Challenge, organised by English Bridge Education & Development, took place in Loughborough on Saturday 10th March with young players from schools from around the country taking part in bridge and minibridge competitions.
The Schools Cup was won by Senthur Shanmugarasa, Ben Lewis, Jack Ronayne, Kavinthan Vickneswaran from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys School.
See here for more details.
On Friday, 16th March, Warwickshire CBA welcomed over 50 Year 5 & 6 pupils from two local schools to West Midlands Bridge Club to take part in their annual Junior Challenge.
EBU General Manager Gordon Rainsford has written a new blog, and you can see it by clicking 'read more' below.
Two new members have been appointed to the EBU Board of Directors.
We offer a warm welcome to:
John Holland has regained the Sunday Telegraph Salver, for the most Master Points earned in the calendar year.
John, who has won the competition on five previous occasions, earned 21,251 points in 2017. The 2016 winner, Mike Bell, was second with 20,604 and Michael Byrne was third with 18,929.
The highest scoring Junior (a new list for this year) was Shahzaad Natt. The Gold Point list is headed by Andrew Robson.
The winners of the Club Champions prize draw have also been selected. Club Champions are those who won the most Master Points in events held at each club, and each Club Champion is entered in to the draw. John Pope of Framlingham Bridge Club was first out of the hat and wins £400. Malcolm Schofield of Hampton Duplicate Bridge Club was drawn in second and wins £200, and Deirdre Sanders of Patcham Bridge Club wins £100 for being drawn third.
The top scoring players in each county in Master Point categories 4 to 6, and the top scoring players nationally in categories 1 to 3, also receive small prizes.
The Master Point leaderboards for 2017 can be accessed below - all lists can be filtered by county using the options in the menu at the top of the page.
To see your personal Master Point information, log-on to My EBU and follow the link at the top of the Master Point page. Alternatively, you can search for yourself using the box in the top right of any 2017 Master Points page. Well done to those who reached personal milestones during the year.
All the data is currently provisional - if you believe there are any anomalies please contact us as soon as possible.
The annual Surrey Schools Cup has taken place with great success. The winners of the Cup were Westminster School; the Salver was won by Hampton School; the minibridge competition was won by Weydon School. For a full report, from Surrey's Youth Rep, Tim Warren, plus more pictures, click here.
The 2018 Inter-University Bridge Festival took place on Saturday 24th February.
13 university teams took part, but it was the 'Warwickshire Juniors' team (Megan Jones, Imogen La Chapelle, Andy Cope, and young-at-heart Darren Evetts) which topped the table. The official winning university team were UCL C (Roy Goh & Ren Ziyu, Chua Teeyong & Lien Chongyou), with Imperial A in the runners-up spot, and Warwick A completing the podium.
The competition was organised by Warwick University Bridge Club, and supported by Warwickshire CBA and Coventry & North Warwickshire and West Midlands Bridge Clubs.
Welcome to the clubs which have recently affiliated with the EBU.
A TED talk has outlined that the social interaction which comes from activities such as playing bridge (with bridge specifically referenced) could be a key to a long and happy life. A study found that frequent face-to-face social interaction was a greater indicator of long life than other factors such as your weight or whether you drink. Watch the talk to find out more.
The February 2018 issue of English Bridge is out now.
Please note the change to the policy for the distribution to magazines to households currently receiving more than one copy - please see here for more details.
In order to help reduce the number of copies of English Bridge which are 'wasted', we are changing the way the magazines are distributed.
From the April 2018 issue, we will only dispatch one magazine per household, unless you opt in to say you wish to receive all the magazines to which the members of your household are entitled. The distribution of the diary is not affected.
We believe this is the environmentally and financially responsible action to take, but we are only trying to eliminate waste. If your household reads all the copies which are currently received, so you want to continue receiving them all, then we are very happy to send them to you. But to continue receiving them you must opt-in. Alternatively if you are happy for your household to receive only one copy as one is unread, or a single copy could be shared, then you need take no action.
The best and easiest way to opt-in is by changing the setting on your account on My EBU. All you need to do is...
Only one member of each household needs to do this.
English Bridge Education & Development has offered its support to the ongoing fundraising efforts for the junior teams participating in the 2018 World Youth Team Championships.
Not only will EBED be making a donation from its funds, but a page has been established on its website which allows individuals to make a donation to the fundraising effort through EBED, thereby allowing Gift Aid to be reclaimed. These donations will then be included as part of a larger donation by EBED to the EBU to support the junior teams.
Part of EBED's remit is to promote and develop the playing of bridge by those in full time education, and its constitution makes specific provision for supporting junior involvement in events organised by the World Bridge Federation. The fundraising will not only contribute to the costs of participation, but also to the squad's training sessions in the build up to the event so they can perform as well as possible in the competition. EBED hopes that this may give further enthusiasm to youngsters who may just be starting to play; that it may motivate more to give bridge a try; and that it may encourage more people to set up bridge activities for young players.
The EBU, and those involved in the squads are very grateful for EBED's contribution.
An update on sponsorship activity can be seen here.
Following the success of our weekend online games with Funbridge, we have now introduced a game on Thursdays, and they will start on 18th January.
The games are proving popular as you can play at any time during the day (between midnight and 10pm), stopping and starting as often as necessary. This is because you play with, and against, robots, so don't need to be online at the same time as your partner or opponents. This means you can play any time, anywhere.
For more details on how to play, please see our FAQ page.
In addition to our monthly ladder competition, we will be running a year-long competition in which you can win cash prizes. In the year-long competition, the player with the highest average from their 20 best scores in games played in 2018 will win £200, with further cash prizes for the rest of the top ten. This is in addition to the Master Points you can win in each game.
England sit atop the table after the first weekend of the Camrose Trophy, the competition between the teams of the 'home nations'.
Well done to the England team: Michael Byrne & Kieran Dyke; Jeffrey Allerton & Chris Jagger; Frances Hinden & Graham Osborne; NPC, David Burn.
The trials to play in England's Open team in the 2018 European Championships have been won by Jeffrey Allerton and Chris Jagger, with David Bakhshi and Artur Malinowski in second.
They will be invited to be part of the team alongside Andrew Robson & Tony Forrester, who were already selected.
Fundraising to send our four Junior Teams (U26; U26 Women; U21; U16) to the World Youth Teams Championships next year has begun in earnest.
EBU Vice-Chairman Ian Payn has taken responsibility for the campaign after the resignation of Darren Evetts from the EBU Board. He will be supported by the Chairman of the Selection Committee, Gillian Fawcett, Squad Leaders, players themselves and their parents, in his endeavours to engage counties clubs and individuals in raising funds for this worthwhile cause.
County Chairmen have already been written to, and the response so far has been encouraging (Sussex having already raised funds well before the letters even went out), and we have also received a very generous donation from the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers.
This campaign has only two rules:
There is very exciting news on the major sponsor front, as well. Squad Leader for the Women’s U26 Sally Brock has managed to acquire a massive £10,000 donation from Touchlight to fund travel and, crucially, training for the U26 Women’s team. We are incredibly grateful to them.
"Touchlight is delighted to support the Under 26 Women’s Bridge team and look forward to seeing their progress throughout 2018.
Touchlight was established on the conviction that our ever-increasing understanding of DNA would lead to its emergence as a material of the future. As such we have developed, patented, scaled and evidenced a revolutionary enzymatic platform to enable the new generation of DNA-based products."
"Touchlight is delighted to support the Under 26 Women’s Bridge team and look forward to seeing their progress throughout 2018.
Touchlight was established on the conviction that our ever-increasing understanding of DNA would lead to its emergence as a material of the future. As such we have developed, patented, scaled and evidenced a revolutionary enzymatic platform to enable the new generation of DNA-based products."
But it’s not all about big packages – we want everyone who wants to, to feel a part of this, to feel they’re encouraging the future of the game.
Update: Thanks to No Fear Bridge for their support of the U16s through the donation of free membership to their website to all the squad and coaches.
If you want some ideas or further information please e-mail Ian Payn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Peter Stockdale (email@example.com).
The December 2017 issue of English Bridge is out now.
The online version, which contains extra quizzes and county news, is available via My EBU (use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here. County News can also be accessed directly via this link - County News (an archive of these sections is available here).
Every year, the EBU’s annual accounts are made available. This year's account were approved by the Shareholders at the AGM yesterday, and will be made available online soon alongside those from previous years which are available at www.ebu.co.uk/official-documents.
We are aware, however, that some people find this information a little impenetrable, so some charts were created to give a simple overview of the source of the EBU’s income, and where the money is spent. These can be seen by clicking 'read more'. We hope this is interesting and useful to you in understanding how the EBU’s finances are structured.
The EBU presented awards in recognition of various members' contributions to bridge in England at the AGM in London yesterday.
* - presentations to be made at a later date
Congratulations to all recipients, and we thank them for their contribution.
The EBU has learned that the European Court of Justice has today overturned a recommendation from its Advocate General, and has ruled that bridge should not be considered a sport for VAT purposes.
This decision comes as both a surprise, and a disappointment, as we had welcomed the earlier recommendation made by Advocate General that bridge should considered a sport for this purpose. A positive ruling by the court would have both made participation in bridge competitions cheaper, and would have provided a rebate to the EBU which it could invest in bringing bridge – and the enjoyment and health benefits which participation offers – to a wider audience.
The Court did, however, leave open the opportunity for individual states to exempt bridge from VAT by recognising it as a ‘cultural service’. We are pleased by the court’s suggestion, and welcome the possibility that bridge activities may yet be exempted from VAT, however we have not yet considered the implications of the suggestion.
We would like to give our thanks to David Ewart and our legal team for their work throughout these legal proceedings.
At this week's AGM the 2017 Sim Pairs prize draw took place. Each host club, and the top pair at each club, were entered in to a draw.
The full list of winners, including the runners-up from the prize draw, and the overall winners for each heat, can be seen here. The winners of the top prizes were:
The 2018 will have a similar prize structure, and entries for all events are open now. We hope you will take part as the proceeds from each of the events helps to support bridge in England.
For more information on the competitions, and how clubs can register to take part, see the information via the Sim Pairs webpage.
The EBU AGM took place on 22nd November. The following people were elected/re-elected to the EBU Board and Standing Committees:
There were four nominees for three positions. The votes received were as follows:-
Elected: Jeremy Dhondy - 60 votes; Ian Payn - 52; Rob Lawy - 42; each will serve a three year term of office expiring in 2020
Not elected: Paul Roberts - 39.
The Board of Directors may also appoint a further Director for one year at a time.
Jeremy Dhondy was re-elected as Chairman, and Ian Payn as Vice Chairman - both were uncontested.
The Selection Committee
There were four nominees for four positions. Elections were held to determine the length of term of the candidates.
Three year term: Gillian Fawcett - 55 votes; David Bakhshi - 54; Jeremy Willans - 40
Two year term: Paul Barden - 29
The Laws & Ethics Committee
There were four nominees for four positions. Elections were held to determine the length of term of the candidates.
Three year term: David Burn - 55 votes; Heather Dhondy - 54
Two year term: Martin Pool - 51
One year term: Alan Wilson - 38
To see the current members of the Board and Standing Committees, click 'read more'.
In response to requests, we have established a TD forum where you can ask questions and discuss matters of interest. It is open to everyone - not just restricted to qualified TDs - and anyone needing help with any matter relating to the Laws can use it.
Since the Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017 have fairly recently come into effect, we anticipate that there may be a number of questions that TDs will have that more experienced colleagues may be able to help with.
The forum is available at: https://www.ebu.co.uk/forum
Update: A sub-forum for those wishing to ask questions about scoring has been added.
The winners of our Funbridge Ladder Competitions were Richard Page in October and Dean Swallow in November. The competition takes the four best scores achieved by each particpant in our online games during the month.
The top three each month receive cash prizes, and a copy of the GOTO Bridge software, kindly donated by Funbridge.
Ladder competitions take place each month. Our games on Funbridge take place each Saturday and Sunday. You can play at any time during the day, stopping and restarting as often as necessary. Each game costs just €2, and Master Points can be won.
For more details on playing in our online games on Funbridge, please see this FAQ page.
The October 2017 issue of English Bridge is out now, and a printed version will be delivered to all eligible members in the next few days.
The online version, which contains extra content, including some highlights from a busy summer of junior bridge lessons around the country, and quizzes on some of the main articles, is available via My EBU (use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here.
The County News, which is now part of the online version of the magazine, can also be accessed directly via this link - County News (an archive of these sections is available here).
The British Autumn Simultaneous Pairs takes place this week and you'll be able to find all the results and commentaries via the links below. Good luck to all participants and we hope you enjoy taking part. Results will be finalised, and Master Points credited, once all the results have been submitted and checked.
Our online games with Funbridge have been proving popular, and there is now another reason to take part - you can win cash prizes!
Starting in October, prizes will be awarded to those EBU members with the highest cumulative score from their best four results in our online games in each calendar month. The prizes are:
With games taking place each Saturday and Sunday there are nine chances in October to get four great results and scoop the prize.
Bonus prizes: Funbridge have kindly donated copies of their GOTO Bridge software and one will go to the top scorer in October, November and December, plus a copy to the top three scorers in the unofficial competition in September (see here).
Thank you to Funbridge for donating these prizes.
Links to the results from September's games, and the scores from the unofficial ladder competition in September, are available below.
The games take place on Saturdays and Sundays, and you can play at any time between midnight and 10pm. This is possible because you will partner one of Funbridge's 'robots', and play against two other robots, so you don't need to be online at the same time as anyone else. The competitions consist of 20 boards, and you can play them at any time during the competition period, stopping and restarting as often as you want. It's a great way to fill the gaps in your weekend.
Acol is one of the bidding systems available for you to choose (which isn't always the case with some online platforms), and you can set which conventions and carding methods you and your robotic partner play.
As well as the chance to win monthly prizes, Master Points are awarded for each game. Entry costs €2 per game.
We hope you will take part. Please see the FAQ for more details on the competitions and for information on how to play.
Nomination papers for the elections which will take place at the EBU AGM in November have this week been dispatched to all Shareholders. Only nominations received at Aylesbury by Wednesday 25th October will be considered. Please note that only EBU Shareholders may nominate people for the Board or a Standing Committee.
Please click 'read more' for details of the current composition of the Board and Standing Committees, and of the elections which will be held at the AGM.
Autumn is the ideal time to start learning to play bridge, with lots of lessons beginning around the country in the next few weeks. Many of these will be using Bridge for All, the national learning programme administered by the national bridge charity English Bridge Education & Development.
Bridge for All offers a range of books and courses to enable you to learn in a way which best suits you, whether that is one lesson a week, or a more intensive course.
To help introduce the options available, EBED has produced the video below. Please share it with anyone who may be interested in learning to play. If you want to display the video on your website please get in touch.
For more information on learning through Bridge for All visit the EBED website, or contact them.
England's Women have won the silver medal in the Venice Cup at the World Championships. This great result means that England's Women have won medals in the last three Venice Cups - the only country to do so since 2003 - and in seven of the last eight major World and European competitions. Congratulations to Sally Brock & Fiona Brown, Catherine Draper & Nicola Smith, and Sandra Penfold & Nevena Senior (with NPC Derek Patterson and Coach David Burn).
The final against China started well, but the tide turned in the second session, and after five sessions England were willing to concede defeat.
NPC's blog: Derek Patterson, NPC for the team, has been writing a blog during the championship, and you can read it here.
For the results from the round robin phase, and session results from the knockout stages, click 'read more'.
USA2 was winners of the both the Bermuda Bowl and D'Orsi Bowl competitions.
Update: In the Transnational Teams which ran in parallel with the main events, the Percy team of Peter Crouch, David Gold, Andrew Robson, Anita Sinclair, Zia Mahmood (USA) & Marion Michielsen (Netherlands) (with Marshall Lewis of Croatia as NPC) finished in third place.
Congratulations to Shivam Shah (right) who has won a bronze medal in the teams competition at the World Youth Open Championships.
Shivam was playing with Christian Bakke (of Norway) and Guillermo Minutti (of Uruguay) & Maximo Crusizio (of Argentina)in the Villa Fabbriche team.
Stephen Kennedy & Michael Alishaw, and Ben Norton with Noah Thomas Apteker of South Africa, were narrowly defeated in the quarterfinals. In the BAM event which followed they were lying third prior to the final round, but had to withdraw. Shiavm's team carried on where they had left off, however, joining the competition and going on to take the silver medal.
The English players also put in good performances in the Pairs competition, although they missed out on the medals. Shivam, playing with Christian, finished 6th, Stephen & Michael were 8th, and Ben, playing with Noah, was 9th.
New EBU General Manager Gordon Rainsford has written his first 'blog' since taking over in the role, and you can see it by clicking 'read more' below.
At the Summer Meeting four awards have been presented to those who have excelled in junior bridge, and to those who have made significant contribution to the teaching of young players.
Young Player of the Year: Ben Norton
Young Pair of the Year: Stephen Kennedy & Michael Alishaw
The Alec Salisbury Award winner: Sarah Bell
The Tom Bradley Award winner: Jessica & Anton Mauve
The achievements of Ben, and of Stephen & Michael, during the period in consideration have been numerous. They have all been mainstays of the junior international squads which have enjoyed a good run of results recently - culminating in all four teams qualifying for the 2018 World Championships - and in domestic bridge they have all won titles at major EBU congresses. The links above give more detailed information.
The Alec Salisbury Award recognises a school teacher who has made a significant contribution to junior bridge. Sarah Bell, of St Paul's Girls School, was instrumental in the establishment of the U16 squad, and in the success that came about so quickly for the team. She has also established a bridge club at the school and has contributed to the development and growth of the Junior Award Scheme.
Jessica & Anton Mauve have been key in the burgeoning junior bridge scene in Kent, and were presented with the Tom Bradley Award, which recognises the 'non-school-teachers' who have made a significant contribution to youth bridge.
The annual updates to the Blue Book and White Book have been made by the Laws & Ethics Committee. There finalised versions can now be viewed and downloaded.
There is also a summary 'poster' covering the significant changes in the Blue Book. This is available for clubs to print off and make available on their noticeboard, or to distribute to interested members.
Please note that new regulations relating to ‘strong’ bids have replaced the Extended Rule of 25 - see the Blue Book for more details.
The content of these books applies to all events held on or after 1st August 2017.
Starting on 2nd September you will be able to play in EBU competitions on Funbridge.
In these competitions you will partner one of Funbridge's 'robots', and play against two other robots. You therefore don't need a 'human partner' to take part, and you can play whenever you wish as you don't need human opponents online at the same time. The competitions consist of 20 boards, and you can play them at any time during the competition period, stopping and restarting as often as you wish. The games will take place on Saturdays and Sunday, between midnight and 10pm (i.e. you have 22 hours to play your boards).
The games cost €2 (by charging you in Euros we can charge less than £2), and Master Points can be won. The competitions are open to everyone.
Not only does Funbridge offer ways to take part in competitions, and to play practice hands to develop your game, but they will also be showing live coverage of matches.
They are official partners of the World Bridge Championships in Lyon, and will be broadcasting live coverage of matches from the event from 12th - 26th August.
The EBU will also be using Funbridge to show coverage of the finals of the Crockfords Cup on 2nd & 3rd September. More details on the coverage will be available in due course, but as it coincides with the start of our online competitions we hope you will combine watching with taking part in those (stopping and restarting the competition as required during breaks in play).
More information, and useful documents, are available here.
EBED will be running a course on the changes to the laws - information is available on their website.
The August 2017 issue of English Bridge is out now, and a printed version will be delivered to all eligible members in the next few days. The 2017/18 Members' Diary will also be delivered with this issue to those eligible members who have not opted out of receiving one. If you are not eligible to receive a diary, and would like to purchase one, they are available from the Bridge Warehouse.
In response to feedback in the readers' survey there are four new columns starting this month. We hope you enjoy them.
The online version, which contains extra content including quizzes on some of the main articles and a feature on some of the junior initiatives taking place around the country, is available via My EBU (use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here.
As explained in the last issue, as of this issue the County News in its traditional format is no longer part of the printed version of the magazine, and is instead part of the online version of the magazine. It can also be accessed directly via this link - County News (an archive of these sections is available here).
Barry Capal retired on Friday after eleven years as General Manager of the EBU. He was the longest serving GM since the title was created, and only Dimmie Fleming served longer in the former position of Executive Secretary.
Gordon Rainsford, who will be the new General Manager said “I’d like to wish Barry all the best in his retirement and thank him for his time at the EBU. I’m very excited about my new role and delighted to have such a pleasant and professional staff to help me in it!”
Barry has written a final blog with his farewell thoughts, and some highlights of his time at the EBU. Click read more to see it in full.
We are very pleased that a report prepared by the European Court of Justice has concluded that contract bridge should be considered a sport for VAT purposes.
This is a non-binding recommendation, but if confirmed later this year the EBU would no longer need to charge VAT on entry fees to its competitions, and would receive a rebate on VAT which it had previously paid. This will have huge benefits as it will allow us to invest further in the game, and make entries to EBU competitions cheaper, thus allowing more people to enjoy playing bridge, and enabling more to experience the social and mental benefits that playing bridge offers. The final judgement is expected in the autumn.
Advocate General Maciej Szpunar gave his opinion that for the purposes of the VAT exemption a definition of ‘sport’ had different components, key among which was that it was intended to be understood as “training of mental or physical fitness in a way that is generally beneficial to the health and well-being of citizens”. He recognised that bridge met these criteria and also that the International Olympic Committee was one of a number of organisations which “expressly include mental sports or endorse activities without a physical element”, concluding that this implies that they be “generally regarded as similar to established sports”.
EBU Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy, welcomed the Advocate General’s report, saying:
Update: The case was discussed on Radio 4's 'Law in Action' on Tuesday 20th June. You can listen to that here (scroll to 23:04).
Our shop has changed, and it’s not just the name which is new.
Following a comprehensive review of the shop, led by Graham Smith, one of the EBU directors, we identified a number of changes which should be made to ensure its continued success, and to take advantage of opportunities for it to grow. These changes will help it meet its core functions of providing bridge supplies to the widest number of members at the lowest possible prices, and ensure that it generates revenue which can be reinvested in the EBU. All profit from sales in the shop is reinvested by the EBU in activities and services for its members and affiliated clubs.
We hope that this is the start of an exciting, and profitable, new era for the shop which will ultimately benefit all members. If everyone shops at The Bridge Warehouse we will all be better off, so please support it.
A fuller article on the changes is available by clicking 'read more'.
An index of all the educational articles which have been printed in English Bridge magazine since 2007 is now available, along with links to the correct pages of the relevant magazines.
From beginners lessons to advanced topics, and including conventions, techniques and tactics, there is something for everyone to learn from and enjoy.
The consultation on the National Grading Scheme which took place earlier this year has concluded, and the board has considered the recommendations which were put forward by Gordon Rainsford following his collation and consideration of the responses received from clubs. Gordon's report is available for you to read.
The primary 'headlines' are:
Any club which uses, or may in future use, the exemption, is asked to read the report and familiarise itself with the criteria which must be met. The information can also be circulated to anyone who acts as a 'host'.
A new addition has been made to the Master Point scheme, with Star Grand Master ranks introduced to bridge the gap between the existing ranks of Grand Master and Premier Grand Master.
It was recognised that whilst the requirements for these ranks are appropriate, the gap was too wide without there being interim levels which members could achieve as they strive to reach the highest rank. Star Grand Master was therefore introduced, with the member gaining an extra star for each additional 200 Green Points won. More information is available on the Master Point page of the website.
A list of those who have been promoted due to the introduction of these new ranks is available here.
Landmark promotions in the Master Point scheme are printed in every second issue of English Bridge, and a list of all promotions (sorted by county) can be seen on our website with a new list posted every month.
At a ceremony which took place at the European Open Championships, in Montecatini, Italy, Nicola Smith and John Holland were inducted in the EBL Hall of Fame.
Nicola has played in the European Championships 24 times for Great Britain and England's Women's Team, winning a gold medal on eight occasions. She has also won numerous other medals, including gold in the Venice Cup twice. She was awarded an MBE in 1995 for her contribution to bridge.
John has played in the last six European Championships, the most recent four appearances in the Senior's event in which he won a gold medal in 2014. He also won the D'Orsi Bowl - the 'Senior World Championships' - in 2009.
The Hall of Fame was established to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the formation EBL, and the other inaugural inductees were:
Open - Paul Chemla (France), Benito Garozzo (Italy), Geir Helgemo (Norway/Monaco), Julian Klukowski (Poland)
Women - Bep Vriend (Netherlands), Sylvie Willard (France)
Senior - Apolinary Kowalski (Poland)
Welcome to Robin Barker, who has joined the EBU staff as Deputy Chief Tournament Director.
Robin will be working on matters relating to Laws & Ethics, and in the planning and running of EBU events. Gordon Rainsford will continue as Chief Tournament Director when he takes over as General Manager, following the retirement of Barry Capal later this month, however much of the 'day-to-day' work in this area will be done by Robin. Please consider Robin to be the first point of contact for enquiries - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to three clubs which have recently affiliated with the EBU:
The annual updates to the Blue Book and White Book have been made by the Laws & Ethics Committee. There may still be a small number of minor alterations before the content is finalised, however they can be downloaded and viewed now by those wanting to have an early look at them.
England have enjoyed a fantastic European Youth Team Championships. The U26 Women and U21s won bronze medals, and all four teams qualified for next year's World Championships - England being the only country to achieve this. This exceeds the pre-tournament expectations with Alan Shillitoe, NPC of the U26 team calling it, "by far the best all-round performance we have achieved at this level". We echo his "congratulations to all the players who achieved this and thanks to all the coaches, captains and mentors who helped to develop and lead the players".
The England team of Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, David Kendrick, Norman Selway & John Holland retained the Teltscher Trophy, at the 'Senior Camrose' which took place in Belfast in May
The Corn Cairdis - the Cup of Friendship - has been won by England in the annual friendly match against Ireland.
The World Bridge Federation will be updating the Laws of Duplicate Bridge in 2017, and these will come in to effect in competitions in England from the start of August.
You can buy a copy of the new law book now.
This video - https://youtu.be/yzvj8D-8ZYM - from the EBU's Chief Tournament Director, Gordon Rainsford, explains a little more about the introduction of the laws, and the impact it will have on some of the more commonly occurring situations - those covered in our 'How Can I Help You?' series of videos.
Courses will be organised by English Bridge Education and Development to help TDs update their knowledge of the Laws. More information on those will be available soon.
Every year we produce a list of the top 50 clubs by number of player sessions in the year, and we are pleased to announce this year's list. The top 5 are available below, and the full list can be seen via the 'read more' link.
The EBU Board of Directors is delighted to announce that it has appointed Gordon Rainsford to be the new EBU General Manager. He will take on the role as from Monday 10th July and replace Barry Capal, who is retiring.
Colin Simpson is to receive the EBU's Diamond Award. Jeremy Dhondy made the announcement at the EBU Shareholders' Meeting which took place in London yesterday. Due to ill-health Colin was not able to attend the meeting to be presented with the award - it will be given to him in the near future.
The Diamond Award recognises excellence and success over a sustained period for England's international teams.
Colin is a Senior World and European Champion, having won those events in 2009 and 2014 respectively. These were among his eight appearances for England's Senior team in major competitions, and he played for the Open team in five major championships in the early part of the millennium. He has also represented England numerous times in the Camrose and Teltscher Trophy competitions.
Follow these links for the results and reports from each congress:
Allfrey team wins Schapiro Spring Foursomes
Theo & Sam Anoyrkatis win U21 Championship Pairs
Burgess & Bakhshi win Championship Pairs at Easter Festival
Mould & Holland, and Nelsons & Goldenfields, winners at Northern Easter Festival
Nonnenmacher team wins National Swiss Teams
Cambridge wins Portland Bowl
Hughes & Preston win National Pairs
McIntosh & Hauge, and Thompson team, win at Jersey Congress
Eight teams reach Garden Cities final
Bell team wins Online Knockout Teams
East & Leese win Swiss Pairs at Really Easy Weekend
Play for England in Commonwealth Nations Championships
England win Lady Milne
Nicola Smith and John Holland to be inaugural EBL Hall of Fame inductees
We have just switched My EBU, the replacement for the old Members Area, back on. There are some features associated with transactions that have not yet been released live: you cannot view your transaction history or past invoices; and you cannot book into competitions online. We hope these will be available within a day or two.
If you are having problems accessing My EBU, and still seeing the message saying the page is unavailable, then perform a 'hard refresh' of the page to clear your cache - this may be shift-F5 or ctrl-F5 depending on your browser.
Members should please note that the clubs have only just gained access too, so any sessions played during the downtime will not have been submitted yet. Please be patient as they work through the backlog.
The Aylesbury office will gradually open up our usual membership services over the next 48 hours. Please bear with staff as they get used to the new system.
The April issue of English Bridge is out now, and will be delivered to all eligible members in the next few days. The online version is also available via My EBU - see here for more details on accessing and using the online version.
The online version includes extra quizzes by some of the contributors to test what you learnt in the main articles, extra county news, plus all the content of the printed issue.
Thanks to everyone who completed the survey about the magazine. In the June issue we will report on some of the results and give an update on what changes may be made in future.
The growth of English Bridge Education and Development means it now seeks to appoint a part-time Chief Executive to lead the charity.
This is a 2-days-a-week position based primarily at the charity’s head office in Aylesbury, with the role including: management of the charity’s staff and day-to-day activities; working with the Board and staff to develop and deliver business strategy, plans and targets; ensuring the sustainability and expansion of our activities and services.
If you wish to apply for this position, please send a letter explaining why you consider yourself suitable for the role and a cv to email@example.com. Applications close on 30th April.
Nominations are now being accepted for the teaching awards presented jointly by the EBU and English Bridge Education and Development:
Please click 'read more' for further details on the nomination process. Nominations should be made by 23rd May.
Surrey County Bridge Association are holding sessions in June for those wanting to learn how to teach minibridge.
These 'teach the teacher' lessons will help those who would like to introduce the game to a young audience, and are free to attend.
They will take place on 13th and 17th June in Farnham. Please see the information leaflet for more details and booking information.
Congratulations to Mike Bell, who has claimed the Sunday Telegraph Salver, for the most Master Points accumulated in the calendar year, for the first time.
Mike earned 25,712 points, with Jason Hackett second with 20,741, and John Holland - who was top scorer for the previous four years - third with 20,647. David Gold has reclaimed the top spot in the Gold Point rankings, with Andrew Robson in second, and 2015 leader John Holland in third.
The winners of the Club Champions prize draw have also been selected. Club Champions are those who won the most Master Points in events held at each club. Pam Moore of Ridgeway Bridge Club was first out of the hat and wins £400. Inu Kassam of Wimbledon Bridge Club was drawn in second and wins £200, and Michael Shine of Herts & Essex Bridge Club wins £100 for being drawn third. The top scoring, lower-ranked players in each county also receive small prizes.
The full Master Point lists for 2016, including a breakdown by county, can be accessed below. All the data is currently provisional - if you believe there are any anomalies please contact us as soon as possible.
The Young Bridge Challenge took place in Loughborough on Saturday 4th March with young players from over 20 schools enjoying an afternoon of bridge and minibridge competitions.
The bridge teams started with a Swiss Teams, after which the top teams representing a single school went on to a knockout phase to contest the Schools Cup. This was won by Liam Sanderson, Theo Gillis, Oscar Selby & Carlos Lapuerta of Westminster School (pictured). They beat the team of Rodger Ren, Nick Heymann, Joe Benton & Max Fleming from St Pauls School in the final. The Dragon School in Oxford beat Eton College in the third place playoff.
The remaining teams continued the Swiss Teams competition. The top finishers were the team of Alex Pemberton, Andy Cope, Megan Jones & Imogen La Chapelle and they won the Harry Scully Trophy. The Schools Plate - for the highest finishing team from one school - went to James Zhang, Roman Evans, Quentin Guerolt & Harry Armitage of St Pauls School, after they finished in third place.
The winners in the minibridge competition were Martha Davey & Henry Edwards of Worcester BC and Joshua Smith & Rohan Sehgal of Loughborough Grammar School.
The event was organised by English Bridge Education and Development. Thank you from all involved to Loughborough Grammar School for hosting the event.
The February half-term was a break from school, but not from mental exercise as a number of bridge events for junior players took place. Unlike school, however, these proved to be very popular with the youngsters! Events included:
If you are planning any activities for youngsters - perhaps during the Easter holidays - please let us know. A calendar of upcoming junior events is available on the EBED website.
On 2nd March, at the European Courts of Justice in Luxembourg, judges considered the EU Directive under which sporting activities are exempt from VAT.
At present the majority of the governments of member nations of the EU exempt bridge activities from VAT under this directive. The UK government does not implement the directive in this way, and the EBU, with the co-operation of HMRC, brought the matter before the British Court. The British Courts referred the case to the EU Courts to seek clarification regarding the intention of their directive. Prominent MPs have given their support to the removal of VAT from entry fees to Mind Sport competitions - Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron calling it "a common sense approach".
The Court looked at the intention of the directive in broad terms, and once it has been established then this can be applied to the case of bridge specifically. A preliminary judgement will be made on 15th June.
Despite 'Brexit' the ruling is still significant: a 'positive' result would enable a refund to the EBU of VAT paid in recent years; it would establish the basis for the implementation of the directive in all EU member states, not just the UK.
The EBU is disappointed to report that it has been denied leave to appeal the ruling given following 2015's Judicial Review of Sport England's definition of 'sport', and how it relates to bridge.
At the hearing which took place on Thursday (19th January) Lady Justice Macur determined that despite the arguments put forward by the EBU's legal team (which can be read here), there was insufficient prospect of the decision being overturned to warrant the court holding an appeal hearing.
This is the final action which the EBU will be taking in its current attempts to have Sport England recognise bridge as a 'sport'.
This decision has no impact on the VAT case which will go to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on 2nd March. This was referred to the court by the British courts, in order to seek clarification on the EU's directive that no VAT should be charged on sporting activities, and whether this should apply to bridge. Bridge is already exempt from VAT in a number of EU countries, and it is in the interests of all member states for a clear definition to be sought. 'Brexit' will therefore have no affect on the case, and in addition a positive ruling could results in a rebate on VAT which has previously been paid.
Follow the links for the results and reports from each congress:
Three in a row for Mould & Holland at Blackpool Year End Congress
Hallberg & King, and Rosen team, win main events at Year End Congress
Hinden team wins National Point-a-Board Teams
Edwards team wins Silver Plate
The Spring Overseas Congress concludes in Lisbon
Seven champions crowned in Masters and Ranked Masters Pairs
Croswell and Jones win at Harrogate
London wins Tollemache Cup
Curtis & Fegarty win Portland Pairs
Green & Kent top qualifiers for National Pairs final
Ireland (pictured) have won the Camrose Trophy after stretching their advantage on the second weekend in Edinburgh. The England team were only the fourth highest scorers on the weekend, but did enough to comfortably hold on the second place position they held after the first weekend. Ireland finished on 142.92 VPs, with England on 129.83 and Wales in third on 112.11.
70 junior internationals put the 'young' back in the Young Chelsea Bridge Club, as it hosted the Junior Channel Trophy.
The Netherlands won two of the competitions, securing a narrow victory in the U26 event, and a comprehensive win in the U26 Women's competition. The U21 competition was won by the French team. The Dutch winners of the Channel Trophy (for the U26 competition) are pictured receiving the cup from Baroness Henig of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge.
Baroness Henig expressed her delight at seeing such enthusiasm for bridge amongst the young players, gave thanks to the organisers of the event, and praised the NBOs in England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands for their support of junior bridge.
England finished second in all three competitions.
The Junior Camrose and Peggy Bayer competitions took place at the weekend in Dublin and England ran away comfortable winners in both events.
The team of Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, David Kendrick, Norman Selway and Colin Simpson have won the trials to represent England in the 2017 Teltscher Trophy.
They won five of their six matches to finish on 96.55 VPs, 12.08 VPs ahead of the team of Paul Hackett, John Holland, Gunnar Hallberg, David Mossop, David Price and Brian Senior.
The 2017 Teltscher Trophy takes place in Northern Ireland from 19th – 21st May.
Helen Erichsen & Fiona Brown have won the trials to represent England in the 2017 Lady Milne competition.
They dominated the event, finishing with a XIMP score of 160.43. Heather Bakhshi & Claire Robinson were in second place with 106.42, a further 20 points ahead of the field, and the two pairs will join an as-yet-unselected pair to contest the Lady Milne Trophy in Wrexham on 21st - 23rd April.
A new year of Sim Pairs events organised by the EBU starts in just a few weeks. We hope you, and your club, will be taking part.
The entry fees from each of the events help to support bridge in England.
As well as helping the development of bridge, by taking part you, and your club, can win prizes. Each host club, and the top pair at each club, will be entered in to a prize draw (at the 2017 AGM) with a chance to win £1000.
The winners of the top prizes in 2016 were:
The full list of winners, including the runners-up from the prize draw, and the overall winners for each heat, can be seen here.
For more information on the competitions, and how clubs can register to take part, see the information on the Sim Pairs webpage. A list of participating clubs can be seen by clicking on each competition.
Bridge is "quite cool". So say the increasing number of juniors learning to play.
The Times featured an article on Saturday reporting on the rise in popularity of bridge amongst young players. The charity English Bridge Education and Development regularly receives calls from schools and bridge teachers wanting to introduce bridge into the classroom, and the number of juniors involved in activities organised by the EBU, EBED, affiliated clubs and counties, has risen sharply.
Bridge is proving very popular with the young players - in the article Gabriel, a pupil at Weald Primary School, describes it as "quite cool". Not only is bridge a fun activity for the children, but teachers and parents have also observed how it offers numerous opportunities for academic and personal development.
The BBC also featured the story on Radio 5 Live (see below) and talked to school teacher Ann Hutchison and junior internationals Jasmine Bakhshi and Liam Sanderson. The story was also on their Breakfast program on Sunday morning (sadly that is not available to watch on the iPlayer), and on Radio 5 Live.
English Bridge Education and Development are very keen to help establish bridge groups in schools and can provide equipment, teaching materials and contacts in the local area to help get things off the ground. Please contact Richard Banbury - firstname.lastname@example.org - for more information.
Those who have an interest in bridge history will hopefully enjoy reading this book over the festive period. Written by keen bridge historian Richard Fleet, it looks, as the title suggests, at the competitions that took place during a key period in the game's history. He also focuses on some of the main contributors, personalities, and great players of the era.
Thanks to Richard for all his work in putting this together and for sharing it with us all.
The English Bridge Education and Development newsletter for December 2016 is now available, giving an update on all that the charity has been doing in the last six months.
You can read it here, and if you have any
Bridge players from Weald Community Primary School, near Sevenoaks, and from Weydon School in Farnham, Surrey, visited the House of Lords on Tuesday to play bridge with the Peers.
Following a tour of both the House of Commons and House of Lords they played bridge with seven members of the House of Lords. Although both groups had only started bidding recently they acquitted themselves well in their new surroundings - having played minibridge for a few years their card play was particularly good.
During the visit they were visited by Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence and Member of Parliament for the constituency in which Weald CP School is situated. He is pictured addressing the visiting group during a break in the game (you can also read his report on his website). The MP for Weydon School's constituency, Jeremy Hunt, was unable to attend, but sent a message to the visiting group and said he would visit the school's bridge group in the near future.
The visit was organised as a joint activity between the EBU, English Bridge Education and Development and the All Party Paliamentary Group for Bridge. The EBU, EBED and the two schools would like to thank Baroness Henig and all the Peers for making the visit possible.
The December issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links - the online version also has additional content.
We are aware of an error in the printed version of the magazine on page 16 - the 'Beat the Expert' hands in the right column should be titled East Hands.
At the AGM, which was held in London on Wednesday 23rd November, the EBU were pleased to present awards to a number of members who have dedicated many hours to bridge administration, or to promoting the game, at a national or local level.
A Gold Award - the EBU's highest award - was presented to Andrew Petrie (pictured) for his service on the EBU Board, and most recently to English Bridge Education and Development.
Silver Awards were presented to Mike Christie and Martin Pool. Roger Amey was also given the award and will receive his locally.
A Dimmie Fleming Award - for services to county bridge - was presented to Ron Heath, and will be given at local events to Chris Larlham, Julia Brough and Peggy Griffin. David Anning was also chosen as a recipient, but sadly he passed away in September. His award will be presented to those close to him at a suitable opportunity in the future.
The Tony Priday Award - for making an outstanding contribution to bridge and enhancing the game in all its aspects - was given to Jeff Smith for his work in developing bridge software which he made available free of charge.
The Alec Salisbury Award - an award to the school teacher who has made the most effective contribution to promoting bridge - was presented to Stuart Haring at the recent Middlesex Congress.
In addition, the Diamond Award recipients were announced. This award recognises achievement at the highest levels of bridge, and will be presented to Pat Davies and Bob Rowlands in the near future.
At the Summer Meeting in Eastbourne in August four awards were presented - see here for more information.
The EBU AGM took place on 23rd November. The following people were elected/re-elected to the EBU Board and Standing Committees:
Board - Elected: Heather Dhondy, Darren Evetts; Not elected: Nicky Bainbridge
Vice-Chairman* - Ian Payn
Selection Committee - Elected (three year term): Alan Mould, Paul Hackett; Elected (one year term): Ollie Burgess; Not elected: David Debbage
Laws & Ethics Committee* - Robin Barker, Frances Hinden, Tim Rees
* - there were not contested elections for these positions.
The Shareholders voted that the Tournament Committee should not continue as a Standing Committee - therefore no vote took place for this committee. There will instead be a sub-sommittee of the Board which will assist and advise the Chief Tournament Director, Gordon Rainsford, and members will be appointed directly to this group.
An England Under 16 team finished seventh in the Czech Republic Junior Teams Championship this weekend.
The team of Oscar Selby & Henry Rose, Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan, Alex Pemberton & Andy Cope, with NPC: Mike Bell, competed against eleven other junior sides - including some U26 teams and many with more international experience.
They struggled in their opening qualifying matches, finishing fifth of the six teams in their group. They bounced back well, however, finishing second in the next group phase to move on to the 5th-8th playoff. They lost their 'semi-final' but an emphatic victory in their final match saw them claim 7th place and improve on their good performance in the 2015 competition.
England's representatives have finished 8th in the Champions Cup in Zagreb. The competition featured the top ten European nations from the European Championships, plus the hosts and defending champions.
England were represented by the winners of the 2015 Premier League - Justin Hackett, Jason Hackett, Alex Hydes, David Mossop & David Price plus Paul Hackett (Colin Simpson was part of the winning team but is unable to participate).
They finished the round robin phase in sixth place, but in the playoffs they lost both matches to finish in eighth.
The competition was won by the Monaco team, with the defending champions - Allegra from Italy - down in fifth.
We are pleased to be offering free postage on orders from the EBU Shop over £100 (including VAT and any relevant discounts).
This offer is for those ordering before Wednesday 21st December 2016 and delivery must to be the UK mainland (excluding 'the Highlands & Islands'). To order and take advantage of this offer please call 01296 397851 or email email@example.com (this offer cannot be used for online orders). You can see all the available products, which includes bridge equipment, stationery, accessories and gifts, in our online shop.
The shop is likely to be busy in the lead up to Christmas, so please order as early as possible.
Please be aware that prize vouchers - which were last issued at congresses in 2009 (thereafter prizes have been credited directly to your EBU account) - will not be accepted after 1st May 2017.
Please search your drawers to unearth any you may still have. If you find any then please send them to:
Accounts, English Bridge Union, Broadfields, Bicester Road, Aylesbury, HP19 8AZ.
We hope that you will include an entry for a forthcoming congress, or an order from the EBU Shop, so they can be used for payment for that. But if not then they can be credited to your account for future use or withdrawal.
Tim Farron MP, leader of the Liberal Democrat party, has written to the EBU in support of our efforts to have bridge recognised as an activity on which no VAT should be charged for competition entries.
Writing to EBU Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy, Mr Farron said he "fully support(ed)" the EBU's efforts, and he would "take the opportunity to support the removal of VAT from entry fees for Bridge tournaments whenever possible".
Mr Farron has previously spoken out against the imposition on VAT on chess competitions, and has recognised the positive benefits of playing both mind sports. "In common with the 100+ sports and activities that are exempt from VAT, (bridge) provides a stimulating and useful way to spend leisure time", Mr Farron wrote. When speaking about the case involving chess he called on the government to "adopt a common sense approach".
The EBU's case has been referred to the European Court for a ruling on whether the European Union's directive that sporting activities should be exempt from VAT includes mind sports. As the decision can be applied retrospectively it is not believed that 'Brexit' will have any impact on the case. The date of the hearing is not yet known.
The Bridge for All books, which are the main textbooks for the national bridge teaching programme, have undergone a refresh over the summer, and the new versions are now available.
English Bridge Education and Development (EBED) have worked with well-known bridge professionals to update the content to include more modern methods, and to also give the books a fresh, new look.
These books are available to EBTA (English Bridge Teachers Association) members at a discounted rate, and EBTA members can also receive a full teaching guide. See the EBED website for more details on joining EBTA.
Please order the books from Lisa - 01296 317217 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Gillis team wins Gold Cup
Holder team wins Gerard Faulkner Salver
Multiple winners at Really Easy Weekend
The October issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links - the online version also has additional content.
Allfrey & Robson win Player of the Year Competition
Mossop team wins Crockfords Cup; Ransley team wins Plate
Gauld & McIntosh and Laland team win main events at Guernsey Congress
The World Bridge Games in Poland have concluded, with two English pairs finishing in the top ten of their respective Pairs events.
Paul Hackett & John Holland finished in ninth place in the Seniors Pairs and Nevena Senior & Fiona Brown in tenth place in the Women's Pairs.
Andrew McIntosh & Phil King, who qualified in second place for the Open Pairs final, finished in 21st; Susanna Gross & Alex Hydes who qualified in third place for the Mixed Pairs final finished in 15th.
In the Teams competitions, two gold medals were won by the Netherlands, and two by the USA. Unfortunately the Scottish Women were defeated in the bronze medal match. England's teams only progressed as far as the quarter final stages.
Three English juniors performed well in the Swedish Junior Championships last weekend. Yvonne Wiseman, playing with Adam Stokka, narrowly missed out on a place on the podium, finishing in fourth place just 0.2% behind third. Oscar Selby & Megan Jones finished sixth - a good performance considering they are still Under-16s and the event was open to Under-26 players.
Four awards were presented by the EBU and English Bridge Education and Development at the Summer Meeting this weekend.
Alan Shillitoe received the Tom Bradley Award for his contribution to junior bridge, both for his work with the junior international squads and for his contribution to the development of English Bridge Education and Development's Junior Award Scheme.
Tom Paske received the Young Player of the Year Award, and Ben Norton and Sam Behrens received the Young Pair of the Year Award.
Jim Proctor, who was the EBU's longest serving Tournament Director when he retired earlier this year, was presented with Life Membership.
The new Master Point and Licensing Handbook, for the 2016/17 season, is now available to download, along with a document which highlights the changes from last year.
We have also sought to clarify the requirements for a session to be recognised as a 'Novice Session'. It also seeks to clarify when the club has the option to choose whether or not they should submit the session and make a Universal Membership payment. These requirements are outlined here:
If you have any queries then please don't hesitate to contact the Club Liaison Officer, Bev Purvis - email@example.com or 01296 317206.
There's never been a better time to learn to play bridge, with hundreds of lessons starting all round the country this autumn. English Bridge Education and Development can provide the details of teachers in all parts of the country - you may have seen their advert in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday - so if you or anyone you know is interested in starting to learn in the coming weeks then contact them:
The annual updates to the Blue Book and White Book have been made by the Laws & Ethics Committee. They are available to download or view now. These regulations apply to all events held on or after 1st August 2016. Summaries of the changes to both books are also available.
A small number of copies of the Blue Book produced in 2015 are available for purchase through the EBU Shop - there will be an insert which covers the changes for 2016. The White Book is not available in a printed form.
The L&E Committee has also produced the next in the set of booklets of EBU Appeals. This covers all the appeals made at major EBU events in 2014, and is now available to download.
The main events have reached a conclusion for our teams in the World Youth Team Championships in Italy, with the Under 16s finishing in 8th and the Under 26s in 15th.
The Under 16s (referred to as 'kids' on the event website) played the Netherlands in the 7th-8th play-off on Day 6 of the event, and took a good lead after the first session. They lost a very 'swingy' second set to fall behind narrowly with 14 boards to play, and the Dutch team pulled away in the final session to claim the 7th place. The team should be very pleased with their performance, however, given their lack of experience at this level. To win more than half of their matches in the round robin phase on their first appearance on the world stage was an excellent achievement. NPC Sarah O'Connor has reported that the team remained in high spirits throughout the event, and have thoroughly enjoyed the competition. With so many years as junior players ahead of them, let's hope it is the first of many good performances from this group.
The Under 26s ('juniors' on the event website) won one of their final three matches, so remained in midtable. Whilst the finishing position will be disappointing, their NPC has reported that they have played much better than their scores have suggested - for example, he has lost count of the number of 'anti-percentage' grand slams that have been made against the team. It is also worth noting that despite finishing 15th their score was closer to the team in the 8th qualifying spot than it was to the team in 18th. They will now play in a consolation event for teams not progressing to the knock-out stage, so will hope to get their share of the luck this time, and compete for some silverware.
The NPCs are reporting from the event - you can read their blogs here - and also check our social media accounts (which is perhaps more fitting for a junior event) for news and photos from Italy.
Under 26s: Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Ben Norton & Yvonne Wiseman; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke
Under 16s: Harry Madden & Oscar Selby; Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan; Megan Jones & Henry Rose; NPC: Sarah O’Connor; Coach: Mike Bell
After a good qualifying competition, the English Lions (Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Alex Roberts & Yvonne Wiseman) and English Cubs (Ankush Khandelwal, Ben Norton, Oscar Selby & Liz Gahan) unfortunately failed to finish on the podium in the consolation event of the World Youth Team Championships. The Lions finished well clear of the field in qualifying, finally getting the results that their play earlier in the event deserved, and although they led at the halfway point in the final they slipped back in to fourth. The Cubs qualified in 8th, and finished 9th in the final - a great result for the young team.
The NPCs have been writing blogs throughout the event. They can be read here.
The England team's bid to reclaim the Chairman's Cup, the most prestigious teams event on the Swedish bridge calendar, ended on Tuesday at the quarter final stage on Tuesday. Sally Brock & Barry Myers and Frances Hinden & Graham Osborne put in a strong performance to emerge to the knockout stages from the initial entry of 170 teams, but after two victories they were then beaten by the Abax team from Norway. They have moved on to the consolation event where they have won their first match.
Also defeated in the quarter-finals were a team including EBU members Simon Gillis, Artur Malinowski and Gunnar Hallberg alongside Erik Saelensminde.
The 13th European Youth Pairs Championships finished on Sunday in Liepaja in Latvia. England had a large number of pairs competing (some are pictured), and there were some good results and prize winning performances.
The highest finishers in any of the main competitions were Oscar Selby & Harry Madden who finished 5th of the 23 pairs playing in the Under 16 Pairs, just a few match points outside the medal places. Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth were winners of the President's Cup, the consolation event for all pairs failing to qualify for a main final. Nick Dean, playing with Carolina Pimenta of Portugal, won a prize for leading 'transnational pair' in the President's Cup.
Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal gained the kudos of being the highest scorers of the 61 pairs in the qualifying rounds of the Under 26 pairs - though ultimately they finished 15th in the final. Will Roper & Alex Birchall also reached the final in that event.
Two English pairs reached the final of the Under 21 Pairs - Jonathan Clark & Kripa Panchagnula finished 11th, and Ben Norton & Sam Behrens were 13th. In the Women's Under 26 Pairs, Yvonne Wiseman & Carina Negreanu finished 10th of the 20th pairs.
Carina Negreanu & Nick Dean were England's leading pair in the Mixed Pairs, finishing 10th of the 52 pairs. The winners were Jun Nakamaru-Pinder and Olivia Bailey of Scotland meaning further bragging rights for British bridge.
The competitions are being followed by a three day youth bridge camp in which some of the English juniors will be taking part.
All the results from the Summer Meeting, plus pictures, news and articles can be found here.
Smith & Pye and Jepson team win at Northern Midweek Congress
Davis & Taylor, and Thrower team, win at Scarborough Summer Congress
Norman team wins Online KO Plate
Wolfendale and Davey win at Summer Seniors in Eastbourne
Alishaw & Kennedy win Riviera Swiss Pairs; Lawy team wins Swiss Teams
As members will hopefully have read in the April issue of English Bridge, and in May's EBED newsletter, English Bridge Education and Development is undertaking research with Stirling University in to the health and wellbeing benefits of playing bridge. A survey has been produced to gather data to help in this study.
There is a commonly held view that those playing bridge tend to remain alert into their 80s and 90s, but is it true that the game can help maintain brain fitness? This online survey explores the effect of bridge, in tandem with social participation more widely, on wellbeing and quality of life.
They seek responses from everyone:
The response from bridge players has been excellent, but more replies are needed from 'non-players'. Please take part and encourage as many friends and family as possible to take part too.
Take the survey at: https://stirling.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/social-participation-and-wellbeing-ebu
It should take 10-15 mins to complete. On completion of the survey you can contact the research assistant to enter a draw to win one of two £100 Amazon vouchers.
Unfortunately EBED will not be holding the Junior Teach-In this year, but there is still chance for juniors bridge players to attend residential bridge events this summer.
Sussex CBA is holding a summer camp at Ardingly College on 12-14 August, and Cheltenham BC is hosting an event on 3-4 September, with accommodation provided at Cheltenham Ladies College. These events are open to children of all bridge/minibridge abilities.
For more information:
At the Summer Meeting in Eastbourne there will be two training sessions for those wanting to learn how to use EBUScore, or how to get more from it.
These will be on Friday 26th August at the Winter Garden, and organised in conjunction with English Bridge Education and Development. The morning session will be an introduction to the basics of EBUScore for those unfamiliar with the software (or the Jeff Smith suite on which it is based). The afternoon session will be for more experienced users, and will address the scoring of more complicated events and look at more advanced ‘troubleshooting’.
Each session will be free to those who are part of an EBU affiliated club, but places must be booked in advance via the EBU Competition Department – 01296 317203/219. When booking please let us know the club you are representing. Places at the sessions may not be available to those who do not register in advance.
EBUScore is the bridge scoring program provided and maintained by the English Bridge Union. It is available free to all affiliated clubs, counties and EBUTA teachers. Find out more at www.ebu.co.uk/ebuscore.
As a new benefit for affiliated clubs (old and new), we have arranged a deal for those wishing to try Pianola. As a part of your EBU affiliation you can use Pianola completely free of charge for twelve months.
Pianola allows clubs to manage their membership, communicate with their players, publish the club’s results and build a website. Players benefit from personal analysis of their performance and can use the system to advertise for a partner, when they need one. Pianola integrates closely with the EBU database in real time, so changes you make in Pianola are automatically and instantly replicated on the EBU database. Adding or removing members, uploading results, retrieving all your members' NGS and grade information - Pianola automates the whole process. Many of these features are unique to Pianola, and it is seen by many as the leading online platform for bridge clubs.
To take advantage of this offer contact firstname.lastname@example.org and mention you're an EBU club.
If you are looking for a partner, or team mates, for an upcoming congress, then try the new message boards which we have added to most of the competition pages. Scroll to the bottom of the webpage for the congress in question and you will be able to post a message to say you are seeking someone, or you can reply to someone else who is looking.
England's Women's team have won the European Championships in Budapest.
Starting the final day in third place, they won all three matches, including victory against overnight leaders Poland in the final match.
Congratulations to the team: Heather Dhondy & Nevena Senior; Sally Brock & Nicola Smith; Fiona Brown & Catherine Draper; NPC: Derek Patterson; Coach: David Burn.
This adds another medal to the impressive haul collected by this team. It is an eighth European Gold medal for Nicola, a fifth for Heather and Sally, a second for Fiona and Nevena and it is Catherine's first. This team - which also included Susan Stockdale (now Norton) until 2013 - have won medals at the last six World and European team events. They may currently be the most successful international team in British sport.
Whilst the Women's team had a wonderful end to their competition (see above), the event had a disappointing finish for the Open and Senior teams. At times in the competition both teams would have been hopeful of finishing in the medals, but results on the final few days meant that they slipped down the table, and ultimately finished outside the positions which will likely earn them qualification for the 2017 World Championships. Both teams finished in tenth. France won the Open event, Israel the Seniors. As the Open team finished in the top ten, England have qualified to play in the European Champions Cup in 2016 and 2017
Nonetheless, well done to all the players on their performances:
Open team David Bakhshi & David Gold; Tony Forrester & Andrew Robson; Jason Hackett & Justin Hackett; NPC: David Price; Coach: Alan Mould
Senior team John Holland & Brian Senior; David Kendrick & Patrick Collins; Sandra Penfold & Norman Selway; NPC: Paul Hackett
Blogs from the event are available at http://ebuselection.blogspot.co.uk/
A Women's Pairs took place before the teams event started. Fiona Brown & Sarah O'Connor finished 7th, with Sally Brock & Susanna Gross finishing 9th.
Every year we produce a list of the top 50 clubs by number of players in the year, and we are pleased to announce this year's list. The top 5 are available below, and the full list can be seen via the 'read more' link.
Bryant team wins Online Knockout
The EBED Spring Simultaneous Pairs has recently finished, with over 130 clubs and 2300 pairs taking part. The event has raised over £11,000 which will be specifically used to help fund English Bridge Education and Development's work researching and promoting the health and social benefits of playing bridge. Thank you to all who took part.
Work on this project is already underway, with researchers at Stirling University preparing a survey which will gather information to look at the effect of playing bridge on the respondents' perception of various topics.
This is just the first stage of a larger project that will take place over the coming months and years. If you would like to continue to support EBED’s work one way to do so is by entering the EBED Autumn Sim Pairs which will take place 5th to 9th September.
At the meeting of the Laws & Ethics Committee which took place on 25th May, changes were agreed to some existing terminology and penalties.
It was decided that the term “frivolous” when applied to appeals would be replaced by “without merit” (or "meritless" when used as an adjective).
After discussion it was agreed to introduce from 1st August 2016 the following revised arrangement with regard to penalties for appeals without merit: (The change is shown in italics)
This was considered to be fairer as a financial penalty alone was believed to have differing impacts on different different players, whereas if combined with a score penalty it would be more equal in effect.
England won the Teltscher Trophy - the 'senior Camrose' competition for the British Isles - in Edinburgh at the weekend. The team of Sally Brock, Barry Myers, Robert Sheehan, Nicola Smith, Norman Selway and Chris Dixon dominated the event throughout, winning all ten of their matches and scoring 55% more VPs than the second placed team. The fight for second place was much more exciting, with the part-English Patrons team needing a big win in the final match against Ireland, and getting it.
England have finished second in the Lady Milne Trophy, the competition for the national women's teams from the five NBOs of the British Isles which took place just outside Belfast.
The winners were Scotland, who dominated the event, winning all five matches with relative ease, and finishing on 87.68 VPs out of a possible 100. The England team of Fiona Brown and Helen Erichsen, Christine Jepson and Catherine Curtis, Sarah Ewart and Ewa Kater, with NPC Heather Dhondy, won all matches with the exception of a 20-0 defeat to Scotland. They finished on 63.20 VPs, with Ireland third on 49.57 VPs. Defending champions Wales were fourth.
Joan Jaggard & Keith Jaggard, of Stansfield Bridge Club, have qualified for the final of the WBF World Wide Bridge Contest, and will be invited to participate in the final in Beijing in September.
Competing in one of the six worldwide simultaneous events which have taken place in recent months, Joan and Keith finished second with 71.82% - enough to qualify as one of the highest scoring second-placed pairs. Pairs from China, Greece, Singapore, India, Portugal, Tunisia, USA, Australia, Sri Lanka and Italy will also be invited to take part in the final.
The EBU invites nominations from any school, club or other organisation or individual for the Alec Salisbury and Tom Bradley Awards.
Alec Salisbury was the EBU's Schools and Youth Officer for many years, being instrumental in the introduction of Minibridge
Typical achievements might include: Establishment of a school bridge club; developing the range of players within that club; participation in county/EBED youth events; support for the Junior Award Scheme; promotion of academic and non-academic benefits of bridge within the school and community.
See previous winners (most recently awarded to Amy Huber of Carshalton High School for Girls)
The Tom Bradley Award is made to the (non-school) teacher who has made the most contribution to promoting youth bridge
Tom Bradley was the former Treasurer of the EBU, who was a champion of attracting new players into the game of bridge.
Typical achievements might include: Major contribution to Junior Bridge Development; creating a sustained interest in bridge; Interaction with the adult bridge community; support for the Junior Award Scheme; promotion of academic and non-academic benefits of bridge within the community.
See previous winners (most recently awarded to Dave & Jill Armstrong of Sussex)
Please send nominations for either award to Richard Banbury - email@example.com - before 23rd May.
The April issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online via the members area for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links - the online version also has additional content.
Jasmine Bakhshi and Liam Sanderson (both London) have won the Under 21 Championship Pairs which took place at the Easter Festival (they are pictured receiving their trophy from Heather Dhondy). Jasmine defended the title which she won last year - the first person to do so since 2002.
Tom Townsend (London) was the star performer at the Easter Festival in London, winning the Championship Pairs with Mark Teltscher and the Swiss Teams with Nick Sandqvist (London), Janet de Botton and Thor Erik Hoftaniska (both Middlesex).
The event concluded with a Flighted Swiss Pairs event. The A flight was won by Waseem Naqvi & Tony Waterlow (both Middlesex) and the B flight was won by Andy Margetts & Michelle Margetts.
The Really Easy Afternoon, for less experienced players was won by Amarjeet Singh & Gurdeep Singh (both Essex).
Bernard Goldenfield & Rhona Goldenfield (both Manchester) were emphatic winners of the three session Swiss Pairs event at the Northern Easter Festival.
The Swiss Teams event was won by Jeff Smith, Jackie Pye (both Lancs), Peter Stocken & Philip Mason (both Yorks). The Mixed Pairs was won by Hugh McGann & Fiona Brown (Yorks). The Open Pairs was won convincingly by John Holland & Alan Mould. An Improvers Pairs event was won by Margaret Edwardson & Stuart Edwardson (both Yorkshire).
The event was run by Yorkshire Contract Bridge Association on behalf of the EBU.
Denis Murphy & Pearl Murphy (both Yorkshire) have won the Portland Pairs, the EBU's mixed pairs championship which took place on Sunday 20th March.
The main Swiss Pairs event at the Harrogate Spring Congress was won in a very close finish by Jack Stocken and Bill Townsend, with a winning margin of just one victory point over Patrick Collins and Andrew Petrie. Going into the final match a number of pairs could have taken the trophy so Jack and Bill were grateful for every one of the 14 VPs they won.
The Swiss Teams was less exciting, with the Dessain team winning every match to finish 9 VPs ahead of Harris in second. Congratulations to Tom Dessain, Tugrul Kaban, Mark Hill and Giles Ip.
The Ranked Masters Pairs, held near Birmingham on 27 & 28th February, saw champions crowned in six competitions. Entry into each competition was dependent on a player's EBU Master Point ranking.
Konrad Mau & John Gibbons (both Kent) have won the Master Pairs, held on 28th February.
London has won the Tollemache Cup, the inter-county championships for teams of eight.
The team of Nick Sandqvist, Tom Townsend, Phil King, Stellio Di Bello, Mike Bell, Kieran Dyke, Graham Orsmond, Willie Coyle, Rob Cliffe and Franklin To finished on 105 VPs, well ahead of the field. Kent was second on 86, with Surrey third on 79.
The Overseas Congress in Cyprus, sponsored by Bridge Overseas, took place from 1st to 7th February. The attendees enjoyed glorious weather and what many believed to be the best hotel used for an EBU Overseas Congress.
The stars of the week were Richard Spencer & Emile Lawy (both Middlesex) (pictured with Hannah Williams of Bridge Overseas) who won three competitions - the Open Pairs, Men's Pairs, and Swiss Pairs.
We are pleased that we are now able to make EBUScore available free of charge to all EBUTA members. They can download the software by logging in to the members area of the website.
EBUTA is a membership organisation for all bridge teachers. It is administered by English Bridge Education and Development. Please see their website for more information.
Richard's biography is available on the EBED website.
We are pleased to announce that Bev Purvis will be joining us as our new Club Liaison Officer. She will start in a few weeks' time.
The board of the EBU has eight elected directors. It may also appoint up to two additional directors for a period of one year (renewable annually).
We are looking to the possibility of appointing one or two directors. The positions are voluntary. Applications would be particularly welcome from those with an interest in retailing (including online retailing) and/or marketing.
If you are interested and would like to know more please email the Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy (firstname.lastname@example.org).
My EBU, the replacement for the old Members Area, received a few updates today. Among the changes are:
We are also pleased to launch our knockout draw program, called EBUKnockout. This is the counterpart to EBULeague, and allows clubs, counties and districts to manage their knockout events. It is fully functional but still very new so please report any issues you encounter, or features that are missing. Anyone planning to use EBUKnockout should read the instructions first.
We will migrate all the existing EBU Knockout events to the new system over time.
The Board of the EBU have decided to create a Small Grants Fund for grants to EBU affiliated Clubs or Counties, and have delegated the operation and grant making decisions to the General Manager.
The idea is that we will consider proposals for such expenditure as a dealing machine or electronic scoring devices. Any approved grants would be based upon a “matched funding” basis only.
Clubs will be required to provide details and accounts to support their application. The idea is to offer grants to those clubs or counties that would otherwise have difficulty in affording an item.
Supported applications should be made, by email, to the General Manager at email@example.com. Please note that there is only a limited amount in the fund and when it is gone it is gone; continuing affiliation by clubs will be a specific requirement along with a potential for other conditions which may vary for each applicant.
Update: Due to an overwhelming response, applications are suspended at present.
At the AGM in November it was announced that Elena Jeronimidis, who was retiring as editor of English Bridge the following month, would receive Life Membership of the EBU. She received her award this week from EBU Board Member, Heather Dhondy.
Elena was Editor of English Bridge from 2007 to 2015, during a time of significant changes for the EBU and for the magazine. Chairman Jeremy Dhondy wrote about her work in her final issue of the magazine, and you can read his tribute here.
Over 100 junior players took part in the Young Bridge Challenge in Loughborough on 5th March. The event was organised by English Bridge Education and Development.
Haberdashers' Aske school, from north London, won the main event, the Schools Cup, for the seventh consecutive year. The team of Jonathan Clark, Dylan Dissanayake, Jack Ronayne, Kripa Panchagnula (see picture here) beat a team from Westminster School (Liam Sanderson, Theo Gillis, Luke Dunne, Isaac Channon) by 9 IMPs in the final. Teams from Nottingham High School, and Dragon School in Oxford, were the losing semi-finalists.
This was a third victory each for the members of the HABS team, and came at the end of a busy and very enjoyable day of bridge for all involved.
Twenty junior teams started a Swiss teams event, with the leading school teams moving on to the semi-finals of the Schools Cup, and the remaining teams continued in the Swiss event. The team of Jasmine Bakhshi, Elizabeth Gahan, Harry Madden and Oscar Selby claimed the Harry Scully Trophy (see picture here) for winning the Swiss teams event. They finished on 86 VPs from five matches, with the team of Alex Pemberton, Andy Cope, Megan Jones and Henry Rose second on 65 VPs (see picture here). The third placed finishers were Loughborough Grammar School - Sam Parry, Robin Nutkins, Roshan Lealh, Robert Dowsett (see picture here) - who won the School Plate as the leading school team remaining in the competition.
The minibridge event was won by Kazas Li and Jeffrey Chin from Loughborough Grammar School (see picture here).
EBED gives its thanks to Loughborough Grammar School for hosting the event, and to all the volunteers who made the day such a success.
England have won the Camrose by 39.3 VPs, the largest margin since the format was changed in 2005.*
After establishing a huge lead on the first weekend, England extended its advantage on the second weekend, held in Llandrindod Wells in Mid-Wales. They won four of the five matches, the only defeat coming in the final match, against runners-up Wales, with the championship already secured.
Congratulations to the teams from both weekends:
1st weekend: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Mike Bell & David Gold; David Bakhshi & Tony Forrester; NPC: David Burn; Asst NPC: Nick Smith.
2nd weekend: David Mossop & Alex Hydes, Jason Hackett & Justin Hackett, David Price & Colin Simpson; NPC. Richard Fleet - see team picture here.
NPC Richard Fleet (pictured left) received the trophy.
* - perhaps made even more impressive by the revised VP scales which are now used.
The England Under 26 team have won the Junior Camrose for the fourth year in a row. The team of Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Toby Nonnenmacher, Michael Alishaw, Basil Letts and Sean Mekie with NPC Alan Shillitoe were run close by the Scottish juniors who were ahead at the half-way point but a very strong second half, including a 20-0 victory over the Scottish hosts, saw them pull ahead and win by 13 VPs.
In the Peggy Bayer, the Under 21 team were going well through the first two round-robins, winning 5 out of their 6 matches, but had a disappointing final third, losing to Scotland and Ireland who ended up winning comfortably. Four of the England team were playing for the Under 15s just last year, so there is much promise there for the future.
England's juniors competed in the White House Junior Internationals in Amsterdam last week (20th - 26th March), and put in a solid, but ultimately fruitless, performance.
In the teams event, which included teams from 15 European countries, the Red team reached the quarter finals where they lost to eventual winners Poland. The White team narrowly missed out on qualifying for that stage, finishing two places outside the qualifying spots.
In the pairs event which followed, half of the pairs finished in the top half of the field, with Michael Alishaw & Ben Norton the top performers, ending 11th of the 40 pairs.
England were being represented by:
England White: Yvonne Wiseman & Ben Norton; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw
England Red: Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth
Captain for both teams: Jon Cooke
The team was invited to participate as a result of their medal winning performance at the 2015 World Championships.
Nevena Senior, Fiona Brown, Sally Brock and Nicola Smith finished third of the four teams in the opening round robin, and then beat the Dutch team in the bronze medal match.
In the pairs event which followed, Nevena finished third playing with Wen Hu of China. Nicola and Sally were eighth.
Sally then won a bronze medal in the individual event, with Nicola finishing eighth and Nevena 17th.
Congratulations to John Holland, who has topped the annual Master Points for the fourth year in succession. He has claimed the Sunday Telegraph Salver, for the most Master Points accumulated in the calendar year, for a fifth time.
John earned 29,397 points, with Derek and Celia Oram gaining the next most, each accumulating 22,517. Derek continues to gain on John Durden atop the all-time list of Master Point winners, and now trails by just over 51,000.
John Holland's good year has seen him reclaim the top spot in the Gold Point rankings. He moved marginally ahead of the 2014 leader, David Gold, holding 98.92 to David's 98.02. Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester and Alexander Allfrey complete the top five.
The winners of the Club Champions prize draw have also been selected. Club Champions are those who won the most Master Points in events held at each club. Kostadin Vasilev of Chipstead Duplicate Bridge Club was first out of the hat and wins £400. Roger Arnold of Liverpool Bridge Club was drawn in second and wins £200, and Joe Mallabone of Lytham Bridge Club wins £100 for being drawn third.
The full Master Point lists for 2015, including a breakdown by county, can be accessed below. All the data is currently provisional - if you believe there are any anomolies please contact us as soon as possible.
The teams captained by Tom Paske and Nevena Senior have won the Point-a-Board and Swiss events respectively at the National Teams Congress over the weekend of 16th/17th January.
The Point-a-Board event started with a qualifying round, and the Osborne team topped the table, with the top eight teams moving on to the final. There the team of Tom Paske, Simon Cope (both Middlesex), Richard Bowley (London) and Graeme Robertson (Beds) (pictured) scored 55 points to take the title, four points ahead of the team of Michael Byrne (Manchester), Kieran Dyke (London), Andrew Murphy (Berks & Bucks) and Ed Jones (Oxon) in second. The team of Jeremy Dhondy (Hants & IOW), Brian Callaghan, Ben Green (both London) and John Holland (Manchester) was third.
Those who did not qualify for the final of the Point-a-Board joined a Swiss Teams event which had started at the beginning of the congress. The winners and runners-up in this event came from those who had played in the event throughout, however, with the team of Nevena Senior (Middlesex), Geofrey Wolfarth, Ros Wolfarth (both Sussex) and Kiril Delev (London) (see picture here) taking the title. They won ten of their thirteen matches, and overtook the long time leaders - the team of Andrew Southwell, Richard Fedrick (both Sussex), Iain Roberts and Alan Oddie (both Beds) - in the final round. The Fedrick team finished second, with the Cowling team - who missed out on qualifying for the Point-a-Board finals - finishing third.
The Point-a-Board event is a competition in the Championship Series, contributing to the Player of the Year competition. Simon Cope's victory takes him to the top of standings, with Ben Green, John Holland and Justin Hackett moving in to a tie for second.
The Silver Plate has been won by the team of Tony Poole (Captain) (Warks), Stewart Fishburne, Chris Philp, and Mike Willoughby (all Worcs) (pictured).
They won the final by 10 IMPs over the 48 boards against the team of Arthur Selman (Captain), Adrian Ford, Alan Hayward, Bill Holmes, Martin Ott and Terry Read (all Yorkshire).
Their journey began in the Gold Cup. They won the 1st round convincingly, then were drawn against Patrick Jourdain’s seeded Welsh international team in the 2nd round, where they led by 2 IMPs after 40 boards but ultimately lost by the narrow margin of 6 IMPs, thereby moving into the Plate.
It was Tony's second victory in the competition, having won the 2004 event and Mike is also understood to have won the Plate “many years ago”! The rest of the team won the title for the first time.
A report on two hands from the final is available here. Thank you to the players for providing this.
EBU Members who are not already members of Bridge Club Live (BCL) can enjoy a free, 50 day trial of the online bridge website. The free trial will allow you to try out BCL, to see if you enjoy playing online when you're not able to play at your local club. Simply register via the link below, and start playing.
BCL is affiliated with the EBU as an Online Affiliated Club, and is able to issue Master Points for their sessions which meet the necessary requirements for points to be awarded.
The Online Affiliated Club category, and the Online Knockout Teams competition, were introduced to help EBU members who have difficulty playing ‘face-to-face’ with their regular partner, and those in more remote parts of the country, to become more involved in ‘affiliated’ competitions organised by the EBU or by affiliated clubs.
The Master Points awarded are full value ‘local points’, and count towards all EBU Master Point rankings. They can be earned in most BCL competitions. Playing at an Online Affiliated Club does not, however, afford the player some of the benefits which would come from participation at a ‘face-to-face’ club – the player does not become a member of the EBU through Universal Membership; magazine points cannot be earned through these competitions; the results will not be included in the National Grading Scheme.
More information on Bridge Club Live, and other options for playing online, is available via our Online Bridge webpage.
England raced to a huge lead on the first weekend of the Camrose Trophy in Ireland, winning all five matches, and only once scoring less than 18 VPs.
Congratulations to the team for an excellent result: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Mike Bell & David Gold; David Bakhshi & Tony Forrester; NPC: David Burn; Asst NPC: Nick Smith.
The event started on Friday evening, and England hit the ground running with an 18.05-1.95 victory over Northern Ireland. A big win against Wales (19.25), and a narrower victory over the WBU (11.07) - who as hosts of the second weekend the WBU enter two teams - followed. 18.37 against Scotland and 18.61 against Ireland rounded off a superb weekend for the team.
The dominance of the team, and the contribution that all players made, is shown by the cross-imp rankings, in which the three English pairs fill the top three places, and are a large distance ahead of the other pairs.
England take a lead of 37 VPs in to the second weekend - the largest lead since the format was changed in 2005. Only 11 VPs covering the remaining teams there may be quite a battle for the minor places - or will one emerge from the pack to challenge England? The final weekend takes place in Wales on 4th to 6th March, so we'll find out then.
The team of Sandra Penfold (Yorks), David Kendrick (Cambs & Hunts), Patrick Collins (Kent), Norman Selway (Kent) and Colin Simpson (Berks & Bucks) have won the trials to represent England in the European Championships.
They won a head-to-head match against the team of Paul Hackett (Staffs & Shrops), Gunnar Hallberg (London), John Holland (Manchester), David Mossop, David Price (Suffolk) and Brian Senior (Yorks) - both teams qualified from the first stage of the trials in December. The Penfold team took a 32 IMP lead after the first session, and although the size of their advantage fluctuated they were always ahead, ultimately winning the 96 board final by 41 IMPs.
The European Championships take place 16th to 26th June in Budapest.
Fiona Brown (Yorks) & Helen Erichsen (Kent) have won the trials for the England team for the Lady Milne Trophy, which were held on 22nd to 24th January in London.
They will be joined in the team by Christine Jepson (Sussex) & Catherine Curtis (Cambs & Hunts), who were runners-up in the trial. The team will be completed by a third pair who will be chosen by the Selection Committee. The Lady Milne event takes place in 15th to 17th April in Northern Ireland.
Fiona & Helen finished the six session trial on 110.88 IMPs, with Christine & Catherine on 107.49. Closely behind were Sarah Ewart & Ewa Kater (both London) on 103.78.
Affiliated clubs have been invited to take a survey on the teaching of beginners which goes on at their club - or the reasons why none is done if that is the case. The information from this survey will be used to help the EBU formulate its policy on this aspect of education. A link to the survey was emailed to all clubs on Friday 29th January. If you club has not received a link to the survey please contact us.
Clubs which participate in the survey will be entered into a draw, with three randomly chosen clubs receiving credit to spend at the EBU Shop.
Following requests from some league organisers, the Laws & Ethics Committee has put together a 'template' of regulations which leagues can adopt if they wish. This may help those starting leagues from scratch, or those who are looking to update their regulations or fill any missing gaps.
There is no necessity for any league to adopt any of the suggestions if suitable regulations are already in place. It is merely offered for those who require it.
If you have any queries please contact the L&E Committee Secretary: 01296 317228 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The EBU General Manager, Barry Capal, has posted another blog, looking back at 2015, and ahead to 2016.
England U20s have won the Channel Trophy in spectacular style.
Ben Norton & Sam Behrens, Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark and Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter (see picture here) won every match, and led from start to finish in a tremendous display of quality and aggression at the event held over the weekend of 18th-20th December at the headquarters of the Dutch Bridge Federation in Utrecht.
They came back from 15 imps down to beat France in the first match before demolishing the Netherlands 77-11 on vu graph on Friday night. Two solid wins against Belgium and another crushing of the Dutch meant they had a small cushion over France, who had won every other match to be hot on their heels. In the final match England build up a good lead and held on to win the match and the Channel Trophy.
This was an England Under 20 debut for Kripa and Jonathan, Ben and Sam have been capped many times and Liam and Daniel played in Tromso for the U15 team. This was a first win for all 6 players who acquitted themselves tremendously.
In the U25 event England - Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw (see picture here) - had a chance going into the final match but couldn't maintain their early lead against leaders France, and finished 3rd.
In the U25 women's event England (see picture here) fielded 3 young players, Jasmine Bakhshi, Megan Jones and Liz Gahan who were the youngest ever to represent their country along with two older, and more experienced players, Laura Covill and Katy Lee, and Helen Holmes, who was making her debut. Although they started very slowly they gained in momentum as the event went on and in the final matched destroyed the Belgium team to finish in 3rd place.
The NPCs were Alan Shillitoe (U25s), Michael Byrne (U20s), Sarah O'Connor (U15s).
The 2015 Bridge Great Britain Gold Cup has been won by Simon Cope, Nicola Smith, John Holland, Peter Crouch & Ben Green (pictured left).
They beat the team of Barry Myers, Sally Brock, Chris Dixon, Taf Anthias (a picture of them is available here) in the final by 65 IMPs.
This was the sixth time Peter has won the event, the fourth time for Nicola, and the first wins for Simon, John and Ben.
The event is organised by Bridge Great Britain - full results from the finals weekend are available on the website of West Midlands Bridge Club which hosted the finals.
The Cope team are 'new entries' close to the top of the Player of the Year leaderboard, but the competition is still led by the majority of the Mossop team which won the Premier League, as they picked up a point for reaching the quarter final of the Gold Cup. The full leaderboard, and details of forthcoming events, are here.
The Year End Congress in London saw the full range of age groups represented amongst the winning players, with titles being claimed by Juniors, Seniors, and those aged in between.
The event began with a two-day stratified Swiss Pairs event which was won by Paul Hackett (Staffs & Shrops) & David Burn (Middlesex) - see picture here. They led almost throughout, and although they won only eight of their eleven matches (some pairs won more) they scored enough to take the title. They finished 4VPs ahead of Frances Hinden & Graham Osborne (both Surrey), with Alistair Kent & Justin Hackett (both Staffs & Shrops) one victory point further back. The winners of the B Stratification were Sarah O'Connor (Manchester) & Anthony Moon (Surrey). The winners of the C Stratification were the juniors Keith Lai (London) & Alexandra Birchall (Manchester).
The Open Pairs was won by the junior pair of Ankush Khandelwal (Notts) & Toby Nonnenmacher (London) - shown in the main picture. They scored 60.01%, with Alistair Kent & Justin Hackett picking up another podium finish in second on 58.08%.
The mixed pairs was won by Celia & Derek Oram (both Hertfordshire) with 61.57% (see picture here). Glyn Liggins (London) & Pauline Cohen (Middlesex) were second on 60.78%.
The congress concluded with a stratified Swiss Teams event, and this was won by the team of Simon Gillis (London), Erik Saelensminde (Norway), Jon Cooke (Cambs & Hunts) & Paul Lamford (London) - see picture here. They were one of nine teams to lose only one match, but their margins of victory (and defeat) were sufficient for them to take the trophy by 5 VPs. There was a tie for second place, with the team of Janet de Botton, Artur Malinowski (both Middlesex), Nick Sandqvist & Tom Townsend (both London) finishing level with the team of Gerald Tredinnick, Jeremy Willans (both Kent), Anne Rosen & Neil Rosen (both Middlesex). The winners of the B Stratification were London-based youngsters Yifei Zheng, Keith Lai, Ho Pang & Jiawei Lim. The winners of the C Stratification were the junior internationals Jonathan Clark, Kripa Panchagnula (both Middlesex), Michael Alishaw (London) & Stephen Kennedy (Sussex).
The congress also included a Really Easy Afternoon, which was held at the main venue in London, and also at satellite venues in Richmond and Billericay, and then scored across all locations. The overall winners Nadine Born & Diana Wilson (both Surrey) who scored 68.1% playing at Richmond. The leading pair in Billericay were Amarjeet Singh & Gurdeep Singh (both Essex), and the leading pair in London was Laraine Stokes (Surrey) & David Taylor (Berks & Bucks). The leading 'B' stratification pair was Mike Wares & Amanda Murphy (both Essex).
John Holland & Alan Mould (both Manchester) - pictured left - finished 2015 in style at the Northern Year End Congress, successfully defending the Swiss Pairs and Open Pairs titles they won the previous year.
In the Open Pairs which started the congress John and Alan finished on 64.7%, beating Peter Hodgson & Steve Male (both Scotland) by a very narrow margin - just half a match point.
Their victory in the two-day Swiss Pairs which followed was more emphatic. Despite winning only once on the final day they finished well clear of the field on 149 VPs from ten matches as their closest rivals fell away. Jeff Smith & Jackie Pye (both Lancashire) moved up from fifth after the first day to claim second place on 130 VPs, with Mark Weeks & Stuart Matthews (both Merseyside & Cheshire) moving up from ninth to finish third.
In the Mixed Pairs on the first day, Geoff Kenyon & Carole Kelly (both Yorkshire) finished on 63.37% to take the title (see picture here). Barrie Newall & Julia Newall (both Lancashire) were second with 59.88%.
The Swiss Teams event was won by Glenda Lloyd, Peter Boardman (both Cumbria), Sally Wraight & Philip Wraight (both Westmorland) (see picture here). They were undefeated in their seven matches, and finished on 98 VPs, two clear of the team of Joy Blakey, Irving Blakey, Rhona Goldenfield, Bernard Goldenfield (all Manchester). The Commins and Hayward teams were joint third with 94 VPs.
The team of David S Jones, Tim Brierley, Graham Hartley, Steve Tomlinson & Robert Covill beat their opponents by 42 imps over the 48 board final. Bristol took an early lead, and outscored their opponents in five of the six sessions of the very friendly and good spirited match.
The Petersfield team was Owen Leigh, James Clark, Mike Kinsey & Steve Preston, with Heather Maidment playing in earlier rounds.
The December issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links.
This is the final issue which will be edited by Elena Jeronimidis. We would like to thank her for all her work with the magazine, and wish her well in retirement. We say farewell to her on page 62 of this issue, and meet the new editor, Lou Hobhouse, on page 51.
For more information on accessing our online magazine archive, please read on...
The Premier League has been won by the team of David Mossop, Jason Hackett, Justin Hackett, Alex Hydes, David Price and Colin Simpson (pictured left).
They started the second weekend in second place, behind the De Botton team, and the lead fluctuated between the two teams for the early part of the weekend. When both teams lost in round 5 and 6 the Allfrey team, who were undefeated across the weekend, moved ahead of them both, and held a very marrow lead with one match to go. With first playing third, and second playing fourth, any of those four teams could have won, and when the Allfrey and Hinden teams drew, the Mossop team's victory took them back to the top of the table for a final and decisive time. After 336 boards they had finished just 2.9 VPs ahead of the team of Alexander Allfrey, Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester, David Gold, David Bakhshi and Mike Bell. The Hinden team was third, a further 4.48 VPs behind.
The winners have earned selection to represent England in one weekend of the 2016 Camrose Trophy series, and the European Champions' Cup 2016 if England qualifies.
The Second Division was won by Andrew Black, Gunnar Hallberg, Phil King, Andrew McIntosh, Derek Patterson and Gerald Tredinnick. They had a very strong finish to the event, scoring 58.55 out of a possible 60 in the final three rounds, including two 20-0 victories against their near rivals, and won by 19.29 VPs. The team of Neil Rosen, Ian Draper, Martin Jones, Kay Preddy, Norman Selway and Jeremy Willans were second.
The First Division is part of the Championship Series, so all the members of the Mossop team are now joint leaders of the Player of the Year Competition.
The Gerard Faulkner Salver, for the Seniors Knockout Competition, has been retained by the team of Derek Oram, Celia Oram, Alan Kay (all Herts) & Jeremy Dhondy (Hants & IOW).
The final of the 2014/15 competition took place on 31st October, the Oram team facing Rob Lawy, Trevor Ward (both Avon), Kevin Elstow & Chris Mooney (both Berks & Bucks).
The Lawy team started well and led by 20 IMPs after 8 boards, and by nine at half time (24 boards). The fourth set proved decisive when the Oram team piled on 33 IMPs to lead by 24, which was the final margin of victory despite a swingy last 16 boards (10 out of 16 boards had a swing of 6 IMPs or more). The match was played in good spirits but was very keenly contested throughout.
The 2015/16 competition is underway. To take part in 2016/17 please enter in Spring 2016.
The Seniors Congress has taken place in Birmingham, with victories for Frank Littlewood & David Musson (both Yorkshire) (pictured left) in the Championship Pairs, and the Oram team in the Swiss Teams.
The Championship Pairs began with two qualifying rounds, with the top twenty pairs contesting the A final, and the next twenty playing in the B final. Frank & David won the A final with a score of 55.56%, narrowly ahead of Greer MacKenzie & Hastings Campbell (both Northern Ireland) in second (55.46%), and Mike Huggins & Irene Robinson (both Avon) in third (55.26%). The B final was won by Patrick Collins (Kent) & Andrew Petrie (Lancashire) (pictured here). The Swiss Pairs competition, for those knocked out of the Championship Pairs or only joining the congress on Saturday, was won by Frank Wright & Nicky Adamson (Kent) (pictured here).
The Swiss Teams event was won by the team of Derek Oram, Celia Oram, Alan Kay (all Herts) & Jeremy Dhondy (Hants & IOW) (pictured here). They won six of their seven matches to finish on 102 VPs. The 2010 winners, Patrick Collins, Andrew Petrie, Alan Nelson & Kath Nelson (both Manchester), also won six matches, and defeated the Oram team, but only scored enough to finish second, 5 VPs behind.
The qualifying round of the Tollemache Cup took place on 21st & 22nd November, with eight teams reaching February's final, including the defending champions, Middlesex.
The competition is for teams of eight representing EBU counties and WBU districts. The qualifiers from each of the four groups were:
Group A - Kent, London
Group B - Middlesex, Worcestershire
Group C - Manchester, Yorkshire
Group D - Surrey, Berks & Bucks.
The final takes place on 13th & 14th February.
The team representing England have finished in 3rd & 5th places in the European Champions Cup. The event was successfully hosted by the EBU at Horwood House near Milton Keynes.
This is an annual competition for the national club champions from the top 10 countries in the previous European Championship, plus the holders and a team from the host nation. England was therefore represented by two teams.
The EBU team of Simon Gillis, Tom Hanlon, Zia Mahmood, Boye Brogeland, Espen Lindqvist & Erik Saelensminde won the bronze medal. The England team of Alexander Allfrey, Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester, David Gold, & Mike Bell, David Bakhshi won the playoff for 5th place.
The EBU would like to thank Simon Gillis both for his support of this event and also for bringing such a diverse and talented team to enhance the event.
More information is available here, or on the EBL event website.
England's Women's team has taken part in the Hua Yuan Cup in China. Promoted as the 'World Women Elite Bridge Tournament' it featured seven international teams, and team from the host city of Beijing.
In the Pairs event Fiona Brown & Catherine Draper achieved an excellent result, finishing second, just 0.2% behind the winners. Sally Brock & Nicola Smith were 11th, and Heather Dhondy & Nevena Senior we're 21st.
In the teams event, the result was more disappointing, with England finishing at the foot of the table after two wins and five defeats. The winners were the team representing Beijing.
England's Under 15 have taken part in a competition in Hluk, in the Czech Republic from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th November. They performed well as they were the youngest side in the competition, their opponents being mainly Under 20 and Under 25 teams.
The team of Jasmine Bakhshi, Liz Gahan, Harry Madden, Alex Pemberton and Oscar Selby, with David Bakhshi acting as NPC, finished ninth of the eleven team in the initial stage. They then improved, finishing fourth of seven in the consolation Swiss Teams event. Across the two competitions they won their last seven matches.
Jasmine and Liz were the leading English players in the pairs event which followed, finishing 12th of the 23 pairs.
The second Paris Open Youth Bridge has taken place from 28th October to 1st November, with England's Juniors finishing in the middle of the pack.
In the initial qualifying phase they finished ninth of the 24 teams, so did not move on to the semi-finals. In the consolation point-a-board event they finished 10th= of the 20 teams. The team was Chris Derrick & Tommy Brass, and Nick Dean & Sean Mekie, with Alan Shillitoe as NPC.
Junior bridge players from Sussex visited the House of Lords on Tuesday 24th November to play minibridge with the peers.
The youngsters acquitted themselves well against their more experienced opponents, and so as to not damage the winning streak the Lords' team is enjoying they didn't keep score.
Following the visit, two of the participants, Holly and Ruby, were interviewed on BBC Radio about the visit, and why they enjoy bridge. EBU General Manager, Barry Capal, also discussed the rising popularity of bridge, and the ongoing efforts to have it recognised as a sport. This interview was simultaneously broadcast on many local stations, and a link to the interview is available below.
The winners of the Simultaneous Pairs prizes for 2015 were drawn during the EBU's Annual General Meeting which took place in London on 25th November.
The pair which achieved the best score within their club in any of the EBU organised Simultaneous Pairs events were entered in to the draw.
The pair which won the £1000 first prize were Susan Dodds & Hetty Jackson of Castle Morpeth Bridge Club. EBU Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy, is pictured drawing their names. The additional prize winners can be seen here.
The prize winning Clubs were also selected, with every club which entered a heat of any EBU organised event included in the draw. The £1000 first prize was won by Wantage Bridge Club in Oxfordshire. The additional prize winners can be seen here.
The overall winners of each event in the EBED Spring & Autumn Simultaneous Pairs, and the British Simultaneous Pairs Events, also win prizes. They can be seen here.
To take part in the 2016 events, and be in with a chance of winning a prize next year, please see the Sim Pairs area of the website
At the Annual General Meeting of the English Bridge Union, which took place yesterday (Wednesday 25th November) in London, positions on the board, and on standing committees, were filled. Please read on for more information.
Andrew Petrie has stepped down from the board after serving as both Vice Chairman and, most recently, as Treasurer. The shareholders joined Chairman Jeremy Dhondy in thanking Andrew for his many years of service.
Presentations have been made to the winners of EBU awards at the Annual General Meeting which took place in London on Wednesday 25th November.
The inaugural Tony Priday Award, given for an outstanding contribution to bridge and enhancing the game in all its aspects, was presented to Bernard Teltscher by Vivian Priday (pictured).
A Diamond Award, given in recognition of excellence and success over a sustained period for England's international teams. was presented to David Burn. Sandra Landy was also honoured and she will receive her Diamond Award at a later date.
A Silver Award was presented to Philip Mason, and Dimmie Fleming Awards were given to Barry Brelsford of Lancashire, Bernard Eddleston of Hertfordshire, Leslie Reece of Warwickshire, Geoff Smith of Kent, and Charlotte Vine of Middlesex. David Burgess and Joan Burgess of Nottinghamshire, David Galpin of Sussex, Elizabeth Muir of the North East, and Colin Woods of Cumbria, will also receive Dimmie Fleming Awards - presentations to them will be made at local events in the coming months.
The contribution of Elena Jeronimidis, the retiring editor of English Bridge, was also recognised. A presentation will be made to her in the new year.
Information on all the award winners can be seen via the links below.
At the Summer Meeting EBU Chairman Jeremy Dhondy made the presentation of awards relating to junior bridge.
The Tom Bradley Award, presented to a non-teacher who has made a significant contribution to the teaching of junior bridge, was awarded to Dave & Jill Armstrong from Sussex.
The Alec Salisbury Award, presented to a teacher who has made a significant contribution to promoting bridge in their school and the local area, was awarded to Amy Huber of Carshalton High School for Girls in Surrey.
These two awards are given in conjunction with English Bridge Education and Development, and are based on suggestions from EBU members. If you know of a person who has done something exceptional for Junior Bridge and you think worthy of one of these awards, please write to email@example.com
The Young Pair of the Year was awarded to Tom Paske & Graeme Robertson following their bronze medal in the European Championships.
The John Armstrong Award was presented to Sarah O'Connor in recognition of her work with the newly established Under 15 squad.
All the results, articles and pictures from the 49th Summer Meeting - the final one to be held in Brighton - are available at the Summer Meeting Hub.
You can also watch our promotional video for the new venue for 2016, the Winter Garden in Eastbourne.
On 14th July the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber heard the case as to whether bridge should be considered a sport for VAT purposes. The case has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to ensure that the intention of the EU article which gives tax exemption to sport is properly followed.
Representing the EBU, David Ewart QC argued that the purpose of the legislation to grant VAT exemption was intended not to support only ‘physical activities’ but instead to encourage participation in all activities with social and health benefits. The presiding officials acknowledged that playing bridge provides these benefits, and as there was no legal precedent on which to base the ruling, referred the case to the CJEU for a judgement on the true intent of the legislation.
The August issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links.
Eligible members will also receive the 2015-16 diary (unless you have previously opted out of receiving it). Diaries, like printed copies of the magazine, are dispatched to those who have sufficient Magazine Points. If you do not have sufficient Magazine Points then sorry but you are not eligible to receive the diary. You can read more about magazine points here.
Please note that diaries will be available to purchase from the EBU Shop, and the content is also available to see here.
Due to the lead time necessary in the production of the diaries, some information is now out of date. Any changes to information in the diary is summarised here.
For more information on accessing our online magazine archive, please click the 'read more' link...
The L&E Committee has finished its annual review of the Blue Book and White Book and they are available to download or view. These regulations apply to all events held on or after August 1st 2015. Summaries of changes to both books are also available.
In the Blue Book, members should note that there are no changes to permitted understandings this year. There is a change to the ER25 regulation for the permitted strength of a 1 opening for those who play a strong club system (e.g. Precision Club, Blue Club or Nottingham Club).
In the White Book, the major change is the way in which fielded misbids will be dealt with by TDs.
A small number of copies of the Blue Book will be available for purchase through the EBU Shop. The White Book will not be made available in a printed form.
The England Under 25s have finished 4th in the European Youth Bridge Championships. Having led for much of the event it was disappointing that they finished outside the medals, however it was the side's best result since the Great Britain team in 1994, and was an excellent performance.
Congratulations to Tom Paske & Shivam Shah; James Paul & Alex Roberts; Dan McIntosh & Rob Myers; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke
Click read more for their results
The England Under 20s have finished 13th in the European Championships.
In the words of NPC Michael Byrne, "Whilst the bridge has been disappointing and we did quite badly, the team were a credit to their country, and the EBU should be very proud they have such responsible young men and women representing them."
The team was: Freddie Illingworth & Ben Norton; Laura Covill & Stephen Kennedy; Sam Behrens & Nick Dean; NPC: Michael Byrne; Coach: Bryony Youngs
Click 'read more' for their results
The England Under 15 team has finished 4th in the 25th European Youth Team Championships.
The team was formed only six months ago, so this represents an excellent result for players making their international debuts. They won eight of their eleven matches, and finished only 9 VPs behind the gold medal winning Polish team - which they beat convincingly on the first day.
Congratulations to Daniel Winter & Jack Ronayne, Liam Sanderson & Isaac Channon, Harry Madden & Oscar Selby, NPC Paul Barden and Coach David Bakhshi, and to the coaches and volunteers who helped them to prepare for the tournament.
Click 'read more' for their results.
Catherine Seale has won a bronze medal in the Women's Teams at the European Open Championships. She was playing with Marusa Basa (Slovenia), Gail Cameron & Vanessa Vos (both Zimbabwe), and this follows her success in the Mixed Pairs when she and Tom Paske were the highest finishing English pair (25th).
In the Senior's Pairs, David Kendrick & Patrick Jourdain (Wales) finished second in the 'A' semi-final, and went on to finish 7th in the final.
In the Open Pairs, Phil King & Andrew McIntosh, and Willie Whittaker & Peter Bertheau (Sweden), reached the final, finishing 22nd and 51st respectively.
The 7th European Open Championships is taking place in Tromso, Norway and concludes Saturday 11th July.
For more information on the progress of the English players, please use the read more link.
The event is being shown on Bridge Base Online with play starting at 10am and concluding around 7:30pm on most days.
England have been represented in the Chairman's Cup in Örebro, Sweden, this week by David Kendrick & Victor Milman and Paul Barden & Jonathan Mestel.
They qualified from the Swiss Teams event to play in the knockout stages, but were beaten in the Round of 32. They then went on to reach the last sixteen of the Bonus Cup.
The Chairman's Cup is the primary open teams event run by the Swedish Bridge Federation. David was part of the England team which won in 2014.
The team of Bill March, Clive Owen, Val Gibson and John Atthey (all North East) (pictured left to right) have won the Hubert Phillips Bowl.
They defeated the team of Sally Brock, Barry Myers (both Berks & Bucks), Phil King and Rob Sheehan (both London) in the final of the mixed pivot teams competition.
It was a very close match, with the Gibson team leading by only 210 points (the competition uses aggregate scoring) with ten boards to play. They pulled away in the final set, however, to win by 1470.
John Holland & Alan Mould (both Manchester) starred at the Scarborough Summer Congress, defending both the Multiple Teams and Swiss Pairs events.
Playing with Jeremy Dhondy & Bill Hirst (Kent) (team pictured left), who were also their partners in 2014, they finished third in their qualifying section, and then went on to dominate the final, winning by 29 IMPs. The team of Simon Cope (Middlesex), Alistair Kent (Channel Islands), Duncan Happer (Leics) & Ben Green (Londonn) were second, with Jason Hackett (Staffs), John Sansom (Wrocs), Steve Raine (Notts) & Chris Cooper (Oxon) in third.
The 'B' final of the teams event was won by Glenda Lloyd, Peter Boardman (both Cumbria), Sally Wraight & Philip Wraight (both Westmorland) (picture).
John & Alan then went on to win the twelve round Swiss Pairs by 19 VPs (picture). They scored 90 out of a possible 100 on the final day to move up from sixth. Ciaran Coyne & Hugh McGann were second, with Geoff Kenyon & Carole Kelly (both Yorkshire) in third, a further 5.5 VPs behind.
The opening event was the Pre-Congress Pairs which was won by Simon Stokes & Alison Nichols (both Leics) (picture) on 62.5%, with Giles Ip & Gabriel Ip (both Norfolk) second on 61.9%.
The Championship Pairs A Final at the Summer Seniors Congress in Eastbourne was comfortably won by Michael Keeping and David Benjamin. Lying third at the half-way point they had a very good second session to pull 4% clear of Derek and Celia Oram in second place, with Matthew and Heather Tan in third.
The B Final was even more one-sided. John Jones and Adrian Fontes won both sessions with big scores, and finished up more than 10% clear of the rest of the field. Monica Lucy and Alan Cooke won the Swiss Pairs.
The weekend came to a close with the Swiss Teams on Sunday, which was won by the team of Bernard Teltscher, Victor Silverstone, Willie Coyle and Kitty Teltscher. They finished 11 VPs ahead of Ould, with Cooke and Oram in joint third.
The team of Bill Gardner (Kent), Mike Bell (London), Sean Mekie & Nicholas Greer (both Manchester), and the pair of Michael Hampton & John Amor (both Kent), have claimed victory at Riviera Congress, held in Torquay on 3rd to 5th July.
In the Swiss Teams, the Gardner team (pictured left) won all seven matches. After six matches they were level with the team of Richard Lingham, Ann Slee, Ruth Edmondson & Brigid McElroy (all Devon), but they beat them in the final round - inflicting the only loss on the Lingham team - to take the title. the Lingham team finished second, ahead of the team of Robert Miller (Northants), Bill Taylor, John Dakin (both Hants & IoW) & Eddie Lucioni (Sussex).
In the Swiss Pairs, Michael and John (picture) were undefeated in all twelve matches - winning ten and drawing two - to take the title by an emphatic margin of 26 VPs. Warner Solomon & Peter Bowles (both Devon) were second, with Keith Ashcroft & Michael Prior (both Kent) in third.
We've been hard at work on updating the Members Area and are pleased to release a beta preview today, which we're calling My EBU. It's not a finished product and there are a few features still missing, but we're excited about some of the changes and wanted to let members take a look at what we've been up to and try out some of the new things.
Notable changes include a much revamped sessions history, which shows a lot more data about team games, and a brand new NGS information page with a new graph and a log of how your NGS grade has changed recently.
The Manchester team of John Holland, Alan Mould, Michael Byrne, Michael Newman and Rodney Lighton has won the Pachabo Cup, held in West Bromwich on 6th & 7th June.
The event, for the winners of each county's teams of four event, is scored using a combination of Point-a-Board and VPs. The Manchester team rallied after a slow start to lead at the halfway stage, and ultimately finished on 239 points, 5.5 points ahead of the field.
The Surrey team of Jeffrey Allerton, Mike Scoltock, Graham Osborne and Frances Hinden narrowly took second place, finishing just half a point ahead of the Kent representatives, Gerald Tredinnick, Stuart Tredinnick, Jeremy Willans and Norman Selway.
The team of Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Alan Mould, John Holland, John Hassett, Jeff Morris, Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock finished on 103 VPs, to take the club's fourth victory in the competition. Cambridge Bridge Club was second on 97 VPs, with Chislehurst Bridge Club from Kent in third.
The eight team final was held in Solihull at West Midlands Bridge Club on Saturday 13th June.
The National Online Knockout Championships has been won by the team led by Michael Byrne. (Hugh Mcgann, Kieran Dyke, Fiona Brown, with Ed Jones and Tommy Garvey in earlier matches).
They faced the team of Pottage (Julian Pottage/Pat Shields, Johnny Richards and father Simon Richards and Mike Pownall and Richard Plackett) over 32 boards played on June 4th over 4 sets of 8.
In set one team Byrne took an early lead of 16 imps aided by the right siding of a game on the first board but set two saw Pottage strike back thanks to a well timed psyche by Plackett which picked off an enemy slam.
However after that Byrne turned up the heat and won the 3rd set 23-0 to lead by 25. Pottage bravely fought on but again were whitewashed in the final set losing 22-0.
The final was played in good spirits and saw a varied international flavour. Many of team Pottage represent Wales, and members of team Byrne were from and have represented Australia, Ireland and England.
The final of the consolation plate competition will take place later this month.
The Online Knockout runs annually from January to June. Entries for the 2016 competition will open in the autumn.
Dave Robinson & Graham Jepson (Yorkshire) have won the Corwen Trophy, held in Birmingham on 30th - 31st May. The Corwen Trophy is open to the leading pairs in the pairs championship of each County Association of the EBU.
Dave & Graham (pictured with EBU Vice Chairman Ian Payn) finished with 61.49%, aided by a final round of 71.68%. In second place were Andrew Southwell & Ian Lancaster (Sussex) on 60.69%, and Graham Osborne & Frances Hinden (Surrey) were third with 58.12%.
The England Juniors have come third in the junior international event at the Midsummer Bridge Tournament in Salo, Finland, this weekend.
The team of a Rob Myers, Shivam Shah, James Paul and Alex Roberts finished behind the Hungarian and Estonian Under 25 teams. They won five of their nine matches, including victory over the champion Hungarian team in the final match to take the bronze.
In the open teams which followed they finished 7th of the 31 teams, and were the third highest junior team. In the open pairs which concluded the event, Alex & James were 11th, and Shivam & Rob were 15th, out of 54 pairs.
Particular mention should go to Rob, who was co-winner of the award for 'Best Played Hand' at the event, sharing the prize with Jun Nakamaru-Pinder from Scotland. You can read about the hand on page 5 of the report below.
On Wednesday junior bridge players, some from Bentley Heath C of E Primary School and others who are members of Warwickshire CBA, visited the House of Lords to play bridge and minibridge with the Peers.
The visit, arranged by Baroness Henig and members of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge, began with a tour of the Palace of Westminster, before the children played bridge and minibridge with six Peers and EBU Board Member, and leading international player, Heather Dhondy.
The scores were very close, with all players acquitting themselves well, though ultimately the juniors narrowly lost.
Prior to the visit BBC Coventry and Warwickshire visited Bentley Heath to play a hand of minibridge, and also talked to the Chairman of the APPG, Bob Blackman MP.
Photographs from the visit are available below from Warwickshire CBA.
English Bridge Education and Development is pleased to welcome Jonathan Taylor as its new Manager for EBUTA, the Bridge Teachers Association which is now part of the charity.
Jonathan will be taking up this new role at the beginning of July 2015 and will be working to build and develop EBUTA in line with EBED’s aim of recruiting more people to the world of bridge.
Jonathan is a Bridge for All Club Teacher and gives classes at Twixt Moors Bridge. Jonathan joins us following a successful career in finance, music and consulting. He was until recently Development Director for Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge.
Welcome to Kings Sutton Bridge Club which has affiliated with the EBU.
The club meets every Thursday evening at the Millennium Memorial Hall, in Kings Sutton, between Banbury and Brackley.
Welcome to Kingston Seymour Bridge Club which has affiliated with the EBU.
The club meets every Tuesday in the village hall in Kingston Seymour, a village between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare in north Somerset.
They describe the games as "very relaxed" and say that "everyone is very welcoming".
The Judicial Review into Sport England's refusal to recognise bridge as a sport is scheduled for 22nd - 23rd September. A summary of the arguments for a reversal of their position can be seen in the EBU Press Release.
The EBU Board has decided that the Summer Meeting in 2016 and beyond will be moving from Brighton to Eastbourne. The 2015 Summer Meeting will be in Brighton as before.
This decision is based on a number of factors, and takes in to account the feedback received from members in the survey which was undertaken late last year. The move to Eastbourne addresses a number of concerns expressed during the survey – in particular the cost and availability of accommodation and parking in Brighton – whilst maintaining the ‘holiday resort’ location which was appealing to the majority of the respondents. The new venue will also lead to a reduction in the cost of holding the event, and this will be passed on through a reduction in the entry fees. More details on these prices will be available in 2016.
We hope that the move to Eastbourne will be a great success, and the event will be well supported, but that does not mean we aren’t determined to make the 2015 Summer Meeting the best it can be. We will continue to provide the high quality competitions, lectures, and training courses which you have come to expect at the Summer Meeting, and hope that you will join us to say a fond farewell to Brighton.
Those entering the full congress in Brighton in 2015 will receive a £50 discount on their entry for the full congress in Eastbourne in 2016 (juniors entering at half price will receive a £25 reduction). We hope this is further incentive to play in both 2015 and 2016, and make them great events to end one era, and start the next.
The Schapiro Spring Fours has been won by Frances Hinden, Jeffrey Allerton, Graham Osborne (all Surrey) and Jon Cooke (Cambs & Hunts).
The second seeds went undefeated throughout the competition, defeating in the final the 8th seeded Vitas team: Lotan Fisher, Ron Schwartz (both Israel), Vitas Vainikonis, Wojtek Olanski (both Lithuania), Waseem Naqvi (Middlesex) and Dror Padon (London). They won the 32 board final by 4 IMPs, though by virtue of their unbeaten record could have extended the match if they were trailing at the scheduled conclusion.
The semi-finals were also close contests, with the Hinden team defeating the Mossop team by just 6 IMPs, and the Vitas team defeating the top seeded Allfrey team by 8 IMPs.
The Spring Fours is generously sponsored by Mrs Helen Schapiro, and she is pictured presenting to the winning team the trophy, which she has donated in the name of her husband, the late, and truly great, Boris Schapiro.
During the event Brian Senior - part of the Penfold team which reached the quarter finals - wrote reports on some of the boards from the competition. His report on the final is available here - other rounds are available through the results page, along side a report from the 2000 Spring Foursomes.
A feature on the 'bridge is a sport' debate, with the Spring Foursomes as a backdrop, was in the Independent on Sunday, and available here.
The Punchbowl and Hamilton Cup, the consolation competitions at the Schapiro Spring Foursomes event, concluded yesterday (Monday 4th May) in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The Punchbowl, the primary consolation competition, was won by the team of Robert Miller, Ufuk Cotuk, Jim Deacon & Mark Tilley (all Northants; pictured left). They defeated the team of Tony Hill (Gloucs), Martin Garvey (Surrey), Kim Bensby & Lars Villinger (both Denmark) in the final.
The Hamilton Cup - a one-day Swiss Teams event - was won by Rob Helle, Roger Bryant, Stephen Green (all Warks) & Jerry Stamatov (Middlesex) (picture). They finished the six round event on 97 VPs, well ahead of two teams tied on 79 VPs: Tim Rees (Berks & Bucks), Paul Barton, Samantha Punch & Brian Spears (all Scotland); and Paul Hackett (Staffs & Shrops), John Hassett (Manchester), Christian Mari (France) & John Sansom (Worcs).
The Lambourne Jersey Festival took place from 24th April to 3rd May, and saw a number of emphatic victories in the Green Point events.
The Swiss Pairs was won by Sue Woodcock & Nick Woodcock (both Lancashire), who finished 15 VPs ahead of the field after twelve matches.
The Swiss Teams was won by Andrew Moore, Jane Moore (both Suffolk), Paul Martin & Roz Bavin (both Channel Islands) who finished 15 VPs clear.
The Seniors Teams was won comfortably by Roy Garthwaite, Heather Hobson, Janet Latham, Ted Latham (all Yorkshire), and Roy and Heather also won the Seniors Pairs by nearly three per cent.
The event also included a number of Blue Point competitions, and all the results are available below.
Nick Boss and Claire Robinson took the main prize at the Spring Bank Holiday Congress this weekend, winning the A Final of the Pairs event. They finished 2% clear of Martin Jones and Matthew Brown in second, who were another 2% clear of Jason Hackett and Gwynn Davis. The B Final was even less close, with Tony Waterlow and David Kendrick comfortably winning, almost 4% ahead of Bryony Youngs and Michael Byrne, who in turn were 4% ahead of Giles Woodruff and Gerard Thompson. A special mention should also go to 10 year old Jasmine Bakhshi, who managed to finish 6th in the B Final playing with her father David - a terrific performance from one of our youngest members. Mike Huggins and Irene Robinson won the Swiss Pairs.
In the Swiss Teams on Monday, the Jones team won all their matches to finish up 20 VPs ahead of Taylor and Hooper (who won the B Stratification) in joint second. Congratulations to David Jones, Gary Watson, Julian Gibson and Malcolm Oliver.
Simon Cope (Middlesex) was the star performer at the Oxford Midweek Congress, held near Thame, claiming victory in both the Pairs and Teams events.
Simon partnered Jason Hackett (Warks) in the Championship Pairs (pictured), and they scored 65.41% overall to win the event by nearly 4%. John Holland (Manchester) & Pat Davies (Wilts) were second, with John Sansom & Joyce Skelton (both Worcs) in third.
In the Swiss Teams, Simon teamed up with Alex Hydes, Olivia Woo and Alan Woo (all London) (picture). They won five of their six matches to finish on 91 VPs. The team of Brian Crack, Shirley Goldwin, Diana Avis and Colin Wilson (all Kent) also won five matches, though not by the same margin, so finished second on 83 VPs. John Sansom, Richard Jephcott, Simon Harrison and Roger Bowles (all Worcs) were third on 81 VPs.
Members may have seen in English Bridge magazine the top 10 clubs by number of player sessions during the year. We're pleased to announce the top 50 here, so you can see if your club is on the list, and where it ranks.
The Teltscher Trophy has been won by Ireland. England were third in event - the competition for senior teams from the 'Home Nations', previously known as the Senior Camrose - which took place 15th to 17th May in Gormanstown, Co. Meath.
England were represented by: Brian Senior, Norman Selway, Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, and David Kendrick, with Simon Cochemé as NPC. They are pictured from right to left. They finished on 97.54 VPs after the ten matches, with Ireland first on 123.90, and Scotland second on 111.39.
Simon contributed a blog entry as a prelude to the competition. You can read it here.
At the Shareholders meeting on Wednesday 13th May the Chairman announced some changes to scoring software which would take place later in the year.
The EBU, most counties, and some clubs, have used Jeff Smith’s scoring program for some time. From October this suite of programs will be managed and supported from Aylesbury and will be renamed as EBUScore with the existing suite of separate programs for pairs, teams etc maintained. We have acquired the suite of programs from Jeff and thank him for his generosity in developing and supporting these programs for some years now at little or no cost to those using them.
We will announce details regarding support for these programs later in the summer. Our intention is that the programs will remain available to clubs at no purchase cost. Newly affiliated clubs will be offered a free copy of the programs. Details about updates and support will follow.
Clubs who currently use Scorebridge or another program may switch to EBUScore if they wish but may continue to use their existing program if that is their preference. The EBU are committed to maintaining the common interface (USEBIO) which allows all compliant scoring programs to talk to EBU systems.
The national media has reported on the increasing popularity of bridge amongst youngsters.
The number of junior members of the EBU has risen sharply in the last three years, alongside a number of successful school bridge and minibridge initiatives. Articles have featured in the Times and Independent.
Any juniors wanting to learn to play, or improve their skills, should attend the Junior Teach-In. The flagship junior event will take place over the August Bank Holiday at Loughborough University. Children of all ages and abilities - including complete beginners - can attend, and accompanying adults are welcome too. Older teenagers can take part in the 'beginner to player' lessons, and learn to play in just a weekend. The event is organised by English Bridge Education and Development. For more information please see their website.
Gill Pain, one of the key members of the EBU staff in Aylesbury, retired today after over twenty years of service. After starting in the Education Department, she moved to the Competitions Department and for many years she has arranged everything which is required for an event to run smoothly (including the Sim Pairs events). If you have been to an EBU congress and found that you have tables to sit at, pre-dealt boards to play, and a TD to oversee everything, then it is Gill who you should thank for organising it all. Because it all goes without a hitch you perhaps didn't notice the work she had done, and that is both a credit to the work she does, and how she would modestly like it to be.
I am sure many members will want to join the EBU staff in wishing her well and we hope she enjoys her retirement.
Her successor in the EBU office is Julia Thomas. Julia has been working alongside Gill for the last few weeks, and we're sure she will continue the great work which Gill has done.
Simon Cocheme has penned a short story to coincide with the event, though any similarities to current stalwarts of the EBU staff are purely coincidental.
Bridge has again been in the headlines recently, with reports in the national media on the case involving the EBU, Sport England, and whether ‘bridge is a sport’.
In the most recent hearing Mr Justice Mostyn ruled that a judicial review could be undertaken against Sport England’s refusal to recognise bridge as a sport. This is a first step in the legal process to have Sport England recognise bridge as a sport, so whilst it is not a definitive decision in itself it is an important and positive step towards a favourable ruling and a reversal of Sport England’s position.
Sport England is the organisation which determines which activities are recognised as sports in England, and it chooses to use a 1992 definition provided by the European Sports Charter. This definition refers to “sport and physical recreation”, which Sport England has chosen to interpret as excluding all Mind Sports. The last time Parliament assessed the issue of ‘what is a sport’ was when considering the Charities Act in 2011, and on that occasion it specifically included Mind Sports. The Charity Commission now recognises as ‘sports’, activities which promote health involving physical or mental skill or exertion, and as such includes bridge as a sport. As you will know, English Bridge Education and Development, and some county bridge associations and clubs are now recognised as charities due to the public benefit offered by playing bridge. The EBU therefore believes that the position of Sport England in respect to bridge is contrary to the most recent legislation. It is also at odds with the position of the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, and the governments of other European countries (including Ireland, the Netherlands and Poland), who all recognise bridge as a sport.
A reversal of Sport England’s position would give the opportunity for the EBU, and counties and clubs, to receive funding (whether from national or local sources), which can be used, for example, for the development of playing facilities, or for teaching initiatives, whether for children or adult players. It would also enable bridge to receive greater opportunities to be included in the pursuits available to certain groups. These factors would enable, for example, greater exposure to school children, or to those older people who may be affected by social isolation or cognitive decline. It would also be an important step in the EBU’s case with HMRC regarding VAT.
The EBU hopes that a favourable outcome will be to the benefit of its members, but also to all current, and potential, bridge players in the country, and to society as a whole. We hope that irrespective of personal opinion of what constitutes a ‘sport’, all members will appreciate the inconsistencies in Sport England’s position, and that the benefits of playing bridge deserve the greater exposure that a change in their stance could generate.
Given that bridge is currently in the public’s thoughts we would encourage you to contact your local media, or your local MP (perhaps after May 7th), and extol the virtues of bridge. You need not address the issue of whether it is, or isn’t, a sport – that is something which will ultimately hinge on a legal ruling – but please explain why it is such a worthwhile pursuit and should get the greater prominence and funding which the status of ‘sport’ would allow it to receive. Any positive response which your contribution receives may aid the EBU’s case, but more significantly can help increase interest in bridge in your local area.
Links to press coverage and media interviews are available by reading more...
Wales have won the Lady Milne Trophy - the match between the women's teams of the home nations - by a small margin, with England second and Scotland third. The event took place from 17th to 19th April in Birmingham.
Although Wales only won two of their five matches they picked up enough VPs to claim the trophy. Wales finished on 56.92, with England scoring 54.71 and Scotland 53.72.
As hosts England were permitted to enter two teams, and the EBU team finished fourth. Like both England and Scotland - and indeed Northern Ireland who finished fifth - the EBU team won three of their five matches. It was the margins of victory (or defeat) which decided the final placings.
The teams were:
England (picture): Sally Brock & Anita Sinclair; Gillian Fawcett & Jane Moore; Catherine Jagger & Sarah Teshome; NPC - David Burn
EBU (picture): Marietta Andree & Janet Cahm; Hannah Cornfield & Kath Stynes; Sarah O'Connor & Anne Rosen; NPC - Simon Cochemé
The full results, and a post-match blog from NPC Simon Cochemé, are available below.
Michael Byrne and Mike Bell (pictured left) have won the pairs competition at the prestigious Yeh Bros event in Shanghai last week.
After coming through two qualifying rounds they dominated the final, finishing 136 IMPs clear of the other nine pairs after 27 boards. Paul Hackett, playing with Irishman Tom Hanlon, was second. In the consolation final Barry Myers and Sally Brock were third.
In the teams event the England team lost in the first knockout round, and an invitational team containing English players bowed out after the qualifying round. The field featured teams from the world's strongest bridge nations, invited as a result of good performances in World and European competitions, and was won by the China Open team.
Applications are now being taken for the 2015 Premier League. The event will be held on the weekends of 12th–13th September, 31st October – 1st November, and 6th-8th November, with slightly different schedules for Divisions 1 and 2. Please see the event webpage for further details.
The closing date for entries is 31st May 2015. The entry fee is £720.00 per team. Please email your team details to firstname.lastname@example.org
England was represented in the White House competition in the Netherlands by two junior teams in the first week of April.
They competed against 22 other international junior sides, and both teams bowed out at the quarter-final stage.
England was represented by:
The Corn Cairdis - Cup of Friendship - match, between teams representing elements of the English Bridge Union and the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland, has been won by the EBU.
The match took place 18th - 19th April at Stamford Bridge Club, and included teams representing the counties, the clubs, and the officials. The EBU team scored a combined 253 VPs to the CBAI's 226.
EBU Chairman Jeremy Dhondy is pictured receiving the trophy.
The main event at the Easter Festival in London, the Championship Pairs, was won by Janet de Botton and Artur Malinowski (both Middlesex) (picture). They finished on 62.16% and won by the very slim margin of 0.03%, ahead of Karl Baumann & Geir Brekka (both Norway) in second and Tom Townsend & Mark Teltscher (both London) in third. The pairs in second and third were separated by less then 0.01%. This was surely one of the smallest ever differences across the podium places.
The Championship Pairs was part of the Championship Series for the Player of the Year competition, and victory takes Janet and Artur in to the top twenty. The updated standings are available here.
The Swiss Teams event was won emphatically by Anita Sinclair, David Gold, Andrew Robson, Zia Mahmood (all London), & Peter Crouch (Kent) (picture). They won all seven matches, including three maximum scores of 20, and finished on 120 VPs. The team of David Bakhshi (London) & Ollie Burgess and Michael Byrne (both Manchester) & Heather Bakhshi (London) were second on 101 VPs, losing only to the Sinclair team. Janet de Botton & Artur Malinowski and Tom Townsend (all London) & Thor Erik Hoftaniska (Middlesex) were third on 95 VPs.
The Flighted Swiss Pairs event was won by Peter Taylor & John Amor (pictured left, both Kent), who won all their matches to finish on 116 VPs. Tony Verran (Essex) & Brian Gladman (Surrey) were second on 104 VPs, and Mark Davies & Richard Creamer (both London), who didn't lose a match, finished third on 102 VPs. The B Flight Swiss Pairs was won by Annabel Burrows & Lyn Poole (both Surrey) (picture).
The Really Easy Afternoon, for less experienced players, was played across three venues - London, Billericay and Ilkley at the Northern Easter Congress. It was won by Ian Northcott (Berks & Bucks) & Matt Harman (London) with 63.54%. Vivienne Goodman & David Goodman (both Yorkshire), who played in Ilkley, were second on 63.05%, and David Cannan & Jean Cannan (both Essex), who played in Billericay, were third on 61.11%.
The Under 19 Pairs Championship was held at the Easter Festival in London, and was won by Isaac Channon & Jasmine Bakhshi (pictured left).
Isaac and Jasmine (both London) finished on 56.12%, with Harry Madden (Derbys) & Daniel Winter (Yorks), and Jamie Muller (Surrey) & Andy Cope (Warks), tied for second on 54.08%.
The Northern Easter Festival was held in Ilkley and run by Yorkshire CBA on behalf of the EBU, began with mixed and open pairs events. Paul Littlewood & Fiona Littlewood (both Herts) won the mixed pairs, 3% ahead of Nigel Durie & Pauline Durie (both North East), with Alan Jarvis (Yorks) & Suzy Lawson (Avon) in third. The Open Pairs was won by Graham Wood & Phillip Anwar (both Yorks) on 60.76%, with John Holland & Alan Mould (both Manchester) second on 60.07%. Diana Roberts & Glenda Bouttell (both Yorks) were third.
The same names dominated the the Swiss Pairs which followed, with the Littlewoods winning again. They finished with a score of 156 VPs, Alan Jarvis & Suzy Lawson finishing second on 153 and Alan Mould & John Holland finishing third on 148.
John and Alan completed their set of podium finishes by winning the Swiss teams. They combined with Gary Hyett (Manchester) and William Crook (Notts) to win all of their seven matches, and finished 17 VPs clear of the field. There was a tie for second with Nicholas Greer (Manchester), John Parsons, Ed Levy (both Staffs) and David Debbage (Lancashire) finishing on the same score as Julian Gibson, Val Gibson, John Atthey (all North East) and Millie Jones (Manchester) - the Greer team won the head-to-head match in the final round to draw level.
Phil Godfrey and James Thrower (both Yorkshire) - pictured left - have won the National Pairs competition.
After coming through the club heats, and regional final, fifty pairs played in the national final in West Bromwich on 18th and 19th April. Phil and James ended the seven session final on 61.51%, over two per cent clear of the field. Krzysztof Ginda & Mark Hooper (both Dorset) were second, with Waseem Naqvi & Tony Waterlow (both Middlesex) third.
The National Pairs is an event in the Championship Series, counting towards the Player of the Year Championship. The victory takes Phil and James into a tie for tenth place. The competition is led by David Gold.
Please note that in 2016 there will not be a 'club heat' stage, and all participants will be able to take part in the regional qualifying round. Information on the 2016 competition will be available later this year.
They defeated the team of Gary Jones, Ed Scerri, Dick Davey (all Berks & Bucks) and Jacqui Tobias (Middlesex) in the final.
Read more to see key hands from the final.
The Portland Bowl, the knockout event for university teams, has been won by Cambridge B.
The team of Kyle Lam (Captain), Michael Alishaw, Freddie Illingworth and Toby Nonnenmacher (Stefan David and Helen Holmes played earlier in the competition), beat Cambridge A in the semi-final and Manchester A in the final to retain the trophy for the university.
Manchester A, who were represented by Kirstyn Fuller (Captain), Mitchell Dytham, Kelvin Lau and Max Sampson (and Alex Combe earlier in the event), beat Oxford A in the semi-final.
The finals weekend was hosted by the Portland Club, in London, on 11th and 12th April.
Arthur Anstis and Cameron Butcher were the highest scorers in the bridge section of recently completed Education Simultaneous Pairs. They scored 72.58% playing at the heat run by the Chiltern Bridge League in conjunction with Oxfordshire Bridge Association.
Hayley Lyne and Holly Newport were the highest scorers in the minibridge section with 65.53%. Hayley and Holly were one of twelve pairs who played at New Scotland Hill primary school in Berkshire. The second highest scorers, with 63.14%, were Euan Coveney and Robert Rainsden, who played at Goring Primary School, near Reading.
The results are still provisional at this stage - if there are any outstanding results, or any queries, please contact email@example.com
The event was organised by English Bridge Education and Development, the national charity for the promotion and development of bridge. To support its work, or to see the other activities it organises, please visit its website.
We have added a new double dummy analysis feature to our online Sim Pairs commentary. This will allow you to see what you could - or should - have done when you played the board as part of our sims events.
This new feature is in addition to the comments board which we recently added, through which you can make observations on the hands, and discuss your play and the results with your fellow participants.
We hope you will use these new additions and some interesting and fun conversations will take place.
If you need any help using the features please check our information pages.
The annual County TD training programme starts on May 16th with the County TD Preparation Day to be held at the Aylesbury office, followed in October by the 2-day County Course at the Coventry Hilton.
Full details are available here.
Welcome to Letchworth Heritage Bridge Club, which has recently affiliated with the EBU.
The club meets every Monday afternoon in Letchworth Garden City. Visitors are welcome.
Letchworth Heritage Bridge Club information
Welcome to Wrekin Bridge Club which has today affiliated with the EBU.
It meets on Wednesday evenings in Shawbirch, north-west of Telford, and visitors are welcome.
The Republic of Ireland have won the Camrose Trophy, after an exciting finish.
Going in to the final round the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England all had a chance of winning, and as each had different opponents the margins of victory would determine the final outcome. The Irish team won their final match 18.05-1.95 to take the title by less than 2 VPs from Wales, who were a further 3 VPs ahead of England.
England, who were represented by Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester & David Gold, and David Bakhshi & Andrew McIntosh, were leading scorers on the second weekend, but could not overhaul the Welsh and Irish teams which had got off to a fast start on the first weekend. The team is pictured receiving the Pat Cotter trophy from NIBU Chairman John Bergin as a result of their head-to-head victory against Scotland.
England had been represented on the first weekend by Heather Dhondy & Brian Callaghan, Sally Brock & Barry Myers, and Jonathan Mestel & Paul Barden.
David Burn was NPC on the first weekend, and Godfrey King was assistant captain on the second weekend.
The Gold Cup, organised by Bridge Great Britain, will have a new schedule for 2016.
The closing date for entries is Monday 1st June 2015 and should be made to BGB as usual. The first round of matches should be completed by the end of September 2015, with the Finals being played in August in the following year. The Silver Plate won't be affected, and will start in either December 2015 or January 2016.
For more information please visit the Bridge Great Britain website.
The provisional list of qualifiers to play in the National Final of the National Pairs is now available, with 50 pairs qualifying from the five Regional Heats which took place on 15th March.
The highest scoring pairs at each heat were:
Bradford: 62.65% - Bill Townsend & Tony McNiff (both Yorkshire)
Bristol: 60.88% - Tim Brierley & Mike Elliott (both Avon)
Leatherhead: 65.97% - Krzysztof Ginda & Mark Hooper (both Dorset)
Peterborough: 61.75% - Michael Rawlins & Nigel Rawlins (both Hertfordshire)
Solihull: 61.81% - David Perkins & Carole Mueller (both Berks & Bucks)
The full list of qualifiers is available below. It will be finalised in the next few days, and invitations to sent to all those who qualified.
The Silver Plate has been won by the team of Dan Crofts (Captain), Celia Day, Sandra Fenton (all Staffs), Gary Hyett (Manchester), Graeme Robertson (Beds) and Andrew Thompson (Norfolk).
The foursome of Graeme, Gary, Andrew and Dan won the 48 board final against the team of Julian Mitchell (Captain), David Clifton, Peter Clinch and Christine Jepson (Andy Ryder had played for the team earlier in the competition) (all Sussex) by just 5 IMPs, having come back from 32 IMPs behind with 16 boards to play.
There were numerous winners the EBU's Really Easy Weekend Spring Break, held near Banbury, with thirteen different victors across the weekend's four competitions.
Held at the Wroxton House Hotel, the event is aimed at 'experienced novice players', and combines competitions with the social aspects of a residential weekend.
The winners were:
Pairs - Valerie Bannister & Mark Bannister (both Berks & Bucks); Ruth Rettie (Surrey) & Dilwyn Edwards; Dawn Mertens (Oxon) & Anne Lloyd (Herts); Gillian Lloyd-Evans & Sue Wallace (both Sussex); Stephen Websdale & Kathy Websdale (both Dorset); Gloria Parks & Denise Boxall (both Sussex)
Teams - Sue Bloom (Herts), Anne Lloyd, Stephen Websdale & Kathy Websdale (pictured)
The next Really Easy Weekend will be held in Bournemouth on 26th - 28th June, and there is an autumn event near Milton Keynes on 30th October - 1st November. Please see the website for more information.
The mixed pairs event was held across multiple venues around the country, and Mark & Helen, who played at Welwyn Garden City and won their heat by over 11%, achieved 66.13% when the event was scored nationally.
Warner Solomon (Devon) & Caroline Macpherson (Somerset), who won the Exeter heat, were second with a national score of 63.84%. Marion Robertson (London) & Mike Bell (Manchester) were third overall with 62.87%, having won the Richmond heat.
The full national results, and the results from each heat, are available through the results index below. Please note that the results are still provisional.
Thanks to the efforts of volunteer Gordon Bickley the EBU library has been fully catalogued.
The books and magazines are available for members to read at the EBU headquarters in Aylesbury. For more information, and the complete listing, please see the information below.
Thank you to Gordon for his work. He has a range of old and collectable bridge books available for purchase - if you are interested please contact him on 07530 553594 or by email.
To help club Tournament Directors with some of the more commonly occurring situations in which they may be called we have produced a series of videos.
'How Can I Help You?' covers six 'errors', such as a revoke, and an insufficient bid. We hope you find them useful.
The videos can be viewed on our website, or through YouTube.
The EBU calendar, showing forthcoming competitions, has been improved and is now live on the site. The different types of event are now clearer and easier to filter, and it is now much easier for you to import the information into your own online calendar (whether you use Google, Apple, Outlook or other calendar). Guidance on how to do this is at the foot of the calendar page.
We do strongly recommend that visitors use the most recent version of their browser software, especially if it is Internet Explorer.
Did you know that the EBU has a Google+ Page, a Twitter account and a Facebook group? If you use any of these networks come along and join/follow/circle us
We've put together a help page and some tutorial videos for club administrators who are looking for a bit of help in using our online Club Management System. As time goes by we'll add common questions to this page and hope it will provide a useful resource.
The new National Grading Scheme is now up and running and you can look up your own grade, grade history and partnership performance along with the grades of other members. Barry has written a blog on the subject, too.
If you want to send an emailed query please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will normally not receive a personal response but your query or comment WILL be considered and any response will be included in an “omnibus” response at a future date.
We are the governing body for duplicate bridge in England representing communities of bridge players at club, county and national level. We are funded by members for members and the development of duplicate bridge in England.
Old news items are available on the EBU website - they will only be kept on this bridgewebs page for approximately one year after publication (with the exception of some items of continued relevance).
Do you have some bridge news that you would like to share? If so, please do not hesitate to contact Peter Stockdale, Communications Officer on 01296 317 215 or email@example.com.