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The English Bridge Union are pleased to be using this BridgeWebs site for all our news.

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21st Jul 2016 13:43 BST

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 peter.stockdale@ebu.co.uk.

Please take the EBED survey relating to the benefits of playing bridge

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:

  • bridge players and non-bridge players
  • all ages

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:33 BST
Youth bridge camps this summer

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:
Sussex: www.sccba.co.uk
Cheltenham: joanmbennett@hotmail.co.uk

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:36 BST
EBUScore training sessions at the Summer Meeting

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:35 BST
Pianola free for a year to affiliated clubs

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 sales@pianola.net and mention you're an EBU club.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:34 BST
Need a partner for a congress?

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:29 BST
England's women are European Champions!

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:43 BST
Women's team win, but disappointing finish for Open and Senior teams

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/

Women's Pairs
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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:43 BST
Top 50 clubs by players 2015/16

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.

1 Richmond Bridge Club =
2 Wimbledon Bridge Club =
3 Kenilworth Bridge Club 1
4* West Midlands Bridge Club Limited 1
5 Bristol Bridge Club =
Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:37 BST
EBED Sim Pairs raises over £11,000 for health project

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:35 BST
Changes to appeals agreed by L&E Committee

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)

  • A contestant or his captain may appeal for a review of any ruling made at his table by the Director. Any such appeal, if deemed to lack merit, may be the subject of a sanction. This sanction will be both of:
    • A score adjustment equivalent to twice the standard adjustment (e.g. 20% of a top, 6 IMPs or 1 VP).
    • A financial deposit (£20 for pairs games, £30 for teams).

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:33 BST
International News - April to June

England wins Teltscher Trophy

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 win silver in Lady Milne Trophy

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.

English pair qualify for final of WBF World Wide Bridge Contest

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.

Last updated : 21st Jul 2016 13:32 BST
Nominations requested for junior teaching awards

The EBU invites nominations from any school, club or other organisation or individual for the Alec Salisbury and Tom Bradley Awards.

The Alec Salisbury Award is made to the school teacher who has made the most effective contribution to promoting bridge.

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 - richard@ebedcio.org.uk - before 23rd May.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:31 BST
April issue of English Bridge out now

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:44 BST
February & March - results roundup

Siblings win Under 21 Championships

 

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.

Townsend wins twice at Easter Festival

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).

Goldenfields win main event at Northern Easter Festival

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.

Murphys win Portland Pairs

Denis Murphy & Pearl Murphy (both Yorkshire) have won the Portland Pairs, the EBU's mixed pairs championship which took place on Sunday 20th March.

Stocken and Townsend win at Harrogate

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.

Six pairs victorious at Ranked Masters Pairs

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.

Full results are available below

Mau & Gibbons win Masters Pairs

Konrad Mau & John Gibbons (both Kent) have won the Master Pairs, held on 28th February.

Results

London wins Tollemache Cup

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.

Fun in the sun at Cyprus Congress

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:43 BST
EBUScore available free to EBUTA members

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:34 BST
Staff appointments

Richard Banbury appointed as EBED Business Manager

Richard's biography is available on the EBED website.

Bev Purvis appointed as Club Liaison Officer

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.

Applications invited for EBU Board positions

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 (jeremy@ebu.co.uk).

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:33 BST
My EBU updated

My EBU, the replacement for the old Members Area, received a few updates today. Among the changes are:

  • Clubs and Counties can now submit USEBIO files (see instructions)
  • Clubs and Counties can now register to enter a Sim Pairs event
  • The League Management System renamed EBULeague
  • Sessions can now be deleted from the session display. The button only appears if it is possible to delete the session.

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:31 BST
EBU Small Grant Funding for Affiliated Clubs and Counties

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 barry@ebu.co.uk. 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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:30 BST
Elena Jeronimidis receives Life Membership award

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:29 BST
Seven up for Haberdashers' Aske as over 100 juniors play in Young Bridge Challenge

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:28 BST
International News - February & March

England win Camrose by record margin

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.

England retain Junior Camrose; 3rd in Peggy Bayer

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.

Juniors miss out on prizes in Amsterdam

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

Three bronze medals for English women at Mind Games Championship

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.

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:27 BST
John Holland tops Master Point list for fifth time

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.

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:34 GMT
January results round-up

Paske & Senior teams win at National Teams Congress

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.

Poole team wins Silver Plate

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.

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:33 GMT
A free trial at Bridge Club Live for EBU Members

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.

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:31 GMT
International News - January

England have huge lead after first weekend of Camrose

 

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.

 

Penfold team wins Senior trials

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.

 

Brown & Erichsen win Lady Milne trials

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.

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:34 GMT
Teaching survey of EBU affiliated clubs

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.

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:29 GMT
Template for organising league competitions available

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 lecsec@ebu.co.uk

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:31 GMT
Barry's blog #69

The EBU General Manager, Barry Capal, has posted another blog, looking back at 2015, and ahead to 2016.

Last updated : 5th Jan 2016 11:07 GMT
International News - December

England U20s win Channel Trophy in style; U25s + U25 Women perform well

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).

Last updated : 5th Feb 2016 10:27 GMT
December results round-up

Cope team wins Gold Cup

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.

 

All age groups represented amongst Year End Congress winners

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).

 

Holland & Mould defend titles at Northern Year End Congress

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.

 

Bristol B wins NICKO

The National InterClub Knockout (NICKO) has been won by Bristol B, who defeated Petersfield A in the final.

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.

Last updated : 5th Jan 2016 11:05 GMT
December issue of English Bridge out now

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...

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:19 GMT
November results roundup

Mossop team wins Premier League

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.

 

Oram team retains the Gerard Faulkner Salver

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.

Littlewood/Musson & Oram team win main prizes at Seniors Congress

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.

Tollemache finalists known

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.

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:17 GMT
International News - November

England's teams finish 3rd & 5th in European Champions Cup

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.

Mixed results for England Women in Hua Yuan Cup

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 Under 15s finish well against experienced field in the Czech Republic

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.

England Juniors finish in middle of pack in Paris

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.

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:14 GMT
Sussex Juniors visit House of Lords

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.

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:10 GMT
Sim Pairs prize winners drawn

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

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:09 GMT
Board and committee positions filled at AGM

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.

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:08 GMT
Presentations made to award winners at AGM

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.

Last updated : 9th Dec 2015 10:07 GMT
Junior awards presented at Summer Meeting

 

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 simon@ebedcio.org.uk

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.

Last updated : 26th Aug 2015 15:35 BST
Summer Meeting Hub

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.

Last updated : 26th Aug 2015 15:34 BST
Tax Tribunal refers ‘Bridge is a sport’ appeal to European Court

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.

Last updated : 4th Aug 2015 12:03 BST
August issue of English Bridge out now

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...

Last updated : 4th Aug 2015 12:03 BST
Updates to the Blue Book and White Book

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.

Last updated : 4th Aug 2015 12:04 BST
International News - July

U25s 4th in European Championships

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

U20s end European Championships in 13th

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

Under 15s 4th in European Championships

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 wins European bronze medal

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 team compete in Chairman's Cup

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.

Last updated : 4th Aug 2015 12:02 BST
July results roundup

Gibson team wins Hubert Phillips Bowl

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.

Holland & Mould defend titles at Scarborough Congress

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%.

Keeping and Benjamin win at Eastbourne

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.

Gardner team and Hampton & Amor win at Riviera Congress

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.

Last updated : 4th Aug 2015 11:59 BST
New Members Area available to preview

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.

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:12 BST
June results roundup

Manchester team wins Pachabo Cup

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.

Manchester BC wins Garden Cities Trophy

Manchester Bridge Club has won the Garden Cities Trophy, the EBU's inter-county championship for club teams-of-eight.

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.

Byrne team wins Online Knockout

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.

Robinson & Jepson win Corwen Trophy

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%.

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:14 BST
England Juniors third in Finland

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.

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:15 BST
Warwickshire juniors visit House of Lords

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.

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:17 BST
EBUTA Manager Appointed

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.

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:12 BST
New affiliations

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".

Last updated : 6th Jul 2015 12:16 BST
Date set for Judicial Review into whether bridge is a sport

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:14 BST
The Summer Meeting is moving to Eastbourne in 2016

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:16 BST
May results roundup

Hinden team wins Schapiro Spring Fours

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.

Miller wins Punchbowl, Helle wins Hamilton Cup

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).

Emphatic wins at the Lambourne Jersey Festival

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.

Boss and Robinson win Spring Congress Pairs

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.

Cope does the double at Oxford Midweek Congress

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.

Robinson & Jepson win Corwen Trophy

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%.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:22 BST
Top 50 clubs by players 2014/15

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:20 BST
Ireland win Teltscher Trophy, England third

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:20 BST
Chairman announces scoring software changes

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:22 BST
More juniors playing bridge

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.

 

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:15 BST
Thank you and goodbye to Gill Pain

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.

Last updated : 4th Jun 2015 10:14 BST
Bridge as a sport – the Judicial Review

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...

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:15 BST
International News - April

Wales win Lady Milne; England 2nd, EBU 4th.

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.

 

Byrne & Bell win Yeh Bros pairs

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.

 

Entries open for 2015 Premier league

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 dawn@ebu.co.uk

 

Juniors knocked out in quarter finals of Dutch White House event

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:

  • A: Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts and Freddie Illingworth & Ben Norton
  • B: Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw and Tommy Brass & Ankush Khandelwal
  • NPC for both teams: Alan Shillitoe

EBU team wins the Corn Cairdis

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.

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:14 BST
April Results Round-Up

 

de Botton/Malinowski amongst winners at London Easter Festival

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%.

 

Channon & Bakhshi win Under 19 Pairs

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%.

 

Littlewoods star at Northern Easter Festival

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.

 

Godfrey & Thrower win National Pairs

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.

 

Chapman team wins Hubert Phillips Plate

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.

 

Cambridge B wins Portland Bowl

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.

 

Anstis/Butcher and Lyne/Newport highest scorers in Education Sim Pairs

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 ian@ebu.co.uk

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.

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:12 BST
Sim pairs double dummy and discussion features

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.

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:17 BST
Annual County TD training programme soon

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.

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:17 BST
Recent affiliations

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.

Last updated : 1st May 2015 15:16 BST
Ireland win Camrose Trophy; England third

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.

Last updated : 30th Mar 2015 14:13 BST
Change of schedule for Gold Cup

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.

Last updated : 30th Mar 2015 14:13 BST
March Results Round-Up

National Pairs qualifiers known

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.

Crofts team wins Silver Plate

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.

Winners galore at Really Easy Weekend

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.

Westley & Robinson win Portland Pairs

The Portland Pairs has been won by Mark Westley & Helen Robinson of Hertfordshire.

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.

Last updated : 30th Mar 2015 14:12 BST
EBU library fully catalogued

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.

Last updated : 6th Feb 2015 16:37 GMT
New videos for TDs

 

 

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.

Last updated : 17th Jul 2014 13:35 BST
New EBU Calendar

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.

Last updated : 17th Jul 2014 13:29 BST
New Online Shop goes live!

We're very excited to announce that our online shop is now up and running and ready to take your order. There you will find all of our usual products, from bidding boxes and boards to books about Stayman. Please have a browse around.

We do strongly recommend that visitors use the most recent version of their browser software, especially if it is Internet Explorer.

Last updated : 7th May 2014 13:25 BST
Social Media

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

 

 

Last updated : 10th Oct 2013 12:21 BST
Pay To Play Club Help

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.

Last updated : 7th Jun 2011 11:32 BST
NGS

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 ngsqueries@ebu.co.uk.  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.

Last updated : 29th Apr 2013 16:45 BST
Welcome to the new English Bridge Union.

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.

  • View here for more information on the benifts of membership, and much more..
Last updated : 10th Oct 2013 11:34 BST
Archive News

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).

Last updated : 13th Apr 2016 14:57 BST
News?

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 peter.stockdale@ebu.co.uk.

Last updated : 10th Oct 2013 11:22 BST
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