Office and shop Christmas opening hours

The EBU offices, and the EBU Shop, will be closed over the Christmas period.

Christmas Eve: Open 9am - midday
25th December – 1st January: Closed
Re-open 9am Friday 2nd January

Orders with the EBU Shop can be placed online and will be dispatched when we re-open in the New Year. Please see here for our Christmas ordering dates.

Entries for competitions can be made online through the members area of the website. We will be taking entries 'on the door' at the Year End Congress in London, though we would prefer that entries are made in advance. Entries for the Northern Year End Congress should be made in advance where possible. To contact tournament staff in emergencies during the event call 07780 673522 - please do not use this number for entries or general enquiries.

Please see here for the email addresses of all EBU staff. Emails will be dealt with as soon as possible after we re-open.

Last posting dates for Christmas

The EBU shop has a wide range of gifts for bridge-playing friends and family. With books, equipment, and 'stocking-fillers', there is something for all bridge enthusiasts.

To be sure of delivery before Christmas please note the following dates:

1st Class & Courier – Friday 19th December

Please ensure that we have received your order by 2pm that day.

Orders can be placed online, or by phone on 01296 397851, and all EBU members can receive a discount on nearly all items.

Sim Pairs booklets - Anyone wishing to order booklets for the British Winter Sim Pairs must do so before Christmas. The office will be shut between Christmas and New Year, so all booklets must be ordered so they can be sent before Christmas. Please order them before Friday 19th December.

Junior Channel Trophy this weekend

The Junior Channel trophy takes place this weekend. The competition is held in Lille, and involves teams from France, Belgium, The Netherlands and England. The Under 25s are defending the title they won in 2013.

England are represented by
Under 25
James Paul & Alex Roberts; Tommy Brass & Ankush Khandelwal; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw; NPC Mike Bell

Under 20
Freddie Illingworth & Ben Norton; Oliver Powell & Jonathan Derrick; Sam Behrens & Nick Dean; NPC Michael Byrne

U25 Women
Sarah O’Connor; Sinead Bird; Yvonne Wiseman; Laura Covill; Carina Negreanu; NPC Alan Shillitoe

EBU appeals Sport England ruling on whether bridge is a sport

As part of the EBU's ongoing efforts with regard to the status of bridge and other mind sports, an appeal is being made against Sport England’s decision to use a definition of ‘sport’ which appears contrary to that recognised by the UK Parliament.

The Sport England list is used by 'funding bodies', and also by HMRC so impacts on the VAT status of bridge. The EBU is appealing Sport England’s accreditation process through Sports Resolutions (UK).

The EBU is separately challenging the HMRC ruling in the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal at an appeal due to be heard in July.

Please read the press release for full information.

Nicola Smith wins gold, Catherine Draper bronze, at World Mind Games

Following their success in the teams event at the World Mind Games, England's women have continued to add their medal haul from 2014. In the individual event in Beijing Nicola Smith won the gold medal, and Catherine Draper the bronze.

English players dominated the event, as Heather Dhondy finished fourth, and Sally Brock sixth.

The climax of the event was very exciting, with Nevena Senior's result on the final board of the competition meaning Nicola nipped into the lead by a single match point. Read the report here.

It has been a great year for the women's team of Nicola, Catherine, Heather, Sally, Nevena and Fiona Brown, as they had previously won a silver medal at the European Championships in the summer. Roll on the Venice Cup in October.

Ted Bond, 1930 - 2014

Ted Bond, Vice President of Yorkshire CBA has died aged 84. He served the YCBA for many years, and received the Dimmie Fleming award from the EBU in 2010. Further details on his contribution to Yorkshire bridge are available on the YCBA website, and on his Dimme Fleming award page.

England win gold in World Mind Games

England's Women's team has won the gold medal at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

In a dramatic final the lead changed hands multiple times in the final set, and England started the final board trailing by 4 IMPs. Then in one room the England pair made game, and in the other the Dutch pair stayed in a partscore, so the lead changed hands for a final, decisive time, and England had won by 3 IMPs. You can read more in the report on the event website.

Congratulations to the team of Heather Dhondy & Nevena Senior; Sally Brock & Nicola Smith; Fiona Brown & Catherine Draper.

In the pairs event which followed the leading English pair was Nevena and Heather in seventh.

The event, which is organised by SportAccord, the organisation for both Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations, concludes with an individual competitions across the next two days.

Matches can be watched on Bridge Base Online. The hours of play are available on the BBO Vugraph schedule.

Thanks to Anna Gudge for the picture.

Allfrey team wins Gold Cup

The team of Alexander Allfrey, David Bakhshi, Tony Forrester, David Gold and Andrew Robson has won the Gold Cup.

The semi-finals and final were held at the West Midlands Bridge Club on 13th & 14th December. On Saturday the Allfrey team won their semi-final against the Mason team by just 6 IMPs, whereas the other semi-final was more one-sided with the McIntosh team (Andrew McIntosh, Phil King, Stefan Skorchev, Cameron Small) beating the Gillis team by 57 IMPs.

The final started well for the McIntosh team, and they led by 25 IMPs after three stanzas, but the Allfrey team picked up 37 IMPs in the next two stanzas and ultimately won 115-98.

The winning players who played on Sunday are pictured - Alexander did not play in the final. The runners-up are pictured here.

This was Tony Forrester's 13th victory in the Gold Cup, extending his lead on the all-time list. Andrew Robson had won seven times, Alexander Allfrey six times, David Bakhshi five times, and David Gold three times.

These five players have extended their lead in the Player of the Year Championship, though there are still many more scoring events left in the 2014/15 Championship Series.

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