February issue of English Bridge out now

The February 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.

For more information on accessing our online magazine archive, please read on...

Brock & Sinclair win Lady Milne Trials

The trials for the team to represent England in the Lady Milne Trophy - the competition for the Women's Teams of the Home Nations - took place 23rd to 25th January and were won by Sally Brock and Anita Sinclair (pictured left).

Sally and Anita finished on a score of 111.99, and will join Jane Moore & Gillian Fawcett and Sarah Teshome & Catherine Jagger to make up the England team for the Lady Milne Trophy.

As England is hosting the event it will be fielding two teams - 'England' and 'EBU'. The EBU team will be comprised from those who finished in the next places in the trials.

Sarah O'Connor & Anne Rosen were second on 97.18, with Kath Stynes & Hannah Cornfield third on 81.93 and Marietta Andree & Janet Cahm fourth on 73.51. The top four pairs are all pictured here.

The Lady Milne Trophy takes place on 17th-19th April 2015 at the Birmingham Airport Holiday Inn.

EBU seeks Tournament Services Administrator

The EBU has a vacancy for a Tournament Services Administrator.

This is a full-time post in the Competitions Department of the English Bridge Union, based at the offices in Aylesbury, preferably starting during March 2015 to allow a handover period with the current worker.

The post entails the organisation of equipment and staff for all competitions and simultaneous pairs events run by the EBU. As such, good organisational and planning skills are essential. Some lifting is required.

An understanding of the organisation of bridge tournaments, together with experience of scoring programs and dealing machines, would be an advantage, but not completely essential.

For further information on the position, or to submit an application (a CV and covering letter), please contact Gordon Rainsford at the EBU - gordon@ebu.co.uk

Free playing cards to all affiliated clubs

Over the coming weeks all affiliated clubs will be able to receive from the EBU three free multipacks of playing cards.

During the 2014/15 financial year the EBU staff and officials have been able to make a number of one-off savings which have resulted in a better financial performance than was originally forecast. The EBU Board is therefore delighted to be able to pass some of the savings which have been made back to all clubs in a way from which all members will get a tangible benefit.

All clubs can claim from the EBU Shop three multipacks of playing cards, allowing every club to refresh a full set of boards. This donation will benefit all players – as there is nothing that bridge players dislike more than playing with dirty cards we are sure that all members will appreciate it.

All clubs should have received an email giving the details of the offer. Clubs wishing to take up the offer should contact the shop at bridge.shop@ebu.co.uk. If your club has not received the information please contact peter.stockdale@ebu.co.uk.

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.

South Bucks Bridge Centre donated to English Bridge Education and Development

We are delighted to announce that Laurie Champniss and family, owners of the highly popular South Bucks Bridge Centre, have donated the Centre to English Bridge Education and Development. Both EBED and the EBU would like to thank Mr Champniss for his great generosity and have pledged to continue the club's tradition as a first-rate centre for playing and learning bridge. Mr Champniss (right) is pictured passing the share documents to EBU General Manager, Barry Capal.

This donation, made possible by EBED’s status as a registered charity, will help Mr Champniss achieve his goal of securing the future of this unique club for the coming decade and beyond.

EBED has taken over ownership this week. After around twenty years in her job the Club Manager, Sue Reid, has decided to retire and will be leaving her position soon. EBED hope to announce a replacement in the very near future. It is intended that SBBC members will experience no change in the excellent service on offer at the club.

In addition the acquisition of the centre will provide a base for EBED to undertake some of its teaching and promotional activities. This will not only be of great benefit to bridge in England, but also specifically to members of SBBC and players – or potential players – in the local area.

English Bridge Education and Development began operations in April 2014 and is working to encourage more people to take up bridge, as well as building the infrastructure which will make that aim a reality. It is supported by the English Bridge Union, but is predominantly reliant on donations to fund its larger projects, so is extremely grateful to Mr Champniss for his generosity. It is hoped that in future other individuals or organisations which wish to see bridge in England grow will make a donation, be it big or small, to help EBED’s work.

South Bucks Bridge Centre is in Burnham, between Slough and Maidenhead. Sessions take place every weekday and some Sundays, with some morning and afternoon games. Visitors are welcome. Please see their website for more information.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Barry Capal, or Gordon Rainsford and they will be happy to answer your queries.

Kent team wins National Point-a-Board; joint-winners in Swiss teams

The team of Alistair Kent (Channel Islands), Kevin Castner, David Gold (London) and Justin Hackett (Staffs & Shrops) have won the Point-a-Board event at the National Teams Congress. They topped their qualifying section, and then went on to win the final with a score of 53. The team of Jeremy Dhondy (Middlesex), Brian Callaghan, Ben Green (both London) and John Holland (Manchester) were second on 49, with Frances Hinden, Jeffrey Allerton, Graham Osborne (all Surrey) and Chris Jagger (Cambs & Hunts) third on 46.

The victory in the competition takes David Gold in to first place in the Player of the Year Championship, and he holds a six point lead. There are six events remaining, so there are many points still to be won. The next event in which points will be awarded is the Guardian Trophy - the main pairs event at the Easter Festival in London.

In the Swiss Teams event, which ran alongside the Point-a-Board event, there were joint winners. The team of Steve Root, Jonathan Harris, Steve Capal & Andrew Sobell (all Middlesex), finished on 160 VPs, tied with the team of Dave Latchem (Wiltshire), Sheila Coda, Rod Marks and Bill Rowe (all Somerset). The Root team took the title by virtue of the split-tie procedure. The team of Andrew Southwell, Richard Fedrick (both Sussex), Ian Roberts and Alan Oddie (both Bedfordshire) were third on 159 VPs.

Under 15 squad members wanted

The EBU is pleased to announce that it will be forming an Under 15 squad to help develop and train an Under 15 international team. We are asking interested individuals or pairs to contact us if they would like to be considered for this squad. In the first instance, we are intending to use the squad to select an Under 15 team to send to the European Youth Bridge Teams Championships in July of this year.

To be eligible to join the squad you must have been born on or after the 1st January 2000. We expect to hold 3 to 6 training days between February and June, supplemented by online coaching.

The European Championships will be held from 18th to 23rd July 2015, in Tromsø, Norway.

Please contact dawn@ebu.co.uk for more information or to register your interest.

Tony Priday: memorial and award

On Tuesday the EBU hosted a memorial occasion for Vice President Tony Priday who died last October aged 92. He had been our longest serving Vice President having been appointed to the position in 1968 and he was in addition a player, captain and administrator of considerable distinction.

The occasion was attended by over 60 people and the Chairman, Jeremy Dhondy, took the opportunity to announce that the EBU would create a new award to be called the Tony Priday Award. It will be awarded for excellence whether that be in the playing arena or elsewhere. The first award will be made at the AGM this coming November.

Bridge Club Live first Online Affiliated Club

The EBU is pleased to announce the first club to join as an Online Affiliated Club.

Bridge Club Live (BCL) has affiliated under the new scheme and will therefore be able to issue Master Points for their sessions which meet the necessary requirements for points to be awarded. These are full value ‘local points’, and count towards all EBU Master Point rankings, and from 1st January can be earned in most BCL competitions – their movement tourneys and leagues, and the ‘Dido Tourney’, are all included.

It is hoped that the introduction of the Online Affiliated Club category will be of benefit to EBU members who play some of their bridge online. This is additional to the recent introduction of the Online Knockout Teams competition, and the change that permits some matches in other knockout competitions to be played online. These changes will enable players 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.

Please note that the ‘members benefits’ of playing at an Online Affiliated Club relates only to the issuing of Master Points. Participation in a competition run by an Online Affiliated Club does not 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.

If you have any questions please contact Barry Capal at the EBU, and Tony Philpott at Bridge Club Live.

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