Smith & Webb win Midland Improvers Pairs

Steve Smith & Jason Webb (both Staffs & Shrops) have won the Midland Improvers Pairs which took place earlier this month. Organised by the counties which form the Midlands Regional Group, the event was held at two locations - Derbyshire and Warwickshire - with the scores then combined. Steve & Jason scored a very impressive 73.83% to take the title by a large margin. They are pictured receiving their trophies from Linda Curtis, Chairman of Staffs & Shrops CBA, and EBU Board member, Darren Evetts.

Anna Lis & John Higgs (both Staffs & Shrops) were second with 63.41%, and Barrie Witcomb & Pamela Selden (both Derbys) were third with 58.59%.

Annual County TD training course to take place in September

The annual County Director's and County Refresher Courses will take place on 10th/11th September at the Coventry Hilton.

The County Directors' course is for qualified Club Directors who will normally have at least one year's experience of directing and some experience of organising events at County level. The prime objectives of the course are to provide a learning experience, and to assess the candidate's experience to become fully qualified County Directors. The course is a mixture of table simulations, lecture and written assessment.

The County Refresher course is for those who have already attended and passed the County Course. The course content is identical to the County Course and participants will be 'unofficially marked' on the same scale so you can see how you have improved since you did the County Course.

Courses are only open to qualified Club Directors or previously qualified County Directors. This intensive course starts on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, with other sessions on Saturday evening, Sunday morning and afternoon, finishing at approx 3:30pm.

Fantoni-Nunes banned by EBL

The European Bridge League have announced their verdict on Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes, who were accused of using a series of illegal signals.

"The Disciplinary Commission of the EBL has concluded that Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes have been guilty of infractions of the laws of bridge. Accordingly, they have been banned from playing together for life, and are separately prohibited from playing in any EBL events or activities for a period of 5 years. Additionally, the costs of the investigation and hearing have been awarded against them."

They also received a lifetime ban from playing in EBL events as a partnership. This follows the ban impose by the Italian Bridge Federation (FIGB) in April.

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:

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.

England juniors perform well at European Youth Pairs Championships

The 13th European Youth Pairs Championships finished on Sunday in Liepaja in Latvia. England had a large number of pairs competing (some are pictured), and there were some good results and prize winning performances.

The highest finishers in any of the main competitions were Oscar Selby & Harry Madden who finished 5th of the 23 pairs playing in the Under 16 Pairs, just a few match points outside the medal places. Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth were winners of the President's Cup, the consolation event for all pairs failing to qualify for a main final. Nick Dean, playing with Carolina Pimenta of Portugal, won a prize for leading 'transnational pair' in the President's Cup.

Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal gained the kudos of being the highest scorers of the 61 pairs in the qualifying rounds of the Under 26 pairs - though ultimately they finished 15th in the final. Will Roper & Alex Birchall also reached the final in that event.

Two English pairs reached the final of the Under 21 Pairs - Jonathan Clark & Kripa Panchagnula finished 11th, and Ben Norton & Sam Behrens were 13th. In the Women's Under 26 Pairs, Yvonne Wiseman & Carina Negreanu finished 10th of the 20th pairs.

Carina Negreanu & Nick Dean were England's leading pair in the Mixed Pairs, finishing 10th of the 52 pairs. The winners were Jun Nakamaru-Pinder and Olivia Bailey of Scotland meaning further bragging rights for British bridge.

The competitions are being followed by a three day youth bridge camp in which some of the English juniors will be taking part.

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.

English Bridge - a correction

We have been asked by Dorset CBA to note an error in the County News piece which was submitted to us for the June 2016 issue of English Bridge. Their Swiss Pairs on 24th July will be held at Marsham Court Hotel, and not at Hamworthy Club.

Manchester retains National Inter-County League Trophy

The National Finals of the Inter-County Leagues took place at Coventry Bridge Club on Sunday 10th July.

Congratulations to Manchester who retained the 'A' final, Warwickshire for winning the 'B' final, and Hertfordshire for winning the 'C' final.

Pictured are the Manchester team (L to R: Tom Slater, Michael Byrne, Kath Nelson, Rodney Lighton, Michael Newman, Alan Nelson, Alan Mould, Alec Smalley).

Wolfendale and Davey win at Eastbourne

The Summer Seniors Congress took place in Eastbourne this weekend and Nigel Wolfendale and Dick Davey were the winners of the main Championship Pairs. Having won the qualifying session, they continued their good form to comfortably win the A Final and finish over 3% clear of Kathy and Denis Talbot in second. Sandy Davies and Tom Gisborne won the B Final, and Sue and Nick Woodcock won the Swiss Pairs.

The Swiss Teams was a little closer. Phil Thornton, Bob Holder, Robert Procter and Michael Robinson won their first five matches, but stumbled in the penultimate match against the Hackett team. They needed to win their last match to take the trophy, and did so with plenty to spare. The Hackett team finished second, with the Collins team third.

Alishaw & Kennedy win Riviera Swiss Pairs; Lawy team wins Swiss Teams

Michael Alishaw (London) & Stephen Kennedy (Sussex) (pictured) have won the Swiss Pairs at the Riviera Congress. They lost only one of their twelve matches, and finished on 179 VPs, 18 ahead of the field. This is another good performance by the junior international pair - amongst other results they were the leading qualifiers in the National Pairs.

Edward Leatham & Nick Forrest (both Wilts) were ahead of Michael & Stephen with two rounds to play, but two defeats saw them finish in second place. Alex Maddocks & Warner Solomon (both Devon) won their last seven matches to race up the table and finish third, a further 2 VPs behind.

The Swiss Teams event was won by Rob Lawy (Avon), Andrew Thompson (Norfolk), Stefan Lindfors and Jim Grant (both Devon) (see picture here). They lost only once in their seven matches, finishing on 100 VPs. In second place were Richard Lingham, Ann Slee, Brigid McElroy and Ruth Edmondson (all Devon) - they also only lost once, and finished on 98 VPs. Dave Latchem (Wiltshire), Sheila Coda, Rod Marks (both Somerset) and Mark Hooper (Dorset) were third with 96 VPs.

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