Contributions to bridge recognised at AGM

The EBU presented awards in recognition of various members' contributions to bridge in England at the AGM in London yesterday.

* - presentations to be made at a later date

Congratulations to all recipients, and we thank them for their contribution.

2017 Sim Pairs prize winners drawn

At this week's AGM the 2017 Sim Pairs prize draw took place. Each host club, and the top pair at each club, were entered in to a draw.

The full list of winners, including the runners-up from the prize draw, and the overall winners for each heat, can be seen here. The winners of the top prizes were:

Pairs winners
1st Prize - £1000 per pair Cliff Short & Anne Short Hemel Hempstead Bridge Club
2nd Prize - £500 per pair Frances Moor & Peter Edwards Deben Bridge Club
3rd Prize - £200 per pair Jim Ramadan & Charles Broughton-Pipkin Petersfield Bridge Club
Club winners
1st Prize - £1000 York Bridge Club Yorkshire
2nd Prize - £500 Lines Bridge Club Cambs & Hunts
3rd Prize - £200 Stamford Bridge Club Northamptonshire

The 2018 will have a similar prize structure, and entries for all events are open now. We hope you will take part as the proceeds from each of the events helps to support bridge in England.

  • The British Sim Pairs (in January, April, July and October) and Club Stratified Sim Pairs (in March) help to support the work of the EBU in providing services to you, the members, and to your clubs and counties
  • The Bridge England Sim Pairs (in February) helps to support England's international squads, including the four junior teams which will be competing in the World Championships in China in 2018
  • The EBED Sim Pairs (in May and September) helps to support the work of the charity English Bridge Education and Development

For more information on the competitions, and how clubs can register to take part, see the information via the Sim Pairs webpage.

EBU accounts - an overview of income and expenditure

Every year, the EBU’s annual accounts are made available. This year's account were approved by the Shareholders at the AGM yesterday, and will be made available online soon alongside those from previous years which are available at www.ebu.co.uk/official-documents.

We are aware, however, that some people find this information a little impenetrable, so some charts were created to give a simple overview of the source of the EBU’s income, and where the money is spent. These can be seen by clicking 'read more'. We hope this is interesting and useful to you in understanding how the EBU’s finances are structured.

Elections for EBU Board and Standing Committees held at AGM

The EBU AGM took place on 22nd November. The following people were elected/re-elected to the EBU Board and Standing Committees:

The Board
There were four nominees for three positions. The votes received were as follows:-
Elected: Jeremy Dhondy - 60 votes; Ian Payn - 52; Rob Lawy - 42; each will serve a three year term of office expiring in 2020
Not elected: Paul Roberts - 39.

The Board of Directors may also appoint a further Director for one year at a time.
Jeremy Dhondy was re-elected as Chairman, and Ian Payn as Vice Chairman - both were uncontested.

The Selection Committee
There were four nominees for four positions. Elections were held to determine the length of term of the candidates.
Three year term: Gillian Fawcett - 55 votes; David Bakhshi - 54; Jeremy Willans - 40
Two year term: Paul Barden - 29

The Laws & Ethics Committee
There were four nominees for four positions. Elections were held to determine the length of term of the candidates.
Three year term: David Burn - 55 votes; Heather Dhondy - 54
Two year term: Martin Pool - 51
One year term: Alan Wilson - 38

To see the current members of the Board and Standing Committees, click 'read more'.

Qualifiers known for Tollemache Final

Qualifying for the finals of the Tollemache Cup - the inter-county championships for teams of eight - has taken place. The top two teams in each of four groups have progressed to the final.

Manchester comfortably topped Group A, with Cambs & Hunts in second - defending champions London missed out, finishing fourth. Oxfordshire and Lancashire qualified from Group B. Group C was won emphatically by Kent, with Dorset just a single VP ahead of Derbyshire for the second qualifying spot. In Group D, Hants & IOW finished in first, with Berks & Bucks taking second place.

The final will take place on 10th-11th February.

Trials announced for Lady Milne and Women's European Championships

Applications to take part in the trials to represent the England Women’s Team in the 2018 Lady Milne competition, and the 2018 European Team Championships, are now being accepted.

The Lady Milne trials are on 26th-28th January, the trials for the European Championships will be 2nd to 5th March. For more details please click 'read more'.

New TD Forum available

In response to requests, we have established a TD forum where you can ask questions and discuss matters of interest. It is open to everyone - not just restricted to qualified TDs - and anyone needing help with any matter relating to the Laws can use it.

Since the Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017 have fairly recently come into effect, we anticipate that there may be a number of questions that TDs will have that more experienced colleagues may be able to help with.

The forum is available at: https://www.ebu.co.uk/forum

Update: A sub-forum for those wishing to ask questions about scoring has been added.

Bridge not a sport for VAT purposes says EU court

The EBU has learned that the European Court of Justice has today overturned a recommendation from its Advocate General, and has ruled that bridge should not be considered a sport for VAT purposes.

This decision comes as both a surprise, and a disappointment, as we had welcomed the earlier recommendation made by Advocate General that bridge should considered a sport for this purpose. A positive ruling by the court would have both made participation in bridge competitions cheaper, and would have provided a rebate to the EBU which it could invest in bringing bridge – and the enjoyment and health benefits which participation offers – to a wider audience.

The Court did, however, leave open the opportunity for individual states to exempt bridge from VAT by recognising it as a ‘cultural service’. We are pleased by the court’s suggestion, and welcome the possibility that bridge activities may yet be exempted from VAT, however we have not yet considered the implications of the suggestion.

We would like to give our thanks to David Ewart and our legal team for their work throughout these legal proceedings.

Welcome to Hadleigh Bridge Club

Welcome to Hadleigh Bridge Club, in Suffolk, which is our newest affiliated club. They play duplicate sessions on Monday evening, with Chicago sessions on Tuesday afternoons. Visitors are always welcome: if you require a partner on a Monday, email the club; on a Tuesday they operate a host system.

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