Top seeds amongst Tollemache qualifiers

The qualifying round of the Tollemache took place 22nd - 23rd November, with the primary seeds all qualifying. Last year's top four finishers - Berks & Bucks (the holders), Kent, London and Middlesex - all finished in the top two in their group. They are joined in the finals by Avon, Cambridgeshire, Manchester and Lancashire.

The finals take place 14th - 15th February 2015.

Entries open for Online Knockout Teams competition

Entries are now open for the 2015 EBU Online Knockout Teams competition.

Matches will be played exclusively online and are for teams of four. Green points will be awarded for each match won. Entries close on 23rd December, with the first round of matches to be completed by the end of January.

To enter please use the members area of the website or contact the Competitions Department - comps@ebu.co.uk or 01296 317203/219

Your chance to play with the stars

The popular Night of the Stars event is set to return, and gives you the chance to play with current and former members of the England teams, some of the game's most well known names, and even the EBU Chairman.

The auction for the opportunity to play with a star is on 23rd November 2014, with the bridge being played on 26th February 2015.

All proceeds support Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, Maggie’s, Mencap and React.

Please see the event website for further details.

England's representatives 6th in European Champions' Cup

England's representatives were sixth in the European Champions Cup which took place in Milan over the weekend.

England were represented by the winners of the 2013 Premier League, the Allfrey team, and this comprised Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester & David Gold, and David Bakhshi & Andrew McIntosh.

The competition can be likened to football's Champions League, with Europe's twelve leading countries represented by the winners of their domestic competition. The winners were G.S. Allegra of Italy, who beat Bamberger Reiter of Germany in the Final.

We are pleased to announce that England will host the 2015 event in November next year. It will take place near Milton Keynes. Spectators will be welcome, and offers of help would be much appreciated. Full details will be available nearer the event.

Hylda Townsend: 7th March 1913 - 13th November 2014

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Hylda Townsend.

Hylda passed away peacefully at 10.30pm on Thursday 13 November 2014 at the age of 101.

Hylda was a Vice President of the EBU, a keen player, and a committed bridge administrator and organiser.

Hylda's obituary is available here.

Hylda’s funeral and service of celebration of her life will take place on Wednesday 17 December 2014, 11am at Robin Hood Crematorium, Streetsbrook Road, Shirley, Solihull B90 3NL, and afterwards at West Midlands Bridge Club, 909 Warwick Road, Solihull, B91 3EP.

Entries open for 1st World Cup of Online Bridge

Entries are now open for the 1st World Cup of Online Bridge, organised by Bridge Big. Total prize money for the event is €25,000 with €8,000 for the winner.

The grand final of the event will be held on 1st February 2015 and is open to all players. It will be possible to enter the final directly or through qualifier tournaments which will run until 31st January. Players can register on www.bridgebig.com.

Allfrey team wins Premier League

The 2014 Premier League has been won by the team of Alexander Allfrey (Middlesex) & Andrew Robson (London), Tony Forrester (Herefordshire) & David Gold (London), and Andrew McIntosh (Middlesex) & David Bakhshi (London) (pictured left). They entered the final weekend leading by only 3 VPs, but lost only one of their final nine matches, and won emphatically. They finished 50 VPs ahead of the team of Heather Dhondy (London), Sally Brock, Barry Myers (both Berks & Bucks), Brian Callaghan, and Frank To (both London), and they were a 40 VPs ahead of third.

By winning the Allfrey team will be invited to play for England in the 2015 Camrose Trophy. This team is also representing England in the Champions Trophy which starts on Thursday (see below)

The players in the top four teams in Division One have all earned points in the Player of the Year Championship. The next events in which points will be scored are the Gold Cup finals, and then the Point-a-Board event at the National Teams Congress.

In Division Two, the team of Janet de Botton & Artur Malinowski (both Middlesex), Espen Erichsen (Kent) & Waseem Naqvi (Middlesex), and Nick Sandqvist & Tom Townsend (both London) (picture) won by about 27 VPs, with the team of Mike Bell & Michael Byrne (both Manchester), and Fiona Brown (Yorkshire) & Kieran Dyke (London) in second.

EBU meets with Secretary of State about unfair treatment of bridge

On Tuesday the EBU met with Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to outline the belief that bridge, and other mind sports, are not receiving fair treatment by governmental organisations.

The meeting was arranged by Bob Blackman MP, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Bridge Group, and who spoke on the topic on the Daily Politics show (see here).

Bob Blackman MP talks about bridge to the BBC

Bob Blackman MP, captain of the winning team in the annual House of Commons versus House of Lords bridge match (report below), was today interviewed on BBC television's Daily Politics show. He spoke about the benefits of bridge to all sectors of society, his hopes that it would be played in more schools and universities, and the efforts being made to have it recognised as a sport.

You can watch the interview on the BBC iplayer. Follow the link below, and use the scroll bar to jump to the feature. The interview begins at 48:18.

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