Entries for the NICKO closing soon

Entries for the National Inter-Club Knockout - or 'the NICKO', as it's often known - are closing soon.

This competition is open to teams representing affiliated clubs, with no limit on the number of teams any one club can enter. It is played as a knockout throughout, with the draw in the early stages regionalised to reduce travelling. A Plate competition is available at no extra charge.

In order to help to ensure that the players in each team are eligible to represent the club, entries must be submitted by the secretary of the club.

If your club intends entering a team - or multiple teams - can you please ask your club secretary to do so as soon as possible. The deadline for entries is Monday, but we'd be grateful if you could submit your entry this week. Entries should be made on the official entry form, and that can be downloaded from here. Please send any entry forms to comps@ebu.co.uk.

Premier League continues this weekend

The next stage of the Premier League takes place this weekend, with Divisions 1 and 2 playing in Manchester, and Division 3 in London.

Matches from Division 1 will be shown on Bridge Base Online from 10:45am on Saturday. We hope we have resolved the issues which meant that coverage of the first weekend was disrupted and are sorry for any disappointment that caused.

After the first weekend Division 1 is being led by Frances Hinden, Jeffrey Allerton, Michael Byrne, Kieran Dyke & Chris Jagger. The leaders of Division 2 are the Morris team (Jeff Morris, John Hassett, Tom Slater & Alec Smalley, Catherine Draper & Andrew Woodcock), with the Gipson team (Paul Gipson, Alex Gipson, Sarah Bell & Alex Roberts, Simon Creasey & Graeme Robertson) atop Division 3.

Hauge & Laland do double at Guernsey Congress

The week-long Guernsey Congress concluded on Sunday, with Reidar Laland & Rune Hauge (pictured) completing 'the double' of winning both Swiss competitions.

Playing with Dan McIntosh and Kristian Stangelan they finished the Swiss Teams on 186 VPs, 27 ahead of Bernard Goldenfield, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy Blakey & Irving Blakey. The Commins and Cooke teams were joint third on 152 VPs.

Rune & Reidar lost only once in the twelve-round Swiss Pairs to finish on 179 VPs. Dan Crofts & Andrew Thompson were second with 172, and Gordon Rainsford & Lorne Anderson were third with 158.

The other winners were:

Pre-Congress Pairs Gordon Rainsford & Lorne Anderson Pivot Teams Janet Latham, Ted Latham, Peter Baxter, Agnes Baxter
Men's Pairs Ted Latham & Peter Baxter Women's Pairs Mary Andrew & Margaret Andrew
Senior's Pairs Joy Blakey & Irving Blakey Open Pairs Dan McIntosh & Michael Bane
Mixed Pairs Susie Farnon & Robert Plumley Multiple Teams Bernard Goldenfield, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy Blakey Irving Blakey
Senior's Multiple Teams Bernard Goldenfield, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy Blakey Irving Blakey

Laurie Champniss: 1939 - 2017

The EBU is sad to learn of the death of Laurie Champniss. Laurie was the founder of South Bucks Bridge Centre, one of the country's busiest bridge clubs. In 2015, he generously donated the club to English Bridge Education & Development* - he is pictured (right) making the donation to then General Manager, Barry Capal.

* - EBED continues to coordinate a large teaching programme at the club, although it ceased running the club in 2016.

Ten TDs receive promotions

Congratulations to the ten Tournament Directors who achieved a promotion to the level of County TD at the recent County Directors weekend. The successful TDs were:

Srimath Agalawatte John Dagnall *
Jim Edwards Gareth Evans *
Nicky Ferguson * Mark Hooper *
Rob Richardson Keith Spencer
Jean Stelfox Steve Wright

* - passed with distinction

Learn to play with Bridge for All this autumn

Autumn is the ideal time to start learning to play bridge, with lots of lessons beginning around the country in the next few weeks. Many of these will be using Bridge for All, the national learning programme administered by the national bridge charity English Bridge Education & Development.

Bridge for All offers a range of books and courses to enable you to learn in a way which best suits you, whether that is one lesson a week, or a more intensive course.

To help introduce the options available, EBED has produced the video below. Please share it with anyone who may be interested in learning to play. If you want to display the video on your website please get in touch.

For more information on learning through Bridge for All visit the EBED website, or contact them.

Hinden team leads Premier League after first weekend

The team of Frances Hinden, Jeffrey Allerton, Michael Byrne, Kieran Dyke & Chris Jagger are leading Division 1 of the Premier League after the first weekend. They took a large lead on the first day but this was reduced to just 4.63 VPs on the second day by the Allfrey team (Alexander Allfrey, Mike Bell, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Graham Osborne & Andrew Robson) - in part by a large victory in the head-to-head match. The Rosen team lies third.

Division 2 is being led by the Morris team (Jeff Morris, John Hassett, Tom Slater & Alec Smalley, plus Catherine Draper & Andrew Woodcock joining the team later in the competition), 12.43 VPs ahead of the Dhondy team, with the Shields team in third.

The Gipson team (Paul Gipson, Alex Gipson, Sarah Bell & Alex Roberts, plus Simon Creasey & Graeme Robertson joining the team later in the competition) are ahead by just over 3 VPs in Division 3. The Igoe team is second, and the Porro team in third.

The second of the three weekends of matches takes place on 23rd-24th September. There will be coverage of Division 1 on BBO.

We are sorry for the problems with the coverage on BBO over the weekend. This was due to technical issues and operators being unavailable at short notice.

EBED Autumn Sim Pairs

The EBED Autumn Simultaneous Pairs has taken place and you'll be able to find all the results and commentaries at the links below. Results will be finalised and Master Points credited once all the results have been submitted and checked.

English Bridge Education & Development is targeting the proceeds on “improving and developing the infrastructure for bridge teaching in England”. Thank you to all clubs and players who are taking part to support this important work which will help to ensure that new players can enter the game, and help it to thrive for decades to come.

One important project in this area which has recently been completed is the development of Fast Track Bridge - the new learning programme which gives the opportunity to learn to play bridge in just 24 hours of lessons.

Monday 4th September Commentary Booklet
Tuesday 5th September Commentary Booklet
Wednesday 6th September Commentary Booklet
Thursday 7th September Commentary Booklet
Friday 8th September Commentary Booklet

Junior and teaching awards presented at the Summer Meeting

At the Summer Meeting four awards have been presented to those who have excelled in junior bridge, and to those who have made significant contribution to the teaching of young players.

Young Player of the Year: Ben Norton
Young Pair of the Year: Stephen Kennedy & Michael Alishaw
The Alec Salisbury Award winner: Sarah Bell
The Tom Bradley Award winner: Jessica & Anton Mauve

The achievements of Ben, and of Stephen & Michael, during the period in consideration have been numerous. They have all been mainstays of the junior international squads which have enjoyed a good run of results recently - culminating in all four teams qualifying for the 2018 World Championships - and in domestic bridge they have all won titles at major EBU congresses. The links above give more detailed information.

The Alec Salisbury Award recognises a school teacher who has made a significant contribution to junior bridge. Sarah Bell, of St Paul's Girls School, was instrumental in the establishment of the U16 squad, and in the success that came about so quickly for the team. She has also established a bridge club at the school and has contributed to the development and growth of the Junior Award Scheme.

Jessica & Anton Mauve have been key in the burgeoning junior bridge scene in Kent, and were presented with the Tom Bradley Award, which recognises the 'non-school-teachers' who have made a significant contribution to youth bridge.

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