Camrose Trophy concludes this weekend

The second, and final, weekend of the Camrose Trophy takes place on Friday 6th to Sunday 8th March, just outside Belfast.

England are third after the first weekend, around 14 VPs behind Wales and the Republic of Ireland. There is a full round robin across the three days, with play starting at 7pm on Friday. Matches will be shown on BridgeBase Online.

England will be represented by Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester & David Gold, and David Bakhshi & Andrew McIntosh. Andrew Robson is captain of the team, with Godfrey King as assistant captain. The players are pictured after winning the Premier League which earned them their place in the team.

Greats of English game honoured with Diamond Award

Two greats of the English game have been presented with the EBU's Diamond Award.

The Diamond Award has been introduced this year, and will be awarded to players in recognition of excellence and success over a sustained period for England's international teams.

The inaugural recipients were Nicola Smith and Tony Forrester. They received their awards at the Lederer Memorial Trophy event (where Tony was part of the winning team).

Nicola has been one of the top Women's players in the world since the 1970s and has won an unparalleled number of medals at World and European level in that time.

Tony has been one of our leading players in the open game since the early 1980s. He has won a silver medal in the Bermuda Bowl, a Gold Medal in the 1991 European Championships and recently a Bronze medal in the 2014 European Championship. He has also won the BGB Gold Cup more times than any other player and represented England successfully in the Camrose on many occasions.

Their biographies give more details on their achievements.

Congratulations to them both.

Great Yarmouth BC affiliates

Welcome to Great Yarmouth Bridge Club which has recently affiliated with the EBU.

The club plays on Monday evenings in Gorleston on Sea. Visitors are welcome, and they will try to match up people without partners. Please see their website for more information.

Haberdashers’ Aske wins its sixth Schools Cup

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School (HABS) from Elstree, north-west London, has won the Schools Cup for the sixth time. The team of Jack Ronayne, Dylan Dissanayak​e, Jonathan Clark and Kripa Panchagnul​a (pictured left) claimed the title which HABS has won every year since 2010.

They beat the team of Aaron Hutton, David Dichmont, Anna Hutton & James Burman, from Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Horncastle, Lincolnshire (picture) by 23 IMPs in the final. Nottingham High School (picture) beat St Paul's School from London (picture) in the 3rd/4th place playoff.

17 teams competed in the event, held at Loughborough Grammar School on 28th February. Those teams which did not qualify for the finals, or were not eligible for Schools Cup (as they were from more than one school) played in a consolation swiss teams event for the Harry Scully Trophy. This was won by Harry Madden, Gideon Harvey, Daniel Winter & Bethany Madden (pictured left). The team of Liam Sanderson, Luke Dunne, Isaac Channon & Carlos Lapuerta, from Westminster School (picture), were second and won the Schools Plate - the prize for the leading school in the swiss competition.

As seen in the pictures, part of the winners prize was special commemorative playing cards kindly donated by the Cutler Trust, the charitable trust of the Worshipful Company of Makers of Playing Cards.

The events was organised by the charity English Bridge Education and Development. Thanks to Duncan Happer and Loughborough Grammar School for their help hosting the event.

The flagship junior event organised by EBED - the Junior Teach-In - takes place in August at Loughborough University.

Six winning pairs at Ranked Masters event

The Ranked Masters Pairs, held near Birmingham on 28th February & 1st March, saw champions crowned in six competitions. Entry into each competition was dependent on a player's EBU Master Point ranking.

The Premier Grand Masters Pairs was won by Jason Hackett (Warks) & Dan Crofts (Staffs) (picture). They finished on 53.13 IMPs with Patrick Shields (Gloucs) & Filip Kurbalija (Avon) second on 49.49.

The Grand Masters Pairs, for the Harrison Gray Salver, was won by Robert Miller & Daniel Baines (both Northants) (pictured left), who finished over 15 IMPs ahead of Jimmy Ledger & David Thomas (both Worcs).

The Premier Life Masters Pairs, for the Premier Life Masters Trophy, was won convincingly by Jon Downing & Mike Meakin (both Warks) (picture). They were over 28 IMPs ahead of Nick Forward & Steve Allerston (both Worcs).

The Life Masters Pairs, for the Maurice Blank Trophy, was won by Richard Samter & Norman Botton (both Wilts) (picture) on 87.32 IMPs. Paul Cockayne & Barry Read (both Berks & Bucks) were second on 75.91.

The National Masters Pairs, for the Bridge Magazine Cup, was won by Christopher Wilson & Aleksandar Lishkov (both Oxon) (picture). In second, 19 IMPs behind, were David Rutter & David Pratt (both Warks).

The Regional Masters Pairs, for the St Dunstan’s Plate, was won by Tony Quilley & Richard Rule (both Surrey) (picture), who were only 5 IMPs ahead of Roger Kerkin (Oxon) & Peter Malpass (Beds).

Bhandari & Cunningham win Masters Pairs

Anil Bhandari & Graham Cunningham (both Surrey) have won the Master Pairs, held on 1st March.

The competition was for those ranked below the rank of Regional Master and was held at six venues, with the event scored across the whole field. Playing at the Richmond heat, Anil and Graham scored 56.91%, and finished 0.46% ahead of fellow Richmond participants Angus Simpson & Claire Robinson (both London). Colin Mahrer & Georgina Howe (both Kent), who played at Tunbridge Wells, were third with 56.01%.

The overall results, and the session scores, can be seen via the results page below. As with all competitions the results are only provisional and will be confirmed in the next few days.

Giles Foster: 1940 - 2015

Yorkshire CBA have sadly announced that Giles Foster has passed away. Giles enjoyed success in many county and national competitions, including victories in the Crockford's Cup and Silver Plate. A full obituary is available on the YCBA website.

The funeral service will be at 12:30pm on 9th March at Silsden Methodist church.

Night of the Stars raises thousands for charity

The annual Night of the Stars charity event took place last week (26th February). The opportunity to partner some of the best and most famous bridge players in both English and World Bridge had previously been auctioned, and 112 pairs took part on the evening.

The winners were Willie Coyle & Kitty Teltscher with 65.45%, followed by Jeffrey Allerton & Dudley Leigh (65.15%) and Heather Dhondy & Carlos Dabezies (64.15%).

The event supports four charities - Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability , Teenage Cancer Trust, West London Action for Children and Macmillan Cancer Support. Over £50,000 has been raised for these worthy causes.

The event was organised by Terry Hewett (pictured right, with some of the participants) - for more information please email her. A full list of those who took part, scores and many great photographs from the event are available on the event website.

England retain Junior Camrose & Peggy Bayer trophies

The England junior teams were once again dominant in the annual home international series which took place in Wales at the weekend. The Under-25s in the Junior Camrose were run close by Scotland in the first half, but pulled away with a strong second half to win by 19 VPs. In the Peggy Bayer, the Under-20s won every match, mostly by large amounts, to finish up 28 VPs ahead of second-placed Ireland. Congratulations to both teams.

Junior Camrose: Shivam Shah & Tom Paske, Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw, James Paul & Alex Roberts with NPC Jon Cooke.

Peggy Bayer: Freddie Illingworth & Ben Norton, Nick Dean & Sam Behrens, Laura Covill & Stephen Kennedy with NPC Michael Byrne.

Croswell and Brown win at Harrogate

Congratulations to Croz Croswell and Matthew Brown, who took home the main Swiss Pairs trophy at the Harrogate Congress at the weekend. They led for most of the second half and, despite losing to second-placed Derek and Celia Oram, managed to hold on to win by 4 VPs. Rick Irwin and Francis Eddleston were third.

In the Swiss Teams on Sunday the Winter team went through all 7 matches undefeated to win by a comfortable 11 VPs. Congratulations to Richard Winter, Willie Crook, Gary Hyett and Alan Mould. Lishkov finished second, just ahead of Harris and Sansom in joint third.

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