Young bridge players visit House of Lords

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge welcomed another group of young bridge players to the House of Lords this week. The visit was by players from the Bridge4Schools programme in Berks, Bucks & Oxon, and started with a tour of the Palace of Westminster. They then played bridge with six Peers from the APPG - all of whom were all delighted with the enthusiasm the young players had for the game, and impressed by how well they played.

Many thanks to Baroness Henig and the members of the APPG for hosting the event, and to Joan Bennett for making the arrangements with the schools/parents.

Star Grand Masters - new to the Master Point scheme

A new addition has been made to the Master Point scheme, with Star Grand Master ranks introduced to bridge the gap between the existing ranks of Grand Master and Premier Grand Master.

It was recognised that whilst the requirements for these ranks are appropriate, the gap was too wide without there being interim levels which members could achieve as they strive to reach the highest rank. Star Grand Master was therefore introduced, with the member gaining an extra star for each additional 200 Green Points won. More information is available on the Master Point page of the website.

A list of those who have been promoted due to the introduction of these new ranks is available here.

Landmark promotions in the Master Point scheme are printed in every second issue of English Bridge, and a list of all promotions (sorted by county) can be seen on our website with a new list posted every month.

Forthcoming changes in data protection regulations

Some members may be aware that the new General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May of next year is likely to require us to contact all EBU members to ask them to agree to specific uses of the data we hold about them. Clubs and counties will also need to comply with this legislation so they may also need to contact you.

We’ll be in touch with members later in the year with more detailed requests, but before then we would be interested to hear from any members who have been involved with implementing this in a professional capacity, especially for another membership organisation. Please contact gordon@ebu.co.uk if you would be happy to share your experience.

Order from the Bridge Warehouse for collection at the Summer Meeting

If you are attending the Summer Meeting, and would like to place an order from the Bridge Warehouse to collect at the venue, please do so by midday on Wednesday 2nd. This will save on shipping costs for you.

We will have a selection of stock from the shop available for purchase during the congress, but to ensure we have what you want in sufficient quantity please try to order in advance. The full range of stock can be seen on the online shop.

Two medals and four World Championship places earned at European Youth Championships

England have enjoyed a fantastic European Youth Team Championships, which finished today in Slovakia.

The U26 Women and U21s won bronze medals, and all four teams qualified for next year's World Championships - England being the only country to achieve this. This exceeds the pre-tournament expectations with Alan Shillitoe, NPC of the U26 team calling it, "by far the best all-round performance we have achieved at this level". We echo his "congratulations to all the players who achieved this and thanks to all the coaches, captains and mentors who helped to develop and lead the players".

Under 21 NPC Michael Byrne says:
"I am incredibly proud of my team of 6 players Ben Norton, Sam Behrens, Liam Sanderson, Daniel Winter, Jonathan Clark, Kripa Panchagnula and Bryony Youngs as Coach who showed nothing but true grit and strength of character in the final day to win the Bronze medal.

"They played their hearts out and never gave up even when bad luck and illness threatened to ruin our success. They were all fantastic team players who gave their heart and soul to represent their country, and I am proud to stand alongside them as we collect our medal"

Alan and Michael have been writing blogs which you can read here. Alan has also been taking photographs which you can see here.

Final Position
Under 26s Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts; Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy; Toby Nonnenmacher & Kyle Lam; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke (team photo) 6th Link to results
Under 26 Women Alex Birchall & Yvonne Wiseman; Siyu Ren & Ewa Wieczorek; Olivia Bailey & Hanna Tuus; NPC: Sally Brock; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 21s Ben Norton & Sam Behrens; Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark; Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter; NPC: Michael Byrne; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 16s Competition finished on Wednesday - see here 4th

U16s finish 4th in European Youth Team Championships

After a fantastic final day, England's U16 team has finished in 4th place in the European Youth Team Championships. England's U16s have now finished 4th on both occasions that the competition has been held.

With three matches to play the team was in 10th place and hoping to capitalise on matches against lower-ranked teams to move into a qualifying place for the 2018 World Championships. A large victory against Denmark, and two maximum scores against Scotland and Ireland, saw them leap up the table to fourth place, securing another great result for the young team, and an invitation to play in China next summer.

The team was: Oscar Selby & Henry Rose; Liz Gahan & Andy Cope; Alex Pemberton & Theo Anoyrkatis; NPC: Mike Bell; Coach: Sarah Bell.

Farewell to Barry Capal

Barry Capal retired on Friday after eleven years as General Manager of the EBU. He was the longest serving GM since the title was created, and only Dimmie Fleming served longer in the former position of Executive Secretary.

Gordon Rainsford, who will be the new General Manager said “I’d like to wish Barry all the best in his retirement and thank him for his time at the EBU. I’m very excited about my new role and delighted to have such a pleasant and professional staff to help me in it!”

Barry has written a final blog with his farewell thoughts, and some highlights of his time at the EBU. Click read more to see it in full.

Cambs & Hunts win National Inter-County League Trophy

The National Finals of the Inter-County Leagues took place at Coventry Bridge Club on Sunday 9th July.

Congratulations to Cambs & Hunts who won the 'A' final, on their first appearance in the Final for many years.

Manchester won the 'B' Division final, and Hertfordshire pipped Gloucestershire on a split tie for 'C' Division title.

Pictured are the Cambs & Hunts team (L to R: Nadia Stelmashenko, Catherine Curtis, Tim Pike, Paul Fegarty, Paul Barden, David Kendrick, Simon Barb, Victor Milman)

Walker & Wharton win at Summer Seniors Congress

The Summer Seniors Congress took place in Eastbourne this weekend, with Paul Walker & Frank Wharton winning the main competition, the Championship Pairs. They finished on 56.25%, with David Patterson & Paula Hopkinson second with 53.68%, and Charles Chisnall & Bob James, and Harold Curran & Anne Fitzpatrick, tied in third with 53.06%.

The B Final was won by Margaret Eddleston & Bernard Eddleston on 56.14% with Michael Keeping & David Benjamin in second on 55.97%.

The Swiss Pairs - for those eliminated from the Championships Pairs, or joining the congress on the second day, was won by Roy Garthwaite & Heather Hobson.

The final day's Swiss Teams was won by Celia Oram, Derek Oram, Dee Lindon & Peter Lindon. They were the only undefeated team in the competition and finished on 104 VPs. Sue Woodcock, Chris Kinloch, Helen Kinloch & Nick Woodcock were second with 97 VPs and Gary Hyett, Alan Cooke, Colin Webb & Gayle Webb were third with 94 VPs.

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