VAT Tribunal result

Members may be aware that the EBU had appealed against a decision of HMRC not to grant us relief from VAT on competition entry fees. We were represented by our Honorary Counsel David Ewart, to whom we owe many thanks for his efforts. We learnt last week that our efforts had been unsuccessful and there has been some media interest on radio, TV and in the press.

We are currently considering whether to go to the next stage with our efforts and taking legal advice on this. We are aware that in some other EU countries there is VAT relief and also some countries regard Bridge as a sport which both facilitates VAT relief and, in some cases, additional funding. Sadly that is not currently the case in England.

Please read on for links to the media coverage we received.

3-way tie in first online monthly competition.

The first of the new monthly competitions for the EBU online games has ended in a three-way tie.

sephcat, evemh and diana_eva all finished on 1.56, with diana_eva winning the final game to join the others at the top. They will share the first and second place prizes with each receiving BB$10.

The next competition will start tomorrow - the first day of March. The player who accumulates the most BBO Master Points in our games in each calendar month will receive BB$20. Second place will receive BB$10, with prizes being split in the event of a tie. The competition is open to everyone, including non-EBU members and those overseas, and hopefully gives an added incentive to those who play infrequently, or are thinking of playing for the first time.

As well as competing for the monthly prize you can also try to move up the overall point winners list (there is no prize for this, but the kudos is certainly significant) and you can earn EBU Master Points.

Games are played on Bridge Base Online on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 4pm, Saturday at 4pm (with IMPs scoring), and Sunday at 4pm, 6pm and 9pm

Night of the Stars event raises thousands for charity

The annual Night of the Stars event took place last night (27th February) at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney.

The opportunity to partner over 50 of the best and most famous bridge players in both English and World Bridge had previously been auctioned, and last night saw the game take place with 112 pairs taking part.

The Stars included Zia Mahmood, Andrew Robson, Nafiz Zorlu from Turkey, World Champion Sjoert Brink from the Netherlands and three of England's Gold Medal Women’s team, Sally Brock, Heather Dhondy and Nevena Senior.

The winners were Brian Senior & Rangy Rangarajan with 67.33%, followed by Nafiz Zorlu & Anita Sinclair (66.69%) and Andrew McIntosh & Billie Stephens (66.44%). The top two pairs are pictured.

The event supports four charities - Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability , Teenage Cancer Trust, West London Action for Children and Macmillan Cancer Support. Over £36,000 has been raised for these worthy causes.

The event was organised by Terry Hewett - for more information please email her. For a full list of those who took part, scores and many great photographs from the history of the event, please visit the website.

Education Development Manager announced

The EBU is pleased to announce that their new Education Development Manager will be Simon Barb.

He will be joining us from April and will be taking over from long time Education Manager John Pain, who is taking “partial retirement”, but will remain working for us on other matters.

Simon will be working mainly for our new associated Charity, English Bridge Education and Development, and will be working with the Trustees to deliver existing programmes and to deliver new ones in the months and years to come.

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