Youth

Bridge is a fantastic sport for people of all ages - particularly young people. It offers a combination of competition, socialisation, mental exercise, and fun which cannot be matched by other activities.

The EBU works with the charity English Bridge Education and Development (EBED) to organise and coordinate youth activities.

These include the Junior Teach-In, the Young Bridge Challenge, Under-21 & Under-25 Championships, and numerous other competitions and opportunities to learn, organised at a national, county, or club level. County Youth Officers coordinate junior activities in many counties.

Information and equipment for those wishing to teach bridge in schools, or to youth groups, is available from EBED. They also administer the Junior Award Scheme, which offers a series of graded attainment levels which the young player can achieve as they learn to play. Those completing a level in the Junior Award Scheme will receive membership of the EBU.

We are always seeking volunteers to assist in teaching and/or promoting bridge in their area. If you are able to help please contact Richard Banbury at EBED or you local County Youth Officer.

Bridge is a great way to compete, socialise and maybe travel the world. Watch this video from the European Bridge League - you could have this much fun if you take up bridge:

England juniors perform well at European Youth Pairs Championships

The 13th European Youth Pairs Championships finished on Sunday in Liepaja in Latvia. England had a large number of pairs competing (some are pictured), and there were some good results and prize winning performances.

The highest finishers in any of the main competitions were Oscar Selby & Harry Madden who finished 5th of the 23 pairs playing in the Under 16 Pairs, just a few match points outside the medal places. Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth were winners of the President's Cup, the consolation event for all pairs failing to qualify for a main final. Nick Dean, playing with Carolina Pimenta of Portugal, won a prize for leading 'transnational pair' in the President's Cup.

Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal gained the kudos of being the highest scorers of the 61 pairs in the qualifying rounds of the Under 26 pairs - though ultimately they finished 15th in the final. Will Roper & Alex Birchall also reached the final in that event.

Two English pairs reached the final of the Under 21 Pairs - Jonathan Clark & Kripa Panchagnula finished 11th, and Ben Norton & Sam Behrens were 13th. In the Women's Under 26 Pairs, Yvonne Wiseman & Carina Negreanu finished 10th of the 20th pairs.

Carina Negreanu & Nick Dean were England's leading pair in the Mixed Pairs, finishing 10th of the 52 pairs. The winners were Jun Nakamaru-Pinder and Olivia Bailey of Scotland meaning further bragging rights for British bridge.

The competitions are being followed by a three day youth bridge camp in which some of the English juniors will be taking part.

Youth bridge camps this summer

Unfortunately EBED will not be holding the Junior Teach-In this year, but there is still chance for juniors bridge players to attend residential bridge events this summer.

Sussex CBA is holding a summer camp at Ardingly College on 12-14 August, and Cheltenham BC is hosting an event on 3-4 September, with accommodation provided at Cheltenham Ladies College. These events are open to children of all bridge/minibridge abilities.

For more information:
Sussex: www.sccba.co.uk
Cheltenham: joanmbennett@hotmail.co.uk

English juniors win Punch Bowl at Spring Fours; Penfold team wins Hamilton Cup

The team of Ben Norton (Leics), Ankush Khandelwal (Notts), Alex Roberts (Mersey/Cheshire) and Toby Nonnenmacher (London) - pictured left - have won the Punch Bowl, the main consolation event at the Schapiro Spring Foursomes.

They were knocked out of the main competition at an early stage - though had received an unfortunate draw as they played, in successive rounds, eventual quarter-finalists, eventual finalists, and the fourth seeds. They then found some form, however, reaching the knockout stages of the Punch Bowl after finishing second in their eight team group, and winning three matches in the knockout stage to take the trophy. They defeated an Anglo-Danish-Norwegian team of Gitte Hecht-Johansen (London), Arne Andreasen, Lisbeth Aulid Eide, Henrik Gosvig, and Baard Risnes in the final.

The Hamilton Cup - the consolation Swiss Teams for those eliminated from the main competition or the Punch Bowl, or joining the event at that point - was won by Sandra Penfold (Yorks), Nevena Senior (Middlesex), Rumen Trendafilov and Kalin Karaivanov (both Bulgaria) (see picture here). They won five of their six matches, and scored enough to pip the undefeated Norwegian-Monagasque team of Rune Hauge, Geir Helgemo, Crister Kristoffersen & Jan Petter Svendsen.

The main event concludes today - the semi-finals and final can be followed on Bridge Base Online.

Cambridge retains Portland Bowl

The University of Cambridge has retained the Portland Bowl, for the British inter-universities championship, beating a team from the University of Oxford in the final.

The winning team is pictured - left to right: Michael Alishaw, Helen Holmes, Adam Bowden, Kyle Lam (captain), Freddie Illingworth, Chris Derrick.

The semi-finals and finals were played at the Portland Club in London on 9th and 10th April. Cambridge B beat Manchester A in one semi-final, and Oxford A beat Durham A in the other.

The final between old rivals Cambridge and Oxford was a close match, but victory went to the light blue team, by 115 IMPs to 90. Durham won the third-place playoff by 124-68.

This was a third consecutive victory for Cambridge, and its 13th overall (Oxford is second with 9), and Kyle Lam became the ninth person to win the event in three consecutive years. He joins a number of players with three victories, with only Chris Jagger (five) and Greg Moss (four) having won more.