National Inter Club Knock Out (NICKO)

The following arrangements have been announced in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

1. No match will be awarded against a team that feels that playing it would be contrary to social distancing recommendations (whether or not anyone involved is actually ill, self-isolating or in a high-risk category). This applies whether or not opponents were still prepared to play on an agreed date.

2. All play-by dates are being extended. When social distancing recommendations are relaxed sufficiently to enable face to face bridge to resume, new deadlines will be announced. These will give captains approximately four weeks from then to arrange matches for the current round, but with more generous than usual provisions for extensions. Subsequent rounds will have play-by dates on a slightly tighter timetable than usual to allow some catching up, but again with more generous than usual provisions for extensions.

3. Do please play online if you can. It is accepted that this is not for everyone, although it seems probable that there will be quite a lot of players playing online in the current situation who have not done so previously. Please refer to the Online Match Regulations for further information. If you are concerned about security, you can always use Skype or equivalent, so that each player has a video connection to one of his opponents at the table.

The NICKO, as it is affectionately named, is probably the most popular of all tournaments. The NICKO is open to all affiliated EBU bridge clubs. The early rounds are of 24 boards, increasing to 32 boards for the quarter-finals and semi-finals and 48 boards for the final, with the draw regionalised to reduce travelling.

Why not get together with your regular partner and a couple of teammates from your club and ask your club secretary to enter your team for the NICKO? An unlimited number of teams can be entered by a club.

Seeding for top teams (usually 16) will be based on Gold Points, except that the previous year's finalists will be seeded if known in time. Seeded teams will be exempt from at least the first round and will not be eligible for the Plate competition.

In order to avoid excessive travel, Teams from the same club may be drawn against each other from Round 3, but will not generally be drawn against each other prior to the quarter-finals. Seeded teams may be drawn against each other from Round 4, but will not generally be drawn against each other until Round 5.

The Plate competition will be open to all unseeded teams defeated in their first match of the main event, either in round 1, or in round 2 following a bye.

Important: Player Eligibility Criteria

It has been necessary to disqualify teams from past competitions for fielding players who were not registered members of their club. Please help us to ensure that this course of action is not necessary in future competitions by including in your team only players who are registered members. For help on ensuring your club's membership list is up to date please contact us.

Please ensure that your team complies with the criteria given below.

Current results

2019/20 Main Event
2019/20 Plate Event

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To enter

Entries for 2019/20 have now closed. Entries for 2020/21 should be received by Monday 28 September 2020.

1. Entries are open to all clubs affiliated to the EBU, who may enter an unlimited number of teams, to be referred to as A, B, C etc. in no particular order of preference. Entries should be submitted by an authorised official of the club, who should be satisfied of the credentials of the players.
2. Players must:
(a) be registered members of the club they are to represent continuously throughout the period commencing with the date three months before the published closing date for entries to the competition, and finishing with the last match which they play in the competition; and
(b) play regularly at the club or for the club, or contribute to the club regularly in some other way (or have done so in previous years, yet be unable currently to do so through some personal circumstance, e.g. illness, work, childcare, etc.).
“Registered member” means a member of the club who is at all relevant times included on the list of members of the club registered with the EBU for the purposes of the Universal Membership Scheme.
3. Clubs are required to ensure that their representatives meet these criteria and are thus eligible to represent them. If any complaints are received that any members of a team do not meet these criteria, the club will be required to explain why it believes the players to be eligible. If that explanation is not regarded as convincing, disqualification may follow.
4. At least four players must be nominated for each team when the entry form is submitted. EBU numbers must be provided for all players. If, exceptionally, that is not possible, then it is essential that their postcodes are provided instead to enable easy identification of players. Entry forms which are deficient in this respect may be returned for the missing information to be provided.
5. Extra players may be added, up to a maximum of six players per team, at any time during the competition provided that:
(a) they satisfy the entry conditions (see 2 above);
(b) they have not represented another team in the competition in the same season;
(c) they are nominated to the EBU Competitions Department before they play.
6. For the purposes of Conditions 2(a) and 5(b), “the competition” includes the NICKO Plate.
Please note that although no player may represent more than one team in the competition in any one season, players representing a club in the NICKO may represent a different club in the Garden Cities or any other inter-club event.

Holders

2019
Cup - Young Chelsea L: Ali Ahmed, Joe Fawcett, Andrew McIntosh, Neil Rosen, Szczepan Smoczynski & James Thrower
Plate - Leeds C: Tom Cohen, Tom Copeland, Alan Hayward, Alan Jarvis & Philip Morrison

Timetable

2018/19 Main Event (final Stages)

To be completed by

Q-F

1st September 2019

S-F

20th October 2019

F

by mutual agreement

2018/19 Plate Event (final Stages)

Q-F

8th September 2019

S-F

27th October 2019

F

by mutual agreement

2019/20 Main Event

R1

15th December 2019

R2

16th February 2019

R3

5th April 2020

R4

25th May 2020

R5

12th July 2020

Q-F

13th September

S-F

1st November 2020

F

by mutual agreement

2019/20 Plate Event

R1

23rd February 2020

R2

13th April 2020

R3

31st May 2020

R4

19th July 2020

Q-F

20th September 2020

S-F

8th November 2020

F

by mutual agreement

Entry Fees

2019/20 entry fees are £81 per team

The deadline for 2020/21 entries is 11am on Monday 28 September 2020

Master Points

Main Event

Round I II III IV V Quarter final Semi Final
Green Points 1 2 2 3 3 4 6 8

Plate

Round I II III IV Quarter Final Semi Final
Green Points 1 1 1.5 1.5 2 3 4

Agreements

Level 4 agreements are permitted in this event.

Halfway venues

Some clubs are available for hire by teams wishing to hold a knockout match at a 'halfway venue'. A list of some of these is available here.

Terms and Conditions