EBU Event Focus
Issue 66: February 2018

Dear EBU member

The coming weeks and months are always full of events for all standards of players, and this year is no exception. We have a range of competitions suitable for congress newcomers or 'lower ranked' players, and some of these are highlighted below. Specifically for 'higher ranked' players there's the Ranked Master Pairs, and the Spring Foursomes, which always attracts a strong field is on the horizon. With regional events, and the Easter Festivals, there really is something for everyone - we hope there's something which takes your fancy.

As always, if you have any queries about any of the events featured here then please don't hesitate to contact the Competitions Department on 01296 317203/219 or at comps@ebu.co.uk. Entries can be made by calling this number, or through My EBU, the members area of the website - www.ebu.co.uk/members.

Competitions for congress newcomers or 'lower ranked' players

The coming months have a number of competitions aimed at congress newcomers or 'lower ranked' players. 

The Master Pairs - played at multiple venues around the country and for players ranked below Regional Master (see below).
New competition - The Jack High Swiss Pairs at the Easter Festival in London - for players Jack or below on the NGS (see below).
The Improvers Pairs at the Northern Easter Festival (see below for details).
The Really Easy Weekend in Wroxton - a relaxed, residential weekend of bridge near Banbury on 5th/6th - 8th April. See here for details.
New venue & dates - The Really Easy Congress - a long weekend of competitive bridge for 'lower ranked' players. This will take place on 10th - 12th August, at a venue in the Midlands which is yet to be confirmed. Full details will be available soon, but please mark the date in your diaries. 

Entries open for Hubert Phillips Bowl and Gerard Faulkner Salver

Entries are now being taken for the Knockout Mixed Pivot Teams - the Hubert Phillips Bowl - and the Seniors Knockout Teams - the Gerard Faulkner Salver. The closing date for entries for the former is 12th April, and for the latter is 31st May. Please enter online through My EBU, or by phone or email to the Competitions Department.

The Schapiro Spring Foursomes

As most previous participants will be aware, it has been necessary as a one-off to move the Schapiro Spring Foursomes to a different venue for 2018. It will instead be held at the Hilton hotel between Warwick & Stratford.
Entries are coming in - you can see the current entry list here. Don't delay and add your name to list soon.


Masters Pairs
25th February, regional venues

For players below the rank of Regional Master.
This includes: Local Masters, Club Masters, Area Masters, District Masters, County Masters, Masters, Advanced Masters, Star Masters, Tournament Masters or Premier Masters.

It is held at multiple venues around the country. 

It's a great chance for players of a lower rank to play in a Green-Pointed national competition without travelling too far.

Members attaining a recent landmark promotion to Master are entitled to free entry.

Heats will be held at:
Billericay, Bradford, Exeter, Richmond, Solihull, Tunbridge Wells, Welwyn Garden City

Map showing the location of all venues can be seen here.

More details

Ranked Masters Pairs
24th - 25th February, Daventry

Held at the Mercure Hotel in Daventry, the event includes the following competitions:

Premier Grand Masters Pairs
Grand Masters Pairs
Premier Life Masters Pairs
Life Masters Pairs
National Masters Pairs
Regional Masters Pairs

Participation is based on Master Point ranking, or a player will be allowed to “play up” to join a partner of a higher rank if their NGS grade met the following criteria at some point in January:

  • Premier Grand Masters Pairs -  Ace of Spades or Ace of Hearts
  • Grand Masters Pairs - Ace
  • Premier Life Masters Pairs - King or Ace
  • Life Masters Pairs - in top half of Queen group (ie 58% or higher)
  • National Masters Pairs - Queen or higher
  • Regional Masters Pairs -  in top half of Jack group (ie 56% or higher)
More details

National Pairs
18th March, Regional Finals 
14th-15th April, National Finals

The Regional Finals are open to all and played at various venues around the country. All venues will play the same boards and the event will be scored across the entire field. The top 50 pairs nationally qualify for the National Final.

An additional ranking list will be produced from each region (scored by itself), with the winning pairs awarded regional trophies.

Heats will be held at:
London (Young Chelsea BC)
Tunbridge Wells

Map showing the location of all venues can be seen here

The event is part of the Championship Series, in which points can be earned towards the Player of the Year Championship.


More details

Portland Pairs
25th March, regional venues

A national Mixed Pairs competition held at various venues around the country and scored across all venues. It is played over two sessions, and Green Points are awarded.

Heats will be held at:
Brierfield, Lancs
Burnham, Bucks

London (Young Chelsea BC)
Tunbridge Wells
Welwyn Garden City

Map showing the location of all venues can be seen here

Please enter with the EBU for all venues.

More details

Easter Festival, London
30th March - 2nd April

Spend your Easter weekend in the capital. The congress is suitable for everyone, with a range of competitions for different ages and abilities, and includes the new Jack High Swiss Pairs for congress newcomers.

Friday* & Saturday - Championship Pairs
* - there is an early start option on Friday
Saturday - U21 Championship Pairs
Sunday - Stratified Swiss Teams
Monday - Stratified Swiss Pairs or Jack High Swiss Pairs

Monday Swiss Pairs

Monday now offers two options:

Stratified Swiss Pairs - open to all with seven 7-board matches. In a change from previous years, this competition is no longer 'flighted'.

New: Jack High Swiss Pairs.
This new event is aimed at club players who are interested in taking the first steps into congress bridge but may have found it daunting to jump straight into a major congress event.
In order to qualify to play in this event, you must have an NGS of no higher than ‘Jack’ at the time of entering. We envisage that at the lower end, players will be ‘7’ or higher. The event will be stratified too so that there are extra Master Points and an extra prize available for pairs of players both ranked ‘9’ or lower.
The format will be six 6-board matches with a break after three matches.
This competition is priced at a discounted rated to encourage new participants to congress bridge.

Under 21 Championship Pairs
Saturday, starts at noon
For those aged under 21 on 31st December 2018. The event is free to enter, but entries should be made in advance. Participants can also play for free in the Swiss Teams, and for half price in the Swiss Pairs.

More details

Northern Easter Festival
30th March - 1st April, Leeds

A 'northern alternative' for those wanting an Easter weekend of bridge.

The event is run by Yorkshire Contract Bridge Association on behalf of the EBU and offers a range of competitions.

Friday - Open, Mixed and Improvers Pairs
Friday evening & Saturday - Swiss Pairs
Sunday - Swiss Teams

The Improvers Pairs is a separate, more relaxed competition, alongside the main congress event, and aimed at less experienced players.

The cost of entry for the Full Congress, or Saturday's Swiss Pairs, includes a two-course hot buffet supper on Saturday evening.

To enter please contact Stuart Davies of theYCBA directly - email: stuart@svd1.uk

More details

Other dates for your diary

2 - 4 Mar
Camrose Trophy, 2nd Weekend - Ireland
3 - 4 Mar
  Green Point weekend - events in Wiltshire, Leicestershire, Manchester, Bedfordshire, Kent, Merseyside & Cheshire
9 - 11 Mar
  County Congresses in Cumbria, Hampshire, Norfolk
12 - 16 Mar
9 - 12 Apr
  Club Stratified Sim Pairs
British Spring Sim Pairs
6 - 8 Apr
  County Congress in Devon
14 - 15 Apr
Lady Milne Trophy - Scotland

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