November 2014

Multiple winners at Helidon Lakes Blue Point event

There were multiple winners at the Helidon Lakes Blue Point event, the last of the Blue Point Holidays in 2014. The winners were: David Melville & Ann Melville (both Norfolk) (three times), Valerie Patrick & Alan Micklethwaite (both Herefordshire), Barbara Ide & Jacqueline Martin (both Kent), John Davies & Gay Davies (both Surrey), Sally-Ann Rothwell (Westmorland) & Michael Owen (Essex). Well done to them all.

These holidays are intended as social tournaments for club players with limited experience of competition bridge. They are held in high quality hotels with a range of leisure activities, so are a great week away as well as good opportunities to play bridge. The calendar of events for 2015 will be finalised soon, and the details will be announced here as soon as they are available.

Allfrey team wins Premier League

The 2014 Premier League has been won by the team of Alexander Allfrey (Middlesex) & Andrew Robson (London), Tony Forrester (Herefordshire) & David Gold (London), and Andrew McIntosh (Middlesex) & David Bakhshi (London) (pictured left). They entered the final weekend leading by only 3 VPs, but lost only one of their final nine matches, and won emphatically. They finished 50 VPs ahead of the team of Heather Dhondy (London), Sally Brock, Barry Myers (both Berks & Bucks), Brian Callaghan, and Frank To (both London), and they were a 40 VPs ahead of third.

By winning the Allfrey team will be invited to play for England in the 2015 Camrose Trophy. This team is also representing England in the Champions Trophy which starts on Thursday (see below)

The players in the top four teams in Division One have all earned points in the Player of the Year Championship. The next events in which points will be scored are the Gold Cup finals, and then the Point-a-Board event at the National Teams Congress.

In Division Two, the team of Janet de Botton & Artur Malinowski (both Middlesex), Espen Erichsen (Kent) & Waseem Naqvi (Middlesex), and Nick Sandqvist & Tom Townsend (both London) (picture) won by about 27 VPs, with the team of Mike Bell & Michael Byrne (both Manchester), and Fiona Brown (Yorkshire) & Kieran Dyke (London) in second.

EBU meets with Secretary of State about unfair treatment of bridge

On Tuesday 4th November the EBU met with Sajid Javid MP, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, to outline the belief that bridge, and other mind sports, are not receiving fair treatment by governmental organisations.

The meeting was arranged by Bob Blackman MP, who is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Bridge Group, and who spoke on the topic on the Daily Politics show (see here).

Bob Blackman MP talks about bridge to the BBC

Bob Blackman MP, captain of the winning team in the annual House of Commons versus House of Lords bridge match (report below), was today interviewed on BBC television's Daily Politics show. He spoke about the benefits of bridge to all sectors of society, his hopes that it would be played in more schools and universities, and the efforts being made to have it recognised as a sport.

You can watch the interview on the BBC iplayer. Follow the link below, and use the scroll bar to jump to the feature. The interview begins at 48:18.

House of Commons defeats House of Lords

There were a few fireworks at the bridge table this Bonfire Night when the House of Lords and House of Commons battled for parliamentary bragging rights. On the anniversary of the famous attempt to bring down the House of Lords, the Commons team were more successful than Guy Fawkes and his allies, winning by a margin of over 4000 points. This was the second consecutive victory for the Commons team, though the Lords have still won more often, leading 21-19.

The teams were competing for the Jack Perry Trophy, and the trophy was presented to Bob Blackman MP, captain of the Commons team, by Godfrey King, Jack Perry's nephew. They are pictured to the left, and the team are pictured with the trophy here.

Tributes were also paid to Tony Priday, who was heavily involved with Parliamentary bridge.

The prize for the best played hand, the Tony Berry Trophy, was adjudicated by England international, Tom Townsend, and was awarded to Robin Squire (picture). Three declarers made four hearts on board 17 via an excellent elimination end-play, but Tom awarded the prize to Robin as he had faced a more challenging defence.

The hands were set Paul Bowyer, and his fun and educational commentary is available for you to read below.

Baileys and Procter team win at Seniors Congress

The Seniors Congress took place on the outskirts of Birmingham over the weekend of 31st October to 2nd November, with the main prizes being won by Alan and Jette Bailey, and the team captained by Robert Procter.

The Championships Pairs competition at the event spanned two days, with a qualifying round, semi-finals, and a 'A' final and 'B' final. The winners of the 'A' final were Alan & Jette Bailey with 60.04% (pictured left, with Chairman Jeremy Dhondy), comfortably clear of Eric Cummings & Gordon McBride on 56.14%. Derek & Celia Oram were third with 55.65%. This was the second time Alan and Jette have won this competition, having been victorious in 2006.

The 'B' final was won by Prue & Adrian Knight on 59.40% (picture). Jeremy Dhondy & Bill Hirst were second on 57.56%, with Barbara Biggin & Diane Bishop third on 53.94%.

The Swiss Pairs event, which ran alongside the finals of the Championship Pairs, was won by Janet & Ted Latham (picture). They scored 109 VPs, with a tie for second on 99 VPs between Bob Foster & Kevin New, and Hugh Thomson & Mike Webley.

The Swiss Teams event on the final day was won by the team of Robert Procter, Michael Robinson, Bob Holder and Phil Thornton (picture). They outscored their closest rivals on the final round to jump up to the top spot and win by just 1 VP. There was a tie for second place between the team of Bill Gardner, Gary Hyett, Rob Sharpe & William Crook, and the team of Sandra Nicholson, Krys Kazmierczak, Prue Knight & Adrian Knight.