December 2014

Junior teams agonisingly close in Channel Trophy

The Junior teams all put in strong performances in the Channel Trophy, which took place in Lille, 19th to 21st December, with the Under 25s and Under 25 Women coming very close to victory.

The Under 25 Women - pictured left (L to R) - (NPC Alan Shillitoe; Laura Covill; Yvonne Wiseman; Carina Negreanu; Sinead Bird; Sarah O’Connor) were pipped into second place by less than 1 VP by the French team. A maximum against Belgium in the final round gave England a chance of victory, but the World Champion French team gained just enough in their final match to stay ahead.

The Under 25 team - pictured here - (James Paul & Alex Roberts; Tommy Brass & Ankush Khandelwal; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw; NPC Mike Bell) finished third, but were only 9 VPs behind the winners and a victory in the final match could have seen them defend the title they won in 2013. Defeat for the Dutch in the final match gave England a chance to win, but they couldn't beat a Belgian side who leapfrogged them into second by virtue of the win. Like the Women's team, 'so near but yet so far'.

The Under 20s - pictured here - (Freddie Illingworth & Ben Norton; Oliver Powell & Jonathan Derrick; Sam Behrens & Nick Dean; NPC Michael Byrne) finished third, recording three near-maximum victories during the event, and were closer to first than fourth at the conclusion.

Irens team wins Teltscher Trophy trials

The trials for the Teltscher Trophy, the 'Senior Camrose', were won by the team of Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, David Kendrick, Norman Selway and Brian Senior.

The trials took place Friday 19th to Sunday 21st December 2014, at the West Midlands Bridge Club, Solihull, and the competition was very tight, with the Irens team winning by only 0.28 VPs, and only sixteen VPs covering all six teams.

The Procter team (Robert Procter, Michael Robinson, Bob Holder, Phil Thornton) led after the third and fourth rounds, but a narrow defeat, coupled with a large win for the Irens team, saw the Irens team take victory by an overall margin that amounted to the equivalent of little more than one or two IMPs.

The Teltscher Trophy weekend takes place in Ireland on 15th-17th May 2015.

EBU appeals Sport England ruling on whether bridge is a sport

As part of the EBU's ongoing efforts with regard to the status of bridge and other mind sports, an appeal is being made against Sport England’s decision to use a definition of ‘sport’ which appears contrary to that recognised by the UK Parliament.

The Sport England list is used by 'funding bodies', and also by HMRC so impacts on the VAT status of bridge. The EBU is appealing Sport England’s accreditation process through Sports Resolutions (UK).

The EBU is separately challenging the HMRC ruling in the Upper Tier Tax Tribunal at an appeal due to be heard in July.

Please read the press release for full information.

Nicola Smith wins gold, Catherine Draper bronze, at World Mind Games

Following their success in the teams event at the World Mind Games, England's women have continued to add their medal haul from 2014. In the individual event in Beijing Nicola Smith won the gold medal, and Catherine Draper the bronze.

English players dominated the event, as Heather Dhondy finished fourth, and Sally Brock sixth.

The climax of the event was very exciting, with Nevena Senior's result on the final board of the competition meaning Nicola nipped into the lead by a single match point. Read the report here.

It has been a great year for the women's team of Nicola, Catherine, Heather, Sally, Nevena and Fiona Brown, as they had previously won a silver medal at the European Championships in the summer. Roll on the Venice Cup in October.

Ted Bond, 1930 - 2014

Ted Bond, Vice President of Yorkshire CBA has died aged 84. He served the YCBA for many years, and received the Dimmie Fleming award from the EBU in 2010. Further details on his contribution to Yorkshire bridge are available on the YCBA website, and on his Dimme Fleming award page.

England win gold in World Mind Games

England's Women's team has won the gold medal at the World Mind Games in Beijing.

In a dramatic final the lead changed hands multiple times in the final set, and England started the final board trailing by 4 IMPs. Then in one room the England pair made game, and in the other the Dutch pair stayed in a partscore, so the lead changed hands for a final, decisive time, and England had won by 3 IMPs. You can read more in the report on the event website.

Congratulations to the team of Heather Dhondy & Nevena Senior; Sally Brock & Nicola Smith; Fiona Brown & Catherine Draper.

In the pairs event which followed the leading English pair was Nevena and Heather in seventh.

The event, which is organised by SportAccord, the organisation for both Olympic and non-Olympic international sports federations, concludes with an individual competitions across the next two days.

Matches can be watched on Bridge Base Online. The hours of play are available on the BBO Vugraph schedule.

Thanks to Anna Gudge for the picture.

Allfrey team wins Gold Cup

The team of Alexander Allfrey, David Bakhshi, Tony Forrester, David Gold and Andrew Robson has won the Gold Cup.

The semi-finals and final were held at the West Midlands Bridge Club on 13th & 14th December. On Saturday the Allfrey team won their semi-final against the Mason team by just 6 IMPs, whereas the other semi-final was more one-sided with the McIntosh team (Andrew McIntosh, Phil King, Stefan Skorchev, Cameron Small) beating the Gillis team by 57 IMPs.

The final started well for the McIntosh team, and they led by 25 IMPs after three stanzas, but the Allfrey team picked up 37 IMPs in the next two stanzas and ultimately won 115-98.

The winning players who played on Sunday are pictured - Alexander did not play in the final. The runners-up are pictured here.

This was Tony Forrester's 13th victory in the Gold Cup, extending his lead on the all-time list. Andrew Robson had won seven times, Alexander Allfrey six times, David Bakhshi five times, and David Gold three times.

These five players have extended their lead in the Player of the Year Championship, though there are still many more scoring events left in the 2014/15 Championship Series.

Gold Cup final this weekend

The Gold Cup semi-finals and final take place this weekend at the West Midlands Bridge Club in Solihull. The matches will be shown on Bridge Base Online, and stanza by stanza results will be available on the West Midlands BC website.

The event is organised by Bridge Great Britain, and further details can be seen on their website.

The Gold Cup is part of the EBU's Championship Series, and points will be awarded in the Player of the Year Championship.

West Midlands BC wins NICKO

West Midlands A has won the National Inter Club Knockout (NICKO), beating New Amersham B in the final by a score of 128-58.

The West Midlands A team during the competition was Justin Hackett, Jason Hackett, Brian Senior, Paul Hackett and Anita Sinclair. Anita was absent from the final due to illness (the team who played in the final is pictured left). Playing for New Amersham B were Dick Davey, Ed Scerri, Sally Brock and Barry Myers.