May 2015

Thank you and goodbye to Gill Pain

Gill Pain, one of the key members of the EBU staff in Aylesbury, retired today after over twenty years of service. After starting in the Education Department, she moved to the Competitions Department and for many years she has arranged everything which is required for an event to run smoothly (including the Sim Pairs events). If you have been to an EBU congress and found that you have tables to sit at, pre-dealt boards to play, and a TD to oversee everything, then it is Gill who you should thank for organising it all. Because it all goes without a hitch you perhaps didn't notice the work she had done, and that is both a credit to the work she does, and how she would modestly like it to be.

I am sure many members will want to join the EBU staff in wishing her well and we hope she enjoys her retirement.

Her successor in the EBU office is Julia Thomas. Julia has been working alongside Gill for the last few weeks, and we're sure she will continue the great work which Gill has done.

Simon Cocheme has penned a short story to coincide with the event, though any similarities to current stalwarts of the EBU staff are purely coincidental.

June issue of English Bridge out now

The June issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links.

For more information on accessing our online magazine archive, please read on...

Cope does the double at Oxford Midweek Congress

Simon Cope (Middlesex) was the star performer at the Oxford Midweek Congress, held near Thame, claiming victory in both the Pairs and Teams events.

Simon partnered Jason Hackett (Warks) in the Championship Pairs (pictured), and they scored 65.41% overall to win the event by nearly 4%. John Holland (Manchester) & Pat Davies (Wilts) were second, with John Sansom & Joyce Skelton (both Worcs) in third.

In the Swiss Teams, Simon teamed up with Alex Hydes, Olivia Woo and Alan Woo (all London) (picture). They won five of their six matches to finish on 91 VPs. The team of Brian Crack, Shirley Goldwin, Diana Avis and Colin Wilson (all Kent) also won five matches, though not by the same margin, so finished second on 83 VPs. John Sansom, Richard Jephcott, Simon Harrison and Roger Bowles (all Worcs) were third on 81 VPs.

More juniors playing bridge

The national media has reported on the increasing popularity of bridge amongst youngsters.

The number of junior members of the EBU has risen sharply in the last three years, alongside a number of successful school bridge and minibridge initiatives. Articles have featured in the Times and Independent.

Any juniors wanting to learn to play, or improve their skills, should attend the Junior Teach-In. The flagship junior event will take place over the August Bank Holiday at Loughborough University. Children of all ages and abilities - including complete beginners - can attend, and accompanying adults are welcome too. Older teenagers can take part in the 'beginner to player' lessons, and learn to play in just a weekend. The event is organised by English Bridge Education and Development. For more information please see their website.

Boss and Robinson win Spring Congress Pairs

Nick Boss and Claire Robinson took the main prize at the Spring Bank Holiday Congress this weekend, winning the A Final of the Pairs event. They finished 2% clear of Martin Jones and Matthew Brown in second, who were another 2% clear of Jason Hackett and Gwynn Davis. The B Final was even less close, with Tony Waterlow and David Kendrick comfortably winning, almost 4% ahead of Bryony Youngs and Michael Byrne, who in turn were 4% ahead of Giles Woodruff and Gerard Thompson. A special mention should also go to 10 year old Jasmine Bakhshi, who managed to finish 6th in the B Final playing with her father David - a terrific performance from one of our youngest members. Mike Huggins and Irene Robinson won the Swiss Pairs.

In the Swiss Teams on Monday, the Jones team won all their matches to finish up 20 VPs ahead of Taylor and Hooper (who won the B Stratification) in joint second. Congratulations to David Jones, Gary Watson, Julian Gibson and Malcolm Oliver.

Bridge - an Olympic sport in 2020?

The World Bridge Federation has been invited by the organisers of the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo to submit an application for bridge to be included in the Games.

Bridge was one of 33 sports specifically approached by the organising committee. After a two-part application process the Tokyo committee will then make a recommendation to the International Olympic Committee for its consideration.

Whilst the likelihood of bridge ultimately being chosen may be small, it is noteworthy that bridge should be included in this list of 'sports', and that it meets the criteria for consideration of the Olympic organising committee.

Ireland win Teltscher Trophy, England third

The Teltscher Trophy has been won by Ireland. England were third in event - the competition for senior teams from the 'Home Nations', previously known as the Senior Camrose - which took place 15th to 17th May in Gormanstown, Co. Meath.

England were represented by: Brian Senior, Norman Selway, Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, and David Kendrick, with Simon Cochemé as NPC. They are pictured from right to left. They finished on 97.54 VPs after the ten matches, with Ireland first on 123.90, and Scotland second on 111.39.

Simon contributed a blog entry as a prelude to the competition. You can read it here.

Chairman announces scoring software changes

At the Shareholders meeting on Wednesday 13th May the Chairman announced some changes to scoring software which would take place later in the year.

The EBU, most counties, and some clubs, have used Jeff Smith’s scoring program for some time. From October this suite of programs will be managed and supported from Aylesbury and will be renamed as EBUScore with the existing suite of separate programs for pairs, teams etc maintained. We have acquired the suite of programs from Jeff and thank him for his generosity in developing and supporting these programs for some years now at little or no cost to those using them.

We will announce details regarding support for these programs later in the summer. Our intention is that the programs will remain available to clubs at no purchase cost. Newly affiliated clubs will be offered a free copy of the programs. Details about updates and support will follow.

Clubs who currently use Scorebridge or another program may switch to EBUScore if they wish but may continue to use their existing program if that is their preference. The EBU are committed to maintaining the common interface (USEBIO) which allows all compliant scoring programs to talk to EBU systems.

The Summer Meeting is moving to Eastbourne in 2016

The EBU Board has decided that the Summer Meeting in 2016 and beyond will be moving from Brighton to Eastbourne. The 2015 Summer Meeting will be in Brighton as before.

This decision is based on a number of factors, and takes in to account the feedback received from members in the survey which was undertaken late last year. The move to Eastbourne addresses a number of concerns expressed during the survey – in particular the cost and availability of accommodation and parking in Brighton – whilst maintaining the ‘holiday resort’ location which was appealing to the majority of the respondents. The new venue will also lead to a reduction in the cost of holding the event, and this will be passed on through a reduction in the entry fees. More details on these prices will be available in 2016.

We hope that the move to Eastbourne will be a great success, and the event will be well supported, but that does not mean we aren’t determined to make the 2015 Summer Meeting the best it can be. We will continue to provide the high quality competitions, lectures, and training courses which you have come to expect at the Summer Meeting, and hope that you will join us to say a fond farewell to Brighton.

Those entering the full congress in Brighton in 2015 will receive a £50 discount on their entry for the full congress in Eastbourne in 2016 (juniors entering at half price will receive a £25 reduction). We hope this is further incentive to play in both 2015 and 2016, and make them great events to end one era, and start the next.