October 2015

Honor Flint: 1923 - 2015

We are sad to report the passing of Honor Flint.

Honor was one of the leading players in women's bridge in the 1960s and 1970s. She represented Great Britain in the European Championships on three occasions, winning a bronze medal in 1973, and was twice a winner of the Lady Milne Trophy with England.

Among Honor's other achievements, she won the Spring Foursomes four times, the Whitelaw Cup - the English Womens' Teams Championship - three times, the Two Star Pairs, and Pachabo Cup.

Some of her victories came under the name of Honor Rye - she later married Jeremy Flint, himself a leading international player, and with whom she achieved some of her victories.

Bowden & Negreanu win 2 Star Pairs at Autumn Congress

Adam Bowden & Carina Negreanu (both Cambs & Hunts) (main picture) have won the 2 Star Pairs, held at the Autumn Congress in Peterborough. This is the first competition in 2015/16 Championship Series, so Adam and Carina take an early lead in the Player of the Year Competition.

The event started on Friday 16th October, with the top twenty pairs from a qualifying Swiss Pairs progressing to a final, held on Saturday. Adam & Carina qualified in 12th place, and then went on to score 60.87% in the final, winning by over two per cent. Taf Anthias & Chris Dixon (both Wiltshire) were second with 58.60%, and Richard Granville (Surrey) & Peter Taylor (Kent) were third with 54.91%.

The next twenty pairs in the qualifying Swiss Pairs went on to play in the Satellite Pairs. This was won by James Thrower & Sarah Teshome (both Yorkshire) (pictured here) with 55.92%, just 0.32% ahead of Lloyd Sarsby & Gitte Sarsby (both Surrey).

A separate Swiss Pairs event, for non-qualifiers and those joining the event on the Saturday, was won by Ron Davis & Alan Oddie (both Bedfordshire) (pictured here) who were undefeated in their nine matches and finished with 138 VPs. Michael Byrne (Manchester) and Kieran Dyke (London), who were also undefeated, were second with 134 VPs. The two pairs drew 10-10 in the fourth round.

On Friday another Really Easy Afternoon took place. This was held at the main congress in Peterborough, but also at six other clubs round the country, and scored across all locations. The overall winners were Andrew Pearson & Kathy Pearson who played at Bradford. The winners at each venue, and the stratified results, can be seen on this results list.

Sunday featured teams events, with three finals following an initial qualifying round. The Eastbourne Bowl, for the main final, was won by Jeremy Dhondy (Hants & IoW), Bill Hirst (Kent), David Kendrick (Cambs & Hunts) & Tony Waterlow (Middlesex) (pictured here). They finished on the same score as Michael Byrne (Manchester), Dinah Caplan (Middlesex), Kieran Dyke & Marion Robertson (both London), but the Dhondy team had won the head-to-head encounter so took the trophy.

The secondary final, for the Burlington Cup, was won emphatically by Iain Roberts, Alan Oddie (both Bedfordshire), Giles Ip & Gabriel Ip (both Norfolk) (pictured here). The consolation final, for the Sussex Cup, was won by Christopher Whitehouse, Mary-Ann Sheehy, Aleksander Lishkov & Cathy Rowland (all Oxfordshire) (pictured here).

Judicial Review rules in favour of Sport England

We are disappointed to report that the judge hearing the Judicial Review has ruled that Sport England is acting lawfully when it refuses to recognise bridge as a sport.

Despite the well crafted and logical arguments which were put forward by our legal representatives, Mr Justice Dove upheld Sport England’s position that they can decline to recognise as sports activities which do not have a significant physical component.

The EBU is disappointed by this decision, as an opportunity has been lost to enhance an activity which has substantial benefits to wide sections of the community. It also means that current definitions of what is, or is not, a sport have little consistency or sense behind them.

Any possible further action will be discussed at the next EBU Board Meeting. Whatever action is taken the EBU will continue to work with the counties and affiliated clubs to make bridge, and its wide ranging benefits, available to as many people as possible.

Last month the government held a comprehensive consultation in to 'sport' - 'A New Strategy for Sport'. The EBU made a contribution to the consultation, which can be read here. It is hoped that this consultation will lead to government bodies being proactive, and working to enable more people to enjoy and benefit from playing bridge.

Sold out Rhodes Congress a huge success

The Rhodes Congress, sponsored by Bridge Overseas, concluded on Tuesday 13th October, and was a huge success. The participants at the sold-out event were treated to great weather, an excellent venue, and a fun week of bridge.

The main events of the congress were the Swiss Pairs and Swiss Teams, which were Green Pointed. The Swiss Pairs was won by Tom Gisborne & Sandy Davies (both Yorkshire) (pictured here) who won eight out of ten matches to finish on 146 VPs, three ahead of Emile Lawy & Richard Spencer (both Middlesex) .

The Swiss Teams was won by Bernard Themis, Angela McCready (both Surrey), David Jones & Jan Duncan (both Avon) (pictured above). They won eight of ten matches, and finished on 137 VPs, just a single point ahead of Joy Blakey, Irving Blakey, Rhona Goldenfield, Bernard Goldenfield (all Manchester).

The other winners, and their pictures, can be seen via the links below.

The next overseas congress is the Bridge Overseas Cyprus Congress, which takes place 1st - 7th February. Bookings are now being taken, so act now before this one sells out too.

England Open team suffer agonising end to World Championships

England's Open team have suffered back-to-back 'last board' defeats to finish fourth in the World Championships.

After completing the round-robin phase in fourth, they beat USA1 in the quarter-final. The semi-final against Poland was a dramatic match, with numerous swings, before all hinged on the final board. When each Polish pair made a partscore they took the lead for the final, and decisive, time. They had won by less than 2 IMPs - a tiny margin after 96 boards. To make matters more dramatic a ruling was required on a board from earlier in the day. This subsequently went in Poland's favour - and then was re-evaluated, though again the ruling going Poland's way. The result was only confirmed well after the cards had been put away. You can see David Gold's discussion of the board and ruling here.

In the bronze medal match England fell behind on the first day, but turned things around on the second day, and playing the final boards they had a small lead. Unfortunately they were again to see the lead slip away on the final board, and they ultimately finished fourth.

This was a cruel way to finish for a team which had given so much over the previous two weeks. They can, however, be very proud of the way they played. Congratulations and commiserations to Justin Hackett & Jason Hackett; David Gold & David Bakhshi; Andrew Robson & Tony Forrester; NPC: Simon Cope; Coach: Andrew Murphy.

Simon wrote a blog throughout the tournament which you can read here.

  • England's results - Group stage; quarter-final; semi-final; Bronze medal playoff
  • Bulletins: Report of Open v India; Report of Open v Denmark; Report of Open v USA1; Report of Open v USA1 in Q/F part1, part 2 & part 3; Report of Open v Poland in S/F - part 1, part 2
  • WBF Videos; Master Solver with David Bakhshi; with David Gold; and with Simon Cope
  • All WBF photos; photos of the England players and teams
  • England Women's team win World Championship bronze medals

    England's Women's team have won a bronze medal in the Venice Cup at the World Championships in Chennai.

    Congratulations to Sally Brock & Nicola Smith; Fiona Brown & Catherine Draper; Heather Dhondy & Nevena Senior; NPC: Derek Patterson; Coach: David Burn

    They finished fifth in the round-robin phase of the competition and then went on to beat USA1 by a good margin in the quarterfinal. In the semi-final they were 46 IMPs down to France at the midway point, and lost another 12 in the first session of the day. They then had two good sessions, but it wasn't enough as they could only pull back 33 IMPs. In the bronze medal playoff they defeated the Netherlands by 25 IMPs, having led for the majority of the match.

    Derek wrote a blog throughout the tournament which you can read here.

  • England's results - Group stage; quarter-finals; semi-finals; bronze medal play-off
  • Bulletins: Report of Women v China; hand from Women v Italy; Report of Women v USA1 in Q/F - part 1 & part 2; Report of Women v France in S/F - part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5;
  • WBF Videos
  • All WBF photos; photos of the England players and teams
  • Seniors lose in quarter-finals of World Championships

    The England Seniors' team have finished as losing quarter-finalists in the World Championships, in Chennai. Competing for the D'Orsi Trophy, which five of the team won in 2009, they completed the round-robin phase in fifth place having topped the table in the early stages of the competition. They then played Poland in the quarter-final, and fell behind early, but pulled back IMPs steadily, and entering the final session they trailed by 11.5. Things didn't go their way in the final session, however, and they were ultimately defeated by 23.5 IMPs.

    They then went on to play in the Transnational Teams event, losing the first knockout round.

    The team was:
    Paul Hackett & David Mossop; Gunnar Hallberg & John Holland; David Price & Colin Simpson; NPC: Simon Cochemé

    NPC Simon Cocheme (along with the other England NPCs) was blogging throughout the event, and his reports and anecdotes can be read here.

    English winners in IBPA Awards

    The International Bridge Press Association have announced the winners of their annual awards, with a prize going to an English combination. The Junior Deal of the Year was awarded to a hand played by Under 20 players Ben Norton & Freddie Illingworth, at the 15th International Championship of the Czech Republic of School and Junior Teams, and written by Michael Byrne.

    A number of other english players and journalists were included in the nominations. The winning report, and the other nominees, can be seen in the IBPA document.

    IBPA award winners