January 2016

Poole team wins Silver Plate

The Silver Plate has been won by the team of Tony Poole (Captain) (Warks), Stewart Fishburne, Chris Philp, and Mike Willoughby (all Worcs) (pictured).

They won the final by 10 IMPs over the 48 boards against the team of Arthur Selman (Captain), Adrian Ford, Alan Hayward, Bill Holmes, Martin Ott and Terry Read (all Yorkshire).

Their journey began in the Gold Cup. They won the 1st round convincingly, then were drawn against Patrick Jourdain’s seeded Welsh international team in the 2nd round, where they led by 2 IMPs after 40 boards but ultimately lost by the narrow margin of 6 IMPs, thereby moving into the Plate.

It was Tony's second victory in the competition, having won the 2004 event and Mike is also understood to have won the Plate “many years ago”! The rest of the team won the title for the first time.

Update: A report on two hands from the final is available here. Thank you to the players for providing this.

Graeme Robertson receives Young Pair of the Year Award

At the National Teams Congress Graeme Robertson was presented with his award for being part of the 2014 Young Pair of the Year. His partner, Tom Paske received his award at the Summer Meeting in Brighton. They combined to great effect in 2014, winning a bronze medal at the European Under 25 Pairs Championships.

Paske & Senior teams win at National Teams Congress

The teams captained by Tom Paske and Nevena Senior have won the Point-a-Board and Swiss events respectively at the National Teams Congress over the weekend of 16th/17th January.

The Point-a-Board event started with a qualifying round, and the Osborne team topped the table, with the top eight teams moving on to the final. There the team of Tom Paske, Simon Cope (both Middlesex), Richard Bowley (London) and Graeme Robertson (Beds) (pictured) scored 55 points to take the title, four points ahead of the team of Michael Byrne (Manchester), Kieran Dyke (London), Andrew Murphy (Berks & Bucks) and Ed Jones (Oxon) in second. The team of Jeremy Dhondy (Hants & IOW), Brian Callaghan, Ben Green (both London) and John Holland (Manchester) was third.

Those who did not qualify for the final of the Point-a-Board joined a Swiss Teams event which had started at the beginning of the congress. The winners and runners-up in this event came from those who had played in the event throughout, however, with the team of Nevena Senior (Middlesex), Geofrey Wolfarth, Ros Wolfarth (both Sussex) and Kiril Delev (London) (see picture here) taking the title. They won ten of their thirteen matches, and overtook the long time leaders - the team of Andrew Southwell, Richard Fedrick (both Sussex), Iain Roberts and Alan Oddie (both Beds) - in the final round. The Fedrick team finished second, with the Cowling team - who missed out on qualifying for the Point-a-Board finals - finishing third.

The Point-a-Board event is a competition in the Championship Series, contributing to the Player of the Year competition. Simon Cope's victory takes him to the top of standings, with Ben Green, John Holland and Justin Hackett moving in to a tie for second.

Take part in the Bridge England Sim Pairs and support our junior teams

The Bridge England Sim Pairs takes place on 2nd & 3rd February, with proceeds helping to support our junior international teams. We hope you will take part.

The Under 25s and Under 15s will be playing in the World Youth Team Championships in Italy in August - the Under 15s having qualified in their first ever international competition. By supporting this sim you help the EBU provide them with the opportunity not only to participate, but also to get in the practice and coaching necessary to perform at the highest level. The players are very grateful for your support in helping them achieve their best, and we hope you will take pride in their results.

Please participate at one of the clubs which is holding a heat, or even better encourage your club to hold a heat. More information on how clubs can take part, plus a list of registered clubs, is available on the Sim Pairs page of the website.

Play the hands from Night of the Stars

The popular Night of the Stars event will take place on Thursday 25th February with 'non-experts' playing with some of the leading international players, including current and former members of the England teams. All proceeds support The Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, and React.

The organiser, Terry Hewett, would like to invite clubs who will be holding a game on that evening to play the same hands as the 'stars'. In exchange for a donation of an amount of the club's choosing, which Night of the Stars will share between the four charities, clubs will be sent a deal file, and a hand commentary, written by some of the game's leading names. You can then compare scores with those who played in the main event as these will be available on the event website.

For further details on taking part please see the event website or email terry@nightofthestars.org.uk.

England have huge lead after first weekend of Camrose

England raced to a huge lead on the first weekend of the Camrose Trophy in Ireland, winning all five matches, and only once scoring less than 18 VPs.

Congratulations to the team for an excellent result: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Mike Bell & David Gold; David Bakhshi & Tony Forrester; NPC: David Burn; Asst NPC: Nick Smith.

The event started on Friday evening, and England hit the ground running with an 18.05-1.95 victory over Northern Ireland. A big win against Wales (19.25), and a narrower victory over the WBU (11.07) - who as hosts of the second weekend the WBU enter two teams - followed. 18.37 against Scotland and 18.61 against Ireland rounded off a superb weekend for the team.

The dominance of the team, and the contribution that all players made, is shown by the cross-imp rankings, in which the three English pairs fill the top three places, and are a large distance ahead of the other pairs.

England take a lead of 37 VPs in to the second weekend - the largest lead since the format was changed in 2005. Only 11 VPs covering the remaining teams there may be quite a battle for the minor places - or will one emerge from the pack to challenge England? The final weekend takes place in Wales on 4th to 6th March, so we'll find out then.

Camrose Trophy starts this weekend

The first weekend of the Camrose Trophy takes place this weekend (Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January) in Gormanston, just north of Dublin.

The England team for the first weekend is: Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson; Mike Bell & David Gold; David Bakhshi & Tony Forrester; NPC: David Burn; Asst NPC: Nick Smith.

Matches will be shown on Bridge Base Online from 7pm on Friday. Check the vugraph schedule for timings.

The line-ups, match schedule, and results (when available) can be found via the Irish Bridge Results website.

The second weekend of the event takes place in Wales, 4th - 6th March.

All age groups represented amongst Year End Congress winners

The Year End Congress in London saw the full range of age groups represented amongst the winning players, with titles being claimed by Juniors, Seniors, and those aged in between.

The event began with a two-day stratified Swiss Pairs event which was won by Paul Hackett (Staffs & Shrops) & David Burn (Middlesex) - see picture here. They led almost throughout, and although they won only eight of their eleven matches (some pairs won more) they scored enough to take the title. They finished 4VPs ahead of Frances Hinden & Graham Osborne (both Surrey), with Alistair Kent & Justin Hackett (both Staffs & Shrops) one victory point further back. The winners of the B Stratification were Sarah O'Connor (Manchester) & Anthony Moon (Surrey). The winners of the C Stratification were the juniors Keith Lai (London) & Alexandra Birchall (Manchester).

The Open Pairs was won by the junior pair of Ankush Khandelwal (Notts) & Toby Nonnenmacher (London) - shown in the main picture. They scored 60.01%, with Alistair Kent & Justin Hackett picking up another podium finish in second on 58.08%.

The mixed pairs was won by Celia & Derek Oram (both Hertfordshire) with 61.57% (see picture here). Glyn Liggins (London) & Pauline Cohen (Middlesex) were second on 60.78%.

The congress concluded with a stratified Swiss Teams event, and this was won by the team of Simon Gillis (London), Erik Saelensminde (Norway), Jon Cooke (Cambs & Hunts) & Paul Lamford (London) - see picture here. They were one of nine teams to lose only one match, but their margins of victory (and defeat) were sufficient for them to take the trophy by 5 VPs. There was a tie for second place, with the team of Janet de Botton, Artur Malinowski (both Middlesex), Nick Sandqvist & Tom Townsend (both London) finishing level with the team of Gerald Tredinnick, Jeremy Willans (both Kent), Anne Rosen & Neil Rosen (both Middlesex). The winners of the B Stratification were London-based youngsters Yifei Zheng, Keith Lai, Ho Pang & Jiawei Lim. The winners of the C Stratification were the junior internationals Jonathan Clark, Kripa Panchagnula (both Middlesex), Michael Alishaw (London) & Stephen Kennedy (Sussex).

The congress also included a Really Easy Afternoon, which was held at the main venue in London, and also at satellite venues in Richmond and Billericay, and then scored across all locations. The overall winners Nadine Born & Diana Wilson (both Surrey) who scored 68.1% playing at Richmond. The leading pair in Billericay were Amarjeet Singh & Gurdeep Singh (both Essex), and the leading pair in London was Laraine Stokes (Surrey) & David Taylor (Berks & Bucks). The leading 'B' stratification pair was Mike Wares & Amanda Murphy (both Essex).

British Winter Sim Pairs

The New Year kicked off with the British Winter Simultaneous Pairs and you can find all the results and commentaries at the links below. You can also comment on the hands yourself.

Monday 4th January Commentary Booklet
Tuesday 5th January Commentary Booklet
Wednesday 6th January Commentary Booklet
Thursday 7th January Commentary Booklet

Holland & Mould defend titles at Northern Year End Congress

John Holland & Alan Mould (both Manchester) - pictured left - finished 2015 in style at the Northern Year End Congress, successfully defending the Swiss Pairs and Open Pairs titles they won the previous year.

In the Open Pairs which started the congress John and Alan finished on 64.7%, beating Peter Hodgson & Steve Male (both Scotland) by a very narrow margin - just half a match point.

Their victory in the two-day Swiss Pairs which followed was more emphatic. Despite winning only once on the final day they finished well clear of the field on 149 VPs from ten matches as their closest rivals fell away. Jeff Smith & Jackie Pye (both Lancashire) moved up from fifth after the first day to claim second place on 130 VPs, with Mark Weeks & Stuart Matthews (both Merseyside & Cheshire) moving up from ninth to finish third.

In the Mixed Pairs on the first day, Geoff Kenyon & Carole Kelly (both Yorkshire) finished on 63.37% to take the title (see picture here). Barrie Newall & Julia Newall (both Lancashire) were second with 59.88%.

The Swiss Teams event was won by Glenda Lloyd, Peter Boardman (both Cumbria), Sally Wraight & Philip Wraight (both Westmorland) (see picture here). They were undefeated in their seven matches, and finished on 98 VPs, two clear of the team of Joy Blakey, Irving Blakey, Rhona Goldenfield, Bernard Goldenfield (all Manchester). The Commins and Hayward teams were joint third with 94 VPs.