February 2016

Charlotte Vine: 1933-2016

We are sad to report that Charlotte Vine, President of Middlesex County Bridge Association since 2004, and the winner of a Dimmie Fleming Award in 2015, passed away on 21st February.

England Open team wins Lederer Trophy

The Lederer Trophy, one of the most prestigious events on the English bridge calendar, has been won by the England Open team - Alexander Allfrey, David Bakhshi, Tony Forrester, David Gold and Andrew Robson. The invitation event is organised by the London Metropolitan Bridge Association, and the results, photos and event history are available on their event blog.

Mau & Gibbons win Masters Pairs

Konrad Mau & John Gibbons (both Kent) have won the Master Pairs, held on 28th February.

The competition was for those ranked below the rank of Regional Master and was held at seven venues, with the event scored across the whole field. Konrad and John played at the Tunbridge Wells heat, and scored 61.05%. Margaret Randell & Peter Randell (both Avon), who played at the Exeter heat, were second with 59.22%. Ashley Sawyer & Gary Waller (both Essex), who played at the Billericay heat, were third with 58.82%.

Forthcoming events with regional heats include the National Pairs on 13th March, and Portland Pairs on 20th March.

The overall results, and the session scores, can be seen via the results page below. As with all competitions the results are only provisional and will be confirmed in the next few days.


Six pairs victorious at Ranked Masters Pairs

The Ranked Masters Pairs, held near Birmingham on 27 & 28th February, saw champions crowned in six competitions. Entry into each competition was dependent on a player's EBU Master Point ranking.

The Premier Grand Masters Pairs was won convincingly by Patrick Shields (Gloucs) & Filip Kurbalija (pictured left). They finished on 97.2 IMPs, with Steve Auchterlonie (Kent) & Kath Nelson (Manchester) second on 66.4.

The Grand Masters Pairs, for the Harrison Gray Salver, was won narrowly by Dave Robinson (Yorkshire) & Rob Lawy (Avon) (see picture here). They finished just 1.42 IMPs ahead of Alan Wilson (Oxon) & Stuart McPhee (Kent).

The Premier Life Masters Pairs, for the Premier Life Masters Trophy, was won emphatically by John Liebeschuetz (Cambs & Hunts) & Peter Foster (Manchester) (see picture here). They were over 45 IMPs ahead of Pauline Rudolf & John Rudolf (both Warks).

The Life Masters Pairs, for the Maurice Blank Trophy, was won by Bogdan Drobny (Norfolk) & Roman Gembicki (Derbys) (see picture here) on 114.4 IMPs. Richard Samter & Andrew Parkes (both Wilts) were second on 89.2.

The National Masters Pairs, for the Bridge Magazine Cup, was won by Jack Terry & Peter Shelley (both Avon) (see picture here). In second, 14 IMPs behind, were Robert Dixon (Oxon) & Tom Slater (Manchester).

The Regional Masters Pairs, for the St Dunstan’s Plate, was won by a huge margin by Mary Gordon-Smith & Szczepan Smoczynski (both London) (see picture here). They scored 165 IMPs with Laura Covill (Oxon) & Sean Mekie (Manchester) second on 76 IMPs.

Stocken and Townsend win at Harrogate

The main Swiss Pairs event at the Harrogate Spring Congress was won in a very close finish by Jack Stocken and Bill Townsend, with a winning margin of just one victory point over Patrick Collins and Andrew Petrie. Going into the final match a number of pairs could have taken the trophy so Jack and Bill were grateful for every one of the 14 VPs they won.

The Swiss Teams was less exciting, with the Dessain team winning every match to finish 9 VPs ahead of Harris in second. Congratulations to Tom Dessain, Tugrul Kaban, Mark Hill and Giles Ip.

England retain Junior Camrose; 3rd in Peggy Bayer

The England Under 26 team have won the Junior Camrose for the fourth year in a row. The team of Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Toby Nonnenmacher, Michael Alishaw, Basil Letts and Sean Mekie with NPC Alan Shillitoe were run close by the Scottish juniors who were ahead at the half-way point but a very strong second half, including a 20-0 victory over the Scottish hosts, saw them pull ahead and win by 13 VPs.

In the Peggy Bayer, the Under 21 team were going well through the first two round-robins, winning 5 out of their 6 matches, but had a disappointing final third, losing to Scotland and Ireland who ended up winning comfortably. Four of the England team were playing for the Under 15s just last year, so there is much promise there for the future.

Tony Eastgate, 1928 - 2016

We're very sad to report that Surrey's Tony Eastgate passed away on Tuesday 9th February, aged 87. An obituary and funeral details can be found on the Surrey website.

Applications invited for European Youth Pairs Championships

The 13th European Youth Pairs Championships are due to be held in Liepaja, Latvia, from 13th to 20th July 2016. The planned schedule is:
13th & 14th July – Mixed pairs (U26)
15th -17th July – Pairs (U26, U26 women, U21 and U16)
18th – 20th July – Youth Bridge Camp

Pairs who would like to be nominated to represent England in the event should apply to their squad leader or dawn@ebu.co.uk by March 31st. The EBU may be able to provide a subsidy towards playing in this event, although priority will be given to players in the junior squads. Applications are welcome from all interested pairs.

More information on hotels and travel is available by reading on...

Record entry for Master Pairs - and still chance to enter

We have a record entry for the Masters Pairs, which will be held at various venues around the country on 28th February, and there is still space at all venues.

The event is for everyone below the rank of Regional Master. This is therefore an ideal event for lower ranked players as they will only be playing against players of a similar ranking. To see all the eligible ranks and the different venues, and for more details on the competition, visit the event webpage. Those of a higher ranking should enter one of the Ranked Masters Pairs events, held 27th-28th February in Birmingham.

If you have received a landmark promotion in 2014 or 2015 then you can play in the Masters Pairs or Ranked Masters for free.

To enter contact the competitions department: 01296 317203 or comps@ebu.co.uk. Alternatively enter through the members area of the website. Please enter in advance for all venues.

Jim Proctor, our longest serving TD, retires

Jim Proctor, the longest serving member of the EBU Tournament Directors' panel, has retired. He joined the panel in 1974, and has held the top rank of National Tournament Director for several decades.

Gordon Rainsford, Chief Tournament Director, writes: "I’m very sorry to see Jim go. He’s been on the EBU TD panel for more than four decades and every TD who has ever worked with him has learned a huge amount from his hard work, attention to detail, knowledge of the Laws of Bridge and command of movements. I hope his retirement will give him time to play more bridge!"

Jim was interviewed for the October 2015 issue of English Bridge during the Summer Meeting in Brighton, in preparation for his 80th birthday, which he spent directing at Porthcawl Bridge Congress.