February 2016

England defending Junior Camrose & Peggy Bayer this weekend

The Junior Camrose and Peggy Bayer competitions take place this weekend, with our Under 26 and Under 21 teams facing their counterparts from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. They will be looking to defend the titles they won convincingly last year.

The event takes place in Edinburgh, starting on Friday evening and concluding on Sunday afternoon. Some of the matches will be shown on Bridge Base Online, so tune in and watch our teams in action. Alternatively spectators are welcome at the venue.

The teams are:
Junior Camrose - Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Toby Nonnenmacher & Michael Alishaw; Basil Letts & Sean Mekie; NPC: Alan Shillitoe
Peggy Bayer - Ben Norton & Sam Behrens; Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter; Oscar Selby & Harry Madden; NPC Michael Byrne

Results and live scores will be available on the event website, which also has the event schedule.

Join a bridge club in retirement and live longer

Researchers at the University of Queensland have published a study in the online medical journal BMJ which concludes that being a member of clubs and social groups - such as a bridge club - after retirement reduces your risk of premature death.

The study looked at the activities of over 400 English retirees. Retirees who, after retirement, reduced the number of groups with which they were involved saw a significant increase in their risk of death in the first 6 years of retirement - from 2% if they were in two groups, rising to 12% if they left both groups. The rate for those who joined an additional two groups fell to 0.4%. The figures for an equivalent reduction in physical exercise were very similar, showing that group membership is as important as physical exercise in reducing the risk of premature death in retirees.

This highlights the importance of socialisation to older people, and helps to reinforce the position that bridge offers a great deal to those in later life. Bridge not only offers cognitive stimulation, but provides social interaction that is key to the health and happniess of retirees. The researchers noted that for every group that participants lost in the year following retirement, their experienced quality of life 6 years later was approximately 10% lower.

The researchers' conclusions include a recommendation that future retirees should be given help with social planning, alongside the more common financial advice. Similarly it shows that those providing care for the elderly need to look beyond 'health' and 'physical fitness'. “In this regard, practical interventions should focus on helping retirees to maintain their sense of purpose and belonging by assisting them to connect to groups and communities that are meaningful to them,” the researchers recommend.

So the message is clear - if you are a member of a bridge club, don't leave; and if you're not, join one!

English Bridge Education and Development will be undertaking research in a similar area, starting in the coming months. This will look at the possible neurological benefits of bridge as well as the social benefits. The project will be funded in part by the EBED Spring & Autumn Sim Pairs. We hope you will take part in those events to support EBED's work in this area.

London wins Tollemache Cup

London has won the Tollemache Cup, the inter-county championships for teams of eight.

The team of Nick Sandqvist, Tom Townsend, Phil King, Stellio Di Bello, Mike Bell, Kieran Dyke, Graham Orsmond, Willie Coyle, Rob Cliffe and Franklin To finished on 105 VPs, well ahead of the field. Kent was second on 86, with Surrey third on 79.

This was the 20th time that the London team has won the event, though it was the first time since 2006 - defending Champions Middlesex were fifth. It was a seventh victory in the competition for Nick, a fifth for Tom, fourth for Frank, and third for Rob - all others were winning for the first time.

The final took place in West Bromwich on 13th & 14th February, and featured eight teams which qualified from an event held in November in which 35 counties, and one Welsh region, participated.

English players win silver at EBL European Winter Games

Congratulations to Andrew Black, Gunnar Hallberg, Phil King, Andrew McIntosh, Willie Whittaker, and Swede Peter Berthau, who won the silver medal at the 1st European Winter Games. They are pictured receiving their medals from EBL officials (picture from the EBL facebook site).

The English/Swedish team was seeded 15th, and were underdogs in the final against the Monegasque/Polish Zimmerman team, but held a narrow lead at one point during the final session. The favourites came through in the end, however, winning 131-109. Congratulations to the Black team on their medals.

The B Final of the Point-a-Board (BAM) event was won by the team captained by Mike Bell and including David Gold, Kevin Castner and Marion Robertson. They were joined by Ukrainian's Volodymyr Dragan and Volodymyr Porkhun (some of the team are pictured here).

Other English players were involved in the event, and you can see their results on the EBL website. The event was organised by the European Bridge League and took place in Monaco from 5th to 11th February.

Richard Banbury appointed as EBED Business Manager

English Bridge Education and Development have announced that Richard Banbury will take up a position as EBED Business Manager very shortly. We wish him luck with his new job.

Richard's biography is available on the EBED website.

English TDs receive EBL promotions

Members of the EBU’s panel of Tournament Directors have received promotions at the European Bridge League’s Tournament Directors’ Course held in Prague earlier this month. The course takes place every three years, and alongside lessons it includes assessments for those wishing to rise through the ranks of international directors.

Gordon Rainsford was one of only three participants promoted to the rank of EBL Tournament Director, the highest level which could be attained at the event. Phil Godfrey was made an NBO International Director.

Ian Mitchell, a former member of the EBU’s TD panel, and current member of the EBU staff, was also made an NBO International Director.

Congratulations to them all.

English players in final at European Winter Games

The 1st European Winter Games is taking place in Monaco from 5th to 11th February. Some of the participating teams have English members, and you can follow their results on the EBL website, and watch some of their matches on Bridge Base Online.

The team featuring Andrew Black, Gunnar Hallberg, Phil King, Andrew McIntosh and Willie Whittaker - with Swede Peter Berthau - has reached the final, which takes place today.

Fun in the sun at Cyprus Congress

The Overseas Congress in Cyprus, sponsored by Bridge Overseas, took place from 1st to 7th February. The attendees enjoyed glorious weather and what many believed to be the best hotel used for an EBU Overseas Congress.

The stars of the week were Richard Spencer & Emile Lawy (both Middlesex) (pictured with Hannah Williams of Bridge Overseas) who won three competitions - the Open Pairs, Men's Pairs, and Swiss Pairs.

Other winners were: Pat Watson (Leics) & Carolyn Fisher (Warks) in the Pre-Congress Pairs (see picture here); Howard Basden-Smith & Sue Rankin (both Channel Islands) in the Mixed Pairs (see picture here); Jan Duncan & Sue O'Hara (both Avon) in the Ladies Pairs (see picture here); Jean Squires (Oxon), Rosalind Morgan (Devon), Nes Charles, Bill Gardner (both Kent) in the Mixed Pivot Pairs (see picture here); Sandy Davies (Yorks), Warner Solomon (Devon), Rhona Goldenfield & Bernard Goldenfield (both Manchester) in the Championship Teams (see picture here).

The next Overseas Congress takes place at Lake Garda, Italy, 5th to 11th October. Spaces are still available, but are filling quickly, so act promptly.

Brock team wins Teltscher Trophy trials

The team of Sally Brock, Barry Myers, Robert Sheehan and Nicola Smith have won the trials for the team to represent England in the Teltscher Trophy - the 'Senior Camrose'.

They won all five of their matches to finish on 70.06 VPs. The team of Nick Irens, Tony Forrester, David Kendrick, Norman Selway and Colin Simpson were second, 3.09 VPs behind.

The Teltscher Trophy takes place in Scotland 20th - 22nd May.

Trials for Teltscher Trophy team this weekend

The trials for the team to represent England in the Teltscher Trophy - the 'Senior Camrose' - take place this weekend at West Midlands Bridge Club. You can watch the action on Bridge Base Online, with play starting at 2pm on Friday. The format, schedule and teams are available here.

The Teltscher Trophy takes place in Scotland 20th - 22nd May.