June 2016

Bryant team wins Online Knockout

The EBU's Online Knockout Teams has been won by the team of Roger Bryant, Stephen Green, Rob Helle, Ed Hoogenkamp (all Warks) and Martin Jones (Middlesex).

Roger, Stephen, Rob and Ed (Martin played in an earlier round) won the 32 board final by 37 IMPs against Alex Maddocks, Warner Solomon (both Devon), Rob Lawy and Trevor Ward (both Avon). David Jones (Avon) had played for the Maddocks team in an earlier round.

The Online Knockout Teams takes place in the first few months of each year - entries for the 2017 competition will open in the autumn.

Scientists prove that Donald Trump is affecting bridge players

A satirical scientific study has 'proved' that the rise of Donald Trump in the US Presidential race has had an impact on how bridge players are bidding. The researchers have shown that US bridge players are more likely to bid 'No Trump' than before he was a candidate.

As well as political satire, the 'research' was also used to highlight how statistical data can be misinterpreted to 'prove' a fatuous and unrelated hypothesis.

Nonetheless, if at your next game your partner makes an unwise no trump bid, maybe they too have been affected by the Republican candidate.

Reading BC wins Garden Cities Trophy

Reading Bridge Club, representing Berks and Bucks, have won the Garden Cities Trophy for the first time.

The final took place on Saturday 25th June, and featured eight teams which had won their county championships and then progressed from the qualifying round in May.

The Reading team - which comprised Tim Rees, Chris Cooper, Mike Perkins, Ian Reissmann, James Bond, Pat Dowdeswell, James Chapman and Jonny Richards - finished on 114 VPs, with Cambridge BC second on 99 VPs. Sheffield BC were third, a further 10 VPs behind.

Women's team win, but disappointing finish for Open and Senior teams

Whilst the Women's team had a wonderful end to their competition (see above), the event had a disappointing finish for the Open and Senior teams. At times in the competition both teams would have been hopeful of finishing in the medals, but results on the final few days meant that they slipped down the table, and ultimately finished outside the positions which will likely earn them qualification for the 2017 World Championships. Both teams finished in tenth. France won the Open event, Israel the Seniors. As the Open team finished in the top ten, England have qualified to play in the European Champions Cup in 2016 and 2017

Nonetheless, well done to all the players on their performances:
Open team David Bakhshi & David Gold; Tony Forrester & Andrew Robson; Jason Hackett & Justin Hackett; NPC: David Price; Coach: Alan Mould

Senior team John Holland & Brian Senior; David Kendrick & Patrick Collins; Sandra Penfold & Norman Selway; NPC: Paul Hackett

Blogs from the event are available at http://ebuselection.blogspot.co.uk/ Women's Pairs
A Women's Pairs took place before the teams event started. Fiona Brown & Sarah O'Connor finished 7th, with Sally Brock & Susanna Gross finishing 9th.

England's women are European Champions!

England's Women's team have won the European Championships in Budapest.

Starting the final day in third place, they won all three matches, including victory against overnight leaders Poland in the final match.

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

This adds another medal to the impressive haul collected by this team. It is an eighth European Gold medal for Nicola, a fifth for Heather and Sally, a second for Fiona and Nevena and it is Catherine's first. This team - which also included Susan Stockdale (now Norton) until 2013 - have won medals at the last six World and European team events. They may currently be the most successful international team in British sport.

Additional Blue Point competitions for clubs

Blue Points were introduced at the start of 2013 and clubs were given an allowance of two events per annum in which they could award them. Some clubs have asked to be allowed to run more such events and so for a trial period until the end of August 2017 we will allow clubs to apply for up to two additional Blue Point events, subject to them having their county’s agreement. We will usually agree to such applications unless there is a potential conflict in the calendar with another club or organisation. If this change is successful, we intend to allow clubs to apply for two additional Blue-Pointed events per competition year after the trial period.

Applications should be made to nick@ebu.co.uk

Piekarek-Smirnov banned by EBL; Fantoni-Nunes ban upheld;

The European Bridge League have announced that German players Josef Piekarek and Alexander Smirnov have been banned from EBL competitions for four years, and for life as a partnership. The pair pleaded guilty to "pre-arranging the method of inappropriate communication and of practicing it, by indicating the strength of their hands by placement of the bidding cards on bidding tray".

It has been reported that the ban by the Italian Bridge Federation imposed on Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes has been upheld by the Italian Federal Court of Appeals. Fantoni and Nunes had appealed against the three year ban which had been imposed earlier this year.

Marks & Rowe, and Littlewood team, win at Southern Midweek Congress

The Southern Midweek Congress took place in Bournemouth 14th - 16th June, with Rod Marks & Bill Rowe (both Somerset) winning the Pairs Championship.

Rod & Bill (see picture here) finished on 57.67% in the three session event, narrowly ahead of Jeremy Dhondy & Andy Hughes (both Hants & IOW) on 57.31%. Janet Smith & Alan Wilson (both Dorset) were third with 56.49%.

The Swiss Teams event was won by Paul Littlewood, Fiona Littlewood, Mark Westley and Tim Nash (all Herts) (pictured). They were one of three teams who only lost one match, but picked up more VPs than their rivals, finishing on 83 VPs. Lindsay McDougall, Helen Kinloch, Graham Ledger and Manny Navarro (all Hants & IOW) were second with 77 VPs, and Rod Marks and Bill Rowe capped a good event, teaming up with Robin Wright and Mark Hooper (both Dorset) to finish third on 75.

Cambs & Hunts team wins Pachabo Cup

The Pachabo Cup has been won by Victor Milman, David Kendrick, Catherine Curtis, Paul Fegarty and Jon Cooke, representing Cambs & Hunts.

The Pachabo Cup is contested by the holders of the teams-of-four Championship of each County Association of EBU, and 26 teams took part in the event held in Birmingham on 11th - 12th June. It uses a hybrid system of scoring, combining both 'point-a-board' and IMPs converted to VPs.

The Cambs & Hunts team finished on 265.5 points, 15.5 points ahead of defending champions Manchester who were represented by Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Rodney Lighton, Alan Mould, John Holland and Gary Hyett. The Staffs & Shrops team of Paul Hackett, Dan Crofts, Jason Hackett and Justin Hackett were third on 235.5 points.

English pair qualify for final of WBF World Wide Bridge Contest

Joan Jaggard & Keith Jaggard, of Stansfield Bridge Club, have qualified for the final of the WBF World Wide Bridge Contest, and will be invited to participate in the final in Beijing in September.

Competing in one of the six worldwide simultaneous events which have taken place in recent months, Joan and Keith finished second with 71.82% - enough to qualify as one of the highest scoring second-placed pairs. Pairs from China, Greece, Singapore, India, Portugal, Tunisia, USA, Australia, Sri Lanka and Italy will also be invited to take part in the final.