August 2016

New Master Point & Licensing Handbook available; Novice Sessions clarified

The new Master Point and Licensing Handbook, for the 2016/17 season, is now available to download, along with a document which highlights the changes from last year.

We have also sought to clarify the requirements for a session to be recognised as a 'Novice Session'. It also seeks to clarify when the club has the option to choose whether or not they should submit the session and make a Universal Membership payment. These requirements are outlined here:

If you have any queries then please don't hesitate to contact the Club Liaison Officer, Bev Purvis - or 01296 317206.

Four awards presented at Summer Meeting

Four awards were presented by the EBU and English Bridge Education and Development at the Summer Meeting this weekend.

Alan Shillitoe received the Tom Bradley Award for his contribution to junior bridge, both for his work with the junior international squads and for his contribution to the development of English Bridge Education and Development's Junior Award Scheme.

Tom Paske received the Young Player of the Year Award, and Ben Norton and Sam Behrens received the Young Pair of the Year Award.

Jim Proctor, who was the EBU's longest serving Tournament Director when he retired earlier this year, was presented with Life Membership.

Travis team wins Four Star Teams at Summer Meeting

The Four Star Teams competition at the Summer Meeting has been won by the team of Barbara Travis, Fiona Brown, Gary Hyett & Howard Melbourne. They qualified in second place for the final, and then finished a single VP ahead of the team of Barry Myers, Sally Brock, Ben Green & John Holland.

The B final was won by Iain Sime, John Murdoch, Ian Draper & Jeremy Willans (picture). The Brighton Bowl, for the leading remaining team in the Swiss Teams competition, was won by Graham Osborne, Peter Lee, Jeffrey Allerton & Frances Hinden (picture)

All the results from the Summer Meeting, along with pictures and articles from Brian Senior and Michael Byrne, are available on the Summer Meeting Hub.

Dates confirmed for 2017 Summer Meeting

Due to the Eastbourne Air Show changing its dates for 2017 - which has only recently been announced - it has been necessary to change the dates of the Summer Meeting. These are now confirmed as 4th - 13th August, and not 18th - 27th as previously advertised.

It is likely that the dates of the Northern Midweek Congress may also change as a result of this.

We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment caused, however we believe this to be the best course of action for the majority of the members.

Allfrey & Robson win Harold Poster Trophy

Alexander Allfrey & Andrew Robson were emphatic winners of the Harold Poster Trophy for the main Swiss Pairs event at the Summer Meeting.

The Brighton Plate, for leading C stratification pair, was won by Alex Lawton & James Green.

More details from the congress are available on the Summer Meeting Hub.

Learn to play bridge this autumn

There's never been a better time to learn to play bridge, with hundreds of lessons starting all round the country this autumn. English Bridge Education and Development can provide the details of teachers in all parts of the country - you may have seen their advert in the Daily Telegraph on Saturday - so if you or anyone you know is interested in starting to learn in the coming weeks then contact them:

World Youth Championships - England perform well, but miss the podium, in consolation event

After a good qualifying competition, the English Lions (Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Alex Roberts & Yvonne Wiseman) and English Cubs (Ankush Khandelwal, Ben Norton, Oscar Selby & Liz Gahan) unfortunately failed to finish on the podium in the consolation event of the World Youth Team Championships. The Lions finished well clear of the field in qualifying, finally getting the results that their play earlier in the event deserved, and although they led at the halfway point in the final they slipped back in to fourth. The Cubs qualified in 8th, and finished 9th in the final - a great result for the young team.

The NPCs have been writing blogs throughout the event. They can be read here.

Bridge at the Olympics?

Radio 5live had a discussion yesterday (Thursday 11th) about sports which are not currently part of the Olympic games but could be, or perhaps should be. England international Heather Dhondy talked to Nicky Campbell to give the argument for including bridge at a future games.

Bridge has had involvement with the games in the past - the WBF was invited to apply for a place at the 2020 games in Tokyo, and bridge has previously been a demonstration event at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Smith & Pye and Jepson team win at Northern Midweek Congress

In keeping with a move to a new venue, there were new winners of the events at the Northern Midweek Congress in Wakefield.

Jeff Smith & Jackie Pye (both Lancashire) (pictured) were winners of the Championship Pairs, finishing the three session event on 59.64%. John Dakin (Hants & IOW) & Eddie Lucioni (Sussex) were second on 58.77% with defending champions Stuart Davies & George Bak (both Yorkshire) in third with 58.42%.

Both competitions at the congress were stratified, and the winners of the 'B stratification' prize in the Pairs were Jason Levesley & James Carpenter (both Yorkshire) who finished 16th. They would also have been eligible for the 'C stratification' prize, which was won by Karen Lemm & Martin Fenton (both Yorkshire).

The Swiss Teams competition was won emphatically by the team of Graham Jepson, David Fletcher, Frank Littlewood and David Musson (all Yorkshire) (see picture here). They won all six matches - most by a large margin - to finish on 98 out of a possible 120. In second place was the team of Richard Pike, David Waxman, Gill Copeland and Steve Blackburn (all Yorkshire), who finished just 1 VP ahead of the Ault team. The Reese team were a further VP behind in fourth, despite being undefeated.

The Ault team - Duncan Ault, Diane Ault, Catherine Ashworth and John Ashworth (all Lancashire) - were the leading 'B stratified' team. The leading 'C stratified' team were Peter Jeans, Jennifer Davies, Anne Cooper and Patricia Sellwood (all Yorkshire).

World Youth Championships - U16s finish in 8th, U26s in 15th

The main events have reached a conclusion for our teams in the World Youth Team Championships in Italy, with the Under 16s finishing in 8th and the Under 26s in 15th.

The Under 16s (referred to as 'kids' on the event website) played the Netherlands in the 7th-8th play-off on Day 6 of the event, and took a good lead after the first session. They lost a very 'swingy' second set to fall behind narrowly with 14 boards to play, and the Dutch team pulled away in the final session to claim the 7th place. The team should be very pleased with their performance, however, given their lack of experience at this level. To win more than half of their matches in the round robin phase on their first appearance on the world stage was an excellent achievement. NPC Sarah O'Connor has reported that the team remained in high spirits throughout the event, and have thoroughly enjoyed the competition. With so many years as junior players ahead of them, let's hope it is the first of many good performances from this group.

The Under 26s ('juniors' on the event website) won one of their final three matches, so remained in midtable. Whilst the finishing position will be disappointing, their NPC has reported that they have played much better than their scores have suggested - for example, he has lost count of the number of 'anti-percentage' grand slams that have been made against the team. It is also worth noting that despite finishing 15th their score was closer to the team in the 8th qualifying spot than it was to the team in 18th. They will now play in a consolation event for teams not progressing to the knock-out stage, so will hope to get their share of the luck this time, and compete for some silverware.

The NPCs are reporting from the event - you can read their blogs here - and also check our social media accounts (which is perhaps more fitting for a junior event) for news and photos from Italy.

Under 26s: Shivam Shah & Freddie Illingworth; Alex Roberts & Ankush Khandelwal; Ben Norton & Yvonne Wiseman; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke
Under 16s: Harry Madden & Oscar Selby; Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan; Megan Jones & Henry Rose; NPC: Sarah O’Connor; Coach: Mike Bell