November 2016

Autumn 2016 Club Management Focus newsletter now available

The Autumn 2016 edition of the Club Management Focus Newsletter is available now here.

It contains news, articles to help you in the running of your clubs, details of forthcoming events, and important information about club administration. If you need any advice, or have any suggestions for issues you would like covered in the next newsletter, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

England U16s perform well in Czech Republic and finish 7th

An England Under 16 team finished seventh in the Czech Republic Junior Teams Championship this weekend.

The team of Oscar Selby & Henry Rose, Jasmine Bakhshi & Liz Gahan, Alex Pemberton & Andy Cope, with NPC: Mike Bell, competed against eleven other junior sides - including some U26 teams and many with more international experience.

They struggled in their opening qualifying matches, finishing fifth of the six teams in their group. They bounced back well, however, finishing second in the next group phase to move on to the 5th-8th playoff. They lost their 'semi-final' but an emphatic victory in their final match saw them claim 7th place and improve on their good performance in the 2015 competition.

December issue of English Bridge out now

The December issue of English Bridge has been sent to all eligible members, and is also available to read online for those members who have not accumulated enough magazine points to receive a printed version, those who prefer to read a digital version, or those members who wish to access the ‘web content’ to which the magazine links - the online version also has additional content.

We are aware of an error in the printed version of the magazine on page 16 - the 'Beat the Expert' hands in the right column should be titled East Hands.

For more information on accessing our online magazine archive, please read on...

EBU Awards presented at AGM

At the AGM, which was held in London on Wednesday 23rd November, the EBU were pleased to present awards to a number of members who have dedicated many hours to bridge administration, or to promoting the game, at a national or local level.

A Gold Award - the EBU's highest award - was presented to Andrew Petrie (pictured) for his service on the EBU Board, and most recently to English Bridge Education and Development.

Silver Awards were presented to Mike Christie and Martin Pool. Roger Amey was also given the award and will receive his locally.

A Dimmie Fleming Award - for services to county bridge - was presented to Ron Heath, and will be given at local events to Chris Larlham, Julia Brough and Peggy Griffin. David Anning was also chosen as a recipient, but sadly he passed away in September. His award will be presented to those close to him at a suitable opportunity in the future.

The Tony Priday Award - for making an outstanding contribution to bridge and enhancing the game in all its aspects - was given to Jeff Smith for his work in developing bridge software which he made available free of charge.

The Alec Salisbury Award - an award to the school teacher who has made the most effective contribution to promoting bridge - was presented to Stuart Haring at the recent Middlesex Congress.

In addition, the Diamond Award recipients were announced. This award recognises achievement at the highest levels of bridge, and will be presented to Pat Davies and Bob Rowlands in the near future.

At the Summer Meeting in Eastbourne in August four awards were presented - see here for more information.

Elections for EBU Board and Standing Committees held at AGM

The EBU AGM took place on 23rd November. The following people were elected/re-elected to the EBU Board and Standing Committees:

Board - Elected: Heather Dhondy, Darren Evetts; Not elected: Nicky Bainbridge

Vice-Chairman* - Ian Payn

Selection Committee - Elected (three year term): Alan Mould, Paul Hackett; Elected (one year term): Ollie Burgess; Not elected: David Debbage

Laws & Ethics Committee* - Robin Barker, Frances Hinden, Tim Rees

* - there were not contested elections for these positions.

The Shareholders voted that the Tournament Committee should not continue as a Standing Committee - therefore no vote took place for this committee. There will instead be a sub-sommittee of the Board which will assist and advise the Chief Tournament Director, Gordon Rainsford, and members will be appointed directly to this group.

Young bridge players visit House of Lords

Bridge players from Weald Community Primary School, near Sevenoaks, and from Weydon School in Farnham, Surrey, visited the House of Lords on Tuesday to play bridge with the Peers.

Following a tour of both the House of Commons and House of Lords they played bridge with seven members of the House of Lords. Although both groups had only started bidding recently they acquitted themselves well in their new surroundings - having played minibridge for a few years their card play was particularly good.

During the visit they were visited by Michael Fallon, Secretary of State for Defence and Member of Parliament for the constituency in which Weald CP School is situated. He is pictured addressing the visiting group during a break in the game (you can also read his report on his website). The MP for Weydon School's constituency, Jeremy Hunt, was unable to attend, but sent a message to the visiting group and said he would visit the school's bridge group in the near future.

The visit was organised as a joint activity between the EBU, English Bridge Education and Development and the All Party Paliamentary Group for Bridge. The EBU, EBED and the two schools would like to thank Baroness Henig and all the Peers for making the visit possible.

Tollemache finalists confirmed as holders progress

Qualifying for the Tollemache Cup - the inter-county championships for teams of eight - took place this weekend (19th & 20th November) in Birmingham.

The holders, London, were emphatic winners of group D. They finished 34 VPs ahead of the field, which was very closely packed behind them. Just 5 VPs seperated the next four teams and Somerset narrowly pipped Staffs & Shrops, Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.

Group B was also very tight, with only 12 VPs covering the top four teams. Middlesex and Dorset qualified for the finals, with Cambs & Hunts and Surrey missing out by 1 and 8 VPs respectively.

Berks & Bucks were clear winners of Group A by 29 VPs, and it was a close battle between local rivals for second place. Manchester pipped Lancashire by a single victory point to take the second qualifying place.

The line up for the finals is completed by Oxfordshire and Kent, who qualified from Group C.

The final takes place in Solihull on 11th - 12th February.

Delay in Master Point processing this month

Please be aware that due to a delay this month in the processing of sessions for Universal Membership, there will be an equivalent delay in the processing of Master Points from sessions submitted in October. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes, and appreciate your patience in waiting for them to appear on your account.

England finish 8th in Champions Cup

England's representatives have finished 8th in the Champions Cup in Zagreb. The competition featured the top ten European nations from the European Championships, plus the hosts and defending champions.

England were represented by the winners of the 2015 Premier League - Justin Hackett, Jason Hackett, Alex Hydes, David Mossop & David Price plus Paul Hackett (Colin Simpson was part of the winning team but is unable to participate).

They finished the round robin phase in sixth place, but in the playoffs they lost both matches to finish in eighth.

The competition was won by the Monaco team, with the defending champions - Allegra from Italy - down in fifth.

Nelsons win Pairs, Gisborne team wins Teams at Seniors Congress

Kath Nelson & Alan Nelson (both Manchester) (pictured) won the Championship Pairs at the Seniors Congress this weekend, with the Gisborne team winning the Swiss Teams. The congress took place at Wokefield Park, near Reading, and the new venue proved to be very popular.

Kath & Alan finished the final with 57.12%, with Tom Gisborne & Sandy Davies (both Yorks) second on 56.24%. Mark Westley & Tim Nash (both Herts) were third with 54.48%. This was the third time that Kath & Alan have won the competition, previously winning in 2005 and 2010.

The B final was won by Bob Dowdeswell & Ian Mackinder (both Berks & Bucks) (see picture here). The Swiss Pairs event - for those not reaching the finals or joining the congress on the second day - was won convincingly by James Bond (Berks & Bucks) & Graham Davison (Surrey) (see picture here).

After their second place in the pairs, Tom & Sandy went one better in the Swiss Teams, teaming up Frank Littlewood and David Musson (both Yorks) to take victory (see picture here). They won six of their seven matches to finish on 103 VPs, with the undefeated team of Steve Lee, Liz Hayton, Kevin Colling, & Chrys Poole (all Berks & Bucks) scoring 97 VPs in their seven victories. Graham Sadie, Richard Granville (both Surrey), Richard Chamberlain & Patrick Shields (both Gloucs) were third on 94 VPs.