March 2017

England defeated in semi-finals of White House Juniors Internationals

England's juniors have been beaten in the semi-finals of the White House Junior Internationals event taking place in Amsterdam. They lost to Poland, having beaten Norway in the quarter-finals earlier in the day.

The team was Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts, Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy, and NPC: Graham Osborne. The annual competition featured sides from 17 other countries, and England finished the first round in third place in their pool, and then reached the quarter-finals after finishing in sixth in the second round.

My EBU reopens

We have just switched My EBU, the replacement for the old Members Area, back on. There are some features associated with transactions that have not yet been released live: you cannot view your transaction history or past invoices; and you cannot book into competitions online. We hope these will be available within a day or two.

Update - 31st March: We apologise for the delay in re-opening all services - this has been due to delays which were beyond our control. We hope that we will be able to commence with the majority of the outstanding services on Monday morning.

Update - 4th April: We are now able to take competition entries over the telephone, and we hope that online transactions will be available through My EBU tomorrow. Please note that the Competitions Department are working hard to clear the backlog, so if possible please enter online when that re-opens, or call them later this week when they will be less busy.

Update - 7th April: We apologise for the delay in making online competition bookings available through My EBU. We hope that this will be available in the next few days.

Update - 12th April: Online competition bookings are now available through My EBU.

If you are having problems accessing My EBU, and still seeing the message saying the page is unavailable, then perform a 'hard refresh' of the page to clear your cache - this may be shift-F5 or ctrl-F5 depending on your browser.

Members should please note that the clubs have only just gained access too, so any sessions played during the downtime will not have been submitted yet. Please be patient as they work through the backlog.

April issue of English Bridge out now

The April issue of English Bridge is out now, and will be delivered to all eligible members in the next few days. The online version is also available via My EBU - see here for more details on accessing and using the online version.

The online version includes extra quizzes by some of the contributors to test what you learnt in the main articles, extra county news, plus all the content of the printed issue.

Thanks to everyone who completed the survey about the magazine. In the June issue we will report on some of the results and give an update on what changes may be made in future.

Curtis & Fegarty win Portland Pairs

Catherine Curtis & Paul Fegarty have won the Portland Pairs, the national mixed pairs competition which was contested on Sunday 19th March.

It was played across 14 venues, and then scored nationally, with 312 pairs taking part. Catherine & Paul, who played in Stamford, topped the list with 65.30%. Cathy Smith & Andrew Smith, who played in Bristol, were second with 64.96%, and Brian Senior & Sandra Penfold, who played in Darlington, were third with 62.97%.

Bakhshi and Gold runners-up in ACBL's Vanderbilt

David Bakhshi and David Gold, playing with Americans Richard Schwartz and Daniel Korbel, and Norwegians Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist, have finished as runners-up in the Vanderbilt teams, one of the most prestigious competitions on the American bridge calendar. They were defeated by the Nickell team, the members of which have all won the competition between four and seven times.

Learn to teach minibridge

Surrey County Bridge Association are holding sessions in June for those wanting to learn how to teach minibridge.

These 'teach the teacher' lessons will help those who would like to introduce the game to a young audience, and are free to attend.

They will take place on 13th and 17th June in Farnham. Please see the information leaflet for more details and booking information.

Club Stratified Sim Pairs

The Club Stratified Simultaneous Pairs take place this week and you'll be able to find all the results and commentaries at the links below. Results will be finalised and Master Points credited once all the results have been submitted and checked.

Please note that, due to our systems migration, clubs will be unable to submit results after Friday morning. Club scorers are urged to get their submissions in before then or they will have to wait until the following week.

Monday 13th March Commentary Booklet
Tuesday 14th March Commentary Booklet
Wednesday 15th March Commentary Booklet
Thursday 16th March Commentary Booklet

Green & Kent top qualifiers for National Pairs final

The Regional Finals of the National Pairs took place on Sunday, with the top 50 pairs - when the event was scored nationally - progressing to the National Finals.

The top three pairs nationally were: 1st Ben Green & Alistair Kent (who played at the Richmond heat); 2nd - Arthur Hughes & Raphael Grossman (Bradford); 3rd - David Kendrick & Paul Barden (Billericay).

There were also prizes for those with the best score when the event was scored within each region. These were won by:

  • Northern Region - Arthur Hughes & Raphael Grossman (both Yorkshire)
  • Midlands Region - Pat Dowdeswell & Mike Ribbins (both Berks & Bucks)
  • Eastern Region - David Kendrick & Paul Barden (both Cambs & Hunts)
  • South-Eastern Region - Ben Green (London) & Alistair Kent (Staffs & Shrops)
  • South-Western Region - Chris Stevens & Alastair Cowley (both Dorset)

The National Final will take place on 8th - 9th April in Daventry.

New membership software to be introduced this week

We are now almost ready to install our new Membership Management system, Workbooks. This is not an easy transition – it is rather like a heart transplant operation, because this system is at the heart of everything we do for our membership.

The process will commence on Friday 17th March at midday; from that point until we are live we will be able to answer members’ queries but not undertake any updating of records of any description until we open up the new system. This means that the following transactions will be suspended:-

  • The submission of any session result files from any source from club, county or licenced event. As a result NGS grades will not be updated until the submission portal (My EBU) is reopened; this will be sooner than the system in general and may be quite fast, with just a day or two when it will not be possible, plus the weekend, of course. There will be no loss of data either for NGS or master points, merely a delay in updating them.
  • We will be unable to accept bookings in the normal way for any EBU events throughout this period but will be happy to record your booking requirements if you call the office for processing once the system becomes available.
  • We will not be able to undertake any membership data or financial updates until the process is complete, except for playing submissions, once switched on.

The key submission routes will be switched off when they are not available so that they cannot be accepted.

This migration will be a difficult time for all at the EBU office. Once we have agreed the migration of data and reopened for “business”, we will be working with a new system that is much less familiar to all than the one we have used for more than ten years, and thus we will be slower to process many things.

Our limited resources will be at full stretch and I hope that all of our members will exercise patience throughout this process so that we can get it done with the minimum of external pressure. We're confident that in the long run the new system will be a tremendous improvement to our administrative capabilities.

A message will be emailed to all known “submitters” in the hope that we inform all parties that may be affected. We would be grateful if clubs could bring this to the attention of their members so that they are particularly aware that NGS grades will not be updated until after we reopen.

What will change? The transition shouldn't affect many members, and most will not even notice anything different. One notable change is that we will finally be getting rid of the old Members Area, and replacing it fully with My EBU, which has been beta tested for almost two years now. At the same time, we will be releasing the last few features to My EBU which have been waiting until the launch of the new system:

  • Events bookings will be available to members.
  • Club scorers will be able to submit session files.
  • Clubs will be able to add members to their membership lists, and create new membership records.
  • KO events created using EBUKnockout will be able to be finalised.

The EBU Shop will remain open for business, both online and by telephone, so please feel free to keep shopping!

If there are any changes to this planned schedule, we will advise all parties.

Barry Capal
General Manager

February 2017

Westminster School wins Schools Cup at Young Bridge Challenge

The Young Bridge Challenge took place in Loughborough on Saturday 4th March with young players from over 20 schools enjoying an afternoon of bridge and minibridge competitions.

The bridge teams started with a Swiss Teams, after which the top teams representing a single school went on to a knockout phase to contest the Schools Cup. This was won by Liam Sanderson, Theo Gillis, Oscar Selby & Carlos Lapuerta of Westminster School (pictured). They beat the team of Rodger Ren, Nick Heymann, Joe Benton & Max Fleming from St Pauls School in the final. The Dragon School in Oxford beat Eton College in the third place playoff.

The remaining teams continued the Swiss Teams competition. The top finishers were the team of Alex Pemberton, Andy Cope, Megan Jones & Imogen La Chapelle and they won the Harry Scully Trophy. The Schools Plate - for the highest finishing team from one school - went to James Zhang, Roman Evans, Quentin Guerolt & Harry Armitage of St Pauls School, after they finished in third place.

The winners in the minibridge competition were Martha Davey & Henry Edwards of Worcester BC and Joshua Smith & Rohan Sehgal of Loughborough Grammar School.

The event was organised by English Bridge Education and Development. Thank you from all involved to Loughborough Grammar School for hosting the event.