July 2017

Winter & Teshome win Swiss Pairs at Scarborough

The Scarborough Summer Congress took place this weekend (27th - 30th July), and the three session Swiss Pairs competition was won by Richard Winter & Sarah Teshome (both Yorkshire). They lost only one of their twelve matches and finished 11 VPs clear of the field. Jeffrey Allerton (Surrey) & Philip Wood (Notts) were second, with Georgia Ray & Steve Ray (both North East) a further VP behind.

In Friday's Multiple Teams competition the winners were Paul Darby, Steve Dannell, Mark Hill & Giles Ip (all Norfolk). They finished 2 IMPs ahead of John Atthey (Gloucs), Claire Robinson (London), and 50% of last year's winning team, Tim Prior & Paul Brereton (both Yorkshire). The 'B' final was won by Babs Matthews, John Farmer (both Cumbria), Bill White & Joyce White (both Manchester).

The Pre-Congress Pairs on Thursday was won by Rowena Clow & Claire Robinson (both London).

August issue of English Bridge out now

The August 2017 issue of English Bridge is out now, and a printed version will be delivered to all eligible members in the next few days. The 2017/18 Members' Diary will also be delivered with this issue to those eligible members who have not opted out of receiving one. If you are not eligible to receive a diary, and would like to purchase one, they are available from the Bridge Warehouse.

In response to feedback in the readers' survey there are four new columns starting this month. We hope you enjoy them.

The online version, which contains extra content including quizzes on some of the main articles and a feature on some of the junior initiatives taking place around the country, is available via My EBU (use the 'Magazine' link in the top right corner of the My EBU webpage). More information on accessing and using the online version is available here.

As explained in the last issue, as of this issue the County News in its traditional format is no longer part of the printed version of the magazine, and is instead part of the online version of the magazine. It can also be accessed directly via this link - County News (an archive of these sections is available here).

Updates to the Blue and White Books for 2017 now available

The annual updates to the Blue Book and White Book have been made by the Laws & Ethics Committee. There finalised versions can now be viewed and downloaded.

There is also a summary 'poster' covering the significant changes in the Blue Book. This is available for clubs to print off and make available on their noticeboard, or to distribute to interested members.

Please note that new regulations relating to ‘strong’ bids have replaced the Extended Rule of 25 - see the Blue Book for more details.

The content of these books applies to all events held on or after 1st August 2017.

Young bridge players visit House of Lords

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Bridge welcomed another group of young bridge players to the House of Lords this week. The visit was by players from the Bridge4Schools programme in Berks, Bucks & Oxon, and started with a tour of the Palace of Westminster. They then played bridge with six Peers from the APPG - all of whom were all delighted with the enthusiasm the young players had for the game, and impressed by how well they played.

Many thanks to Baroness Henig and the members of the APPG for hosting the event, and to Joan Bennett for making the arrangements with the schools/parents.

Star Grand Masters - new to the Master Point scheme

A new addition has been made to the Master Point scheme, with Star Grand Master ranks introduced to bridge the gap between the existing ranks of Grand Master and Premier Grand Master.

It was recognised that whilst the requirements for these ranks are appropriate, the gap was too wide without there being interim levels which members could achieve as they strive to reach the highest rank. Star Grand Master was therefore introduced, with the member gaining an extra star for each additional 200 Green Points won. More information is available on the Master Point page of the website.

A list of those who have been promoted due to the introduction of these new ranks is available here.

Landmark promotions in the Master Point scheme are printed in every second issue of English Bridge, and a list of all promotions (sorted by county) can be seen on our website with a new list posted every month.

Forthcoming changes in data protection regulations

Some members may be aware that the new General Data Protection Regulation that comes into force in May of next year is likely to require us to contact all EBU members to ask them to agree to specific uses of the data we hold about them. Clubs and counties will also need to comply with this legislation so they may also need to contact you.

We’ll be in touch with members later in the year with more detailed requests, but before then we would be interested to hear from any members who have been involved with implementing this in a professional capacity, especially for another membership organisation. Please contact gordon@ebu.co.uk if you would be happy to share your experience.

NGS consultation - changes to note, and report now available

The consultation on the National Grading Scheme which took place earlier this year has concluded, and the board has considered the recommendations which were put forward by Gordon Rainsford following his collation and consideration of the responses received from clubs. Gordon's report is available for you to read.

The primary 'headlines' are:

  • The 'exemption' for hosts (and their partner, if they wish) will still be available.
  • 'Exemptions' must be registered with the EBU, via a section of MyEBU on the EBU website, as soon as the host knows they will be playing and wish to be exempt, and in any case no more than 30 minutes after the start of the game. They must also notify us via the scoring submission.
  • Clubs and members are reminded that the 'exemption' must be used appropriately, and the privilege can be removed from any individual club or member if it is misused.
  • Other suggested changes to the NGS were noted, and considered, and some may be revisited in future, but no further changes are to be made at the present time.

Any club which uses, or may in future use, the exemption, is asked to read the report and familiarise itself with the criteria which must be met. The information can also be circulated to anyone who acts as a 'host'.

Two medals and four World Championship places earned at European Youth Championships

England have enjoyed a fantastic European Youth Team Championships, which finished today in Slovakia.

The U26 Women and U21s won bronze medals, and all four teams qualified for next year's World Championships - England being the only country to achieve this. This exceeds the pre-tournament expectations with Alan Shillitoe, NPC of the U26 team calling it, "by far the best all-round performance we have achieved at this level". We echo his "congratulations to all the players who achieved this and thanks to all the coaches, captains and mentors who helped to develop and lead the players".

Under 21 NPC Michael Byrne says:
"I am incredibly proud of my team of 6 players Ben Norton, Sam Behrens, Liam Sanderson, Daniel Winter, Jonathan Clark, Kripa Panchagnula and Bryony Youngs as Coach who showed nothing but true grit and strength of character in the final day to win the Bronze medal.

"They played their hearts out and never gave up even when bad luck and illness threatened to ruin our success. They were all fantastic team players who gave their heart and soul to represent their country, and I am proud to stand alongside them as we collect our medal"

Alan and Michael have been writing blogs which you can read here. Alan has also been taking photographs which you can see here.

Final Position
Under 26s Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts; Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy; Toby Nonnenmacher & Kyle Lam; NPC: Alan Shillitoe; Coach: Jon Cooke (team photo) 6th Link to results
Under 26 Women Alex Birchall & Yvonne Wiseman; Siyu Ren & Ewa Wieczorek; Olivia Bailey & Hanna Tuus; NPC: Sally Brock; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 21s Ben Norton & Sam Behrens; Kripa Panchagnula & Jonathan Clark; Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter; NPC: Michael Byrne; Coach: Bryony Youngs (team photo) 3rd Link to results
Under 16s Oscar Selby & Henry Rose; Liz Gahan & Andy Cope; Alex Pemberton & Theo Anoyrkatis; NPC: Mike Bell; Coach: Sarah Bell 4th
Competition finished on Wednesday - see here
Link to results

U16s finish 4th in European Youth Team Championships

After a fantastic final day, England's U16 team has finished in 4th place in the European Youth Team Championships. England's U16s have now finished 4th on both occasions that the competition has been held.

With three matches to play the team was in 10th place and hoping to capitalise on matches against lower-ranked teams to move into a qualifying place for the 2018 World Championships. A large victory against Denmark, and two maximum scores against Scotland and Ireland, saw them leap up the table to fourth place, securing another great result for the young team, and an invitation to play in China next summer.

The team was: Oscar Selby & Henry Rose; Liz Gahan & Andy Cope; Alex Pemberton & Theo Anoyrkatis; NPC: Mike Bell; Coach: Sarah Bell.