October 2017

Richard Page wins October Funbridge Ladder Competition

The winner of our first official* Funbridge Ladder Competition is Richard Page. The competition takes the four best scores achieved by each particpant in our online games during the month, and Richard achieved an average of 64.87% from his best results. Idar Lyngen, a non-EBU member, had the second highest average with 64.25%. The second and third prizes therefore go to the third- and fourth-placed finishers - Matthew Covill with 63.81% and Howard Jennings with 63.42%.

The winners receive a cash prize, and a copy of the GOTO Bridge software, kindly donated by Funbridge.

A new ladder competition will take place in November. Our games on Funbridge take place each Saturday and Sunday. You can play at any time during the day, stopping and restarting as often as necessary. Each game costs just €2, and Master Points can be won.

For more details on playing in our online games on Funbridge, please see this FAQ page.

* - we ran an unofficial competition, with no cash prizes, in September.

Patterson & Mason head list of winners at Really Easy Weekend

The Autumn Really Easy Weekend has taken place just outside Warwick.

The main competition of the weekend, the Swiss Pairs, was won by Winston Patterson & Peter Mason, with Roma Smith & Pearl Evans in second and Tricia Berry & John Berry in third.

The other winners across the weekend were: Anna Collett & Michelle Cox; Allan Wright-Harding & Barbara Jordan; Linda Rafferty & Janet Ward; Margaret Ackroyd & David Ackroyd; and Jocelyn Binks & Steve Binks

The next Really Easy Weekend, aimed at less experienced players, takes place in Wroxton, near Banbury, in April 2018.

Edwards team wins Gerard Faulkner Salver

The final of the 2016/17 Gerard Faulkner Salver took place on Sunday, and was won by the team of Tony McNiff, Bill Townsend, Dave Robinson, Richard Edwards (capt) & Robert Ross (pictured) - Robin Jepson also played for the team in an earlier round.

They beat Dee Lindon, Peter Lindon, Ed Scerri and Steve Eginton by just 12 IMPs in the 48 board final. The Lindon team lead by 26 IMPs after 16 boards, but the Edwards team won each of the last four sets to edge in front by the end.

New TD Forum available

In response to requests, we have established a TD forum where you can ask questions and discuss matters of interest. It is open to everyone - not just restricted to qualified TDs - and anyone needing help with any matter relating to the Laws can use it.

Since the Laws of Duplicate Bridge 2017 have fairly recently come into effect, we anticipate that there may be a number of questions that TDs will have that more experienced colleagues may be able to help with.

The forum is available at: https://www.ebu.co.uk/forum

Update: A sub-forum for those wishing to ask questions about scoring has been added.

West Midlands BC wins NICKO Plate

The Plate competition in the National Interclub Knockout for 2016/17 has been won by West Midlands A.

The team of Pip Whitehouse, Gordon Clark, Peter Oldbury & Roger Flood beat Young Chelsea G (John Dean, Trevor Mathews, Laura Covill & Nicholas Dean – David Muller and Bill Pencharz played one match each earlier in the competition) in the final.

Gordon Clark has written a report including two deals from the match which you can see by clicking 'read more'.

Bridge not a sport for VAT purposes says EU court

The EBU has learned that the European Court of Justice has today overturned a recommendation from its Advocate General, and has ruled that bridge should not be considered a sport for VAT purposes.

This decision comes as both a surprise, and a disappointment, as we had welcomed the earlier recommendation made by Advocate General that bridge should considered a sport for this purpose. A positive ruling by the court would have both made participation in bridge competitions cheaper, and would have provided a rebate to the EBU which it could invest in bringing bridge – and the enjoyment and health benefits which participation offers – to a wider audience.

The Court did, however, leave open the opportunity for individual states to exempt bridge from VAT by recognising it as a ‘cultural service’. We are pleased by the court’s suggestion, and welcome the possibility that bridge activities may yet be exempted from VAT, however we have not yet considered the implications of the suggestion.

We would like to give our thanks to David Ewart and our legal team for their work throughout these legal proceedings.

New Junior Squad Leaders appointed

We are pleased to announce the appointment of two new Junior Squad Leaders.

Giorgio Provenza will be leading the U16 squad, assisted by Alan Shillitoe, and Harry Anoyrkatis is the new leader of the U26 squad, with Paul Barden acting as Team Manager. You can read their biographies, and those of a number of the young players, on the squad page. Michael Byrne continues as leader of the U21 squad, and Sally Brock, with Bryony Youngs, continues to lead the U26 Women.

All the junior teams are preparing for the World Championships in China next summer. All four teams qualified at the 2017 European Youth Team Championships where England was the only country to achieve this feat. If you are interested in sponsoring the teams' participation in the competition, please see here for more information.

Dhondy & Kendrick win Two Stars Pairs

The Two Stars Pairs - the primary event at the Autumn Congress - has been won by Jeremy Dhondy & David Kendrick though only after a tie-breaker. Ian Pagan & Catherine Seale finished the final on the same percentage score, but Jeremy & David took the title by virtue of a better score in the head-to-head match. Waseem Naqvi & Tony Waterlow were third. The leading Junior pair were Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy, who finished 11th, and the leading non-expert pair were Niall Igoe & Susan Johnson who finished in 17th.

The Satellite Pairs - the 'B final' for the Two Stars Pairs - was won by Graham Sadie & Richard Granville with Tom Dessain & Tugrul Kaban in second.

The Two Stars Pairs was the second event in which points were scored in the 2017-18 Player of the Year Competition. The victory puts Jeremy & David in 13th= place.

Alongside the Two Star Pairs were two one-day events. A Swiss Pairs, for the Lewis Levy Cup, was won by Robert Elliott & John Sutcliffe (picture). In an exciting finish, they beat Nathalie Shashou & Nick Sandqvist in the final match, to jump above their opponents by a single VP.

A Really Easy Afternoon, for less experienced players, was won by Stephen Mattinson & Lynda Mattinson, who played at the Reading heat. Beryl Manners & Margaret Tree, who played at the Lymington heat, finished second, with the prize for the leading B stratification pair going to Tim Macaire & Dee Jones (who also played at Lymington).

The teams competition featured a qualifying round followed by three finals. The 'A' final, for the Eastbourne Bowl, was won by the team of Gunnar Hallberg, Andrew Black, Phil King & Andrew McIntosh (picture) with the Shashou team in second. Jeremy Dhondy & David Kendrick completed a good weekend by teaming up with Patrick Collins & Bill Hirst to win the 'B' final, for the Burlington Cup (picture). The 'C' final, for the Sussex Cup, was won by Sandra Nicholson, Krys Kazmierczak, Rita Todd & Liza Furnival (picture).

England's Women finish 6th in China; Brown/Brock 2nd in pairs

The England Women's teams has competed in the 2017 Beijing Hua Yuan Cup Elite Bridge Tournament.

In the opening pairs tournament, featuring 24 pairs, Fiona Brown & Sally Brock finished second, Lizzie Godfrey & Nevena Senior were fourth, and Catherine Draper & Nicola Smith were twelfth.

In the teams competition which followed they finished sixth of the eight teams. Scotland finished seventh, with the USA winning by a large margin.