December 2017

U16s start preparations for 2018 World Championships

The England U16 squad has started its build up for the 2018 World Youth Team Championships, and a few weeks ago got together in London for a training weekend.

Squad leader Giorgio Provenza has written the first in a series of blogs which will keep you updated as the squad continues its preparations ahead of its trip to China in August. Click 'read more' below to see it.

Thanks to No Fear Bridge for their support of the U16s through the donation of free membership to their website to all the squad and coaches.

As noted in this article, we'd be delighted to hear from any members who would like to support the teams in any way - please don't hesitate to contact us.

Penfold team wins Teltscher Trophy trials

The trials to represent England in the Teltscher Trophy have been won by the team of Sandra Penfold & Norman Selway and Tony Forrester & David Kendrick.

In a dramatic finish to the event, the Penfold team played the undefeated team of Sandy Davies & Tom Gisborne and Dave Robinson & Warner Solomon in the final round, with the two teams separated at the top by just 2VPs (the Penfold team having the edge by virtue of larger winning margins in the earlier matches). The match ended in a tie, and the Penfold team were victorious overall.

The Teltscher Trophy - the Senior Camrose competition - will take place in Wales on 19th - 20th May 2018.

England's Women competing in China - three silvers for Sally Brock

The members of England's Women team have been competing in China in the 2nd IMSA Elite Mind Games. The competition featured four of the world's leading teams, and Fiona Brown & Sally Brock, Catherine Draper & Nevena Senior, and Lizzie Godfrey & Nicola Smith were invited to play following the team's medal winning performance in the 2017 Venice Cup.

In the opening teams competition, England were beaten in the final by Sweden.

In the Pairs competition, Sally & Fiona finished 2nd, Nevena & Catherine were 4th, and Nicola & Lizzie came 7th.

In the individual competition, Sally completed a hat-trick of silver medals. She was the only English player to finish in the top half of the field.

Mixed results for England Juniors in Channel Trophy

England's Junior teams' preparation for the 2018 World Youth Team Championships continued this weekend when they participated in the Channel Trophy near Brussels. The competition included the hosts, Belgium, and perennial powerhouses France and the Netherlands.

The U21s and U26 Women's teams both did well, finishing in second place - the Women beat eventual winners France in both matches, and the U21s split their matches with the winning French team. The U26 team finished in fourth place, but remained competitive throughout - a win in the final match against Belgium deprived the hosts of victory.

The teams were:
U21: Liam Sanderson & Daniel Winter ; Kripa Panchagnula & Harry Madden ; Sam Anoyrkatis & Theo Anoyrkatis; NPC: Michael Byrne
U26 Women: Yvonne Wiseman & Alexandra Birchall ; Siyu Ren & Laura Covill ; Ewa Wieczorek & Olivia Bailey; NPC: Giorgio Provenza
U26: Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy; Toby Nonnenmacher & Kyle Lam; Shahzaad Natt & Ben Norton ; NPC: Paul Barden

Junior fundraising rolls out

Fundraising to send our four Junior Teams (U26; U26 Women; U21; U16) to the World Youth Teams Championships next year has begun in earnest.

EBU Vice-Chairman Ian Payn has taken responsibility for the campaign after the resignation of Darren Evetts from the EBU Board. He will be supported by the Chairman of the Selection Committee, Gillian Fawcett, Squad Leaders, players themselves and their parents, in his endeavours to engage counties clubs and individuals in raising funds for this worthwhile cause.

County Chairmen have already been written to, and the response so far has been encouraging (Sussex having already raised funds well before the letters even went out), and we have also received a very generous donation from the Worshipful Company of Playing Card Makers.

This campaign has only two rules:

  • 1. No contribution is too small. We are grateful for any effort.
  • 2. No hard sell: this is an entirely voluntary affair.

There is very exciting news on the major sponsor front, as well. Squad Leader for the Women’s U26 Sally Brock has managed to acquire a massive £10,000 donation from Touchlight to fund travel and, crucially, training for the U26 Women’s team. We are incredibly grateful to them.

"Touchlight is delighted to support the Under 26 Women’s Bridge team and look forward to seeing their progress throughout 2018.
Touchlight was established on the conviction that our ever-increasing understanding of DNA would lead to its emergence as a material of the future. As such we have developed, patented, scaled and evidenced a revolutionary enzymatic platform to enable the new generation of DNA-based products."

But it’s not all about big packages – we want everyone who wants to, to feel a part of this, to feel they’re encouraging the future of the game.

Update: Thanks to No Fear Bridge for their support of the U16s through the donation of free membership to their website to all the squad and coaches.

If you want some ideas or further information please e-mail Ian Payn ( or Peter Stockdale (

Teshome team wins Silver Plate

The Silver Plate - the consolation event of the Gold Cup - has been won by the team of Sarah Teshome, Tony McNiff, Richard Winter and Bill Townsend (with Tom Cohen who played in an early round).

They beat the team of Nick Stevens, Colin Dean, David Kenward and Gareth Roberts by 14 IMPs in the final.

Give our online games a try over Christmas

Christmas is a great time to try our online games with Funbridge.

As well as the usual games we have on Saturdays and Sundays there are also two extra games on Boxing Day and on New Year's Day. You can choose to play in a game scored by match points, or by IMPs, or in both. As you partner one of Funbridge's 'robots', and play against two other robots, you can play at any time between midnight and 10pm, and you can stop and restart as often as you want. It's ideal for the gaps between games of charades or while waiting for the sprouts to boil.

Acol is one of the bidding systems available for you to choose, and you can set which conventions and carding methods you and your robotic partner play.

The games cost €2 (when bought through the Funbridge website - by charging in Euros we can charge less than £2), and Master Points can be won. There is also a monthly competition with cash prizes. The games are open to everyone.

We hope you will take part. Please see the FAQ for more details on the games and for information on how to play.