Tournament Focus: Winter 2011

Simultaneous pairs

by Sally Bugden

Those of you who can remember when we first launched proposals on universal membership (was it really four years ago?) will recall that the platform for this policy was to enhance and revitalize bridge playing in our affiliated clubs. The EBU is a not for profit organization that ploughs any surplus it makes back into members services and the development of the game. We also made a commitment to streamline administration. Since implementation of universal membership back in April 2010 we have been looking at the ways in which we can achieve those commitments we made to you. The development of our own simultaneous pairs software forms part of this pledge.


It has now been confirmed that when we start running the Sims events from April next year our per player fee for members of our affiliated clubs will be reduced from the current level of £3 per player to £2.50. This will cover provision of commentary booklets electronically, thus saving us all a lot of expense, especially as the Royal Mail are increasing postage rates quite substantially very soon. We will continue to provide paper booklets for those clubs that prefer to get them that way and the cost will be £8 per pack of 20.


Simply, the new software means an easily accessible service with more opportunities to play. It will also enable us to offer a modest reduction in entry fees*, which can be reduced further through the use of online commentaries and hand records. So in the first year of operation beginning in April 2012 the EBU will offer 17 days of its EBU Sims as follows, with the opportunity for sessions to be run in the morning, afternoon or evening** as follows:

  • Spring EBU Sims (May) 5 days
  • Autumn EBU Sims (September) 5 days
  • Stratified EBU Sims (March) 5 days
  • International EBU Sims also known as Bridge England Sims (February) 2 days

Our British Sims – the replacement for the BGB Sims which we hope the WBU and SBU will take part in – will run for a total of twenty days with morning, afternoon and evening sessions** as follows:

  • 5 days Spring
  • 5 days Summer
  • 5 days Autumn
  • 5 days Winter

There will be enhanced master point awards on offer for both EBU and British Sims and all events can be stratified, thus making them attractive to novice and experienced players alike.


The technology will be simple, with the process of uploading to the new ‘Sims Results’ section of our website operating on the principles of uploading pay-to-play club files. We will also be able to offer bespoke simultaneous pairs events for groups of clubs who may wish to compete against each other, or within counties. These events will be available at any time for you to fit into your club playing calendar.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Anna Gudge and Mark Newton of ECATs, a commercial company, for providing us with an excellent service over the years. They will continue to run our events up to April 2012. From that date onwards, as far as we are aware, ECATs will still run their Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs, the World Bridge Federation and European Bridge League Simultaneous Pairs and the Kidney Research event.


We will be providing further information about our simultaneous events over the coming months in English Bridge and on the website. If you have any questions, please contact Krys Kazmierczak (, who is part of the team ensuring that we represent the best interests of our members by using our own technical and event-running expertise to provide the improved services.

*The Stratified EBU Sims entry fee of £2 will remain unchanged.
**Conditions will be put in place to ensure that individual
members only play in one simultaneous pairs session per day.