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Monday, 23 May 2011

Seniors Camrose, Oxford

The 2011 Seniors Camrose will be taking place from Frday 27 until Sunday 29 May 2011. The matches can be seen on BBO over the weekend.
England and Great Britain teams
Further information
Download BBO

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Tournament Focus - Summer 2011

The new issue of Tournament Focus, written especially for our tournament player, is now available to read on-line
In each issue, we hope to provide you with information on our future events, updates from the Tournament Committee, and articles of interest to our many tournament players.
Read here

Monday, 29 March 2010

Conditions of Contest for Club Events

Early Notice Warning - Change of conditions of contest for NICKO and Garden Cities for season 2011/12

At the recent meeting of the Tournament Committee, it was resolved that from the above date the qualification of players for a club team entering the NICKO or the Regional/National stages of the Garden Cities, will require a specific number of duplicate sessions to have been played at the club they wish to represent during the previous year.

The precise number of qualifying plays is yet to be determined (although a figure of 12 was discussed) but we want to give as much notice as possible to potential participants as regards the new condition, so that they consider how they can undertake qualification for the following season. The actual number of plays will be determined when we have sufficient data from club P2P results to indicate a sensible value and this will be communicated as soon as possible after this.

Andrew Petrie
Chairman EBU Tournament Committee

Monday, 16 February 2009

Crediting Master Points for Knockout Events

As many of you will have seen from the letters page of the February edition of English Bridge, the Committee has been examining ways of crediting points earned in national knockout events before the completion of the event. In an ideal world, points would be credited after each round but this would, currently, involve considerable extra work at Aylesbury, both in the actual crediting and in the manual maintenance of cumulative information for the purposes of the Gold Point scheme. Consequently, we have had to ensure that the timing of credits puts all members on an equal footing for the annual master points competition.

To this end we will run a pilot scheme in 2009 which will have as its principle the crediting of points earned in KO events after teams have been eliminated from a competition. However, points for events started in 2008 earned by teams eliminated in 2008 will not be credited until February 2009. Thereafter they will be credited on completion of each round for the teams eliminated in that round.

Assuming the pilot is successful, it is the Committee’s intention to adopt this process in future years.

During the course of our review of the current procedures it became apparent that considerable unnecessary work was created at Aylesbury by the inability of some team captains to provide accurate and complete information on their teams, particularly EBU numbers. We would, therefore, request that next season captains exercise the same degree of care to the provision of this information as they expect from Aylesbury in the handling of their entries.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

October 2008 TC Meeting

Having just been elected chairman of the Tournament Committee and chaired my first meeting, I thought it would be a very good time to write my first blog. It’s an opportunity to introduce myself to people who don’t know me and to talk about some of the issues that we are considering.

First something about me. I have been playing in EBU competitions since I was at University. I have had tremendous enjoyment from these events over the years and I am a very big fan of the EBU’s Tournament Programme and the people who make it all happen — the Competitions department at Aylesbury and the tournament directors at the event.

However just because something is very good doesn’t mean it should remain static — anything that never changes is almost always eventually doomed. So one of the main jobs of the Tournament Committee is to constantly review our programme of events to ensure it evolves to meet the changing needs of the members. For instance in the 1970’s the EBU’s programme consisted of Crockford’s, Hubert Philips, National Pairs and a couple of Congresses — I don’t think people would appreciate that now as a Tournament programme. Although we feel we have a pretty good understanding of what members want there is always a danger in basing decisions on the views of a small group of people. We have therefore decided to embark on three projects to help us ensure we meet the needs of all our members:

  1. We will conduct an extensive online survey of members to find out what they want from the EBU’s Competition programme in terms of things like format, venue, location, timings, cost, etc. We are expecting this to take place in the first quarter of 2009, so when it’s launched please, please complete a questionnaire and make sure we have your views.
  2. Another big challenge facing the Tournament Committee is the introduction of Universal Membership in April 2010. This is expected to bring to the EBU about 20000 new members. Working with the Club Committee we hope to introduce a number of new events aimed particularly at the typical club player.
  3. To try and improve the flow of communication we are going to produce a blog and an electronic newsletter, certainly after each Tournament Committee meeting and hopefully more often. This will keep members up to speed with what’s under discussion and what’s planned for the future and give you the opportunity to make your views known.

I can assure you that the Tournament Committee is a mixture of people with different but complementary skills and experience. They are all wedded to these three objectives and all keen to hear from new and old members alike on how best to move forward.

As with most things in life there is an ebb and flow to most events and not all of them are successful. The EBU has an absolute duty in making decisions to consider the best interests of the membership as a whole and in general we consider subsidising failing events does not meet this duty. Our strategy for dealing with these events is to firstly put them on our “at risk list”, so that they can receive particular discussion and consideration. We then come up with changes that we think might rejuvenate them (eg venue, location, format). If all this attention doesn’t bring a significant improvement then normally they would be discontinued. We never lightly decide to discontinue an event because we recognise it always disappoints a number of players who particularly like the event. The two current events on our at risk list are the Northern Easter Congress and the Great Northern Swiss Pairs.

One change that we expect to be fairly controversial is the move of the Autumn Congress from Bournemouth to Birmingham in 2009. We have decided to do this for a number of reasons:

  1. It’s a much more central venue bringing easier access to players in the North and the South-West.
  2. We have quite a number of Congresses on the South Coast but none at all in the West Midlands.
  3. We have had a number of requests to hold an event at a prestigious hotel — this meets that request.

If this change doesn’t personally suit you then we do apologise but hope you can accept as valid the reasons given above.

Two other decisions we expect to be less controversial are:

  1. Provided Crockford’s Plate can be arranged to have 8 teams left at the same time as the main event, then these 8 teams will play a final alongside the main event.
  2. During 2009 we will stop issuing EBU vouchers as prizes and move to direct credit of prize money to an individual’s personal EBU account.

At our next meeting in March we will be particularly discussing EBU KO events (Crockford’s, Gerard Faulkner Salver, Hubert Phillips, NICKO) and the National Women’s Teams. We would be very keen to have your views on either or both of these issues. If you do want to comment on these or indeed any other aspect of the EBU’s competition programme then please send an e-mail to tcfeedback@ebu.co.uk. I can’t guarantee that every e-mail will get an individual response but I can guarantee that every opinion will be read and taken into account when the issue is discussed by the Tournament Committee.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Eastbourne Seniors Congress 2009

As a result of the strength of feeling shown at Eastbourne over the proposal to combine the Southern and Northern Summer Seniors Congresses and to relocate to Birmingham, the Tournament Committee has reversed its decision and confirms that the Summer Seniors Congress will continue to be held at Eastbourne. The 2009 Congress will take place from 10 to 12 July. Please note that this is 1 week later than the date proposed for Birmingham. In view of the poor support for the Northern Congress this year, the viability of that event will be reviewed by the Committee at its next meeting but no such event will be held in 2009.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Recent Committee Decisions

In this blog I will report on decisions taken by the Committee at its recent meeting.

Firstly, the revised arrangements for the Ranked Masters were confirmed whereby green point awards will be given for matches won as well as for the top half of the final ranking list. These points will be decimalised so that victory in 2 board matches will earn an award, probably 0.1. Full details will be published as soon as they have been finalised. This is an experiment and, if successful, could be extended to other pairs events, provided they are scored by imps rather than match points. All the ranked master sections will continue to be butler scored. Additionally, as previously announced, the Committee has agreed to relax the regulations in the top categories to allow a player qualified for a particular rank to play with a partner of the rank immediately below. (i.e. a Premier Grand Master can play with a Grand Master in the Premier Grand Masters Pairs; a Grand Master with a Premier Life in the Grand Masters Pairs; and a Premier Life Master with a Life Master in the Premier Life Masters Pairs.)

Next, the Northern Easter Congress will be held at the Palace Hotel in Buxton. I expect many of you will remember it fondly from the BBL congresses held there. I understand that it has been refurbished and is now part of the Barcelo group, to which the Hinckley and Daventry hotels also belong. I’m afraid that single occupancy is expensive but I understand that there is plenty of cheaper accommodation nearby.

Finally, the Great Northern Swiss Pairs will be butler scored, and it and the Championship Pairs at the London Easter Festival, will be stratified. This means that while the event will be open to all (i.e. it will not be flighted) there will be green points and prizes for 3 categories of players, the top category containing at least one life master or above, the second category for pairs containing no Life Master or above, and the third category containing no Regional Master or above.

Copyright © English Bridge Union 2008

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