REPORT NO.17

LADY MILNE and TELTSCHER TROPHY TRIALS

Applications are invited from Pairs wishing to compete in the above trials.

LADY MILNE

The Lady Milne Trophy (Ladies Home International) will take place in La Mon, Belfast, on the weekend of  15/16/17 April 2016. Wales are the current holders of the Lady Milne, having triumphed in April 2015 when the event was held in Birmingham.

The trial to help select the Wales team for the 2016 event will be held on the weekend of 23/24 January in The Commodore Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

Both members of the partnership must be WBU members and eligible to represent Wales in this event. The winning pair in the trial will be guaranteed selection for the Lady Milne. The other two pairs will be chosen by the selectors, with the trial result being one factor taken into account.

Applications to compete in the Lady Milne trial should be made to Linda Greenland: ladgreenland@gmail.com

Players wishing to discuss any aspect of the trial should also contact Linda.

Closing date for entries is  Friday 18 December. 

TELTSCHER TROPHY

The Teltscher Trophy (‘Senior Camrose’) will be held in Scotland next year, on the weekend of 20/21/22 May.

The trial to help select the Wales team will be held on the weekend of 6/7 February, likewise in The Commodore Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

Both members of the partnership must be WBU members and eligible to represent Wales in this event (60 or over in the year of competition). The pair winning the trial will be guaranteed selection for the Teltscher Trophy. The other two pairs will be chosen by the selectors, with the trial result taken into account.

Applications to compete in this trial should be made to Gwynn Davis: gwynndavis@btinternet.com  You may also contact him to discuss any aspect of the trial.

Closing date for entries for this trial is also Friday 18 December.

GENERAL

There is no entry fee for either trial, but table money will be charged at the rate of £40 per player for each weekend.

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast is available at The Commodore at a cost of £55 (please ensure you mention that you are competing in a WBU event when making your booking). Light refreshments will be provided on both days of each trial. The cost of this is included in your table money.

GD

REPORT NO.16

CAMROSE SELECTION

Following the conclusion of the Premier League, the following teams have been selected to represent Wales in the upcoming Camrose  (home international) series. [There has been a change to the Wales team originally announced, one player having declined his invitation.]

Note that Wales is permitted two teams this year – a Wales team and a WBU team – because we are the hosts for the second weekend.

Premier League results can be found via the Results link on the Home Page. The appeal that was pending has now been heard (director’s decision upheld), so these are the final results.

WEEKEND 8/9/10 JANUARY

WALES

Paul Denning/Adrian Thomas

Richard Plackett/Mike Pownall

Simon Richards/Julian Pottage

NPC: Alan Stephenson

WBU

Tim Rees/Gary Jones

John Salisbury/Mike Tedd

Bob Pitts/Barry Jones

NPC: Patrick Jourdain

WEEKEND 4/5/6 MARCH

WALES

Paul Denning/Adrian Thomas

Richard Plackett/Mike Pownall

Simon Richards/Julian Pottage

NPC: Alan Stephenson

WBU

Tim Rees/Gary Jones

John Salisbury/Mike Tedd

Patrick Jourdain/Tony Ratcliff

 

GD

REPORT No. 15

PREMIER LEAGUE [5]

I have been advised that there will be no re-draw for the second weekend. The order of matches will therefore be as for the first weekend, but with seating rights reversed.

Timings are also unaltered, so we resume at 11.30am on Saturday.

GD

 

 

 

REPORT NO.14

PREMIER LEAGUE [4]

The first of two Premier League weekends has now been held, and the position is delicately poised, at least as far as the leading teams are concerned. Results can be found via the RESULTS link on the WBU Home Page.

Thanks to Sarah Amos for her usual impeccable directing, and to Neville Richards for organising the venue, tables, and boards. Battle resumes on 31st October (same venue; same start time). Mike and Sarah Amos will make a new draw for the order of matches, which will be published as soon as I have it. Seating rights will be reversed from the first weekend.

For most of us there were missed opportunities aplenty. Here are four potential slam hands from matches 5, 6 and 7 on the Sunday.

Match 5. Board 2. East deals. N/S vul.

                                                                   ♠1075

                                                                   ♥void

                                                                  ♦A54

                                                                  ♣KJ97632

                                ♠K82                                                      void

                                ♥43                                                         J97652

                               ♦K1098632                                             Q7

                               ♣8                                                           AQ1054

                                                                  ♠AQJ9643

                                                                  ♥AKQ108

                                                                  ♦J

                                                                  ♣void

At our table N/S had to cope with an opening 2H from East, following which: X – 5C – 5S – 6S. Not exactly cast iron. In fact slam was bid at five of the eight tables, four times making. One of those contracts was doubled, and since at the other table in that match 6S went down, that was an 18 IMP swing. 13 IMPs changed hands in the match where slam was bid at one table but not the other.

Match 6. Board 16. West deals. E/W vul.

                                                                ♠52

                                                                ♥J

                                                                ♦K965

                                                                ♣Q10643

                              ♠A4                                                  KQ10873

                              ♥KQ98753                                       A6

                             ♦A82                                                QJ74

                             ♣5                                                     J

                                                            ♠J96

                                                           ♥1042

                                                          ♦103

                                                          ♣K9872

At our table E/W had to cope with vigorous pre-emption in clubs by N/S, and whilst we bid to 5H in competition, slam was never in the picture. Only one E/W pair bid the excellent 6H, gaining 13 IMPs for their team. Well done to them.

Match 6. Board 28. West deals. N/S vul.

                                                               ♠6

                                                               ♥A7532

                                                               ♦984

                                                               ♣10642

                            ♠J85                                                     AK43

                      ♥6                                                        98

                            ♦J753                                                   AKQ1062

                            ♣AKJ53                                               Q

                                                             ♠Q10972

                                                             ♥KQJ104

                                                             ♦void

                                                             ♣987

At our table West passed initially and East opened 1D. South bid 2D (Michaels, for the majors) and much now depends on how West values (and describes) her hand in response. 2S or 4H are both possible, depending on methods. As can be seen, 6D is an excellent contract, but only one pair managed to bid it, gaining 11 IMPs for their team. Well done to them. Six E/W pairs played in game, and one didn’t make it that far.

Match 7. Board 41. North deals. E/W vul.

                                                             ♠8754

                                                             ♥KQ

                                                            ♦1096

                                                           ♣J872

                       ♠A10                                                KJ963

                      ♥J432                                                A76

                 ♦AJ4                                                 KQ87

                     ♣AKQ9                                             5

                                                           ♠Q2

                                                          ♥10985

                                                          ♦532

                                                         ♣10643

E/W have a combined 32 count so slam is clearly an option. Given a heart lead, 12 tricks in 6NT depends on taking the right view in spades, so you wouldn’t mind not being in that. Five pairs explored before deciding that slam was not for them, whilst three went the whole hog. The two pairs who bid to 6NT both went down, presumably following a heart lead and mis-guess in spades, whilst the pair who bid to 6S (the best spot, cold even on a heart lead and spade mis-guess) duly made their contract. So that was 12 or 13 IMPs in or out in three matches, depending on what views were taken.

On we go.

GD

REPORT NO. 13

PREMIER LEAGUE [3]

Team captains will by now have received the Conditions of Contest from Paul via email.  A few points to emphasise:

Screens

Screens will be in use at all tables. It is important that everyone observes the screen protocols. All questions and answers should be conveyed in writing.

Brown sticker conventions

These have to be notified in advance, and a suggested defence supplied.

Director

Sarah Amos

Table money

£40 per player, per weekend

Start and finish times

Start on Saturday: 11.30; finishing approx 20.15

Start on Sunday: 10.30; finishing approx 17.10

Refreshments

There will be a refreshment break after match 1 on the Saturday (from 13.25 to 14.10) and after match 2 on the Sunday (from 14.30 to 15.15). The cost of this is included in your table money.

Seating rights

For each head to head match one of the two teams  is designated the Home team and will take its position after the seating arrangements of the Away team are known. Seating rights will be reversed on the second weekend.

Timings

Each match comprises 14 boards. There will be four matches on Saturday; three on Sunday. The time allowed for each match is 1 hour and 55 minutes. There are penalties for lateness, whether in arriving at the table or in completing the match. These penalties will be strictly enforced.

The draw

A random draw has been made by Mike and Sarah Amos, and is as follows, with seating rights indicated for the first weekend:

TEDD v Stevenson (A) Kurbalija (A) Plackett (H) Milewski (H)

Pitts (H) Davis (A) Screen (A)

KURBALIJA v Milewski (A) Tedd (H) Stevenson (H) Screen (H)

Davis (H) Plackett (A) Pitts (A)

PLACKETT v Screen (A) Milewski (H) Tedd (A) Pitts (H)

Stevenson (A) Kurbalija (H) Davis (A)

DAVIS v Pitts (A) Screen (H) Milewski (A) Stevenson (H)

Kurbalija (A) Tedd (H) Plackett (H)

PITTS v Davis (H) Stevenson (A) Screen (A) Plackett (A)

Tedd (A) Milewski (H) Kurbalija (H)

SCREEN v Plackett (H) Davis (A) Pitts (H) Kurbalija (A)

Milewski (A) Stevenson (H) Tedd (H)

MILEWSKI v Kurbalija (H) Plackett (A) Davis (H) Tedd (A)

Screen (H) Pitts (A) Stevenson (A)

STEVENSON v Tedd (H) Pitts (H) Kurbalija (A) Davis (A)

Plackett (H) Screen (A) Milewski (H)

GD

REPORT NO.12

2015 PREMIER LEAGUE [2]

The following teams will contest this season’s Premier League, to be held in The Commodore Hotel, Llandrindod Wells on the weekends of 17/18 October and 31 October/1 November.

DAVIS                (G. Davis/S. Ingham/G. Evans/D. Birt)

KURBALIJA    (F.Kurbalija/P. Shields/S.Richards/J. Pottage)

MILEWSKI       (P.Milewski/M. Baker/S.Jarvis/ N.         Forrest/T. Howarth/R. Charlesworth)

PITTS                   (R. Pitts/A. Stephenson/B. Jones/P. Kaufman)

PLACKETT       (R. Plackett/M. Pownall/P. Denning/A. Thomas)

SCREEN             (A. Screen/G. Novak/P. Gagne/D. Harris/S. Gottschalk/C. Rochelle)

STEVENSON    (D. Stevenson/L. Commins/ P. Murphy/S. Edwards)

TEDD                     (M.Tedd/J.Salisbury/T. Rees/G. Jones/P. Jourdain/T. Ratcliff)

 

GD

 

REPORT NO.11

2015 PREMIER LEAGUE [1]

Applications are invited from teams wishing to enter the 2015 Premier League, which will take place over the two weekends of 17/18 October and 31 October/1 November.

The League will function as the principal aid to selection for the 2016 Camrose series, in which Wales, as the hosts for the second weekend, will field two teams.

The closing date for entries is 14 August.

Entries should be made to Bob Alderdice, who is co-ordinating entries for this and the various local leagues. His email address is bobalderdice@btinternet.com

Enquiries about any aspect of the operation of the League should be directed to the Chairman of selectors, Paul Denning. Paul’s email address is pjdbridge@talktalk.net

If a team entered is of fewer than 6 players, additional players may be added after the closing date.

Both League weekends will take place at The Commodore Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.

There is no entry fee, but players will be charged table money at the rate of £40 per player per weekend. Light refreshments will be provided, the cost of which is included in the table money charge.

It is anticipated that the League will comprise 8 or 10 teams, depending upon entries received. Acceptance of entries for the Premier League is at the discretion of the selectors.

CAMROSE SELECTION

Teams finishing 1st and 2nd in the Premier League will be guaranteed selection for at least one of the two Camrose weekends. Any pair finishing top of the Pairs X-IMP rankings (provided they have played at least 50% of the boards) will also be guaranteed selection for at least one Camrose weekend.

Further information will follow.

GD

REPORT NO. 10

SUPPORTING INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Players harbouring international aspirations are naturally interested in the level of funding available to support Welsh teams playing in international events. Players who harbour no such aspirations are also interested in the matter, although their take on the appropriate allocation of WBU funds to support international bridge may be somewhat different.

Here is some background information.

Welsh Bridge Union funds are divided into two elements, the General Fund and the World Fund. This division was first made in 2000, when Wales became a separate NBO (having previously been part of Great Britain). It was thought appropriate at the time to separate the additional international opportunities (and associated expenses) that then arose from the activities that we had always supported. Expenditure that is incurred as a consequence of our status as an NBO is therefore ascribed to the World Fund.

Unfortunately this distinction tends to obscure, rather than illuminate, the WBU’s annual expenditure on international bridge as a whole. It also does nothing to assist in defining the sum that is available to that end.

The current balance of WBU funds is £159,527, £3,000 less than 12 months ago. This is as per Balance Sheet; the funds in cash accounts total significantly less than this – of the order of £140,000. That money has to support all WBU-sponsored activities, and meet the needs of the entire membership.

The General Fund notionally supports various administrative charges, national events, all home internationals, and honoraria. It also meets EBL and WBF affiliation charges which amount to some £3,000 pa. Further, it supports a ‘training budget’ (£5,000 pa is assigned to this) and a Junior Development Fund (also £5,000).

The cost of hosting a home international match is of the order of £8,000. The cost to the WBU of participation in home international matches not held in Wales depends greatly on the location. In the 2014/15 season, when there was one home international (Junior Camrose/Peggy Bayer) and four away (two Camrose weekends, plus Lady Milne and Teltcher Trophy) the net cost to the WBU was £18,522.

The World Fund does not exist as a separate bank account, but it is presented separately on the Balance Sheet. It is intended to support activities and events that are held outside the UK, such as the European Championships. There is no absolute distinction between the two funds, as may be inferred from the fact that a third of the Chief Executive’s stipend is currently charged to the World Fund.

The World Fund is replenished from:

income from Celtic Simultaneous events;

35% of Bank and Building Society interest received;

income from the Llangollen Swiss teams; and

a % share of Welsh participation in Simultaneous events that are organised by other NBOs.

This gives an income of approximately £7,000 pa to the World Fund.

The cost of entry to the European Championships (held biennially) was, on the last occasion, £2,746.63 per team. Expenses paid to the players and NPCs, along with insurance and pre-event training, are additional to this. The entry fee for the Commonwealth Nations Championship (held every four years) was on the last occasion £1,000 per team. Support for a Welsh Junior team competing internationally, such as this summer in Norway, comes to some £3,000 per event.

The 2010 European Championships, to which three Welsh teams were sent, cost the WBU £16,673. Entry fees to that event amounted to £9,137, while player grants, which were of the order of £250/£300 per player/NPC, totalled £7,536.

The corresponding figures for the 2012 European Championships, held in Dublin, when we sent just two teams, were as follows:

entry fees: £5,641

player grants (of the order of £500 per player/NPC): £7,800

total expenditure: £13,441

It can be seen that the European Championships can give rise to some tricky decisions for WBU management and the selectors. To send three teams on each occasion, whilst also making a significant contribution to players’ expenses, would inevitably deplete WBU funds. A calculation has to be made on each occasion as to the number of teams (in the three categories of Open, Seniors and Ladies) that merit an entry, and also the level at which players’ expenses should be capped.

Thanks to Fiona Noyce, Alan Screen and Linda Greenland for supporting information.

GD

REPORT NO. 9

TELTSCHER TROPHY

Following last weekend’s trial, the selectors have chosen the following team to represent Wales in the Teltscher Trophy (‘Senior Camrose’), which this year will be held in County Meath, Republic of Ireland, on the weekend of 15-17 May.

Tony Disley & Roger Penton

Patrick Jourdain & Patrick Shields

John Salisbury & Mike Tedd (playing captain)

Reserve pair: Beth & Barry Wennell

We wish the team well.

GD

 

REPORT NO.8

LADY MILNE SELECTION

Following last weekend’s trial, the team to represent Wales in the Ladies Home Internationals has been chosen and is as follows:

Aida Aris & Sue Ingham

Gilly Clench & Maggie Pierce

Liz Commins & Diane Kurbalija

NPC: Linda Greenland

Reserve pair: Mary Lee & Joan Marray

The Lady Milne this year will be tough, with England as the host nation fielding two teams. Nonetheless Wales has a very experienced team who are capable of challenging for the trophy. The event takes place at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham International Airport, on the weekend of 17/18/19 April. All matches will be shown live on BBO. We wish the team well.

JUNIOR CAMROSE/PEGGY BAYER

For the first time in several years Wales is able to field teams in the Junior Home Internationals – a tribute to the hard work put in by our Junior Co-ordinator, Mark Roderick. We are the hosts, and the event will take place at The Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl, on the weekend of 21/22 February.

The Welsh teams are as follows:

Junior Camrose (u 25):

Jonny Richards & Ben Barrett; Becky Watkins & Alice Smart

NPC: Paul Denning

Peggy Bayer (u 20)

Joe Mullally & Sarah Greener; Stephen Loat & James Harris

NPC: Julian Pottage/Gwynn Davis

If you possibly can, come along to The Seabank to support the teams. They certainly deserve it. Enquiries and offers of assistance to our Match Manager, Irene Thomas (r.h.thomas@ntlworld.com) or to the Hospitality Manager, Jenny Vaughan (jenny@jbvaughan.plus.com).

 

SENIORS TRIAL

This trial is scheduled for next weekend, at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. As previously advised, eleven pairs are competing.

The trial will comprise ten head-to-head matches, each of 9 boards. Given the sit-out, the schedule is for six matches on the Saturday, five on the Sunday. Play starts at 11.25 on Saturday, finishing at 7.25pm; and at 10am on Sunday, finishing at 4.40 pm. There will be a 35 minute lunch break on both days, in which sandwiches, tea and coffee will be provided.

GD