PREMIER LEAGUE ENTRANTS
The following six teams (plus a further two teams to be confirmed in due course) will contest this season’s Premier League. The Premier League will take place over the two weekends of 22/23 October and 5/6 November in the Commodore Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. Sarah Amos will direct. Each weekend will comprise seven 14 board matches. Further information, including precise timings, will be posted in due course.
CLENCH (G. Clench; D. Birt; C. Pierce; M. Pierce; D. MacAndrew)
MILEWSKI (P.Milewski; M. Baker; S. Jarvis; N. Forrest; T. Howarth; K.Maddox)
PITTS (B. Pitts; B. Jones; A. Stephenson; P. Kaufmann)
PLACKETT (R. Plackett; P. Lamford; P. Denning; A. Thomas)
RODERICK (M. Roderick; P. Murphy; Y.Shen; T. Disley)
TEDD (M. Tedd; J. Salisbury; G. Jones; T. Rees; T. Ratcliff; J. Pottage)
An additional three teams have been invited to play off for the final two places.
2016 PREMIER LEAGUE –
CALL FOR ENTRIES
Applications are invited from teams wishing to compete in this year’s Premier League. The Premier League will act as the trial to aid selection for the teams to represent Wales in the 2017 Camrose series. Participation in the Premier League will be taken as indicating availability for those Camrose matches, if selected.
The team finishing first in the trial, and the pair finishing top of the X-IMP rankings (provided they have played at least 50% of the boards), will be guaranteed at least one Camrose weekend.
The Premier League will take place in mid Wales on the two weekends of 22/23 October and 5/6 November.
Applications to play in the Premier League, giving the names of all intending team members, should be sent to Gwynn Davis (firstname.lastname@example.org) no later than Sunday 14 August. There is no entry fee, but table money will be charged at the rate of £40 per player, per weekend.
Acceptance of entries to the Premier League is at the selectors’ discretion.
WORLD BRIDGE GAMES
FINAL CALL FOR APPLICATIONS TO REPRESENT WALES
The World Bridge Games (formerly the World Bridge Olympiad) will be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 3-17 September. The event comprises Teams events within four categories – Open, Ladies, Seniors, and Mixed; to be followed by Pairs events within those same four categories. Each NBO is allowed one Team entry per category; Pairs entries are unlimited.
So far the selectors have had no applications to represent Wales in any of the Teams events. The closing date for entries is 15 July – in other words, by the end of this week. Pairs entries can be made up to the end of July, but if any Team wishes to be entered (names of the players need not be stipulated at this stage), it has to be done within the next few days.
There is no funding earmarked to support participation in these Games, so the assumption has to be that teams will be self-funding, although application may be made to the Management Committee of the Welsh Bridge Union.
Applications for both Team and Pairs entries to Paul Denning, Chairman of selectors, at email@example.com
EUROPEAN TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The European Teams Championships, held in Budapest, Hungary, concluded yesterday, Saturday 26th June. These Championships are notoriously demanding, with the Open event in particular being probably the toughest bridge event on the planet – even tougher, overall, than the Bermuda Bowl World Championships.
The Open event was won by France, with Wales (Patrick Jourdain/Gary Jones; Tony Ratcliff/Julian Pottage; Richard Plackett/Simon Richards; NPC Alan Stephenson) finishing 33rd of the 37 teams with 289.7 Victory Points – a respectable average of 8 VPs (out of a possible 20) per match. England finished 10th; Ireland 12th; and Scotland 35th.
No doubt the Welsh team would have liked to finish higher, but this was a commendable effort, especially given that we were fielding two new partnerships and a third (Jourdain/Jones) who might reasonably have expected to be enjoying the calmer waters of the Seniors event.
The Women’s event, in which Wales did not field a team, was won by the English Ladies team, cementing their reputation as probably the strongest women’s squad in world bridge.
Israel won the Seniors event, in which 24 teams competed. Wales (Mike Tedd/John Salisbury; Paul Denning/Patrick Shields; Filip & Diane Kurbalija; NPC Alan Stephenson) finished 21st. Ireland were 8th; England 10th; and Scotland 19th.
53rd EUROPEAN BRIDGE TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The European Teams Championships, to be held in Budapest, Hungary, begin this Thursday, June 16th, and will run to Saturday the 25th.
Wales is sending two teams – an Open and a Seniors team – and you can follow their progress via the European Bridge League website. Also, the Championships will be extensively covered on BBO (BridgeBaseOnline), so if you haven’t done so already now is a good time to download this free program.
The Welsh Teams are as follows:
Patrick Jourdain/Gary Jones; Richard Plackett/Simon Richards; Julian Pottage/Tony Ratcliff; NPC: Alan Stephenson
Mike Tedd/John Salisbury; Paul Denning/Patrick Shields; Filip & Diane Kurbalija; NPC: Alan Stephenson
We wish both teams the best of good fortune.
WELSH WOMEN’S BRIDGE
Gilly Clench is attempting to raise the profile – and the standard – of Welsh women’s bridge through a variety of initiatives that she is co-ordinating. As a first step she has (today) written to over fifty Welsh women players, outlining her plans.
Those written to are not in any sense ‘selected’ other than in the very loose sense that their names have been passed to Gilly. Responsibility for selection – for example of next year’s two Lady Milne teams – remains with the selectors and is not conditional upon participation in this initiative. That said, a focus upon the training and practice needs of women players is very welcome and we hope it will be supported.
If you haven’t heard from Gilly, but would like to receive a copy of her preliminary email, please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ladies Home International – the Lady Milne – takes place in Belfast this coming weekend (15-17 April), from Friday evening through to Sunday.
Log on to BridgeBaseOnline to support our players! Play begins at 7pm on Friday evening and all matches will be shown live on BBO.
The Welsh team comprises:
Liz Atkinson/Ceri Pierce
Gilly Clench/Maggie Pierce
Irene Thomas/Jenny Vaughan
NPC: Liam Sheridan
Good luck to all.
WORLD BRIDGE GAMES
See Report 24 for information about this event, which takes place in Wroclaw, Poland in September. There is one correction: no final decision has been taken with respect to financial support for Pairs or Teams wishing to represent Wales in this event.
MASTERPOINTS AND BRIDGEMATES: A NEW INITIATIVE
The selectors have long been concerned that masterpoint awards, upon which their selection decisions are generally based, do not adequately distinguish different skill levels within the WBU. There is a particular problem where the partnership in question is of players whose skill levels, to put it at its kindest, are somewhat discrepant. We have been in discussion with Mr William Gates, a leading expert on Bridgemate technology, with a view to establishing whether the Bridgemate facility now in use in most clubs might offer a solution to this problem.
Following our specifications, Mr Gates has developed a Bridgemate prototype containing an number of additional features. The most significant of these is an ‘Error’ code that can be entered when one member of a partnership perpetrates a gross error that results in a needlessly inferior score on a given board. That error message will be assigned only to the player making the mistake, with the non-offending player’s score on the board being amended to Average +.
There will also be a brilliancy provision, whereby plays which indicate that the player in question is of international standard (or close to it), can be highlighted and transferred to the selectors’ database.
The responsibility for activating these features of the new technology will fall to North and East, generally assumed to be the stronger players within the partnership.
The new Bridgemates are expensive, at £10,000 per machine, and so may be beyond the reach of some clubs, but as with all new technology it is anticipated that costs will fall over time, whilst new features are likely to be added.
The new machines are due to be trialed over the next two months in the Cardiff club, where we understand there has been a particularly high incidence of players suffering poor results through no fault of their own. We will report back once the experiment has been completed.
EUROPEAN TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIPS
The 53rd European Teams Championships will be held in Budapest, Hungary, from 16th to 25th June.
The following teams have been chosen to represent Wales in this event.
Gary Jones & Patrick Jourdain; Richard Plackett & Simon Richards; Julian Pottage & Tony Ratcliff NPC: Alan Stephenson
Paul Denning & Patrick Shields; Filip & Diane Kurbalija; John Salisbury & Mike Tedd NPC: Alan Stephenson
We wish both teams the best of good fortune.
CAMROSE FINAL RESULT
The second and final weekend of this year’s Camrose series was hosted by Wales and played at Llandrindod Wells this past weekend. This was the final table:
N. IRELAND 67.30
As can be seen, both Welsh teams performed with credit, finishing 2nd and 3rd behind a very strong England team. The Wales team actually gained most VPs on the second weekend, beating England in the process, but the England team had gained an unassailable lead over the course of the first weekend.
Thanks to Neville Richards and his organising team, and to Simon Gottschalk, BBO supremo.
The Welsh teams:
WALES: Paul Denning/Adrian Thomas; Richard Plackett/Mike Pownall; Julian Pottage/Simon Richards; NPC – Alan Stephenson
WBU: Gary Jones/Tim Rees; Patrick Jourdain/Tony Ratcliff; John Salisbury/Mike Tedd; NPC – Barry Jones [Bob Pitts/Barry Jones played the first weekend].