News March/April 2017


Only two NEBA clubs have entered the Spring Simultaneous Pairs this year.
Wearside Bridge Club held a heat on Monday and will hold another on Wednesday, while the Castle Morpeth heat is tonight, Tuesday 4th April
Congratulations to Tony Watson and Reg Hornsey whose 65%, put them in 10th position Nationally in the Monday heat.


England's juniors have reached the semi-finals of the White House Junior Internationals event taking place in Amsterdam. They will play Poland this afternoon (Thursday). The event concludes on Friday 31st.
The England team of Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts, Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy, and NPC: Graham Osborne, have been competing against sides from 17 other countries in the annual competition. They finished the first round in third place in their pool, reached the quarter-finals after finishing in sixth in the second round, and then beat Norway.


England's juniors have been beaten in the semi-finals of the White House Junior Internationals event taking place in Amsterdam. They lost to Poland, having beaten Norway in the quarter-finals earlier in the day.




item34WINNERS - Neil Oliver, Steve Kitching, David Morrison, Patrick Hodson
Well done to the Whitley Bay quartet, including a last minute substitute for someone who set off for the continent instead of playing, and to everyone else who played and enjoyed the event.

19 teams were entered to play, but 2 dropped out on Saturday morning with illness, leaving 17 teams to start the event. The event caused some problems for the directors (and myself trying to assist), the main two or which were the names being displayed in the bridgemates and for the scoring programs failing to combine the result for the two sessions.
I have managed to resolve/rescue both issues. I believe that the former results from a program update which now includes an option to enter player EBU numbers at the home table and we failed to spot that this option had been ticked as the default. The effect of this was that the EW pairs names displayed in the bridgemates became the EW pair who played at your home table in round 1. This had no effect on the scoring which was recorded matching the team numbers and, for those who can remember, round 6 in session 1 and round 8 in session 2 would have produced a situation where the bridgemate names were showing that every NS pair were playing their teammates.

The second issue results from the directors not yet being totally au fait with the EBU scoring programs which we introduced into use last year. Ann had some difficulty starting session 2 and I went to help, but whatever we did, scored session 2 correctly but deleted the scores for session 1. Ann did the sensible procedure at the end of adding the printed results from each session manually and checking with the top three teams that they had matching scores before announcing what is now confirmed as the final result. -
Norman Gray

PLAYER OF YEAR - UPDATE (after Kempson Vases)

The Scottish Bridge Union Congress at the Peebles Hydro Hotel is on 14th -16th July 2017

Further information and an application form can be found HERE


There was not ot enough interest to run the course this year but we will try again next year.
Mary Page NEBA Secretary

Watch out for the new series of 'University Challenge' where the Newcastle University team captain, will be the son of a mother and son local bridge partnership.

TOM ROBINSON 15th March 1932 - 23rd March 2017
Sadly we must announce the passing of Tom who was a member of Darlington bridge Club for almost 50 years.

He will be well known to older NEBA Members as he took part in many congresses and events over the years, firstly in a formidable partnership with Ken Green and then with many other partners. He was a stalwart member of Darlington’s interclub team and was also a member of the NEBA council for many years.
At the bridge table Tom was always a perfect gentleman, an example to us all. He was contantly cheerful and liked nothing better than cracking a joke or two before bridge started or in the bar at the end. He continued to play bridge until very shortly before he died. He will be greatly missed by his many, many friends.


Due to a lack of news so far this month, forgive me for including a note about a wonderful weekend bridge break that we had at Grange over Sands in Cumbria.
72 of Inga & Neil's students and friends enjoyed the luxurious comfort of three nights at the pristine 'Grange Hotel', eating, drinking and playing Match Pointed Pairs, and a Teams event. On the Saturday & Sunday mornings, most of the guests attended a seminar and hand analysis session before strolling around the charming ornamental gardens at Grange, wandering around the charming village or enjoying a brisk walk along the prom. An ideal spot

If you are planning a bridge holiday I can certainly recommend this hotel for its excellent staff, wonderful food and beautiful rooms.


England's juniors will start play in the White House Junior Internationals event on Sunday March 26th.
The event begins with a Pro-Am, with the main co
mpetition starting on Monday and concluding on Friday.
The England team of Shivam Shah & Alex Roberts, Michael Alishaw & Stephen Kennedy, and NPC: Graham Osborne, will be competing against sides from 17 other countries in the annual competition in Amsterdam. Some matches will be available to watch via Bridge Base Online.

58 pairs competed in this event at the Higlander Hotel in Newtonmore, Scotland, and NEBA ladies were very successful with four pairs finishing in the top ten.
1. Val Gibson and Pearl Murphy
5. Be
v Godfrey and Nichola Cockerill Smith
6. Pat Barton and Catherine Longley
7. Marion Curran and Margaret McCabe FULL RESULTS HERE

The teams competition was won by Margaret, Marion, Pat & Catherine.


Pearl Murphy & Val Gibson

The final of the Kempson Vases will be held at Stannington on Saturday April 22 2pm start Teams should be at the venue by 1.50pm. There are 16 teams entered to play but not all clubs have submitted entries despite the last date for entries having passed. Dates are set so that tournament officials can make the necessary arrangements for an event to run smoothly and we need some measure of co-operation from Club Secretaries to keep the system working.

The general principle is to run the event as an all plays all competition so that the number of boards played, and therefore the finishing time, depends on the entry number. Masterpoint awards are based on the number of teams having played in the original club heats.

Telephone numbers for late amendments are
Ann Caygill 0191 2713608 Norman Gray 07767 214124

A very well attended council meeting of club Secretaries and Chairs discussed NEBA finance and voted narrowly to retain the programme booklet for another year at a cost of 600 pounds.

I have been asked by 3 members from Hexham Bridge Club to organise another Beginners Teaching Course in the North East.
The last course was held about 2 years ago and was very successful with delegates attending now running bridge classes in their own clubs which I believe has been a huge success. EBEDS run these courses and charge 106 pounds per delegate to attend. It is a 2 day course and includes lunch. Minimum numbers required would be 10 delegates.
Price for EBU members £85.00 (20% discount). If you are interested contact Mary Page by Monday 10th April 2017 latest.

The World Bridge Federation will be updating the Laws of Duplicate Bridge in 2017, and these will come in to effect in competitions in England from the start of August.

You can download a pdf copy of the new rules from the EBU site HERE


The next free 'Pushing the Possibilities' outdoor course starts Thursday 18th May.  There will be an information Open Day on Friday 12th May.  Visit any time between 10am and 3pm at WinG (Wayout in Gateshead) 13 Walker Terrace, Gateshead.  NE8 1EB.  150 metres from Gateshead Metro and Bus Interchange.

The course is for people aged 55 or over living in the Tyne and Wear area who would benefit from improving their well being by participating in outdoor activities.  Activities can include hill walking and map reading, cycling, canoeing, rock climbing and Forest school (fire lighting and cooking in the woods.)

All essential outdoor equipment provided, minibus transport and professional instruction all included. Maximum of 8 people per group. - 4 days spread over 2 weeks Spaces are allocated on the first day of the course, involving fun team building activities and informal chat.

Course dates
Day 1  Thursday       18th May  =  Team building / selection  1-5pm
Day 2  Friday          19th May  =  Outdoor Activity    9:30 - 5:30pm
Day 3  Tuesday       23rd May  =  Outdoor Activity    9:30 - 5:30pm
Day 4  Wednesday  24th May  =  Outdoor Activity    9:30 - 5:30pm

To register your interest please contact me, Nick Coates, email  or Telephone 0191 267 1579

A scientific conference took place last week on the topic of “Recreational Activity and Joy in Senior’s Life”, with a day devoted to the positive effects that bridge can have in this area.

One of the guest speakers was Prof. Sam Punch, of Stirling University, who is collaborating with English Bridge Education and Development on its work in to the health and wellbeing benefits of playing bridge. Speakers from six other countries also presented papers on the topic, showing the wide ranging interest in the positive impact of playing bridge.

Chronicle Cup Report by JOHN GLADDERS
John Gladders, one of NEBA selectors, has very kindly offered an insightful report on how our top players handled a couple of the hands from Sundays Chronicle Cup Final. HERE


Jan/Feb 2017