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News September/October 2017

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LAST WORD ON BRIDGE AS A SPORT
Is bridge a sport? The European Court of Justice thinks not, an opinion that has tax implications for the English Bridge Union. The court's decision was based on the idea that sport should be "characterised by a not negligible physical element". So why are snooker, darts and archery classed as sports when the amount of physical activity also appears limited in these pursuits?

I think the answer has to be that although they may require little physical exertion, they all require skills that are nonetheless in essence physical: accuracy, visual acuity, delicacy of touch, timing. On the other hand, in bridge the physical act of playing the cards has little bearing on the outcome. The grey area is that physical fitness may aid vital bridge-playing skills such as the ability to concentrate for long periods of time.
David Parfitt Puzzles Editor of the Times.

Sports also attract spectators!
Neil

 

PAT TUFF
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W
e are sorry to report that Pat Tuff (de Leeuw) passed away on Thursday 19th October after struggling with health problems for over a year.

The funeral is to be on Mon 13th Nov. at Whitley Bay Crematorium.

A full obituary written by Marion Curran can be read HERE

OH NO IT'S NOT!
The European Court of Justice in Luxembourg has ruled that the card game bridge is not a sport.

The English Bridge Union (EBU), the national body responsible for regulating bridge played competitively at the national and international level, must therefore continue to pay VAT.

While admitting that duplicate bridge involves logic, memory and planning, and may constitute an activity beneficial to the mental and physical health of regular participants, the Court finds that the fact that an activity promotes physical and mental health is not, of itself, a sufficient element for it to be concluded that that activity is covered by the concept of ‘sport’ within the meaning of that same provision.

The EBU has about 55,000 members, while as many as 300,000 people play the card game on a regular basis across the UK.

Bridge is recognised as a sport by the treasury departments of Poland, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

BUT - -
The Court did, however, leave open the opportunity for individual states to exempt bridge from VAT by recognising it as a ‘cultural service’. EBU are pleased by the court’s suggestion, and welcome the possibility that bridge activities may yet be exempted from VAT, however EBU have not yet considered the implications of the suggestion.

Telegraph

BBC

2017 GAZETTE CUP AND SHIELD WINNERS
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Congratulations to the 2017 Gazette Cup Winners - Wojtek Zakrzewski (not shown) & John Bernard Portwood and to the Gazette Shield winners - Audrey Bainbridge & John Dobson
 

2017 KING CUP WINNERS
item30Congratulations to Pat Barton & Catherine Longley, winners of the 2017 NEBA King Cup competition for ladies, held at Chester le Street on October 4th.
Runners up were Bev Godfrey and Val Gibson with
Margaret Reid & Judith Hutchinson taking the NGS prize. 16 pairs competed in a very friendly atmosphere with, so I have been told - "lots of chatting".

FAST TRACK BRIDGE
There will be a seminar for teachers presented by Sue Maxwell at Leeds Bridge Club on 28th October at 10.30 am - 1pm.

More information
HERE

NORTHERN BRIDGE LEAGUE
The NEBA team maintained their performance from the first 3 matches finishing 7th out of 8 on the day and hence completing the season in 7th position overall.  The stars this weekend were Neil Oliver and Steve Kitching who were near the top of the Cross IMPs table.

CUMBRIA/ WESTMORLAND CONGRESS
item25Congratulations to
Clive Owen's team who won the Swiss Teams event on Saturday 23rd September at the Cumbria/Westmorland Congress in Kendal.
Clive played with his son Christopher and their Glasgow team mates, Vi & Charles Outred.

EBU AUTUMN SIMS
Top National placings of NEBA players in the EBU Autumn Simultaneous Pairs are:
Graham Cox and Alleyn Erskine who were 4th in the Monday heat at Wearside Bridge Club.
Anne Bell and Val Ireland who were 6th in the Tuesday heat at Castle Morpeth Bridge Club.

NEW RECRUITS
Well done to
Hexham Bridge Club who have recruited 24 new bridge beginners for their classes that started in September 2017. Three teachers are sharing the EBED year 1 course.

NEWCASTLE BRIDGE CLUB
item22The Newcastle Bridge Club refurbishment is almost complete and as you can see it is now a superb modern venue for playing bridge on Wednesday evenings from 7-10 pm at West Denton Association.

Past members and newcomers will find a friendly welcome in the upstairs main hall and of course there is free parking in the large CCTV monitored car park.

GUERNSEY CONGRESS
Margaret Andrew from the Morpeth and Castle Morpeth Bridge clubs, playing with her mother Mary Andrews, won the Women's Pairs event at the Guernsey Congress on the 12th September. Congratulations to them both!


The Bridge Warehouse offers low prices to everyone, all the time, and if a competitor is cheaper then they will do their best to match the price. As all profits are reinvested in the EBU why would you shop anywhere else?! SHOP HERE

MORE ARCHIVES INTEREST
item10aAnother email has been received regarding the mystery band from an NEBA trophy that no longer exists.
The 1st name on this band is Ewart Kempson 1937, and the last is W C Harper in 1984.
The latest email is from Richard Fleet, who has written a fascinating history of Tournament Bridge in England 1925-45. He refers to an article by Kempson in 'Bridge Magazine' for June 1939 where the trophy is referred to as the NEBA Individual Championship. MORE HERE

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
I have received, in an email from Michael Esther, some fascinating memories about the early days of bridge in the North East of England.
Can you add any further thoughts about NEBA events in the 30s/40s?
Read Michael's email.
HERE

NEBA SENIORS PAIRS WINNERS
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Congratulations to David Brickland and Elaine Purvis who won the 2017 NEBA Seniors Pairs Competition held at Whitley Bay Bridge Club. Full results HERE

TOLLEMACHE TEAM
The NEBA Tollemache team for 2017/18 has been confirmed as:
Bill March and Val Gibson
Martin Kane and Dave Broadhead
Steve and Georgia Ray
Julian Gibson and Damian Hassan

We wish them well in the qualifying round in Solihull in November

NORTHERN BRIDGE LEAGUE
The match yesterday was quite close at the end. The result was:-
1st   Cumbria ------------------------ 86 VPs
2nd Yorkshire ----------------------- 62 VPs
3rd Westmorland ------------------- 61 VPs
4th North East ---------------------- 60 VPs
5th= Lancashire  ------------------- 52 VPs
5th= Manchester  -------------------52VPs
7th Merseyside & Cheshire           47VPs

Just a couple of overtricks and we would have been second!!!!!
NEBA Team
David & Gill Gold
Ray Green & Mike Craig
John Boughy & Eddie Nord
Peter Li Ping & Fred Robinson
 

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE
Congratulations to Jonathan Noble and his team from Newcastle University who beat Sheffield to proceed to the next round.
Jocelyn Gordon

BRIDGE TEACHERS
I am writing to all clubs and individuals that I know teach and encourage beginners to play Bridge, to ask if you would try to encourage your pupils, and members,  to enter the NEBA Congress Newcomers Pairs event.

This will be held at the Marriott Hotel at Metro Centre Gateshead and will be on Sunday 5th November, starting at 12.30 pm and expected to finished no later than 5.00pm.

It will consist of 20 boards, all competitors within the event being relative newcomers to more competitive Bridge.

Entry to the event will include Sunday lunch, which will consist of a carvery main course, with a choice of two meats, (or a vegetarian option ), with vegetables and potatoes, dessert and coffee.

The total cost will be £20.00 per person.

As I am sure you well know this would be an ideal opportunity for your pupils to get a sample of competitive Bridge, away from their usual place of learning, and will take place in very pleasant surroundings, with the inclusion of a first class Sunday lunch.

Full entry details, and application forms, are available on the NEBA website, or anyone interested can contact me directly on 0191 285 5852, or 07866 411826, or by email on gillrgold@yahoo.co.uk.

I do hope I can rely on you to encourage as many people as possible to try this event. It was a great success last year and we are hoping the pairs will feel more included without having to play against the more experienced players.

There will be a prize for the winners.

Kind regards Gill Gold

NEBA SWISS PAIRS at DURHAM
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Apologies to the winners of this competition, Steve & Geogia Ray, but even 'Photoshop' could not improve this photograph.

Steve has written a report of the event with details of some of the hands he played. View HERE

SBU AUTUMN CONGRESS 20th - 22nd October 2017
item27The Scottish Bridge Union would love to see NEBA members at their Autumn National & Bronze Congresses at the Peebles Hydro Hotel.
Download a
Congress Brochure HERE

PLEASE NOTE
There is an error in the NEBA programme booklet. The Swiss Pairs to be held at Durham is on 6th September 2017 NOT the 17th! Details HERE

BRIDGE OVER CHRISTMAS
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Click HERE for more details.

 
 
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TV UPDATE
As reported earlier, a new series of 'University Challenge' will feature a team from Newcastle University. The team will be captained by Jonathan Noble who plays bridge with his mother Ann Noble, at the Cramlington, Castle Morpeth & Brunton Bridge clubs.

The 1st appearance of the Newcastle team is on September 11th.

Jan/Feb 2017