Page 0067


December 2016 English Bridge


hristmas may be a holiday for most, but for

the juniors there is only a tiny break to open

their presents. Shortly before Christmas the

U26s, U21s and the U26 Womens team will be

treated to an exotic trip to the Young Chelsea Bridge

Club in London.

This year the EBU hosts the Channel Trophy, the

annual competition between the Dutch, the

Belgians and - most importantly - our key rivals -

the French. This competition kicks off the new cycle

and often sees teams reshuffled with previous

players too old to compete, and younger players

progressing from the U21 squad. Keep your eyes

peeled for updates on how our teams are getting on

and, as with any junior competition, there can

certainly be no guarantee of any flat boards.

Meanwhile, I caught up with a few members of

the Junior Squad to ask them about their Christmas

habits. For many of them, Christmas is just a

waiting time until they can play in the Year End

Congress - or for those with more self-control - the

Manchester Congress in early January. However,

bridge never seems to escape their lives even

through the festive period. To the joy (but mostly

despair) of the juniors their love of the game

certainly makes Christmas shopping easier for their

friends and relatives!

For couple Will Roper and Alex Birchall, both

members of the U26 Squad, there is no escape from

bridge-related gifts. Will told me proudly how The

Rodwell Files was an easy choice of gift one year,

though surprisingly met with some disapproval.

Alex's requests for 'something shiny' was certainly

noted in subsequent years with a collection of

brand new books by Victor Mollo!

Bridge-related gifts among the squad are

definitely not wholly intellectual. For Toby

Nonnenmacher, the plea for a bridge book was

acknowledged and dismissed. Instead, he had to

settle for an 'I Love Bridge' teddy bear. He assures

me that the bear does not shout at him for making

ridiculous bids, roughly plays to a similar level as his

partner but is not very talkative when discussing the

hands afterwards. (An investment for the EBU shop


For those present-givers with less inspiration, the

EBU shop has been a saviour in moments of crisis.

Helen Holmes proudly spoke of her Life is a Game

but Bridge is Serious' mug which she received from

her partner. It appears that combining a cup of tea

(milk no sugar) with bridge can never go too


Finally, those hoping to bribe Squad Manager

Alan Shillitoe to increase their selection chances are

to be left disappointed. He tells me friends

nowadays avoid bridge-related paraphernalia as the

closest anyone has got to success is a bridge-themed

desk calendar. He did speak with envy about a

friend who received a bridge toilet seat for

Christmas but I am still awaiting clarification as to

whether this was purely decorative or one that gave

you declarer play problems. Whether the toilet seat

was in fact a gift from someone or a self-purchase is

apparently still contentious.

With the squad manager impossible to please, I

am certain that if all the team turn up to the

Channel Trophy, on time, without accidentally

handing their passports to a stranger, then Alan will

be more than happy. I suspect a victory will be a big

upgrade from the desk calendar. We shall see . . . and

wish them all good luck! r

A Junior Perspective

A Junior Perspective

Bridgemas Cheer!

by Kyle Lam




  1. Page 0001
  2. Page 0002
  3. Page 0003
  4. Page 0004
  5. Page 0005
  6. Page 0006
  7. Page 0007
  8. Page 0008
  9. Page 0009
  10. Page 0010
  11. Page 0011
  12. Page 0012
  13. Page 0013
  14. Page 0014
  15. Page 0015
  16. Page 0016
  17. Page 0017
  18. Page 0018
  19. Page 0019
  20. Page 0020
  21. Page 0021
  22. Page 0022
  23. Page 0023
  24. Page 0024
  25. Page 0025
  26. Page 0026
  27. Page 0027
  28. Page 0028
  29. Page 0029
  30. Page 0030
  31. Page 0031
  32. Page 0032
  33. Page 0033
  34. Page 0034
  35. Page 0035
  36. Page 0036
  37. Page 0037
  38. Page 0038
  39. Page 0039
  40. Page 0040
  41. Page 0041
  42. Page 0042
  43. Page 0043
  44. Page 0044
  45. Page 0045
  46. Page 0046
  47. Page 0047
  48. Page 0048
  49. Page 0049
  50. Page 0050
  51. Page 0051
  52. Page 0052
  53. Page 0053
  54. Page 0054
  55. Page 0055
  56. Page 0056
  57. Page 0057
  58. Page 0058
  59. Page 0059
  60. Page 0060
  61. Page 0061
  62. Page 0062
  63. Page 0063
  64. Page 0064
  65. Page 0065
  66. Page 0066
  67. Page 0067
  68. Page 0068
  69. Page 0069
  70. Page 0070