16 English Bridge April 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
NEVENA S of Nottingham says she has heard
that I won an EBU award, and asks if it is true.
How nice of you to bring it up, Nevena. Modesty
would otherwise have prevented me from
mentioning it. Yes, it's true; at one time last year I
was playing in five national plate competitions at
the same time, and this earned me an EBU Dinner
Talking of competitions, have you heard that the
EBU are considering a new event, to be known as
the Brass Bowl? If you lose in the first round of the
Gold Cup, you can elect to play in the Silver Plate. If
you lose in the first round of the Silver Plate, you go
into the Brass Bowl. To get out of the Brass Bowl
you have to win a match. Every time you fail to
climb out of the bowl, you lose green points.
An event called the Bridge Olympiad was held in
the same year as the Olympics up to 2004. In 2008
Bridge combined with Chess, Go, and a couple of
other sports to form the World Mind Sports Games,
and the championships were held in Beijing, just
after the Paralympic Games, using some of the
Olympic facilities. It seemed that this might be the
first step towards the Mind Sports Olympics
becoming the third leg of every Olympic Games.
Alas, things have gone backwards since then. The
event is now bridge only; it hasn't reclaimed the
'Olympiad' name it sacrificed; and it doesn't happen
in the city, or even the country, hosting the Olympic
Games. This year the World Bridge Games, as they
are now known, are in September, in Poland.
Bridge is still, however, recognised as a sport by
the International Olympic Committee and, as a
result, players in major international events
undergo drug tests. Well, not the Seniors, of course;
they are popping so many pills that their samples
would probably cause the laboratory equipment to
I am told that the IOC has called on the World
Bridge Federation to ban relay bidding systems,
weak jump overcalls, and reverse attitude signals.
Such conventions are, the IOC says, contrary to the
Olympic spirit as embodied in its motto 'Citius,
Altius, Fortius' - 'Faster, Higher, Stronger'.
An interesting question, Nigel. I found about 20
entries for past greats, from Buller and Beasley,
through Markus and Reese, up to Schapiro and
Priday. Of our current English players, Tony
Forrester, Andrew Robson, Nicola Smith, Tom
Townsend and Brian & Nevena Senior (find one, get
one free) all have Wikipedia entries. I asked them if
they knew who had created the entries, and who
was updating them. They all said that (a) they didn't
know who was doing the work and (b) they didn't
even know they had Wikipedia entries. I can accept
(a) but I believe (b) may be liable to Law 70A,
Looking at the Wikipedia history logs, there is a
small group of unsung heroes responsible for
adding the information, the most hard-working of
whom are Jhall1, Newwhist and Macdonald-Ross.
Thanks, guys, whoever you are.
I believe that the EBU will not be mandating its
members to vote one way or the other. It estimates
that the deficit in the balance of trade will be
unaffected, with imports of Roman KeyCard
Blackwood, Italian Cue Bids, and the Polish Club
continuing to out-perform exports of the weak no
trump, four card majors and the Bath Coup.
The EBU is seeking clarification on whether the
proposed new benefits law will mean that
immigrants who join the EBU would have to be
denied their copy of English Bridge for four years.
Ask Simon by Simon Cochemé
Bridge with a Twist
Bridge with a Twist
NEVENA S of Nottingham says she has heard that
I won an EBU award, and asks if it is true.
EILEEN O of Bewdley, Worcs, asks why the Bridge
Olympiad isn't held any more.
NIGEL F of Cowes wants to know who writes the
bridge entries in Wikipedia.
Henry C of Shepherds Bush asks if the referendum
on Europe has implications for bridge.