Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Blog 55 - Simultaneous events - SIMS now "in house"

After two successful trial runs, the last with 114 clubs playing, from April 1st 2012 the English Bridge Union is administering its own Sim Pairs events and the British Simultaneous Pairs (formerly known as BGB Sim Pairs).

For the Sims to be more accessible, we will be making most of them available on five days of the week with a different set of hands on each day. So clubs can offer one session each day in either the morning, afternoon or evening – but not all three! If your club plays just once a week, you won’t have to miss out due to the Sims being on the wrong days.

In order to streamline the process and save on postage and printing, we are moving as much administration as possible online. If you have seen the latest price increases coming from Royal Mail, you will understand why this is a good idea! Once you have indicated that you wish to play, all necessary files and documentation will be available for clubs to download from the EBU website. The entry fee has been reduced to £2.50 per player (except for the Stratified EBU Sims where the fee is £2). This is for provision of electronic commentary, booklets, travellers and hand records. Paper commentary booklets can be provided by post on request at £8 per pack of 20 booklets. Normal P2P rates apply as well.

These events are open to all EBU affiliated clubs, but club heats must be of at least three tables, and each player must play at least 18 boards. Affiliated clubs that wish to participate should register online via their EBU Members Area.

Why not look at your Club Calendar of Events now to see if you wish to take part in any additional events. Club players looking to improve their game really appreciate the commentaries and, if they do well, they benefit from the enhanced Master Points available to the top third of the field, which include Green Points if you do REALLY well.

Full Instructions and Sims Calendar for Clubs

Contact Ian Mitchell on Ian@ebu.co.uk for more information.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Blog 54 - NGS Takes off

I am delighted and proud to announce that the EBU's long awaited National Grading System is now ready for the world to see! Having said that, it has all happened in something of a rush, so we are not quite as ready on the web site as we would have liked, but we are not waiting any longer.

If you go to your members area, and clear your browser cache (check with your browser's help to see how), you will see new information about your NGS grade. There is much more navigation information available at this link.

which will hopefully answer all of your navigational questions. Club administrators have extra information available in the Club's members area.

The point we have reached is the culmination of more than three years work, mainly by our volunteers, and I am delighted to say that this new grading system puts us in the forefront of the world's bridge federations, few of which have such a facility but most of which would like one! I have been continually thanking our volunteers for the huge efforts they have made in getting us where we are today, but I must once again thank Mike Christie who has developed the software and the associated database using the technology base that was put in place by our own Michael Clark for the universal membership development. Thanks also to the scoring system software providers who have helped us along the way.

It is quite possible, indeed almost certain, that some of our members will find little gremlins; if that happens please send your comments or questions to ngsqueries@ebu.co.uk.

Finally, the project suffered some body blows during its development with the passing of Dr John Carter who was Chairman of the Working Group and the serious illness of John Probst, who provided large amounts of technical input before he was unable to continue.

I am quite sure that John is looking down on us with a big beaming smile today...