It's been a bit of a sad one really - my last ever BGB Simultaneous after more years than I care to remember. As you will probably know by know, the EBU has decided to take it over, calling it the British Simultaneous Pairs, I think, and running it themselves. And of course they are doing the EBU Simultaneous pairs as well - we will do the Bridge England one on 7th February, and it seems the Stratified ones in March and then that's it. Mind you, when we first started doing Sims, the EBU thought it would never catch on and didn't start using us for quite a while!
BUT - ECatsBridge will still be running plenty of events so you won't lose usthat easily ! We have all the Charity Pairs and will still run the World Wide and the European so watch this space for news of all those won't you ?
The Charity Challenge is the next one which will be on Thursday 8th March. It is in aid of the Prostate Cancer Charity this year which I am sure you will agree is a very very worthwhile cause ... did you know that it is the most common cancer in men ? I didn't.
Because the terms of the EBU licence for English clubs state that, in order to receive overall master points, only affiliated EBU clubs may participate, we are running two separate sessions for this event.
One will be for the EBU affiliated clubs, plus all the Scottish and Welsh clubs and any overseas clubs wishing to join us.
The other will be for the non-affiliated clubs, but we will also display an overall ranking list so people can see where they came in the whole event. That way the non-affiliated clubs are not left out in the cold !
Because of all this we have offered to reduce the entry fee from the normal £3.50 per player to £3.20 per player, as the EBU members will all still have to pay the P2P charge, and we don't see why the non affiliated clubs should have to pay extra to cover licence fees etc. We are DELIGHTED to have had a lot of clubs email us though, and say that they will still collect the £3.50 per player so that the Charity is not disadvantaged. Isn't that lovely of them ? And we are hoping that some clubs will run raffles etc to help raise additional funds. Please, if you can, go along and play in the event - I will put up a list of participating clubs around mid-February so you can try and find a club near you.
I am constantly being asked about the 2012 World Mind Sport Games - where and when will they be held ? I am sorry but I don't have an answer yet, but I will announce any decision as soon as I hear about it, and send out press releases, newsletters etc as well as putting it onto the website. Incidentally if you want to register for our newsletters, please click here and just follow the on-screen instructions.
Mark and I are both looking for additional work to fill the gap left by the loss of the BGB and EBU Sims and hope to be working with some different websites soon. And we will be adding to the information on the ECatsBridge site in our spare moments, so do watch for that, as hopefully you will find things there to interest you.
We are really hoping to move this year - we have been here 17 years (yes really !) and both want a change. So please keep your fingers crossed that we can sell the Station ... because of the nature of our work, being 99% internet based, we can work wherever we are on the planet as long as we have a good Broadband connection and with the modern developments in satellite broadband even if the landlines don't support it, we can make it happen wherever we go !
So ... the world (well the UK) is our oyster and we may yet head to the far North ! Watch this space for news ...