2017 – London

Mike Bell moved back to London after learning his trade in Manchester. He retired from being a very successful Poker professional and now earns his living playing bridge. In his spare time he designs bidding systems and is considered to be one of the country’s leading experts on bidding theory, especially by himself.

Mike plays with David Gold on the Allfrey team and won the Premier League and Spring Fours in 2016. He has also won the Lederer twice both times in partnership with Michael Byrne and was on the London team that won the Tollemache in 2017 playing with Sarah O’ Connor.

When not playing bridge, he may be found watching it instead – he has captained the England U25s, and will be coaching the U16s in the World Championships in Italy this summer, where he will be able deputy to the captain, Sarah O’Connor (his fiancée). See Mike’s EBU profile page.

Richard Granville was born in 1954 and learned to play bridge when he was 10 and from 1973 to 1978 he represented the country at junior level with a number of partners including Tony Forrester, with whom he also played for England at open level in 1978. Soon after this Richard decided to concentrate on Go playing for the country in the 1985 European Championship.

His interest in bridge was rekindled while working away from home in 2009. He started to play more seriously and in 2014 was in the runner-up team in the London Super League. He joined the Young Chelsea Bridge Club the following year and was a member of the team that won the 2016 YCKO (club knockout) championship. He also won the EBU Two Stars pairs tournament later that year.

Richard followed a career as a software engineer but changed direction in 2010 to become part-time bridge consultant for the successful https://www.nofearbridge.co.uk/ website, for which he has supplied much of the technical material. He has produced more than 1500 declarer and defence problems for the “Hand of the Day” feature, mostly adapted from real-life deals.

Christophe Grosset has recently moved to London (from France) where he is a regular player at the Young Chelsea. He has enjoyed some good results playing with Stefan Skorchev.

Sarah O’Connor first represented England on the junior squad in the European Teams in Romania, 2009, and made many subsequent appearances for the u25 girls’ and u25 open sides. She qualified for the Lady Milne in 2015 (with Anne Rosen) and was on the London team that won the 2017 Tollemache (with Mike Bell).

In addition to practising regularly and working on her own game Sarah enjoys teaching new players and working with the juniors. She has acted as a mentor for number of developing girls’ players and was recently appointed leader of the newly-formed U15 squad, which she has great ambitions for. See Sarah’s EBU profile.  

Stefan Skorchev has won the Bulgarian National teams and pairs championships and has played on teams that won bronze in the  European Open Teams (2009) and been quarter-finalists in the World Open Teams Championship (Philadelphia 2010). He is based in London and is a professional bridge player and teacher.

Peter Taylor learnt to play bridge in the family home – in particular he remembers playing with an old friend of his parents called Henry who insisted on a strong no-trump, five-card majors and a phony club when holding a weak no-trump. Peter thought “surely that system will never catch-on”.

He started to play competitive duplicate bridge in his 20s (having been a chess player previously), and had the good fortune in partnership with Neil Rosen to reach the semi-finals of the Gold Cup and win the Tollemache with Kent. But then he gave it all up to return to chess.

Peter came back to competitive bridge after a hiatus of 18 years. The difference between bridge and chess is that bridge is a game of incomplete information and part of the joy of bridge for him is figuring out the missing information. Since returning he has won the Swiss Pairs at the EBU London Easter congress, together with being on the winning team for both of the major London leagues – the London Super League and the TGRs Super League

Peter still works part time in the finance sector, he now lives in London rather than Kent, and enjoys the fact that he can walk home from his local bridge club (the Young Chelsea) – you will often find him up late talking bridge into the small hours on Friday nights.

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