2014 News and Results
Year End Congress
In the year end event at Clayton-le-Moors on 28-29th December John Holland and Alan Mould have won the Swiss Pairs just ahead of Jeff Smith and Jackie Pye of Lancashire and in the Swiss Teams Kath and Alan Nelson teamed up with Jeff Smith and Jackie Pye to finish second. Full results are on the EBU site.
The trials for the Senior Camrose took place from 19-21st December at Solihull. There were six teams playing an all play all format. John Hassett and Jeff Morris playing with John Samson and Richard Jephcott finished fourth. The Hackett team (John Holland/Gunnar Hallberg, Paul Hackett, David Mossop, David Price/Colin Simpson) were fifth.
Congratulations to Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield who won the Swiss Pairs at Scotland's main congress on 13-14th December.
League Update (15th Dec)
The league season is now near its half way stage (in time, if not by number of matches played). The first division is still a league of two halves with the top five teams well ahead of the bottom six. Grasshoppers (Alec Smalley) and Isolated Menaces (Rhona Goldenfield) are leading with an average of 25.25, but with only two out of ten matches between the top five teams having been played positions could change dramatically. In division 2 DASH (Ken Hassell) have the best average, but the lead is not substantial. Division 3 is similar to 2 where Sedgely (Bernard Kaye) lead. In division 4 the early leaders Skaters (Karen Sandler) have been caught by Manchester A (Ray Ashleigh). Division 5 sees Spinning Tops (Ron Lowe) in top spot, but they have only played one match, second placed Chorlton Challengers (Bev Pardoe) have the best average of those who have played a substantial number of matches. In division 6 Overtrick Lunatics (Faye Georgiou) lead by a good margin but have only played two matches. Division 7 was led by Bombay Sapphires (Jo Gardiner), but a 30-0 loss to 3 Reds and a Rebel (Annie Curtis) has left the latter team in top spot.
Gold Cup Finals
The finals of the Gold Cup took place on 13-14th Dec. at Solihull. Manchester interest was confined to John Holland who played for the Gillis team against McIntosh in the semi-finals on Saturday and Alan Mould who played for the Mason team against Allfrey.
In the semi-finals Alan Mould's team did very well to only lose by 6 IMPs to Allfrey, the winner for three consecutive years now. The other match was a comfortable win for McIntosh, so there were no Manchester players in the final.
Following on from the council meeting in October, Barbara Lewis polled players to get their views as to whether Manchester should continue to enter two teams in the A division of the Northern League.
47 people responded, mainly from the A and B pools, all except one played this year in NBL matches. 31 voted to continue with two A teams, 9 were in favour of only one A team and seven people expressed no preference.
The Manchester team for the Tollemache final at West Bromwich on Feb 14-15th will be John Hassett/Jeff Morris, Gary Hyett/Ollie Burgess, Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, Alec Smalley/Tom Slater npc Alan Mould. This is essentially the same team which qualified in November, without John Holland who is unavailable. Good luck to the team.
Ben Franks Trophy
Manchester's pairs event which qualifies for the Corwen Trophy was held at Manchester Bridge Club on Sunday 7th December.
After the first session Alan Mould and Michael Newman led by a small margin from Gary Hyett and Peter Carey-Yard. These two pairs maintained their positions at the top after session 2 and with Pat Burrows and Paul Worswick and Raymond Semp and Ken Hassell finishing third and fourth respectively to qualify for the Corwen. The intermediate prize (NGS Jack and below) went to Jim O'Neill and Chris Baker.
Thanks to Joan Lewis for directing and to Irene Davies and helpers for organising.
1 Alan Mould & Michael Newman 61.25
2 Gary Hyett & Peter Carey-Yard 59.76
3 Patricia Burrows & Paul Worswick 57.19
4 Raymond Semp & Kenneth Hassell 56.76
5 Ollie Burgess & Millie Jones 55.75
6 Ben Beever & Eddie Thornton-Chan 54.37
7 Nicholas Greer & Ross Allen 54.07
8 Tracy Capal & Paddy Murphy 53.50
9 Kath Nelson & John Currie 51.89
10 David Pennington & Rod Franks 50.41
11 John Roberts & Peter Foster 50.31
12 Bernard Goldenfield & Rhona Goldenfield 49.73
13 Jeff Morris & John Hassett 49.10
14 Jim O'Neill & Chris Baker 48.73
15 Gillian McMullan & Roger Hopton 48.51
16 David Matthews & Ann Thornton 48.10
17 Alec Smalley & Barbara Lewis 47.12
18 Alan Nelson & Sidney Travers 46.96
19 Rodney Lighton & Neil Thomas 46.56
20 Mohammed Jabbar & Mariam Jabbar 45.77
21 Enid Noronha & Ray Hill 43.36
22 Peter Greaves & Brenda Greaves 42.27
23 Karen Reissmann & Irene Davies 41.85
24 Angela Parkinson & Wendy Burton 37.11
The annual match against Derbyshire took place at East Midlands Bridge Academy on Sunday 23rd November. Derbyshire were winners by 60 IMPs after a closely fought match. Manchester were 40 IMPS down at half time, the team of Elena & Marcelo Rosenbaum, Dhun Daji & Howard Stubbings had a very good second half being plus +54 IMPS, unfortunately the other pairings couldn't match this performance and we lost the second half by 20 IMPS. The Manchester team was Elena & Marcelo Rosenbaum, Dhun Daji & Howard Stubbings, Roger Hopton & David Fussell, Terry McCaughey & John Browning, George Leigh & Michael Wymer, Joan Lewis & Roy Higginbottom. Everyone enjoyed the match which was played in a truly friendly atmosphere.
The inter counties teams of eight qualifying took place in Birmingham on 22-23rd November. Manchester won their qualifying group 6 VPs ahead of Berks/Bucks. The team was John Holland/Alan Mould, Gary Hyett/Ollie Burgess, Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, Tom Slater/Alec Smalley, Jeff Morris/John Hassett npc Peter Jones. All pairs played well, with Jeff/John heading the group cross IMPs followed by Gary/Ollie - full results are on the EBU web site.
Gold for Gillian and Neil
Congratulations to Gillian McMullan and Neil Thomas who continued a run of good results with a win in the Highland Congress Pairs at Aviemore on 16th November. They scored 65% in the 48 pair final (initial entry 128 pairs). Paul Worswick was 8th in the pairs with David Whyte of Scotland. Gillian, Neil, Paul and David teamed up to finish fourth in the teams final.
Pendle Witch Pairs
Brierfield's annual pairs event attracted an entry of 18 tables on 9th November. Manchester pairs dominated, with the event being won by John Currie and Rodney Lighton who finished 3% ahead of Gillian McMullan (silver medal) and Neil Thomas who were a further 3% ahead of Ken Hassell and Ian Kane.
A nice feature of the event was that there were prizes for middle ranking and non-experts based on NGS grading.
Thanks to Paul Hepworth for directing, the organisers and catering staff for an enjoyable event.
Full results are on the Brierfield Club web site.
The final weekend of the Premier League was held at Solihull from 6-9th November.
Congratulations to Michael Byrne and Mike Bell who with Kieran Dyke and Fiona Brown finished second in the second division and are promoted to the first division next year. Michael and Mike were third in the cross IMP ranking.
Full results are on the EBU web site.
I have added to the system page a convention card for a Strong No Trump and 2 over 1 game forcing system used by Michael Byrne's league team as a default system for irregular partnerships. Also added (10th November) is a system file for a 2 over 1 system with transfer responses to 1C (thanks to Pete Foster).
Congratulations to Karen Jones and Barbara Eastabrook who won the Consolation event at Deva on October 19th with a huge score of 68%.
Full results are on the Deva Bridge Club web site.
Karen Jones and Barbara Eastabrook
Lancashire One Day Events - Double Bronze for Gillian
Congratulations to Gillian McMullan who finished third at Bolton in the Green Point Swiss Pairs on Saturday 25th with Neil Thomas and then teamed up with Roger Hopton, Bill and Joyce White to finish third again at Blackburn in the Swiss Teams.
Autumn Intermediate Pairs
The Intermediate Pairs was held at Altrincham on Sunday 2nd November.
There were 10 tables and a full movement of 27 boards was played.
Thanks to Barbara Lewis and Irene Davies for organisation and to Joan Lewis for directing.
1st John Attree & Peter Allison 60.42
2nd Chris Baker & Jim O'Neill 56.94
3rd Ray Hill & Enid Noronha 56.25
4th Kathy Priestley & Graham Fletcher 55.79
5th= Rose Davenport & Hilary Boydell 55.56
5th= Linda Williams & Rak Kapur 55.56
7th Ralph Deane & Mike Kissel 54.86
8th Wendy Verber & Ruth Verber 54.40
9th Sally Bray & George Leigh 53.24
10th John Parry & George Venter 51.62
11th Andrea Mills & Dave Welsh 50.93
12th Hugh Searson & Barbara Searson 49.77
13th Liz Downie & Margaret Kelly 49.54
14th= Elizabeth Czynyewska & Diane Saxon 47.69
14th= Joan Hinchcliffe & Peter Butterworth 47.69
16th= Pam Hegarty & Jackie Walton 43.98
16th= Adrienne Stone & Mark Gomme 43.98
18th Vanessa James & Ann Thompson 40.28
19th Shirley Pryce & Doreen Cook 39.81
20th Caroline Mallion & Dorothy Dawson 31.71
EBU Autumn Congress
Congratulations to Mike Bell who has won the two star pairs at Peterborough with Alex Hydes on 18th October.
World Bridge Series
EBU Montenegro Congress
There were successes for Manchester players at the EBU holiday congress from 8-14th October.
Joy and Irving Blakey won the Simultaneous Pairs heat and were third in the Swiss Pairs, also third in the Swiss Teams with Rhona and Bernard Goldenfield.
Bernard and Rhona were also second in the Swiss Pairs.
Best result was in the Swiss Teams where Bill and Joyce White (with Tim and Babs Matthews of Cumbria) won by a big margin.
Congratulations to all - full results are on the EBU web site.
Bill White, Babs Matthews, (Jane Taylor), Joyce White and Tim Matthews
Autumn Simultaneous Pairs
Congratulations to Ken Hassell and Ian Kane who, playing at the Altrincham heat, won nationally on Thursday 9th October with a score of nearly 70%. This is the fourth time they have won a national simultaneous.
Northern Bridge League Final Matches
The Manchester A1 team duly wrapped up the A division with another win on Saturday 11th October, Manchester A1 won each of the four individual events. As well as those pictured below other players this season were: Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, Alec Smalley, Tom Slater, Joy and Irving Blakey, Gary Hyett, Royce Alexander, Alan Jones and David Barton. All four pairs were positive on cross IMPs, with the Michaels top ranked of all the pairs. The Manchester A2 team of Ken Hassell/Ian Kane, Ben Beever/Eddie Thornton-Chan, Alan Jones/David Barton, David Pennington/Rod Franks finished last.
In the B Division, also at Bradford, the B team of David Olliver/Sidney Travers, Sylvia Massey/Herbert Potts, Barbara Lewis/Alec Smalley, Joyce and Robert Jones won to leap the team up from last place to third overall. Robert and Joyce were top of the cross IMPs with David and Sidney and Barbara and Alec also having very good cross IMP scores.
In the C Division at Leeds the team was Karen Reissmann/Irene Davies, Gillian McMullan/Roger Hopton, Joan Lewis/Roy Higginbottom, Celia and Kevin Comrie. They finished last on the day leaving Manchester in last place overall.
Full results and masses of data are on the Northern Bridge League web site.
Thanks to Michael Byrne and the selectors for their hard work and to all those who have played for the county at various levels this season.
Alan Nelson, Alan Mould, John Holland, Kath Nelson,
Michael Byrne, Rodney Lighton, Michael Newman, John Currie
The selection committee has chosen the following team to play the annual friendly against Derbyshire on Sunday November 23rd:
Elena and Marcelo Rosenbaum, Joan Lewis and Roy Higginbottom, George Leigh and Michael Wymer, Roger Hopton and David Fussell, Terry McCaughey and John Browning, Dhun Daji and Howard Stubbings.
Treasurer and Tournament Secretary
At the AGM in May our current Treasurer, Joan Hinchliffe, is stepping down after a number of years of sterling work for the county and we are therefore looking for a replacement.
Great Northern Swiss Pairs
Congratulations to Kath and Alan Nelson who won the Great Northern Swiss Pairs at Leeds on 4th-5th October. There was a large entry of 98 pairs; Barbara Hackett and Martin Taylor in eighth position were the next highest ranked Manchester pair.
The selection committee has selected the following team for the Tollemache Qualifying event on November 22nd and 23rd.
Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, John Hassett/Jeff Morris, John Holland/Alan Mould, Gary Hyett/Ollie Burgess, Tom Slater/Alec Smalley, non playing captain Peter Jones. Good luck to the team.
Derbyshire Green Point Pairs
Congratulations to Kevin Higgins and Richard Acaster who won the EBU/Derby Green point pairs at Spondon on 27th September in a field of 54 pairs. Full results will be on the Derbyshire web site.
The second weekend of the Premier League took place on 27-28th Sept. at Manchester Bridge Club. John Holland's team dropped to third place in the top division and Michael Byrne's team moved up to second place in the second division. Thanks to BBO operators Tom Slater, Ollie Burgess, Nicholas Greer (and others) for their work which enabled a large audience to see the event. The final weekend is at Solihull in November.
Northern League Round 3
The A and C teams played at Bradford and the B team at Keighley on Saturday 13th September with mixed fortunes.
The A1 team of John Currie/Royce Alexander, Alec Smalley/Tom Slater, Alan Jones/David Barton, Kath and Alan Nelson won and increased their lead in the division with the A2 team of Ken Hassell/Raymond Semp, David Audley/John Roberts, Neil Thomas/Nicholas Greer, Craig Fisher/Peter Jones coming a creditable third on the day, moving them up from sixth to fifth place. Alec and Tom led the cross IMPs with Alan and David not far behind.
In the B Division Steve Mattinson/Pauline Lang, Bill & Joyce White, David Pennington/Rod Franks, Robert & Joyce Jones finished last and dropped back to last in the division. Robert and Joyce were, however, third in the cross IMP rankings.
In the C Division Kevin Higgins/Richard Sinton, Elena & Marcelo Rosenbaum, Howard Stubbings/Dhun Daji, James Sheppard/Stephen Ward were fifth, leaving them in fourth place in the division. Kevin and Richard were the best of the Manchester pairs.
Commonwealth Nations Cup
This event took place in Glasgow from Monday Sept 8th to Sunday Sept 15th. John Holland played for England with Ben Green and Alan Mould played for Scotland with John Matheson. The event web site is here. Some matches will be on BBO.
The England and Scotland teams qualified for the quarter finals finishing first and fourth respectively in their qualifying group (Thursday). Knockout stages were played from Friday to Saturday. England won narrowly in their quarter final against the Scottish President's team, but Scotland lost by an even smaller margin to India. In the semi-finals England lost in another close match to the Chairman's team (Paul, Jason, Justin Hackett, David Mossop, David Bakhshi, Andrew McIntosh), but then won the play off match against India to secure a Silver medal (the Chairman's team weren't eligible for medals).
In the trans-national teams Martin Taylor, Barbara Hackett, Michael Byrne and Mike Bell did well to finish fifth in the Swiss, just failing to qualify for the knock outs.
Congratulations to Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield who won the Pairs at the Bolton Congress on 6th September. Rhona also won the Ladies Pairs on the Friday evening with Marianne Farr of Lancashire. In the Swiss Teams Kath and Alan Nelson with Peter Jones and Jeff Smith won ahead of Gillian McMullan and Neil Thomas who played with Paul Evans and Alan Whittam of Lancashire. David Audley, John Roberts, Alec Smalley and John Atthey were third.
Full results are on the Bolton Bridge Club web site.
Northern League Match 2
The second round of the Northern League took place on Saturday 30th August at Manchester Bridge Club for the A and B teams and at Blackburn for the C team.
In the A division the Manchester A1 team of Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, Gary Hyett/John Holland, Kath & Alan Nelson and Joy & Irving Blakey won with John and Gary topping the cross IMPs. The Manchester A2 team of David Audley/Raymond Semp, Craig Fisher/Peter Jones, Eve Lighthill/Sidney Travers, David Barton/Alan Jones finished last with David and Alan the best pair on the cross IMPs. This leaves the Manchester A1 team still leading and the Manchester A2 team still anchored at the bottom of the table.
In the B division Stephen Ward/Chris Hine, Barbara Lewis/Sam Herman, David Pennington/Rod Franks, Bill & Joyce White won but this left the team in 7th place, though a lot closer to 6th. Well done to Stephen and Chris who headed the cross IMPs for the division, Bill and Joyce also had a good cross IMP score.
In the C division the team of Ann Edwards/Ken Hughes, Richard Sinton/Kevin Higgins, Jeanne & Ron Bayly and Marcelo & Elena Rosenbaum finished bottom to drop from second to fourth place. Ann and Ken were our top pair on the cross IMPs.
All the results are now posted on the Northern league web site.
Telford Midweek Congress
In the EBU congress at Telford there were several second places for Manchester players. John Holland with Pat Davies were second in the pairs and also in the Swiss Teams where they played with Taf Anthias and Warner Solomon. This second place in the teams was shared with Alec Smalley, Barbara Lewis, Joy and Irving Blakey.
WBU Congress Aberystwyth
Congratulations to Bill and Joyce White who won the Mixed Pairs at Aberystwyth on 15th August, Pauline Lang and Steve Mattinson were third.
Northern Bridge League Selections
The selectors met on Tuesday 12th August and selected the following teams for the third and fourth Northern league matches.
Brighton Summer Meeting
The EBU's main congress of the year took place from Friday 8th to Sunday 17th August.
In the Swiss Pairs Michael Byrne and Mike Bell finished in second place, an excellent result in a field of 286 pairs. Next best Manchester pair were John Holland and Alan Nelson who were 35th.
In the Sunday evening open pairs Mike Bell won with Bill Gardner.
In the B Final of the bracketed Teams Tom Slater and Alex Hunt won with Graeme Robertson and Lavinia Constantin; a first win in an EBU event for Alex Hunt, I believe.
In Monday's Play with an Expert, Michael Byrne won NS with Adam Bowden and Sean Mekie won EW with Alex Hydes.
Sean Mekie won his second event of the week in the Friday afternoon Open Pairs with Nigel Guthrie.
In the A final of the teams John Holland was third with Ben Green, Cameron Small and Phil King
In the B final of the teams Gary Hyett and Michael Byrne were third with Ros and Geoffrey Wolfarth.
Northern League Match 1
The first of four matches took place on Saturday 2nd August at Manchester for the A and C teams and at Leeds for the B team.
This year Manchester have entered two teams in the A division. The A1 team of Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, Alan Mould/John Holland, Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, Alec Smalley/Tom Slater won comfortably ahead of Merseyside, with Alec and Tom having an enormous cross IMP score of over 2 IMPs per board. However, the A2 team of Rodney Lighton/Nicholas Greer, Sue Richmond/Neil Thomas, Alan Jones/David Barton, Joy and Irving Blakey have some catching up to do, finishing last on the day.
In the B division David Olliver/Sid Travers, Howard Stubbings/Dhun Daji, Steve Mattinson/Pauline Lang and Joyce and Robert Jones finished 7th, with David and Sid being far the best on the cross IMPing of the Manchester pairs.
In the C division Manchester finished second, though a long way adrift of Yorkshire SE. The team was Irene Davies/Karen Reissmann, Gillian McMullan/Roger Hopton, Herbert Potts/Sylvia Massey and Geoff Hull/Kenneth Hughes. Sylvia and Herbert were easily the best of the Manchester pairs.
All the results including Butlers, travellers etc. are on the Northern League web site.
EBU Summer Congress
This event took place at Scarborough from 25th-27th July. In the Multiple Teams on Friday John Holland and Alan Mould won playing with Bill Hirst (ex Manchester now Kent) and Jeremy Dhondy. John and Alan completed the double by winning the Swiss Pairs on Saturday and Sunday; next best Manchester pair were Neil Thomas and Gillian McMullan who finished a respectable 22nd out of 156 pairs.
Chairman's Cup - Byrne and Bell Win
Michael Byrne and Mike Bell with team mates Paul Lamford and David Kendrick competed for England in the Chairman's Cup, a competition held annually in Sweden where they faced teams from all around the world. The format is a qualifying Swiss event followed by knock-out stages, with a prize fund of 5000 Euros at stake. Over 150 teams competed including ones from Thailand, America, Denmark and Norway. The event started on Saturday 26th July and continued until Thursday.
Michael's team reached the finals and won by 79 IMPs after 3 sets of 16 boards, the opposition conceding with one set to play. This is an excellent result in a very strong field including top Swedish teams and some very good international opposition. They reached the final having finished fourth in the Swiss Teams and winning their quarter and semi final matches against strong Swedish teams.
One Day Swiss Teams
The Manchester/EBU one day Swiss Teams at Altrincham on Sunday 20th July was won by Alan Mould, John Matheson, John Hassett and Jeff Morris who finished 3 VPs ahead of Nicholas Greer, Neil Thomas, Jean and Dave Keen. In third place were Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, Joy and Irving Blakey.
Full results are on the Altrincham Bridge Club web site.
Thanks to Rhona Goldenfield and helpers for organising the event and to the directors for running it.
National League Finals
The Manchester A and C teams, who had qualified for the National finals by winning their respective Northern league divisions last year played in the National finals at Solihull on Sunday 6th July.
The A team of Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, Rodney Lighton/John Currie, Kath & Alan Nelson, Tom Slater/Alec Smalley finished second to Worcestershire. Rodney and John narrowly got the bragging rights for the cross-imping. The C team of Christopher Hine/Stephen Ward, Ken Hughes/Geoff Hull, Karen Reissmann/Irene Davies, Kevin Higgins/Richard Sinton fared less well; Chris Hine and Stephen Ward were our best pair on the cross-imping. Full results are accessible via the EBU web site.
This Charity event raised over £1800 in aid of Christies and St Anne's Hospice on Saturday 19th at Manchester Bridge Club - see their web site for results and pictures.
Northern Bridge League Selections
The inter county team of eight weekend at Carlisle on 28-29th June was won by Yorkshire, with Manchester second in a field of seven teams.
Manchester were represented by Michael Byrne/Michael Newman, John Currie/Neil Thomas (Sat), David Barton/Alan Jones(Sat), Gary Hyett/Raymond Semp (Sat), Ian Kane/Ken Hassell (Sun), John Currie/Alec Smalley (Sun) and Peter Jones/Alan Nelson (Sun).
Full results are on the Cumbria web site
European Championships Croatia
England Seniors Win Gold
Congratulations to the England Senior's team who have won the Gold medal in Opatija. Having qualified for the final phase in sixth place, they played the other nine teams in an all play all. A slow start saw them in ninth place after two matches, but they gradually moved up the table to reach first after six matches. Good wins over Bulgaria and Sweden and a final one IMP victory over Norway left them 13 VPs clear of Sweden in second place. Manchester's John Holland playing with Gunnar Hallberg featured largely in this triumph, playing every match in the final stage. Paul Hackett played with David Mossop and Colin Simpson with David Price. This is John's third Gold Medal at Senior level, following World Championships in 2009 and 2010.
In the Open Jason and Justin Hackett did well to win a bronze medal. All the England teams qualified for the World Championships in Chennai in 2015, the England Women won a silver medal, with Catherine Draper of Lancashire (and also a Manchester Bridge Club member) playing, as well as Sally Brock who plays in Manchester events occasionally (she will be at the Michelle Brunner memorial event in July).
John Holland, Gunnar Hallberg, David Mossop, David Burn (Coach),
Paul Hackett, Colin Simpson, David Price, Simon Cocheme (npc)
Castle Swiss Pairs
Well done Gillian McMullan and Neil Thomas who won the Castle Swiss Pairs at Huddersfield on Sunday 15th June. The field of 24 pairs included internationals and many county players from Yorkshire. Full results are here.
Manchester Bridge Club finished 2nd= in the inter club teams of eight national final at Solihull on Saturday 14th June. The team of Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, John Hassett, Jeff Morris, Andrew Woodcock, Ollie Burgess, John Holland and Gary Hyett had qualified by winning the Gazette Trophy in Manchester and then finishing second in the Northern final. They were some way behind the winners Coventry and tied with the North East team from Hurworth. Full results and Butlers are on the EBU web site.
Congratulations to the Manchester team of John Holland, Gary Hyett, Michael Byrne, Michael Newman and Rodney Lighton who achieved the county's best ever result in the Pachabo when they finished second in a field of 32 teams at Nottingham on 7th-8th June.
The team qualified for the event by winning the Goldstone Trophy, the County's annual teams of four knock out competition which this year saw a record 15 entries.
In the Pachabo itself they rotated with the international players playing more boards, and all players playing the now popular system of 5 card majors, strong no trump and short club.
They led halfway through session 1 but were lying 3rd overnight. They won session 3 and kept up the pressure on the leaders but couldn't quite catch them despite a solid finish.
The Pachabo is a point-a-board competition and matches are scored on a 10-0 victory point scale, with a scoring system that very few people in the country understand. Team Manchester managed to win 10-0 against Herefordshire, Hampshire, Worcestershire and Leicestershire.
The winners were the North East, with neighbours Lancashire pipping all international Middlesex to gain third place.
Summer Intermediate Pairs
This event was held on Sunday June 8th in Altricham. Twenty two pairs competed, including several students. Everyone had an enjoyable afternoon. Thanks to Joan Lewis for directing and to Barbara Lewis and Irene Davies for administration.
Congratulations to the team of Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, John Holland, Alan Mould and Rodney Lighton who beat Irving and Joy Blakey, John Hassett and Jeff Morris on 2nd June in the Goldstone final. The Blakey team won the first quarter by 17 IMPs, but after that the Byrne team piled on the IMPs steadily to win by a comfortable margin. The Byrne team go on to represent Manchester in the Pachabo on 7th-8th June.
The match was played in good spirits and saw accurate slam bidding from both sides, including two flat grand slams bid well:
76 AKQ 7S bid by Byrne/Newman and Hassett/Morris
AK8754 Q2 7C bid by Mould/Newman and Blakey/Blakey
This win brings John Holland's total of wins to 12, with John Hassett on 9 and Michael Byrne tied with Gary Hyett in 3rd place with 8.
No great successes to report of the Manchester pairs on 31/5 to 1/6 at Northampton. Best placed were John Currie and Kath Nelson, with 51.7%. However, they did have the satisfaction of winning the fourth session with a good score of 64.5%
Manchester successes at the Yorkshire Congress in Harrogate 30th May to 1st June:- Michael Byrne won the Mixed Pairs with Fiona Brown scoring a magnificent 72%, in the Championship Pairs Michael Byrne was second with Hugh McGann. In the teams final Steve Mattinson, David Pennington, Rod Franks and Pauline Lang finished second.
This year's AGM was held at Manchester Bridge on Thursday 29th May.
All the current officers were re-elected. The selection committee for 2014-15 will be Barbara Lewis, Michael Newman, Peter Jones, Ben Beever and Ken Hassell.
The major points of discussion were league and cup rules and whether to make the Higson Cup/Plate competitions a handicap event.
The league and cup rules will be reviewed before next season by the tournament committee, scroll down for more information.
All league captains will be polled about the options for the Higson Cup and a decision on its format will be made soon.
The calendar for 2014-15 has been published, click on Calendar at the top of the page.
A contingent of Manchester players made their annual trip to Ireland for the Killarney Congress in May with a large number of successes. Joy and Irving Blakey were second in the congress pairs, John Holland won the Mixed Teams, Kath Nelson won the Ladies Teams, Alan Nelson and John Holland were second in the Mens Teams, Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield were second in the Gala Pairs, Rhona Goldenfield won the Mixed Pairs, John Holland won the Open Teams with Rhona and Bernard Goldenfield second.
EBU Mid-Week Congress
Manchester players did well at the EBU Congress in Oxford. In the pairs event on 27-28th May Martin Taylor won with Justin Hackett just ahead of John Holland and Pat Davies. John Holland won the Swiss teams with Pat Davies, Taf Anthias and Warner Solomon.
The selection committee met for the last time this season and picked teams for the National League Finals and the President's Cup.
Rodney Lighton and Ian Kane will not be standing for election at the AGM this year.
Bramhall Teams of Eight
Marple Bridge Club dominated this invitation event for South Manchester clubs on Sunday 18th May, with their A team winning by a good margin and their B team 2nd= with Bramhall Green.
1 3 Marple A 90
Joyce Jones,Robert Jones,Jeanne Bayly,Ronald Bayly
Kenneth Hassell,Ian Kane,Herbert Potts,Sylvia Massey
2= 6 Bramhall Green 69
Roew Macdonald,Brenda Macdonald,David Joyce,Penny Joyce
Derek Bailey,Terry Ottway,Adrian Lee,K Faulkner
2= 2 Marple B 69
John Browning,Dave Bakewell, ...???,Michael Kisil
Peter Bailey,Ben Harrison-Graham,Jim O'Neill,Chris Baker
4 7 Cheadle Hulme 61
Melvyn Pelham,Terry McCaughey,Lance Bloohn,Karen Sandler
Eve Lighthill,Pauline Lang,Dhun Daji,Howard Stubbings
5 1 Bramhall Green 58
Peter Greaves,Brenda Greaves,Molly Bailey,Gillian Cuthbert
Gilbert Fletcher,Doris Kirwan,Dieter Salden,Marian Moulds
6 5 Ashton 49
June Chadwick,John Parry,Gordon Bickley,Ann Farquhar
David Tattersall, ...???
7 4 Cheadle Hulme B 24
Mary Green,Margaret Skinner,Beryl Seed,Pat Tooze
Ian Hempstock,Howard Rosemarine
Merseyside Green Point Swiss Pairs (John Armstrong Trophy)
Congratulations to Kevin Higgins and Richard Acaster from the Bramhall club who finished second in this event on Sunday 18th May 2014 at Merseyside Bridge Centre. Full results can be seen here.
League and Cup Rules Review
Bob Cooke has asked the Tournament Committee to review the rules regarding the League and Higson Cup with particular emphasis on1. The rules governing substitutes
2. The rules applying when teams don't complete their fixtures
This may be in the form of a sub-committee and they will meet in mid June. This will give all interested parties time to put forward any views to the committee (via Bob or any member of the committee (preferably by e-mail but please talk to us if that's what you would prefer)). The tournament committee will be expected to have produced a draft revision by the middle of July. This will be put to the Executive Committee for approval and will be published on the MCBA website by the end of July.
Bob urges anyone with any ideas for changes (or not) to the rules to please let your views be known.
To view the current rules read the League and
Cup handbook on the league page.
Congratulations to the Manchester Bridge Club team (Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Rhona Goldenfield, Bernard Goldenfield , John Hassett, Jeff Morris, John Holland, Alan Mould) who finished second in the Northern heat of the Garden Cities at Bradford on 10th May and thus qualify for the national final in June.
Player of the Year
Congratulations to Rhona Goldenfield who has won the Player of the Year competition, just 2 points ahead of Bernard Goldenfield.
In the Intermediate category Stephen Ward and Christopher Hine were joint winners.
Manchester League - close but no cigar
St Titus beat Agamemnon in their last match 26-4, enough to take second spot, but agonisingly short of the 28-2 win that they needed. At half time they were nearly on target 24 IMPs up, but a relatively flat second set gave them little opportunity to get the extra IMPs needed. This was the closest finish in the league since 2007 and the highest score by a team finishing second since records exist.
Congratulations to Curry Eaters (Justin Hackett, Martin Taylor, Paul Hackett, Barbara Hackett and Darren Evetts) on their first league win since 2004. They won all but two of their matches, drew one and lost one 14-16 for a very consistent performance.
In the second division Eddie Thornton-Chan's Petersfield team have won and will be promoted along with Team Mayhem (Neil Thomas) and Manhattan (.Graham Burns)In division 3 Jeanne Bayly's Leaders with Attitude and Kevin Higgin's Tricksters are promoted.
Division 4 is now almost complete with Ashton Aces (Gordon Bickley) and City Aces (Phil Reed) promoted.
In division 5 Astrazeneca Stars (David Milne) have won the division, with Transfers (Jeffrey Marks) just pipping Chorlton Challengers (Bev Pardoe) for second place and promotion.
In division 6 Jim Regan's Radbroke Bandits lost their unbeaten record in the last match, but still finished with a fine average of over 20 VPs, second were The Four Dummies (Barbara Eastabrook).In division 7 Eureka led by Ann Morris won with a fine average of 21 VPs, Pack Choice (Peter Hallsworth) are also promoted.
Congratulations to all promoted teams, commiserations to those relegated, we hope to see you all back in September.
Congratulations to Team Mayhem (Jean and David Keen, Neil Thomas and Pete Foster) who won the Higson Cup on Sunday 27th at Manchester Bridge Club by a good margin of 15 VPs from St Titus (Michael Byrne, Ollie Burgess, Michael Newman, Alan Mould and Rodney Lighton) with Isolated Menaces (Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, John Holland and John Hassett in third place. Team Mayhem were 3 VPs ahead with one match to play and ensured victory with a 20-0 win, while St Titus lost narrowly to Agamemnon.
Meanwhile in the Higson Plate Tricksters (Dave Matthews, Ann Thornton, Kevin Higgins and Richard Sinton) won ahead of Davenport (Derek Bailey, Chris Baker, Jim O'Neill and Adrian Lee) and Enigmas David and Marion McNeillie, Sylvia Dixon and Graham Fletcher) with Overtrick Lunatics third (Faye Georgiu, Sanjeet Kamath, John Hurst and Anthony Lawrence) - they also won the trophy for best 6th or 7th division team in the plate.
Full results of the Cup and Plate are on the Manchester Bridge club web site.
The finals were broadcast on BBO and attracted a good audience, especially in the evening. Thanks to Mike Coop and Nicholas Greer for running the BBO, Jeff Smith and Joan Lewis for directing and Kath Nelson and Irenen Davis for administration. Thanks also to David Barton and Alec Smalley for providing BBO commentary throughout the day.
Congratulations to Tracy Capal who won the Swiss Teams at York with Paddy Murphy, Liz Commins and David Stevenson. John Holland was third in the Swiss Pairs. Results are on the Yorkshire web site. Meanwhile at London Michael Byrne was fourth in the Championship Pairs with Graeme Robertson and then third with Freddie Illingworth in the Swiss Pairs on Easter Monday. Results for the London event are on the EBU web site.
The county knock out competition to determine who plays for Manchester in the Pachabo has reached the final stage. Byrne (Newman, Lighton, Hyett, Mould, Holland) beat Tempo (Bob Cooke, Rod Franks, Dhun Daji, David Pennington, Gill Griffiths) and Blakey (Joy, Irving, Jeff Morris, John Hassett) beat Tricksters (Kevin Higgins, Richard Sinton, David Matthews, Ann Thornton). This means that the final will be between the same teams as last year. The final will take place at Manchester Bridge Club on Monday 2nd June, spectators welcome.North Wales Spring Congress
In the North Wales Congress at Wrexham on 5-6th April there were wins for Tracy Capal (with Mike Pownall) in the Pairs and Neil Thomas and Sue Richmond (with Alan Whittam and Paul Evans of Lancashire) in the Swiss Teams. Congratulations to all.
376 pairs competed in the annual EBU mixed pairs event on Sunday 23rd March. Congratulations to the Manchester pairs who did well. Best placed were Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield who were fourth, followed by Kath and Alan Nelson who were 15th. Steve Mattinson and Pauline Lang had an average first session, but then recorded the top score in the country in the second session to move up to 23rd. Eve Lighthill and Ian Kane finished 29th.
Congratulations to John Hassett/David Debbage and Jonathan Hill/Dave Hammonds who qualified for the National Pairs final by finishing third and fifth respectively at the Northern Pairs in Bradford on 16th March.
Camrose Weekend Two
The second weekend of the Camrose Home Internationals took place at the Park Inn Hotel on 7-9th March.
A good sized audience turned up to watch play in the open rooms and in the vugraph room, where Michael Byrne and Alan Mould, assisted by Jim Luck and Patrick Jourdain kept them entertained with a running commentary on a very interesting set of deals.
Thanks to Kevin Comrie, the match manager, and his team of helpers for organising the weekend and to the BBO operators who enabled thousands of people to watch the match online.
Well done to the England team who won ahead of Northern Ireland.
Green Point Swiss Pairs
The annual Swiss Pairs event at Altrincham on 8th March attracted a full house of 24 tables. Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield reached the top table quickly and seemed to remain there all day, winning by a comfortable margin ahead of Pat Burrows and Michael Byrne.
Thanks to Rhona and Joan Lewis for all their hard work in organising and setting up and clearing away. Also thanks to David Stevenson and Joan Lewis for directing a smoothly run event.
Click here for rankings
Full results are on the Altrincham Bridge Club web site.
EBU York Congress
At the York Congress from 28th Feb to 2nd March the major Manchester success was provided by John Holland and Michael Byrne who with their respective partners Ben Green and Andrew Murphy won the Swiss Teams. Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield and Joy and Irving Blakey were third in the same event.
Full results for the whole congress are on the EBU web site.
Congratulations to Martin Taylor and Mike Bell who won the Life Masters pairs by a good margin on 22nd-23rd February.
This is Martin's first National win.
Martin Taylor and Mike Bell
(photo courtesy of EBU)
The Cantor Cup was held on February 16th and was sponsored, as usual, by the Cantor family.
Only nine and half tables participated but everyone enjoyed the afternoon which included excellent scones and cream for tea.
It was encouraging to see quite a few people new to bridge competitions including a number of students.
Thanks to Barbara Lewis and Irene Davies for organising and to Joan Lewis for directing.
Thanks to the Cantor family for their continued support and sponsorship of this event and to Martin Cantor for presenting the prizes.
1st Kelvin Lau & Mitchell Dytham 63.61
2nd Helen Durkin & Sean Mekie 61.35
3rd Wendy Verber & Kate Durham 57.36
4th Annie Curtis & Jackie Lowrie 54.93
5th Elizabeth Czyniewska & Diane Saxon 53.49
6th Chris Boal & Gill Leather 52.55
7th David Owen & P Noel 52.13
8th Joan Missira & Kate Stec 52.04
9th John Scott & Julie Scott 49.37
10th Peter Farr & Alex Combe 47.08
11th Bernice Dillon & Ian Barlow 47.02
12th Megan Loureiro & Rory Roxburgh 46.73
13th Julie Merry & Maggie Hyde 46.55
14th Gene Jansen & Rita Van Den Burgh 46.22
15th Len Sharpe & Nigel D Campbell 45.54
16th Joan Abbott & Pauline Anforth 45.19
17th John Bridgeman & Harry Bennett 44.12
18th Ron Lawson & Caroline Mallion 42.81
19th Marie Kirwan & Petrina Wolff 39.16
The Manchester team finished a disappointing seventh in the Tolle final at West Bromwich over the weekend of 8-9th February.
After a stressful journey with the M6 closed, they arrived just in time. The first two matches went well beating Gloucester and Middlesex, but on Saturday evening they lost heavily to Kent and just beat Bedfordshire. At this point our team was fifth, but only seven VPs behind the leaders. Sunday however started with heavy losses to Berks and Bucks and then London and finally a 0-20 defeat to Northants when the team seemed unable to get any slam decisions correct. The team was Alan Mould/Michael Newman, Michael Byrne/Tom Slater, Rodney Lighton/John Currie, Jeff Morris/John Hassett. Thanks to Peter Jones for npc duties.
The best (or least worst) of our pairs on the cross-imping were Rodney and John, just ahead of Jeff and John.
Mancunians in Malta
Several Manchester players were successful at the EBU holiday in Malta in early February. In the three session Swiss Pairs Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, having led for most of the event, were just pipped into second place. In the pivot teams Rhona and Bernard won their section, with John Holland's team second and Gary Hyett and David Olliver fourth. Rhona Goldenfield won the Ladies Pairs with Pat Davies of Wiltshire. John Holland, Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield and Warner Solomon of Devon won the Swiss teams.
Manchester's qualifier for the Garden Cities was held at Altrincham on Sunday 2nd February.
A strong Manchester Bridge Club team won, they go on to represent the county in the regional finals in May.
Thanks to Irene Davies for organising and to Joan Lewis for directing.
John Holland, Michael Newman, John Hassett, Jeff Morris, (Eve Lighthill), Michael Byrne, Alan Nelson
Kath Nelson, Alan Mould
1 Manchester A 71
Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Alan Mould, John Holland
John Hassett, Jeff Morris, Kath Nelson, Alan Nelson
2 Cheadle A 56
Rod Franks, David Pennington, Royce Alexander, John Currie
Eve Lighthill, Barbara Lewis, Alec Smalley, Tom Slater
3 Cheadle B 37
Victor Ridding, Mary Green, Lance Bloohn, Karen Sandler
Sylvia Massey, Herbert Potts, Roger Hopton, Gillian McMullan
4 Bramhall 19
Tony Hodgson, Eddie Thornton-Chan, Bill White, Joyce White
Graham Wood, Doris Kirwan, Inder Sethi, Surinder Sethi
5 Manchester B 17
Karen Reissmann, John Fitzgerald, Andy Green, John Moran
David Matthews, Ann Thornton ,Ross Allen, Nicholas Greer
National Point a Board Teams
A new format and venue for an EBU event on 18-19th January at Northampton, John Holland and team (Ben Green, Jeremy Dhondy and Brian Callaghan) were winners by a good margin. Results of this event and the parallel Swiss Teams arre on the EBU web site.
Preston Blue Point Teams
Kath and Alan Nelson returned invigorated from their winter holiday in the Carribean to win the Preston Teams on Sunday 12th January. They played with Jeff Smith and Jackie Pye of Lancashire and had a storming second session to win by a good margin in a field of 11 teams.
The first weekend of this year's home internationals takes place over the weekend of 10-12th January at Llandindrod Wells. Manchester's John Holland is playing for England. Matches are being broadcast on BBO.
Manchester's congress took place at the Victoria and Albert Hotel from 4-5th January.
As usual there was a good turnout for both the pairs and the teams events as well as the non-expert events.
Kevin Comrie was presented with his Dimmie Fleming Award by Eve Lighthill for services to Manchester Bridge over the last 20 years or so and received a tumultuous round of applause. The main pairs event for the Michelle Brunner Trophy was won by Michael Byrne and Andrew Murphy, while the teams final was won on a split tie by the veteran team of Bernard Goldenfield, Jim Luck, Rhona Goldenfield and Marianne Farr ahead of Mike Bell, Sarah O'Connor, John Hassett and Jeff Morris.
Two quizzes organised by Raymond Semp and Michael Byrne kept players entertained between sessions. Click here for the answers to Michael's quiz
Thanks to all the organisers and directors for their hard work before and during the event.
Congress feedback: any suggestions for improvement etc. please e-mail Irene Davies
A Teams Final
B Teams Final
C Teams Final
Progress Cup (Saturday)
1st Margaret Kelly & Liz Downie 68.89
2nd Peter Collinson & Kate Durham 61.43
3rd= Sue Bloor & Rak Kapur 56.67
3rd= Barbara Scholes & Pam Hegarty 56.67
5th Joan Abbott & Pauline Anforth 54.44
6th Sally Bray & Judith Dunkerley 50.00
7th Annie Garry & Peter Watts 48.89
8th Hilary Hill & David Hill 47.22
9th Sheila Cornwell & Ian Bailey 46.19
10th David Hess & Moira Bloomfield 45.24
11th Pat Shea & Bernard Shea 40.56
12th Elizabeth Czyniewska & Janet Mayland 40.48
13th Malcolm Allum & Mark Saperia 33.33
Kevin Comrie Cup (Sunday)
1st Mike Kisil & Ralph Deane 65.45
2nd Paul West & Rak Kapur 61.82
3rd Ann Thompson & Vanessa James 60.91
4th Annie Curtis & Kate Durham 55.45
5th Sally Bray & Pat Turner 52.27
6th Megan Loureiru & Rory Roxburgh 50.45
7th Sheila Cornwell & Janet Bailey 48.18
8th Ian Hempstock & Val Hempstock 46.82
9th Peter Butterworth & Joan Hinchcliffe 45.00
10th Linda Smith & Joe Farrell 41.82
11th Pat Shea & Bernard Shea 40.91
12th Elizabeth Czyniewska & Janet Mayland 30.91
Congratulations to John Holland with Gunnar Hallberg and Paul Hacket with David Mossop and David Price and Colin Simpson who won the Seniors' Trials play off over the weekend of 4th-5th January. They will represent England in the Europen Seniors in Croatia in June.
Merville Goldstone Trophy
Byrne: Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Rodney Lighton, John Holland, Alan Mould, Gary Hyett
Tempo: Dhun Daji, Rod Franks, David Pennington, Bob Cooke
Blakey: Joy & Irving Blakey, Jeff Morris, John Hassett
Tricksters: Kevin Higgins, Richard Sinton, Ann Thornton, David Matthews
Click here for the final league table
Click below for the lists of players