2020 News and Results
EBU Lockdown League
Michael Byrne's team has won the fourth season of the lockdown league, they have won every season so far. Jeff Smith's team finished third.
Michelle Brunner Charity Event
This year the annual event in memory of Michelle took place on Saturday 18th July at 2pm online hosted by Manchester Bridge Club.
Congratulations to the winners Barbara Eastabrook and Karen Jones who were 2% ahead of Joy and Irving Blakey with Pete Foster and Mike Amos third.
38 pairs participated and £2000 was raised for Christie Hospital and St Ann's Hospice.
Results are on the Manchester Bridge Club web site.
Player of the Year
Congratulations to the winners of the Player of the Year in the expert category Rodney Lighton just ahead of John Holland and in the non-expert category Adam Wiseberg who finished one point ahead of joint second Sally Bray, Judith Dunkerley and Jonathan Engler.
The Higson Cup and Plate were ignored in the scoring as the competitions have not been completed. The league points are based on the positions calculated using the Mould formula to complete the season. For the Goldstone Trophy non-expert points were awarded as all non-expert teams had been eliminated before lockdown. Expert points were not awarded in the Goldstone (it would not make any difference to the top places as Rodney and John were in the same team).
An interview with...
Michael Byrne interviewed various personalities from the world of bridge in Manchester during lockdown.
Click on the links below for the interviews
Llandudno Pairs Weekend (Online)
In the qualifying round on Saturday 4th July the following Manchester players reached the A final by finishing in the top ten. Pete Foster (with Mike Amos), Rhona Goldenfield (with Tracy Capal), Stuart Shalom and Daniel Kelsall, Irving Blakey and Raymond Semp.
Congratulations to Pete Foster who finished second and Rhona Goldenfield who finished third.
Results are on the North Wales web site.
Bill Hirst, who has died recently, was an outstanding player in and for Manchester for many decades.
Bill came to Manchester in 1978 where he worked in Insurance and Risk Management. He was a very keen rubber bridge player, who played in the big game at Manchester Bridge Club where he could enjoy a high standard of bridge. He also liked playing golf, and went frequently to the bridge congress in Killarney where he could participate in both pastimes. In 1989 he formed a partnership with John Hassett; they had many successes, including playing for Great Britain in the Senior's World Olympiad and winning a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. They qualified to play for England in the Camrose Trophy via the Premier League twice, but were unable to play as Bill was in Australia. At national level Bill won the Tollemache twice and Crockfords. He and John Hassett together with Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield won the Hubert Phillips twice and came very close to winning the Gold Cup, losing narrowly in the final in 2006. He won virtually every major trophy in Manchester, many several times over.
About ten years ago Bill and his wife Sheila retired to Kent to live near their daughter Suzanne, they also went to Australia for long periods every winter to stay with their son Andy who also plays bridge to a high standard, Bill often played in the Gold Coast Congress whilst there. In Kent Bill played some bridge with Pat Collins.
Bill died of an infection following surgery for a benign brain tumour. Our condolences to his family.
Bill's funeral was held on Monday 20th July.
The service was online at www.obitus.com username Fefe2532 password 507315.
The service will be viewable again from three days after the funeral for a period of 28 days.
Below is a set of suit combination problems. Assume there are plenty of entries to both hands and no problems with control and no inferences from the auction or previous play unless otherwise stated.
Terry Krell played with Espen Lindqvist
Espen Lindqvist, Norwegian international and multiple winner of North American bridge championships including the Spingold and Reisinger has volunteered to play in the Manchester Charity event on 24th June with the person who makes the highest monetary bid to play with him. Money goes to the Centrepoint charity for homeless young people.
Thanks to Terry Krell who made the highest bid and played with Espen. They finished third in the NS direction; thanks for their generosity.
EBU Lockdown League
Michael Byrne's team has won the third season of the lockdown league, their third win in a row. Jeff Smith's team finished fifth this time round.
Executive Meeting and AGM
The executive of the MCBA met on 7th June, minutes are on the
EBU Lockdown League
The second season of the EBU Lockdown League has finished with Michael Byrne winning the top division again with Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell, Ben Norton, Sarah Bell and Nicola Smith. In second place were Jeff Smith, Alec Smalley, David Barton and Leslie Klein.
Jenny Morris Teaching
Starting from the week commencing May 25th 2020, Jenny will be teaching online using zoom. See https://jennymorrisbridge.com
Click the link below for a two minute video
We are sorry to report that Mark Halliwell died recently of cancer. Mark was part of the team that ran Bridge World in the late eighties where he taught bridge. He later played regularly at Manchester Bridge Club and in division one of the Manchester league in the Grasshoppers team with Mike Ardron. He did a lot of bridge teaching and introduced players into MCBA clubs and competitions. He won the congress teams, the Higson Plate and the Great Northern Swiss Pairs.
MCBA senior officers are meeting virtually during the lockdown to discuss any urgent MCBA matters. To date, these have largely been around the county's support of online bridge for its members. However, we would be interested to hear from any members or clubs who have any concerns. Please contact the county secretary, Alan Mould, with any item you would like discussed. Keep well and safe and see you the other side of lockdown.
Minutes of this meeting are now on the documents page under executive meetings.
Cheshire Cheeses and Proteus in division 1 played a league match online on Sunday 3rd May, the first match played in the league since lockdown began. The result was a small win for Cheshire Cheeses.
Manchester Charity Tournament
Thanks to everyone who participated in the online charity tournament on Wednesday 29th April. We had 22 tables and raised £1,600 for St Anne's Hospice. The event was won by Kevin and Celia Comrie. We will be holding an online charity tournament each month. To register go to the Manchester Events website. Charities are suffering in this lockdown so if you know of a deserving charity please contact us with suggestions.
I wish to thank the team of people who have brought us online bridge in these difficult days. The County's games are organised and run by players who do it purely out of their love for the game. These games give so much pleasure and begin to overcome some of the isolation that we all feel.
Thanks to Adam Wiseberg, Alec Samlley and Jeff Smith who did all the hard work setting up on BBO. Just as importantly to all TDs and the players they have trained to direct on BBO; Espen Gisvold, Dave Tilley and Victor Ridding.
Let's hope that we get back to face to face bridge sooner rather than later, but in the meantime enjoy the pleasures of online bridge.
Irene Davies MCB Chair
EBU Lockdown League
Congratulations to Michael Byrne who has won the first season of the lockdown league with Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell, Ben Norton, Sarah Bell and Nicola Smith. Results are on the EBU web site.
The minutes of the council meeting held on 24th March (remote participation) are now posted on the documents page. Business was dominated by discussion of the effect of the pandemic. The criteria for non-expert will be changed from the beginning of next season, whenever that may be, to NGS J and below.
Michael Newman Funeral
Michael Newman's funeral service at Howe Bridge crematorium took place on Thursday 26th March. A few close friends attended (well separated) and a large number of other friends watched it online.
If you missed the funeral and wish to see it, then the service is online (7th April) with the same login details for a period of 28 days.
The website is www.obitus.com username howe1344 password 900240
It is hoped that a celebration of Michael's life will take place in the Autumn that everyone will be welcome to go to.
At the MCBA council meeting on Tuesday it was agreed to buy a new trophy for the first division of the Manchester League in honour of Michael.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Michael Newman (MJN) who was one of Manchester's best bridge players, winner of many local and national events who also worked and taught at Manchester Bridge Club for many years.
Michael was born in Beaconsfield in 1960 the younger of two sons in his family. He was brought up in Kent and arrived in the Manchester area when his parents moved up to Bolton in the late 1970s.
He showed early promise as a bridge player winning the England Junior Pairs in 1984 with Martin Braid and in 1985 with Joe Fawcett. He enjoyed success in the Manchester league in partnership with Tom Middleton in the 1980s and with Kath Nelson in the 1990s.
His results blossomed after forming a partnership with Michael Byrne in the early 2000s. Among his numerous wins* in county competitions were seven league titles and the Ben Franks pairs six times with three different partners. He won the Manchester congress teams twice, once in 1984 as a junior playing with three adults and once in 2011 as an adult playing with three juniors.
At national level he was a key member of Manchester's team when winning the Pachabo three times. In particular in 2015, the first time that Manchester won the Pachabo, he and Alan Mould were Manchester's best pair by far. He won the Garden Cities trophy and the inter-county league finals, both three times, as well as a single success in the NICKO.
He was a fierce competitor, keen to do his best and always greatly pleased at winning competitions. Even when victory was no longer possible he always strived to achieve a place on the podium, fighting until the last board for a top three finish.
He was a staunch supporter of bridge in Manchester, turning out frequently for Northern league matches and playing for the Tollemache team. He was proud of Manchester's good record in that event, though disappointed that he never won the event.
He worked for nearly forty years at Manchester Bridge Club on Palatine Road playing in the rubber bridge games as a host. He ran the successful beginners duplicate on Tuesday nights as well as the Swiss pairs on Thursday nights, often playing with some of the beginners who came without partners. He would tell the story of when another bridge player (Rita Jordan) said to him "You never seem to get any older - do you have a painting in the attic?". Though not initially understanding the reference to Oscar Wilde's story he came to adopt the name Dorian Gray when he wanted to play under an assumed name.
He served as secretary of the Manchester County Bridge Association for ten years from 2007 to 2017 and worked hard in helping to write Manchester's new constitution.
Away from the bridge table Michael's other great love was karaoke. He used to perform regularly in several pubs in the Bolton area. His favourite songs, amongst many others, were "Sound of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel and "I want to hold your hand" by the Beatles .
Sadly in 2019 his health deteriorated and in early 2020 he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He continued playing as long as his health allowed. He was delighted to win a league match by over 100 IMPs at the beginning of March telling everyone that it was the fewest IMPs (four) that he had ever conceded in 35 years of playing in the league.
He will be fondly remembered for his love of bridge and his loyalty to his team and friends.
Michael John Newman born 24th October 1960 died 12th March 2020.
* See the county and national honours pages for events won by Michael.
Thanks to Michael Byrne for contributions to this obituary.
Olympiad Open Trials
The Olympiad Open Trials took place in London from 13th to 17th March. Michael Byrne played with Kieran Dyke on the Leslie team. Results are on the EBU web site. Michael's team failed to progress to the knock-out stage.
Eric Howarth Teams
Congratulations to Rhona Goldenfield, John Holland, Michael Byrne and Alan Mould who won the Green Point Teams at Deva on 8th March.
Results are on the Deva web site.
John Holland, Rhona Goldenfield, Michael Byrne and Alan Mould
Green Point Pairs
Winners Andrew Petrie and Catherine Draper
Second Michael Byrne and Michael Newman
Third Paul Hackett and Alan Mould
Fifth equal Jeremy Stanforth, John Dearing, Gillian Whyte and John Holland
Non-expert Pearl Fielding (Bill Bentley)
Last round prize Ted Reveley and Rhona Goldenfield
Catherine Draper & Andrew Petrie
Michael Byrne & Michael Newman
Alan Mould & Paul Hackett
John Currie & Rodney Lighton
Jeremy Stanforth & John Dearing
Gillian Whyte & John Holland
Nick Woodcock & Sue Fjortoft
John Sansom & David Debbage
Ted Reveley & Rhona Goldenfield
Gillian McMullan & Neil Thomas
Jeff Morris & Kath Nelson
Paul Murray & Peter Grauer
Howard Kay & Chris Ryall
Jeffrey Smith & Jackie Pye
Liz Commins & David Stevenson
Adam Wiseberg & John Fitzgerald
Peter Hall & Julian Merrill
Catherine & John Ashworth
Colin Humphrey & Daniel Miller
Raymond Semp & Toby Nonnenmacher
Peter Foster & John Roberts
Nicholas Greer & Irene Davies
Adrian Goulding & Oliver Cowan
Gary Hyett & Margaret Howe
Pearl Fielding & Bill Bentley
David & Linda Glasscock
Tracy Capal & Paddy Murphy
Sally Bray & Judith Dunkerley
Karen Jones & Barbara Eastabrook
Bob Loveridge & Michael Tomlinson
Lance Bloohn & Roger Hopton
Michael Fay & Bill Carr
Gwen Beattie & Steve Gregson
Howard Stubbings & Dhun Daji
Richard Acaster & Gilbert Fletcher
Michael Wymer & Peter Green
Eddie Thornton-Chan & Tony Hodgson
Stuart N. Clarke & Sue Woodcock
Paul Worswick & Patricia Burrows
Paul Morrell & Stephen Ward
Ollie Burgess & Mark Weeks
Ann Thornton & Steve Mattinson
Liz & Bill Wattleworth
Jim Straffon & Lindsey Cuff
Barbara Moore & David Murray
Eve Lighthill & Ian Kane
Maureen Seddon & Paul Jones
Pat Dunningham & Peter Horn
In the Premier Grand Masters Pairs on 29th Feb-1st Mar Kath Nelson finished third with Steve Auchterlonie. The event was won by Dave Debbage and Paul Hackett. Results of all the ranked masters events are on the EBU web site.
The Cantor Cup, a tournament for newer players, was held at Manchester Bridge Club on Sunday, 23rd February. The friendly event was enjoyed by 22 pairs, who particularly welcomed three novice pairs from the new Manchester GS Bridge Society - we look forward to seeing more of them at future events. Sandip Pindolia and Kinkar Pal won the prize for the best student pair.
First prize went to Maureen Seddon and Jan Lancaster, second to very recent learner Peter Holiday with Kim Stent, thirrd to Frank Warburton and Ralph Young, fourth to Sheila Wimbleton and Christine Richardson and fifth to Madeline Rose and Lauren Millar. There was also a prize for the pair nearest 50%, which went to Simon Burgess and Tessa Connolly.
Detailed results are on the Manchester Events Website, as well as the Manchester Bridge Club website.
Thanks go to Ray Ashleigh, Barbara Lewis and Jeff Morris for organising and to Joan Lewis for directing.
Winners Maureen Seddon (Jeff Morris presenting) Jan Lancaster
Second Peter Holiday and Kim Stent
Third Frank Warburton and Ralph Young
Fourth Sheila Wimbleton and Christine Richardson
Fifth Lauren Millar and Madeline Rose
Nearest to 50% Simon Burgess and Tessa Connolly
Juniors Sandip Pindolia and Kinkar Pal
In the Swiss Pairs at Harrogate on 21st-22nd February Michael Byrne and Tom Slater were third, Alan Mould and John Holland fourth. In the Swiss Teams on the Sunday, Tom Slater, Alec Smalley, Michael Byrne and Rhona Goldenfield were second. Well done to all. Results are on the EBU web site.
The EBU is offering four months free affiliation for non-affiliated clubs. For further details click here.
There is an opportunity for someone to volunteer as Tournament
Secretary. Each individual tournament run by the county
has an organiser, but we need someone to coordinate them.
The pay is not vast, the hours are intermittent, but the people
you would work with are nice. Anyone interested please
contact Irene Davies, the county chair.
The inter county team of eight final took place in Coventry on 15-16th February. Congratulations to the Manchester team who finished second behind Middlesex. This is the fifth time since 2000 that Manchester have been second, a win in the competition still eludes them. John Holland and John Hassett were our best pair on cross IMPs.
Manchester qualified in November, winning their qualifying group. The team for the final was Michael Byrne/Alan Mould, John Holland/John Hassett, Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock, Alec Smalley/Tom Slater, npc Rhona Goldenfield. The other counties playing were Middlesex, Devon, Cambs & Hunts, Kent, Surrey, Berks & Bucks and Gloucestershire. Results are on the EBU web site.
The trials for the England team to play in the Mixed Event in the Europeans in June took place from 7th-10th February in London. Michael Byrne played with Kay Preddy, Frances Hinden, Graham Osborne, Heather Dhondy and Joe Fawcett. There were four teams. They played a double round robin from Friday to Saturday and then the top two teams played a knock out match on Sunday. Michael's team topped the round robin comfortably, winning all their matches. They then played a 112 board match against Catherine Seale's team, which lasted 64 boards before the Seale team conceded. Congratulations to Michael and team.
There will now be three Manchester players competing in the Europeans in Funchal, Michael Byrne in the Mixed, John Holland in the Seniors and Catherine Draper in the Womens.
The Trials Winners
Kay Preddy, Michael Byrne, Frances Hinden, Graham Osborne, Heather Dhondy, Joe Fawcett
The inter-club teams of eight competition was held at
Altrincham on Sunday 2nd February. Ten teams competed with
Besses of the Barn being a new entrant. Congratulations to
them on winning the Intermediate prize. The competition
was won by the Manchester Bridge club A team with their B team
Thanks to Ann Thornton for organising the competition and to Joan Lewis for directing.
Detailed results are on the Manchester Events web site.
The Player of the Year results have now been updated, John Holland and Rodney Lighton are now joint leaders in the expert category while there is a three way tie for the lead in the non-expert category between Sally Bray, Judith Dunkerley and Adam Wiseberg.
Winners Manchester A
Martin Taylor, Nicholas Greer, Rhona Goldenfield, Henry Bissell
Dave Debbage, Catherine Draper, Barbara Hackett, Andrew Woodcock
with Ann Thornton
Second Manchester B
Daniel Kelsall, Karen Reissmann, Irene Davies, Simon Townsend,
Paul Murray, Tricia Blum, Peter Grauer, Phillip Taylor
Intermediate Winners Besses of the Barn
Richard Zoltie, Pearl Fielding, Ivor Rosenborg, Lawrence Abramson,
Sue Reed, Bill Bentley, Peter Maclese, Phil Reed
Trials for the Senior European Team took place in London on 1st-2nd Feb. There were two teams: David Mossop's team included John Holland, Jeremy Dhondy's team included John Hassett. The Mossop team won a fluctuating contest by 31 IMPs and go on to represent England in the championships in Funchal, Madeira in June. Results are on the EBU web site.
The congress at Deva on 25-26th January was well attended as
usual with a fair number of Manchester participants. Neil
Thomas and Paul Beckwith were fourth in the pairs final, Steve
Mattinson and Ann Thornton third in the consolation pairs
final. In the Swiss Teams Steve Harris, Mike Parr and
Joyce White were third with Babs Matthews of Cumbria. Click
here for the Deva Club website.
The French Bridge Federation played their trials for Europen Open selection on the weekend of 24-26th January. They invited six English pairs to play against their participants. Among the English pairs were John Holland and Alan Mould and Michael Byrne playing with Kieran Dyke.
We are sorry to report the death of Pat Buxton on Tuesday 21st January. Pat worked tirelessly as the tournament secretary for the county for well over ten years. She was a regular player at Cheadle Hulme, Poynton and Brookdale and was a long serving member of the Cheadle Hulme committee. She contributed in many ways to the success of Cheadle Hulme always working hard looking after the welfare of the club and its members. We send our condolences to her daughter and sister.
Well done to Rhona Goldenfield playing with Jeff Smith who
won at Preston on 18th January. Jeff Morris and Kath
Nelson were fourth.
Results are on the LCBA web site.
Congratulations to Neil Thomas, Nicholas Greer, Rodney Lighton and John Currie who won the teams at Preston on 12th January. They won on a split tie. In the consolation event Bill Bentley, Rhona Goldenfield, Kevin and Celia Comrie were also in a split tie for first place, but they lost the tie split. Results are on the Preston Club Web Site.
The Manchester Congress took place over the weekend of 4-5th
January at the Victoria and Albert Hotel.We welcomed Jovanka
Smederevac an Austrian World Champion, several Norwegian
players, Scottish and Welsh players as well as English players
from all over the country to make this an international
The congress was well attended with 62 pairs in the championship event, 33 teams on the Sunday and 21 and 27 pairs in the Intermediate events on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Congratulations to all the winners. Dave Debbage and Andrew Woodcock won the pairs for the third time in four years, Leslie Klein and Jeff Smith won the Men's Pairs prize, Suzy Lawson and Alan Jarvis the Mixed Pairs and Rhona Goldenfield and Marianne Farr the Women's Pairs. The championship teams was renamed the Bernard Goldenfield Congress Teams this year in memory of one of Manchester's greatest players who died last year. A magnificent new trophy was presented in his memory. The event was won by Sally Brock, Barry Myers, Jovanka Smederevac and Rodney Lighton. Will and Sam Wakefield won the prize for the best juniors over the weekend.
In the Intermediate events Harold Weinstock and Tomi Komoly won the Players Progress Cup on the Saturday, Vanessa and Clement Goldstone the Kevin Comrie cup on the Sunday.
Thanks to Irene Davies and her team of helpers and to the directors who ran these events smoothly.
The Player of the Year spreadsheet has been updated, John Holland and Adam Wiseberg still lead in the Expert and Intermediate categories respectively, but their lead has been cut.
Raymond Semp's quiz was won by Sally Brock, the champagne prize was consumed by Sally's team to celebrate their win in the teams.
Michael Byrne's quiz and answers can be found here Winner was Graham Osborne 57, second Mike Wood 56, third Tom Slater and friends 40, fourth Adam Wiseberg 31.
Here are links to the results of various events which can also be found on the Manchester Events web site under the results tab.
Players Progress Cup Winners
Harold Weinstock and Tomi Komoly with Ann Thornton
Players Progress Cup Second
Rana Das and Andy Robertshaw
Players Progress Cup Third
Heather Saunders and Graham Fletcher
Players Progress Cup Fourth
Niramay and Mike Wakefield
Players Progress Cup Fifth
Paula and Peter Behrens
Kevin Comrie Cup Winners
Vanessa and Clement Goldstone with Kevin Comrie
Kevin Comrie Cup Second
Vera Lowson and Stephen Fernley
Kevin Comrie Cup Third
Andrew Wiatr and Ken Hall
Kevin Comrie Cup Fourth
Annie Curtis and Ann Wood
Kevin Comrie Cup Fifth
Christopher Tolhurst-Cleaver and Adrienne Stone
Pairs Winner with John Holland presenting
David Debbage (Andrew Woodcock)
Pairs Second and Men's Pairs
Leslie Klein and Jeff Smith
Pairs Third and Mixed Pairs
Suzy Lawson (Alan Jarvis)
Marianne Farr and Rhona Goldenfield
Second in Mixed Pairs
John Holland and Jackie Pye
Session 1 Prize
Raymond Semp (David Olliver)
Bjorn Borre Leinan and Erik Eliassen
Stewart Hart (David Smith)
Intermediates Second and Juniors Prize
Will and Sam Wakefield with Rhona Goldenfield
Bernard Goldenfield Teams Winners
Jovanka Smederevac, Sally Brock, Rodney Lighton, Barry Myers
Tom Slater, Alan Jarvis, Suzy Lawson, Rob Dixon
Mary Green, Victor Ridding, Janet Tolan, Barbara Lewis
Secondary Teams Winners
Nicholas Greer, Neil Thomas, John Parsons, Josh Clarke
Secondary Teams Second
Mia Deschepper, Ceri Pierce, Gilly Clench (Adrian Thomas)
Consolation Teams Winners
Fiona Brown, Mark Weeks, (Helen Erichsen, Ollie Burgess)
The final stage of the England trials for the European Open took place in London from 3rd-6th January. Michael Byrne played with Kieran Dyke and finished fourth. Ten pairs took part, with the top two guaranteed selection. See the EBU web site for results.