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2021 News and Results

EBU Year End Congress

Congratulations to Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock who were second in the Swiss Teams on 30th December playing with David Gold and Catherine Seale of London.

SBU Winter Congress Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to Gil Fletcher and Richard Acaster who won this event in a field of 72 pairs on Saturday 11th December.  Results are here.

Dave Debbage Retirement

After 30 years as manager/co-manager of Manchester Bridge Club Dave Debbage retired and moved to Spain in the middle of December.  We wish him a long and happy retirement and thank him for all his work promoting bridge in Manchester.  Following the retirement of Jeff Morris a few years ago and the movement of the club from Palatine Road to its current premises in Fallowfield this brings a big change to the club in that it will be run by its members in the future.  The club history goes back to its original founding in the 1930s at Central Road in Didsbury.

Mixed Trials

The first weekend of the trials for the England European Mixed Team took place from 10th to 12th December in London.  Michael Byrne played with Sarah Bell of London.  The top ten of twenty pairs proceed to a second weekend of trials next year.  Michael and Sarah finished tenth, so continue to the next weekend from 14th-16th January.

Seniors Congress

Congratulations to Paul Murray and Paul Hackett who finished second in the pairs final in the EBU Seniors Congress on 8th December.  John Holland, Raymond Semp, Joyce White and Gary Hyett also reached the final.  In the Swiss Teams on 9th December, John Hassett won playing with Trevor Ward, Malcolm Pryor, David Muller, Dave Robinson and Tony Sowter.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Fall Nationals

Micahel Byrne played in Austin, Texas in the American Fall Nationals in late November with the Leslie team (Tim Leslie, Ollie Burgess, Mike Bell, Ben Norton)  In the main teams event, the Soloway, they qualified from the Swiss for the knockout phase.  In the round of 32 they beat the strong Moss team ( Moss/Lee, Nowosadzki/Kalita, Lauria/Versace) by 44 imps and in the round of 16 they had a narrower, but equally impressive, win against Amoils, Hanlon, Bessis, Lorenzini, Del Monte and Kolesnik by 22 imps.  Results can be found on the ACBL web site.  They lost to Palma in the quarter finals to finish an excellent run.

Diana Ackerman

We are sorry to report the death of Diana Ackerman after a short illness towards the end of November.  Diana appeared on the Manchester bridge scene in 1983 when she came here from Canada.  She played avidly and was good enough to win the Higson (then Infirmary) Cup in 1991.  Some time after that she transferred her allegiance to Lancashire and played mainly in the Bolton/Bury area.  Recently, however, she started playing more including participating in the Manchester league and congress.  She was featured in the deal of the week column earlier this year where she played a grand slam well to earn a joint top.

Diana's funeral will be at 2.10 pm on Tuesday 14th December at Peel Green Crematorium, 716, Liverpool Road, Eccles, M30 7LW.

Tollemache - Manchester Qualify

The qualifying tournament for the inter county teams of eight took place on November 13-14th on RealBridge.  Congratulations to the Manchester team of Michael Byrne/Alec Smalley, Alan Mould/Rodney Lighton, John Holland/Gary Hyett, Andrew Woodcock/Catherine Draper who won their group of 16 counties.  After a poorish day on Saturday which left the team in equal sixth place a change of rooms for two of the pairs had a dramatic effect and the team won most of their matches by large margins to climb to just above Devon.  All four pairs were well plus on the cross imps.  Results are on the EBU web site.

The final will be face to face in Warwick on February 19/20th.  The team selected is substantially as above, but with John Hassett replacing Alan Mould.  John Hassett will play with John Holland and Gary Hyett with Rodney Lighton.

Lancashire Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to John Holland and Jackie Pye who were second and John Roberts and Pete Foster who were third in the Lancashire Congress Swiss Pairs on BBO on Saturday 30th October.  Results are on the Lancashire site.

EBU Autumn Congress

Congratulations to Michael Byrne who won the Autumn Congress Teams Championship on Realbridge on Sunday October 24th.  Michael played with Martin Stephens of Edinburgh, Dan McIntosh of Guernsey and Chris Cooper of Oxford.  Michael and Martin won the cross imps for the event with 2.32 imps per board.  In second place just three imps behind were Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock playing with Catherine Seale and David Gold of London.  Gary Hyett, John Holland and Rhona Goldenfield also qualified for the final finishing eighth (with Jackie Pye of Lancashire), John Hassett was in the team that came ninth.

Premier League

The second weekend of the Premier League at Spondon on 16-17th October was won by team Leslie with Michael Byrne playing throughout with Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell and Ben Norton.  They scored 88 VPs to rise from 8th to 5th.  Team Penfold with John Holland and Gary Hyett also did well, finishing fifth to move out of the relegation zone.  The final weekend will be in London on 6-7th November.

Chester Bowl

The annual Chester Bowl Charity Pairs was held online this year, congratulations to Andrew Woodcock and Paul Murray who were second.  Results are on the Deva Club web site.

Northern Bridge League Final Matches

The fourth and final matches of the NBL season were played on Saturday 9th October on RealBridge.  In the A division Manchester were fourth on the day and finished third overall.  The team was Rodney Lighton/John Holland, Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock, Alec Smalley/Tom Dessain and Irving & Joy Blakey.  Alec and Tom were top of the cross-imp rankings.

In the B division Manchester won on the day and overtook Mersey & Cheshire to win the division - well done.  The team was John Stell/Steve Allen, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson, John Roberts/Pete Foster and Neil Thomas/Roger Hopton.  John and Pete were top of the cross-imp rankings just ahead of John and Steve with Rhona and Kath also scoring well.

In the C division Manchester were fourth on the day to finish fifth overall.  The team was Keith Boulton/Nigel Pearce, Karen Jones/Barbara Eastabrook, Gordon Bickley/Ann Farquhar, Liz & Steve Halstead.  Keith and Nigel were our best pair on cross-imps followed by Karen and Barbara.

Thanks to everyone for playing in the matches this summer, the B team get to play in the National Final next year and the league will continue next season in some format to be decided next week.

Gold Cup Semi-Final and Final

In the semi final of the Gold Cup Michael Byrne's team (Tim Leslie, Ben Norton, Mike Bell, Kieran Dyke) won convincingly against Hinden (Hinden/Osborne, Sally Brock/ Barry Myers, Chris Jagger/Jeffrey Allerton).

They got off to a good start winning the first set 35-4, and then proceeded to win the next two sets 64-0 to be 91 imps up. Their opponents never recovered and conceded with a set to play.

In the final, on Sunday 10th October over 64 boards on RealBridge, they played the De Botton team who beat Mossop by a similarly large amount.  After a close and exciting match the De Botton team came out on top by 20 imps, although Michael's team had a narrow lead after 61 boards.

Higson Cup and Plate

32 teams have entered this year's Higson Cup and Plate competition.  In round 1 the division 1 and 2 teams have been seeded.  The winners of round 1 proceed to round 2 where the winners will play in the eight team Higson Cup final.  The losers in round 1 will play one round of knock-out with the winners playing in the eight team Higson Plate final.  The draw and results can be seen on the EBU knockouts page.

Great Northern Pairs

Congratulations to Andrew Woodcock and Paul Murray who won this event played on BBO over the weekend of 2nd-3rd October, this was Paul's first ever win in a National event.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Goldstone and League

Bridge is slowly returning to normality, 25 teams have entered the Goldstone and the draw is now on the Goldstone page.

50 teams have entered the league, split into five divisions with ten teams in each division.

Both competitions have the option of playing face to face or online.

League results will be on the EBU web site.

Bridge Teaching

Starting in September and October there will be a variety of classes and tuition available across Greater Manchester, both online and face-to-face, for newcomers to bridge and for improvers.

Click here for a flyer and here for a spreadsheet of teachers.

Northern Bridge League

The third round of the NBL was played on Saturday 18th September online.  Manchester teams are struggling to make much of an impression this season.

In the A division the team finished fourth and are now third overall 15 VPs behind the leaders Lancashire.  The team was Rodney Lighton/John Currie, Kath & Alan Nelson, John Holland/Tom Dessain, Pete Foster/John Roberts.  Pete and John were the best pair on the cross-imps.

In the B division the team were fourth equal and are second overall eight VPs behind Merseyside & Cheshire.  The team was Phillip Taylor/Josh Clarke, Andy Green/Stephen Ward, Paul Beckwith/Joyce Jones, Pauline Lang/Steve Mattinson.  Phillip & Josh were the best pair on cross-imps closely followed by Steve and Pauline.

In the C division the team also finished fourth and are fourth overall over fifty VPs behind Yorkshire.  The team was Victor Ridding/Mary Green, Ben Anwyl/Martin Hurley, Paul Murray/Mike Wakefield, Sally Bray/Judith Dunkerley with Ben and Martin our best pair on cross-imps.

League tables are on the NBL site and detailed results on Adam Wiseberg's site.

Executive Meeting

A meeting of the MCBA executive was held on Sunday 5th September.  It was noted that not many members are playing face to face at clubs.  Accordingly the congress next year will be online.  An attempt will be made to hold other events face to face, but if there is not enough uptake they will be held online.

Minutes of the meeting can be accessed via the documents page.

Crockford's Final

The long delayed 2019-20 Crockford's Final was held at Stratford on 4-5th September.  Congratulations to Michael Byrne playing with Fiona Brown and Mike and Sarah Bell who finished second.  Full results are on the EBU web site.

Bolton Congress Pairs

The 75th anniversary Bolton Congress Pairs took place online on Saturday 4th September.  John Holland finished second with Jackie Pye and Rhona Goldenfield was third with Marianne Farr.  Full results are on the Bolton web site.

European Qualifiers

Congratulations to Michael Byrne and Catherine Draper, who played in England teams which qualified for the Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup respectively.  Michael becomes Manchester's first ever player to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl.  In exciting finishes to the tournament, the Open team scraped home just 1 VP ahead of Hungary, while the Women's team produced their best match of the event to beat France 20-0 to secure qualification.

The World Championships are scheduled to be held in Salsomaggiore in Italy in February-March 2022.

The European qualifiers for the World Championships took place from Monday 23rd August to Saturday 28th August.  The events were held online with national teams all playing at a local venue with proctors in place to prevent cheating.  These were effectively the European Championships, but with a shorter duration and no titles at stake.  The top eight teams in each category (Open, Women's, Mixed and Senior) qualified for the World Championships.  Manchester were well represented with Michael Byrne in the Open team, Catherine Draper in the Women's and John Holland & John Hassett in the Seniors. 

Results are here.  More details are on the EBU web site.

England finished ninth in the Open (but qualified as Italy finished above them and Italy automatically get a place as hosts of the World championships) and seventh in the Women's.  In the Senior's event England were tenth, having been in a qualifying position for most of the event.

Northern Bridge League

The second round of the Northern Bridge League was held online on Saturday 21st August.

In the A division the Manchester finished third on the day and dropped to second overall just behind Lancashire.  The team was Rodney Lighton/John Holland, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson, Joy & Irving Blakey, Raymond Semp/Royce Alexander.  Joy and Irving (who were late substitutes) were our best pair on cross-imps finishing second of all the pairs in the division.

The B team also finished third on the day and are now second overall, but some way behind the leaders Mersey & Cheshire.  The team was Roger Hopton/Irene Davies, John Roberts/Pete Foster, Alan Tranter/Andy Burnett, Andrew Jackson/Nathan Marks.  Best pair on the cross-imps were John and Peter with Irene and Roger not far behind.

The C team were fifth on the day and are now fifth overall.  The team was Gordon Bickley/Ann Farquhar, Karen Jones/Richard Acaster, Tricia Blum/Simon Townsend, Ann Whitehead/Nicki Decent, with cross-imp honours going to Gordon and Ann.

Thanks to all for turning out and playing.  Overall standings are on the NBL site with more details on Adam Wiseberg's site.

Eastbourne Summer Meeting

Congratulations to Michael Byrne who, with Kieran Dyke, Frances Hinden and Graham Osborne finished second in the Four Stars A final of the teams event at Eastbourne on 15th August.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Sam Herman

We are sorry to report the death of Sam Herman on 8th August after a long illness, he was in his early eighties.

Sam played regularly at Manchester Bridge Club, also in county events and for the county in NBL matches.

He was a good player, playing in teams that were in the top division of the Manchester League; possibly his best achievement was in the Goldstone Trophy in 2010 with Barbara Lewis, Alec Smalley and Tom Slater when they won a close final against Michael Byrne’s team which went to extra boards.  He also won the Gazette Trophy in 2001.  A pleasant opponent and partner he was always a pleasure to play against.

Sam was a lecturer for the Workers Educational Association and used to be a keen runner when he was younger.

He had been married twice, with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Our condolences to his family and friends.

Green Point Teams

Manchester's first face to face event after lockdown was a success, 11 teams played an all play all at Bramhall in well spaced and ventilated conditions.  It was good to see everyone in the flesh after a long break, even if holding cards and using bidding boxes felt slightly strange at first.  Food and drinks were supplied and a nice celebration cake was baked by Michael Byrne. 

Winners were Rhona Goldenfield, Raymond Semp (a late replacement for Ted Reveley whose train broke down), Joy & Irving Blakey.  In second place were Steve Mattinson, Ann Thornton, Dhun Daji and Howard Stubbings (they were also top intermediate team), third were Pete Foster, John Roberts, Alec Smalley and Barbara Lewis.  The Intermediate prize went to Richard Acaster, Ian Kane, Karen Jones and Barbara Eastabrook.

Well done Steve and Ann who were top placed pair on the cross-imps.

Thanks to Rhona Goldenfield and her team of helpers for all their hard work in organising the event and to Stuart Davies for directing.

Full results are on the Manchester Events site.


Winners Irving, Joy, Rhona Goldenfield, Raymond Semp


Second Dhun Daji, Howard Stubbings,

Ann Thornton, Steve Mattinson


Third Alec Smalley, Pete Foster, Barbara Lewis, John Roberts


Intermediate Prize

Ian Kane, Richard Acaster, Barbara Eastabrook, Karen Jones


Michael's Cake

President's Cup

The inter-counties team of eight competition was held over the weekend of 17-18th July.  Congratulations to the Manchester B team who won by a large margin, after lying second overnight on Saturday.

Playing for Manchester B were Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock (both days), Michael Byrne/Rhona Goldenfield, Alan Mould/John Holland, Raymond Semp/Gary Hyett (Sat), Michael Byrne/Rodney Lighton, John Holland/John Hassett, John Currie/Royce Alexander (Sun).

The Manchester A team was Adam Wiseberg/Phil Taylor, John Stell/Andy Green, Eddie Thornton-Chan/Graham Currie, Irene Davies/Barbara Lewis (Sat), Roger Hopton/David Fussell, Pauline Lang/Steve Mattinson, Peter Foster/John Roberts, Josh Clarke/Phil Taylor (Sun).

Here is a link to the final results.

National Inter-County League Finals

The National Inter County League finals were held on Sunday July 11th online.  Manchester had teams in the A and C finals as a result of winning the respective divisions of the Northern League in 2019.  The teams both finished in a disappointing last place in their divisions. 

The A team was John Holland/Alan Mould, Rodney Lighton/Michael Byrne, Alec Smalley/Tom Slater, John Roberts/Pete Foster, with only John and Alan positive on cross imps.

The C team was Gordon Bickley/Ann Farquhar, Irene Davies/Karen Reissmann, Victor Ridding/Mary Green, Gil Fletcher/Richard Acaster.  Gordon and Ann were our best pair on cross imps.

Northern Bridge League

After a fallow year in 2020 the Northern Bridge League is up and running again this summer, albeit online.

The event was re-scored on Weds 14th July, which results in Manchester now leading the A division.

In the first round on Saturday 10th July the A team of Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock, Kath & Alan Nelson, Joy & Irving Blakey, Neil Thomas, Pete Foster were in first place.  Catherine and Andrew headed the cross imps for the division with all four pairs positive on cross imps.

In the B division Manchester finished fourth, the team being Irene Davies, Karen Reissmann, Roger Hopton, David Fussell, Steve Mattinson, Pauline Lang, Andrew Jackson, Nathan Marks.  Roger and David, Andrew and Nathan were plus on cross imps.

In the C division the Manchester team were again mid-table, third of six.  The team was Gordon Bickley, Ann Farquhar, Liz & Stephen Halstead, Sally Bray, Judith Dunkerley, Karen Jones, Barbara Eastabrook.  Gordon and Ann were our best pair on cross imps.

Results are on the NBL web site with more detailed results on Adam Wiseberg's site.

Garden Cities Final

Unfortunately the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme team could not reproduce their form from the regional final, when they finished sixth of eight teams in the National final on 19th June.  The team was John Holland, Michael Byrne, Rodney Lighton, John Currie, Alec Smalley, Tom Slater, Pete Foster and John Roberts.  Only Michael and John were positive on cross imps.  Full results are on the EBU web site.

World Bridge Tour Masters Teams

Congratulations to Michael Byrne who won this event held online between 7th-13th June.

After qualifying in fourth position Michael's team beat a Dutch/Swedish team by 44 imps in the semi-finals and went on to win a very close and exciting final by 6 imps against a team with players from Brazil, India and London.

Michael was playing with Kieran Dyke, with whom he will represent England in August for the online European Championships, Mike Bell, Ben Norton, Ollie Burgess and Tim Leslie.

Manchester win Pachabo again

Congratulations to the Manchester team who won the Pachabo inter counties teams of four for the fourth time in six years and the third time in a row.

The team was John Hassett, Jeff Morris, Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock, John Holland and Alan Mould.  The first four won the Goldstone Trophy and qualified for the Pachabo, they chose to add John and Alan from the losing finalists to the team.

The team was doing moderately well, placed seventh overnight on Saturday, but had a good day on Sunday to win by about three quarters of a match over Surrey.

This is a first win in the event for John Hassett, Jeff and Andrew.  Catherine has won it twice before playing for Kent, Alan twice and John Holland four times previously.

Yorkshire Congress

Congratulations to Steve Mattinson and Pauline Lang who won the Swiss Teams at the online Yorkshire Congress with Issy Hyman and Steve Male.

Results are on the YCBA site.

Val Robson

We are sorry to report the sudden death on 9th June of Val Robson at the age of 84.

Val was married to Denis Robson in 1959.  They set up home in the Bury area and had five children, Alison, Jacqui, Nicole, Robert and John of whom only John plays bridge.  Denis was a top player in the Manchester area for many years and former chairman of the EBU.  Val was a keen player, but only played more seriously when Denis gave up top class bridge.  After that they competed in the Manchester and Lancashire leagues, initially in a team with Maurice and Anne Super.  They sometimes played in the first division of the Manchester league.

Our condolences to Denis and family.

A Thank You Message

As Chair of Manchester County Bridge I want to give heartfelt thanks to all the people who have been involved in organising and running Manchester County's Online bridge.  Back in March when we had to stop playing bridge face to face things looked bleak.  How would we cope without our games of bridge?

Very quickly individuals in the County stepped in and organised on line games, ensuring that hundreds of our members could continue with their favourite mind sport from home during lockdown. They also organised Inter County matches, monthly Charity Pairs, Green Pointed events, the Higson Cup and the online league which is now in its ninth season.  So from late March 2020 to 31 May 2021 that was almost 3000 tables.

In addition, during that period we have had an average of 42 teams playing teams bridge for a total of 40 weeks.

The team has also helped to introduce RealBridge across Manchester and helped clubs with the set up of their online sessions. The team has also helped with the training of teachers in the use of IT platforms.

As time has gone by the Clubs in the County have taken up the baton and developed their own online sessions.  The need for the County to provide sessions has diminished and accordingly will take a break over the summer and see what the situation is in the autumn.  We are sure that the future will involve playing bridge online as well as face to face. The County will do whatever we can to enable players to keep playing the game they love.

So, thanks to the team who gave up so much of their time to make this possible: Alec Smalley, Dave Tilley, Jeff Smith, Joy Blakey, Victor Ridding, Espen Gisvold and the leader of the team Adam Wiseberg.

Irene Davies

Madeleine Berney Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to Rhona Goldenfield and Raymond Semp who finished second in this Lancashire event held online on Sunday 30th May.

Results are on the Lancashire web site.

John Armstrong Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to John Holland who won with Jackie Pye on 23rd May.

Online League Season Seven

Season seven of the Manchester Online League has now finished, congratulations to the division winners:-

1 Nelly: John Hassett, Jeff Morris, Kath Nelson, Trevor Ward

2 The Hopefulls: Gerry Cohen, Pearl Fielding, Mike Hart, Bernard Kaye

3 The Sandbaggers: Julia Bannister, Steve Mattinson, Stephen Tearle, Ross Worthington

4 Altrincham A: Graham Campbell, Geoff Hull, Andrew Jackson, Anne Jordan, Nathan Marks

5 Midland Railway: Tricia Blum, Stephen Booth, Ted Cadman, Farokh Engineer, Iain Mackie, Simon Townsend

6 The Enigmas: Sylvia Dixon, Graham Fletcher, David McNeillie, Marion McNeillie, Kathy Priestley, Jan Ravenscroft, Heather Saunders

7 Bombay Sapphires: Tean Porteus, Adam Roberts, Colin Westwood, Kay Whitehead

Richmond Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to John Holland playing with Jackie Pye and Michael Byrne with Martin Stephens who were joint winners of the Richmond Bridge Club event on 9th May in a field of 72 pairs.

Garden Cities

Congratulations to the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme team who won the Northern heat of the EBU's inter club team of eight competition on 8th May, having qualified by winning the Gazette Trophy in February.  The team finished well ahead of the other qualifiers Cambridge, Oxford and Sheffield.  They will compete against these three teams and four from the Southern heat in the National Final in June.  The team was Alec Smalley, Tom Slater, Michael Byrne, John Holland, Rodney Lighton, John Currie, Peter Foster and John Roberts.  All four pairs were positive on cross imps, with Tom and Alec having an outstanding score of 2 imps per board to head the cross imp list by a long way.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Spring Fours

Michael Byrne's team (Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell, Ben Norton, Tim Leslie, Ollie Burgess, Graham Osborne) reached the semi-finals of this prestigious double elimination event.  They beat Zia's team in a closely fought quarter final match, but lost in the semi-finals to the Gillis team in another close match.  The event results are on the EBU web site.

Jersey Festival

Congratulations to Joyce White who won the senior pairs with Babs Matthews of Cumbria at Jersey on 30th April.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Higson Finals

The Higson Cup and Plate finals held over from 2020 were finally played on Sunday 25th April online.

The events were handicapped using the NGS of the players and a magic formula.

The raw imps results are on the Manchester Events site with the handicapped results under the information tab posted by Ken Johnston who ably directed the events.

The Cup was won by City Aces (Barry Fine, Philip Reed, Ivor Rosenberg, Howard Harris, Harold Weinstock) with Bury FC Reserves second (Diana Ackerman, Andy Green, Victor Ridding, Janet Tolan).

The Plate was won by Ashton Aces (Gordon Bickley, Ann Farquhar, Jenny & Chris Rippin) with The Four Dummies (Karen Jones, Barbara Eastabrook, Lilian Syme, Judith Yates) second.

Intermediate Swiss Pairs

The Intermediate Swiss Pairs on Saturday 24th April wasn't Swiss but produced a very close finish with the top four pairs separated by only two match points.  Winners were Peter Middlehurst and Carole Roberts, ahead of Andrew O'Brien and Brian Irlam, with Kevin Wood and Phil Withers third.  Michael Byrne led an analysis of the deals after the event.  Results are on the Manchester Events site.

Northern Bridge League and President's Cup

The Northern Bridge League makes a welcome return this year after a break last year because of Covid.  This year the event will be held online using RealBridge organised by Adam Wiseberg.  As usual the event will be held on four Saturdays over the summer and autumn.  Dates are on the calendar page, also on the NBL web site.  Manchester won the A and C divisions in 2019, and were second in the B division.  It is intended to return to play face to face in 2022, if feasible.

The inter county teams of eight returns to a single weekend format this year, albeit online using RealBridge.  The event will be on 17-18th July.

Survivor Knock Out

Congratulations to Michael Byrne who was a member of the team that won the Survivor Knock Out, part of the World Bridge Games.

Michael played with Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell/Ben Norton, Tim Leslie/Ollie Burgess.  The event was double elimination.  After losing in the first round Michael's team beat De Botton by 32 imps, then teams from Norway before winning a very close match against Sabine Auken/Roy Welland playing with a top Polish pair.  In the semi-final they beat Peter Fredin's team by 60 imps and won the final by 42 against a multi-national team from India, Argentina and New Zealand.

Some of the hands will be featuring in the Cheadle and Bramhall "what would you bid" competition, so watch out for those.

Teltscher Trophy

The Senior's Home Internationals took place from 16th-18th April online on RealBridge hosted by England.  Playing for England were John Holland and Alan Mould, the rest of the team being Patrick Shields, Richard Chamberlain, David Mossop and Gunnar Hallberg.  As England were hosts they had two teams in the competition, playing for the EBU team was John Hassett with Trevor Ward of Avon.  The England team finished second to Ireland.

Devon Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to Kath Nelson who finished first equal at Devon playing with Steve Auchterlonie of Kent.

Easter Congress

Congratulations to the following who did well in the EBU Easter event.

In the Swiss Pairs Paul Murray was fifth with Andrew Woodcock, Stuart Shalom and Phillip Taylor were sixth.

Paul West

We are sorry to report the death of Paul West of the Larkhill Club on 26th March after a long illness.  Paul was a founder member of Larkhill and sponsor of the Players Progress event held annually at the Manchester Congress.  He also competed successfully in many Manchester Intermediate events.

Paul West

League Season Six

The sixth season of the Manchester online league has now finished (apart from a few late results).  Congratulations to the following winners.

Division 1 Inverted Minors David Barton, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy & Irving Blakey (who won all their matches and were miles ahead of second).

Division 2 Hindsight Convention Andy Burnett, Colin Humphrey, Daniel Miller, Christopher Raymond, Alan Tranter

Division 3 Rejuvenated Mike Amos, Jonathan Engler, Stuart Hunter, Robert James, Peter Jones, Stuart Shalom, Adam Wiseberg

Division 4 Sally Bray, Jane Campion, Judith Dunkerley, Liz & Stephen Halstead, Stewart Hart

Division 5 Allsorts Subash Gupta, Rak Kapur, Chris Kelsall, Paul Starling

Division 6 Biddable Overtricks Matilda Bingham, Faye Georgiou, John Hurst, Sanjeet Kamath, Anthony Lawrence, Maggie McPhillips, David Owen, Duncan Watson

Division 7 Golden Girls Sue Howorth, Gillian James, Brenda Shepherd, Patricia Taylor

Northern Pairs

Phillip Taylor and Paul Murray completed a good weekend by finishing fourth in the Northern Pairs which qualifies for the National Pairs final.  Richard Acaster was sixth with Angela Treen.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Mustard Tree

Click here to read a thank you letter from the Mustard Tree charity.

Cumbria and Norfolk Green Point Congress

The joint Swiss Pairs run by Cumbria and Norfolk on Sat 20th March attracted a huge entry of 140 pairs including a good turnout from Manchester players.

John Holland, playing with Jackie Pye was second, Martin Taylor and Justin Hackett were fourth and Phillip Taylor and Paul Murray were seventh.

In the Swiss Teams on Sunday 58 teams competed.  In second place were Rhona Goldenfield and Kath Nelson playing with Sam Hall and Greer MacKenzie.

Results are on the Cumbria web site.

Wiltshire Green Point Pairs

Congratulations to Joyce White and Babs Matthews (from Cumbria) who won the Wiltshire event on 6th March in a field of 110 pairs.

Green Point Pairs

The Manchester Green Point Swiss Pairs was held online on Saturday 6th March on RealBridge.  A smallish field of 26 pairs competed.

Congratulations to winners John Currie and Rodney Lighton who just beat Chris Ryall and Trevor Hails by 2 VPs.  In third place some way behind were Andy Burnett and Alan Tranter again 2 VPs ahead of fourth placed Diana Ackerman and Andy Green.

Thanks to Adam Wiseberg for organising and running the event.

Results are on the Manchester Events site

Ranked Master Pairs

Congratulations to the following who did well in the various Ranked Master events over the weekend of 27-28th February.

In the Premier Grand Masters John Holland was third with Jackie Pye, Kath Nelson was fifth with Steve Auchterlonie.

In the Premier Life Masters Tom Slater and Alec Smalley were third, and Pete Foster was fifth playing with John Liebeschuetz.

In the Life Masters Martin Taylor was second with Barbara Hackett.

Cantor Cup

The annual cup for inexperienced players took place online on Saturday 27th February.  33 pairs participated, playing 16 or 17 boards each.  Congratulations to the winners, Christine Richardson and Sheila Wimbleton who finished just ahead of David Ginger and Pat Turner.

After a short break Michael Byrne conducted a seminar on the boards played.

Results are on the Manchester Events site.

Tollemache Final

The inter county teams of eight final took place on RealBridge on 20th-21st February.  Manchester finished fourth, just behind Surrey and Sussex and a fair way behind Kent.  The team was Michael Byrne/Gary Hyett, John Holland/John Hassett, Alan Mould/Rodney Lighton, Tom Slater/Alec Smalley, Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock.  Our best pairs on cross imps were John Holland/John Hassett (who played all the boards) just ahead of Tom Slater/Alec Smalley.  Full results are on the EBU web site.  Thanks to Michael Byrne for his hard work organising and captaining the team.

Goldstone Final

Congratulations to Jeff Morris's team (John Hassett, Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock) who won the much delayed 2020 Goldstone competition by beating Michael Byrne's team (John Holland, Alan Mould, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton) by about 30 imps.  They go on to represent Manchester in the EBU's Pachabo event in June.

EBU Spring Congress

The Harrogate Congress took place this year online from 13-14th February.  In the Swiss Pairs the best placed Manchester pair were John Holland and Rodney Lighton who were fourth.  In the Swiss Teams Gary Hyett won with Alan Cooke, Ollie Burgess and Fiona Brown.

Results are on the YCBA web site.

Gazette Trophy

The Gazette inter clubs team of eight competition took place on Sunday 7th February online.  There was an excellent entry of thirteen teams from Altrincham, Ashton, Bramhall & Cheadle, Manchester and Marple clubs.

Winners were Bramhall and Cheadle - Alec Smalley, Tom Slater, John Holland, Michael Byrne, Peter Foster, John Roberts, John Currie and Rodney Lighton.

They will go on to represent Manchester in the EBU's Garden Cities event.

Second were Manchester - Ed Levy, Mike Goldsmith, Barbara Hackett, Martin Taylor, Eve Lighthill, David Debbage, David Sarabowski, Andrew Brocklehurst

Third were Bramhall and Cheadle - Steve Mattinson, Pauline Lang, Stephen Harris, Pam Stone, Howard Stubbings, Dhun Daji, Richard Acaster, Gil Fletcher

The Intermediate (NGS average of Jack or below) winners were Ashton Bridge Club who finished a creditable fifth.  The team was - Neville Cavill, John Parry, Ben Anwyl, Martin Hurley, Gordon Bickley, Ann Farquhar, Jenny, Chris and Matthew Rippin.

Thanks to Adam Wiseberg for organising and to Ken Johnson for directing and setting up a teams of eight competition on RealBridge.

Full results are on the Manchester Events web site.

Norfolk Match

The Manchester Norfolk match took place on Saturday 6th February.  The A team won comfortably, the B team just lost and the C team lost heavily.  All this translated into a small win for Norfolk.

The teams were:

A Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson, John Roberts/Peter Foster, Rodney Lighton/Neil Thomas, Joy & Irving Blakey.

B Stephen Ward/Chris Hine, Irene Davies/Bob Cooke, Espen Gisvold/Janet Tolan, Joyce White/Steve Mattinson.

C Adam Wiseberg/Jonathan Engler, Adele Hodari/Suzanne Beckett, George Leigh/Yvonne Barnes, John Browning/Sylvia Massey, Ann Whitehead/Nicki Decent, Ray & Angela Ashleigh.

Thanks to all for participating and to Adam Wiseberg for organising.

Full results are on the Manchester Events site.

Online League

Season five of the online league finished on 4th February.  In a close finish in division one Proteus (John Roberts) just won their last match and then had to wait anxiously for the result of the match between Bridge Over Troubled Water (Bernard Kaye) and Imposter System (Irene Davies), a late kick-off,  which finished in a narrow win for Bernard's team, but not quite enough to overtake Proteus.  Full results are here.

Congratulations to the following Division winners:

Div 1: Proteus (John Roberts, David Audley, Pete Foster, John Currie, Royce Alexander, Neil Thomas, Rodney Lighton)

Div 2: Deal or No Deal  (Tracy Capal, David Stephenson, Liz Commins, Ted Reveley, Paddy Murphy, Stuart Davies)

Div 3: Hale Hearts (Michelle Bovensiepen, Marsha Gee, Stephen Hunter, Terry Krell)

Div 4: AZ Stars (Barbara Drewery, Claire Freeman, David Milne, Nigel Morgan, Alison Morgan-Milne, Debbie Townsend)

Div 5: The Transfers (Ruth Bertfield, Susan Lentin, Sandra Marks, Jeffrey Marks)

Div 6: Trafford Tigers (Ken Plant, Paul Rigby, Jean Santo, Christopher Tollhurst-Cleaver, Helen Worthington, Clive Worthington)

Div 7 Ruby Tuesday (Peter Holiday, Joan Moor, Eva Schroeder, Kim Stent)

Chester Congress

Congratulations to Gil Fletcher and Ann Thornton who finished third in the pairs online at Deva on 30th January.

Results are here.

Leonard Gorodkin

Leonard Gorodkin who died at the age of 87 on January 14th was well known as the coroner for Manchester from 1974-2006.
He was also a keen bridge player, a stalwart of the Sedgeley team which regularly played in the top division of the league and won the Higson Cup in 1999 and 2003.
He was a member of Manchester Bridge Club and frequented the Wednesday duplicate with his regular partner George Balon.

Click here for the obituary in the Manchester Evening News.

Len Gorodkin

Suffolk Match

The latest in a series of matches against remote counties that we rarely play took place on Saturday 16th January.

Manchester A, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson, Rodney Lighton/Neil Thomas, Raymond Semp/Royce Alexander, Joy&Irving Blakey won by 110 imps.

Manchester B, Alec Smalley/Barbara Lewis, Alan Tranter/Andy Burnett, Roger Hopton/David Fussell, Irene Davies/Bob Cooke lost by 27 imps.

Manchester C, Avril Mattinson/Rosemary Rosenthal, Simon Townsend/Tricia Blum, Ann Farquhar/Gordon Bickley, Ann Thornton/Peter Green lost by 45 imps.

In victory points this was a small win for Suffolk.  Top of the cross imps were Raymond and Royce.

Thanks to those who played and especially to Adam Wiseberg for running the match.


The first weekend of the home internationals took place from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th January.  Michael Byrne played on the England team with Kieran Dyke.  England finished second in the first weekend just behind Ireland.  Michael and Kieran played 112 of the 160 boards, all three England pairs were positive on the cross-imps.

Manchester Congress

The Manchester Congress was held online this year on 2nd-3rd January.

In the championship pairs 44 pairs competed.  John Currie and Rodney Lighton held a narrow lead over Michael Byrne and Kay Preddy at half time.  Michael and Kay soon took the lead and held on to it despite only getting 25% in the last round against Rodney and John.  In third place were John Holland and Alan Mould.  Rodney and John are the Men's Pairs winners, Rhona Goldenfield and Marianne Farr won the Ladies Pairs.  Kay's husband and daughter Norman and Louise Selway won the Mixed Pairs.

In the Player's Progress Cup for Intermediates on Saturday winners were Angela Adams and Leonie Pulford from Oxfordshire ahead of Ashish and Jackie Shah, with Graham Fletcher and Heather Saunders third.   23 pairs competed.

The teams event on Sunday attracted 26 teams.  After a qualifying round in 2 sections, the field was split into A, B and C finals.  Last year's winners Sally Brock, Barry Myers, Jovanka Smederevac and Rodney Lighton won again with Kath Nelson's team (Alan Nelson, Jeff Morris, John Hassett) second and Michael Byrne's team (Kieran Dyke, Nicola Smith, Sarah Bell) third.

The B team final was headed by two Manchester teams.  Stuart Shalom, Philip Taylor, Paul Murray and Mike Wakefield won ahead of Chris Hine, Stephen Ward, Andy Green and Paul Morrell.

In the C team final Felicity Kay, John Wilmott, Bill Richardson and Gaynor Williams from Cumbria won with Eddie Thornton-Chan's team second.

The Kevin Comrie Cup for Intermediates on Sunday attracted a good field of 26 pairs.  Winners were Michael Benton and Fred Bechman from Hertfordshire ahead of Mark Madeley and Tom Green and Tony Wilson and Dave Thomas.  These three pairs all scored well over 60%.

All results are on the Manchester Events web site

Thanks to Adam Wiseberg for his hard work organising the congress and to directors Ken Johnston, Alec Smalley and Josh Clarke.


Pairs Winners
Kay Preddy and Michael Byrne


Women's Pairs
Marianne Farr and Rhona Goldenfield


Mens Pairs
John Currie and Rodney Lighton


Players Progress Cup

Angela Adams & Leonie Pulford


Teams Winners

Jovanka Smederevac, Sally Brock, Rodney Lighton, Barry Myers

Congress Quiz

Michael's quiz click here.

Quiz answers click here.

The winner of the quiz was Mike Wood, last year's runner-up.  He scored a full house in both science and the puzzling numbers round (which is designed to be impossible to look up on the internet) to give him a total of 52.  His prize is a game of bridge with international Michael Byrne.  In second place was Kieran Dyke with a score of 43.  His prize is two games of bridge with Michael.

Goldstone 2019-2021

Played over two seasons.

Last 32
by Nov 3rd
Last 16
by Dec 31st
Quarter final
by Feb 29th

by Apr 12th

by May 31st


New Connections

New Connections

New Connections
Desperate Bridge Wives
Stretford Sabres
Stretford Sabres

St Titus
Bombay Sapphires
Ashton Diamonds
Ashton Diamonds
Imposter System

Imposter System

Jeff Morris

St Titus

St Titus

St Titus
The team with no name The team with no name
The ADs

City Aces Bury Bridge Club

Bury Bridge Club Bury Bridge Club

Terrific Twos Terrific Twos

The Enigmas

Ashton United The Four Dummies
The Four Dummies

Jeff Morris
5 Go Bridging

Jeff Morris
Adlan Manchester S
Manchester S Jeff Morris

Jeff Morris

Red Bull


Team Roberts
Silver & Black


Splinter Group Team Roberts

Team Roberts

0.50 Green Points
0.75 GPs
1.25 GPs
1.75 GPs
2.25 GPs


New Connections: Neil Thomas, Gillian McMullan, Roger Hopton, Dave Fussell, Mohammed Jabar, Peter Green (E)
Desperate Bridge Wives: Sharon Buchalter, Juliette Rose, Jenny Forshaw, Fiona Radnor, Sara Senior, Joanne Mason (I)
Stretford Sabres: Richard Aubery, David Tilley, Frank Eade, Don Monks, Liz Martins, Clive Coleman, Chris Collison, Tony Yates (I)
Bombay Sapphires: Helen Hauser, Adam Roberts, Kay Whitehead, Colin Westwood, Leonard Rosenfield (I)
Ashton Diamonds:
Imposter System: Irene Davies, Karen Reissmann, Nicholas Greer, John Parsons (E)
St Titus: Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, John Holland, Alan Mould, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton (E)
The team with no name: Adrian Shiers, Tony Levy, Jonathan Berg, Howard Rosemarine (I)
The ADs: Michelle Rothburn, Gabrielle Adlestone, Julia Harris, Dena Lipman (I)
City Aces: Harold Weinstock, Ivor Rosenberg, Phil Reed, Barry Fine, Howard Harris (I)
Bury Bridge Club: Andrew Green, Stephen Ward, Chris Hine, Paul Morrell (E)
Terrific Twos: Wendy Verber, Espen Gisvold, Nick Clayton, Alan Birchall, Carol Maman, Richard Cross (I)
The Enigmas: Heather Saunders, Sylvia Dixon, Wendy Tait, Jan Ravenscroft, Graham Fletcher, Kathy Priestley, David McNeillie, Marion McNeillie (I)
Ashton United: Sheila Wimbleton, Mike Whiteoak, Chris Richardson, Ian Slater, Paul Hulme (I)
The Four Dummies: Karen Jones, Lillian Syme, Barbara Eastabrook, Judy Yates, Susan McGeechan (I) Sally Bray, Judith Dunkerley, Adam Wiseberg, Jonathan Engler (I)
5 Go Bridging: Richard Roberts, Anne Longson, Nick Longson, Howard Dickson, Karen Jagger (I)
Adlan: Edward and Helene Adam, Eric and Janet Langer (I)
Manchester S: Henry Bissell, Raymond Semp, Kevin and Celia Comrie (E)
Jeff Morris: Jeff Morris, John Hassett, Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock, Robert Myers, Ollie Burgess (E)
Red Bull: Howard Stubbings, Dhun Daji, Elena & Marcelo Rosenbaum (E)
DASH: Eve Lighthill, Ian Kane, Howard Kay, Bob Cooke, David Sarabowski, Stuart Shalom (E)
Silver & Black: Phillip Taylor, Josh Clarke,  Paul Murray, Peter Grauer (E)
Petersfield: Tony Hodgson, Eddie Thornton-Chan, Nigel Matthews, Graham Currie, Stephen Booth (E)
Splinter Group: John Moran, Yvonne Barnes, George Leigh (I)
Team Roberts: John Roberts, Pete Foster, John Currie, Royce Alexander, Tom Slater, Alec Smalley (E)