2021 News and Results
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Lastminute.bid 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
Congratulations to Gil Fletcher and Ann Thornton who finished third in the pairs online at Deva on 30th January.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Played over two seasons.
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)
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)
Lastminute.bid: 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)