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2022 News and Results

Teltscher Trials

Trials for the Senior Home Internationals took place from 16-18th December in Coventry.  Alan Mould and John Holland were one of ten pairs vying for a top three place, they finished fourth.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Ben Franks

12 pairs competed for the Ben Franks Trophy at Manchester Bridge Club on Sunday 4th December.

Congratulations to the winners Alec Smalley and Barbara Lewis who won ahead of Eddie Thornton-Chan and Tony Hodgson with Karen Reissmann and Irene Davies third.  Also qualifying to represent Manchester in the Corwen Trophy next summer are Martin Taylor and Justin Hackett.  Full results are now on the Manchester Events web site.

Thanks to Manchester Bridge club for holding the event, in particular to Vera Lowson and Dave Fernley for hosting and thanks to Nicholas Greer for directing.

Tollemache - Manchester Qualify

The qualifier for the Tollemache was played over the weekend of 12-13th November.  Manchester finished second in their group with four to qualify.  The team was Michael Byrne/Alec Smalley, John Holland/John Hassett, Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock, Alan Mould/Rodney Lighton, with the first three named pairs all doing well on the cross imps.  The final is being played face to face in the Midlands in February.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Premier League

The third and final weekend of the EBU's Premier League was on November 5-6th.  Alan Mould and John Holland played in the first division in the Penfold team, Michael Byrne in the second division in the Knottenbelt team.  Positions remained unchanged, with the Penfold team fourth and the Knottenbelt team second.  Michael was second overall in the cross-imps.

Lancashire Congress

The Lancashire GP Swiss Pairs held online on Saturday 29th October attracted a large field of 64 pairs.  Congratulations to Catherine Draper who was second with Sue Willcox and Rhona Goldenfield who finished fourth with Marianne Farr.  And in the Swiss Teams on Sunday Catherine Draper, Michael Prior, Andrew Woodcock and John Hassett won.  Full results are on the Lancashire site.

Northern Bridge League

The Northern Bridge League will be held online on RealBridge next year with events starting at the earlier time of 10.30.  Dates are on the calendar page.

In the A division the first match will be played with screens and the players polled afterwards to see if they prefer with or without screens.

Manchester A and B teams will play in the National League finals online on Sunday 18th June.

Northern Bridge League - Manchester win A & B Divisions

Congratulations to the A and B teams who won their respective divisions this year.

The fourth round of matches was played on 8th October online.

In the A division Manchester were 2nd equal, but crucially ahead of Yorkshire, who they had been tying with for the overall lead.  The Manchester team was John Stell/Steve Allen, Rodney Lighton/Tom Dessain, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson and Joy & Irving Blakey.  John and Steve were our best pair on cross imps.

In the B division Manchester won, increasing their lead over Yorkshire.  The team was Pete Foster/John Roberts, Janet Tolan/Peter Grauer, Roger Hopton/Irene Davies, Steve Mattinson/Joyce White.  Janet and Peter were the best pair overall on cross imps with Joyce & Steve also doing well.

In the C division Manchester finished fourth and remained fourth overall.  The team was Karen Jones/Barbara Eastabrook, Gil Fletcher/Richard Acaster, Graham Winn/Susan Triggs, Estelle & Meg Megitt.  Karen and Barbara were our best pair on cross imps.

Thanks to all for participating.  The A and B teams will compete in the National Finals next summer.   Current rankings are on the NBL site and detailed records on Adam Wiseberg's site.

Gold Cup Finals - Holland/Mould in Final

The Gold Cup Finals took place on 8-9th October at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club.  John Holland and Alan Mould played in the Senior team.  They played Neil Rosen's team in the semi-finals on Saturday, winning by 20 imps.  In the final against Andrew Black's team they were beaten by 44 imps.

Great Northern Swiss Pairs

The Great Northern Swiss Pairs was held on 1st-2nd October in Leeds.

Manchester pairs did well.  Congratulations to Michael Byrne and Alec Smalley who won in a very tight finish.  Rodney Lighton and Tom Dessain were third, Justin Hackett and Martin Taylor 5th, Rhona Goldenfield and Tracy Sherman 7th and Jackie Pye and John Holland 8th.

This is Alec's third win in Yorkshire Swiss Pairs events this year having previously won the Easter Festival and Northern Summer events.  Michael becomes the first person to have won the event with four different partners - Alex Morris, Andrew Woodcock and Kieran Dyke.  John Holland has also won the event four times previously with three different partners.

Results are on the YCBA site under Results, Pianola Listed.


Congratulations to Michael Byrne who won the Crockfords Cup, the English Teams Championship on the weekend of 24-25th September with Kieran Dyke, Mike Bell and Ben Norton.  The final scores were incredibly close, with two boards to play they were 3 VPs behind the Irish Open team, who were playing Alan Mould and John Holland.  Alan and John bid a good 6H to gain 11 imps and then stopped safely in game on the final board, which meant that Michael's team won on a split tie having beaten the Irish team 17-3 in the opening match of the weekend.

This was Michael's first win in Crockfords, having finished second last year with Fiona Brown and Mike and Sarah Bell.

Northern Bridge League

The third event of four took place on Saturday 17th September.

In the A division the Manchester team finished last on the day but just held on to their overall lead, they are now tying with Yorkshire and are 5 VPs ahead of Merseyside & Cheshire.  The team was Tom Dessain/Rodney Lighton, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson, Irving & Joy Blakey, Martin Taylor/Justin Hackett.  Tom and Rodney were the best pair on the cross-imps.

In the B division the Manchester team did very well, they won on the day by a small margin and moved from third to first position overall.  The team was Peter Grauer/Janet Tolan, Andy Green/Stephen Ward, Alan Tranter/Andy Burnett, Gordon Bickley/Ann Farquhar.  All four pairs were positive on the cross-imps with Andy and Alan the best pair overall.

In the C division Manchester were third on the day and remain fourth overall.  The team was Judith Dunkerley/Sally Leigh, Stephen Halstead/Joan Lewis, Keith Boulton/Nigel Pearce, Daniel & Chris Kelsall.  On the cross-imps Daniel and Chris and Keith and Nigel were positive, with Daniel and Chris second overall.

Premier League

The first weekend of the EBU Premier League took place from September 10-11th.  Manchester interest is provided by Alan Mould and John Holland in the Penfold team in the first division and by Michael Byrne in the Knottenbelt team in division 2.  After the first weekend the Penfold team were fifth and the Knottenbelt team third in their divisions, both some distance off the top team.

Bedfordshire Swiss Pairs

Congratulations to Paul Murray and Andrew Woodcock who won this event by a good margin on Saturday 3rd Sept.  Results are on the Bedfordshire web site.

Northern Bridge League

The second round of the Northern Bridge League took place on Saturday 20th August online.

In the A division Manchester won narrowly ahead of Merseyside/Cheshire and remain leaders in the division.  The team was Pete Foster/John Roberts, John Stell/Steve Allen, Roger Hopton/Neil Thomas, Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson.  Rhona and Kath were our best pair on the cross imps, with John and Steve also doing well.

In the B division Manchester were second on the day and are now third overall.  The team was Phillip Taylor/Peter Grauer, Karen Reissmann/Irene Davies, Alan Tranter/Andy Burnett, Paul Beckwith/Joyce Jones.  Karen and Irene, Phillip and Peter, Alan and Andy all did well on the cross imps.

In the C division Manchester did less well and are now fourth overall.  The team was Karen Jones/Barbara Eastabrook, Nigel Pearce/Keith Boulton, Simon Townsend/Tricia Blum, Patti Johnson/Viv Newgrosh.

Thanks to all players who turned out to represent the county.  The final two rounds are in September and October.

World Championships - Bronze for Holland/Mould

The World Open championships took place in Wroclaw, Poland from 19th August to 3rd September.

John Holland and Alan Mould played in the Senior Pairs and Senior Teams (in the Penfold team), you can see results here.

The Penfold team finished second in the round robin and qualified for the semi-finals, where they lost a close match, winning a bronze medal.

In the Seniors pairs Alan and John did well winning both the qualifying round and the semi-final.  Unfortunately they were unable to repeat this in the final finishing down the field.

Eastbourne EBU Summer Meeting

A somewhat cut down version of the EBU summer meeting took place from 11th-14th August.

In the Swiss Teams on Friday 12th Michael Byrne playing with Kieran Dyke, Tom Townsend and Ben Norton came second.

In the Swiss Pairs on Saturday and Sunday Michael came fourth playing with Kieran.

Nicholas Greer and Phillip Taylor won the Saturday Fast Pairs.

Results are on the EBU web site.


Congratulations to the Cheadle Hulme A team who won the much delayed final of the 2020 NICKO at Coventry against a Young Chelsea team on 1st August.

The team was Michael Byrne, David Barton, Gary Hyett and John Holland with Raymond Semp and the late Michael Newman in earlier rounds.  They won five of the six sets to win by over 40 IMPs and were never behind in the match.  They had previously beaten teams from Chester, Basingstoke and Cheltenham and a strong Cambridge team in the semi-finals.  This was the first win in this competition for David, a second for Michael and Gary and a third for John.


Michael Byrne, David Barton, Gary Hyett and John Holland

Green Point Swiss Teams

The Green Point Swiss Teams was held face to face on Sunday 31st July at Altrincham, attracting an entry of fifteen teams.  Rodney Lighton and Michael Byrne played with Sally Brock and Barry Myers from London as they did last year, when they finished fourth.  This year they swapped partnerships with Michael playing with Sally and Rodney playing with Barry.  This worked well, they won all their matches and only conceded one major swing all day to win by a good margin.  Second were Phil Taylor, Peter Grauer, Nicholas Greer and Neil Thomas a match behind.  In third place were the Lancahire team of Mike Tomlinson, Bob Loveridge, David Costich and Nick Sutcliffe, with Bob Brown, Pravin Tailor, Sue McIntosh and Phil Cooper the top ranked non-experts.

Thanks to Rhona Goldenfield for organising, to MCBA members who helped set and clear up and to Stuart Davies for directing ably.

Results are on the Manchester Events website.


Winners: Rodney Lighton, Sally Brock, Michael Byrne, Barry Myers


Second: Phillip Taylor, Peter Grauer, Nicholas Greer, Neil Thomas

Under 21s Qualify

Congratulations to England's U21 team, captained by Michael Byrne, who have qualified for the World Championships after finishing eighth at Eindhoven in the Junior European championships.  The team overcame a poor start lying bottom after the first day and tenth after the first round robin.

All results are here.

President's Cup

The annual inter counties team of eight event was held on the weekend of 16th-17th July on RealBridge.

The Manchester Blue team (ostensibly our B team) did well to finish third of ten teams ahead of the Manchester Red team who were sixth.  The teams were Manchester Blue - Roger Hopton/Irene Davies (Sat), Andy Green/Stephen Ward (Sat), Karen Reissmann/Irene Davies (Sun), Gil Fletcher/Richard Acaster (Sun), Dhun Daji/Howard Stubbings (Sat), Gordon Bickley/Ann Farquhar (Sat), Janet Tolan/Peter Grauer (Sun), Mike Hart/Pearl Fielding (Sun).

Manchester Red - Jeff Morris/John Hassett (Sun), Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock (Sun), Justin Hackett/Martin Taylor (both days), Rhona Goldenfield/Kath Nelson (Sat), Neil Thomas/Rodney Lighton (Sat), Gary Hyett/Raymond Semp (both days).

The Blue Team were sharing the lead after play on Saturday but slipped slightly on the Sunday.  Congratulations to Irene and Roger who headed the cross imps for the whole event, others doing well were Andy and Stephen, Jeff and John, Irene and Karen, Catherine and Andrew.

Dave Hammonds

We are sorry to report that Dave Hammonds died on 11th July.  He was a regular player at Bramhall and Cheadle and represented Manchester many times in the Northern Bridge League B and C divisions.  Further details are on the Bramhall web site.

Northern Bridge League

The first round of this season's Northern Bridge League took place on Saturday 9th July online.

In the A division Manchester won ahead of Yorkshire.  The team was Justin Hackett/Martin Taylor, Jeff Morris/Kath Nelson, John Stell/Steve Allen, Pete Foster/Mike Amos.  Justin and Martin were top pair on the cross imps with John and Steve also doing well.

In the B division Manchester were second some way behind Yorkshire.  The team was Roger Hopton/Neil Thomas, Irene Davies/Karen Reissmann, Stuart Shalom/Phillip Taylor, Eve Lighthill/David Sarabowski.   Eve and David were our best pair on the cross imps with Neil and Roger also positive.

The C division wasn't so successful with Manchester finishing fourth, again Yorkshire won.  The team was Paul Beckwith/Joyce Jones, Andrew Jackson/Nathan Marks, Marcelo & Elena Rosenbaum, Graham Winn/Susan Triggs.  Graham and Susan were our best pair on the cross imps.

Detailed results are on Adam Wiseberg's web site.

Oliver Cowan Summer Congress

Congratulations to Alec Smalley and Tom Slater who won the Swiss pairs on Sunday 10th July and came 5th in the match point pairs on Saturday 9th July in Leeds.  Results can be found here.

Llandudno Swiss Pairs

The Llandudno Swiss Pairs returned to face to face this year on 2nd-3rd July.  Congratulations to John Holland and Jackie Pye who won by over a match.  Results are on the North Wales site.

Hubert Phillips Plate

Congratulations to the team of Martin Taylor, Barbara, Paul and Jason Hackett who won the Hubert Phillips Plate event on 28th June.  This is the English mixed pivot knock out teams event for teams who lost in the first round of the Hubert Phillips Cup.

This deal created a significant swing for Martin's team when the opposition only bid to a small slam.

A                     K5
AKQ73            J1062
AQ85              K1093
AKQ                543

West (Jason)          East (Martin)

2C                           2D
2H   (H or 20-21)    2S (relay)
3D   (H and D)        3H
3S    (control)         4D (control)
4N    (RKCB)          5C (no key cards)
5N    (kings)           6S (spade king)


The AGM was held on Thursday 23rd June online.

There was a good attendance.  There was the usual discussion of the merits of face to face versus online for various competitions.

Adam Wiseberg was elected to the post of match secretary replacing Michael Byrne who was thanked for doing the job well for over fifteen years.  The new selection committee is Adam Wiseberg, John Roberts, Roger Hopton, Catherine Draper and Rodney Lighton. Michael Byrne has taken the role of Tournament Secretary.

Minutes are now available from the documents page.

Higson Cup and Plate Finals

The finals of the Higson Cup and Plate were held at Altrincham Bridge Club on Sunday 19th June.  Both events were run as handicapped multiple teams, ably directed by Jeff Smith assisted by Adam Wiseberg.

A scoring error was found after the cup result had been declared, sincere apologies to Tracy Sherman's team who were declared winners and presented with the trophy.

The cup was won by Sandbaggers (Julia Bannister, Steve Mattinson, Rob Harris, and Ross Worthington with Steve Tearle, Mike Parr and Joyce White playing in earlier rounds), Tracy Sherman's Deal or No Deal team (Ted Reveley, David Stevenson and Liz Commins) were second with St Titus third. 

Congratulations to the Sandbaggers for all of whom it was their first win in a major county event.

The plate event was won by Howard Rosemarine's Revolver team (Adrian Shiers, Jeffrey Bor, Jonathan Berg) ahead of Allsorts (Rak Kapur, Subash Gupta, Chris and Daniel Kelsall).

Here are the handicapped tables for the Cup and the Plate.  More detailed results are on the Manchester Events web site.

At the interval Irene Davies was awarded Life Membership of the MCBA for her outstanding work in chairing the association for the last ten years especially during the pandemic.  She was also presented with gifts for her 70th birthday.

The Player of the Year competition has effectively been completed with just the Goldstone final to be played.  Rodney Lighton won in the expert category for the second year running and Barbara Eastabrook in the non-expert category, a first for her.


Higson Cup Winners
Steve Tearle, Ross Worthington, Steve Mattinson, Julia Bannister, Rob Harris, Joyce White, Mike Parr

Plate winners

Jonathan Berg, Howard Rosemarine, Adrian Shiers, Jeffrey Bor


Irene Davies with Joy Blakey

Garden Cities Final

The Manchester Bridge Club team finished a respectable fourth of seven teams in the EBU club teams of eight final on Saturday 18th June.  The team was Paul Hackett, Paul Murray, Tom Dessain, David Sarabowski, Jeff Morris, Eve Lighthill, Ed Levy and John Hassett.  Full results are on the EBU web site.

European Championships

The European team championships and European Open Women's and Senior's pairs took place in Madeira from 12th to 22nd June.

Michael Byrne played with Sarah Bell in the England Mixed team, Catherine Draper played with Catherine Seale in the Women's event.  Both events started on Thursday 16th.  Michael and Sara were the best English pair on the cross imps.  Results are here.  None of the English teams qualified for the World Championships.


The Pachabo inter counties teams of four competition took place on 11th-12th June on RealBridge.  The Manchester team of John Holland, John Hassett, Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock was formed from the two teams who will compete in the final of the Goldstone later this year.  Manchester finished fifth this year.  Results are on the EBU web site. 

Sad News

Martin Stephens from Edinburgh, but now living in Yorkshire, died on June 4th.

He was well known to Manchester players at Trafford Bridge Club and Manchester Bridge Club where he made occasional appearances over the last few years when working in Wilmslow.

He often played in national competitions with Michael Byrne and recently played in the Spring Foursomes with a number of former junior players.  He is survived by his wife and three young children.

Lance Bloohn

Lance died on the 28th May after a long illness.  He was a well known club player in the Manchester area playing regularly for very many years at the Manchester and Cheadle clubs.  There is an obituary on the Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme web site.

Mike Burtt 1937-2022

Mike Burtt who has died at the age of 84 was mainly noted in the bridge world as a teacher who taught hundreds, if not thousands, of beginners at Manchester Bridge Club.  He set up a successful tv repair company when he was young.  At the age of 39 he took up bridge, helping to form Warrington Bridge Club in 1979.  The following year he started teaching at Manchester where he taught for many decades.  He was noted for his patient and considerate approach.  He was also an enthusiastic collector dealing in postcards, letters, stamps and books.  He was a keen rubber bridge player at the Manchester club.

Condolences to his wife Lynda (one of his former pupils).

Mike Burtt

Mike Burtt at the Commonwealth Games event in 2002

National Inter County League Final

The Manchester B team finished third in the national finals on Saturday 21st May.  They had qualified for the final by winning the B division of the Northern League in 2021.  The team was Pete Foster/John Roberts, Royce Alexander/Raymond Semp, Roger Hopton/David Fussell, Phillip Taylor/Josh Clarke.  Pete and John were our best pair on cross imps.  Results are here.

Teltscher Trophy

The Seniors Home Internationals took place from 20th to 22nd May in Northern Ireland.  Playing for England were John Holland and Gary Hyett from Manchester.  England finished second to Scotland.

For more information and results click here


The Manchester League has been running over the winter with most matches being played online but some face to face.

In division one congratulations to Inverted Minors (David Barton, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy & Irving Blakey) who have won ahead of Kath Nelson's Agamemnon (with Jeff Morris, John Hassett and Trevor Ward).  This is David's first win in the league; Irving and Joy last won the league in 1990.

In division two congratulations to Proteus (David Audley, Bob Cooke, Ian Kane, Howard Kay and Neil Thomas) who have won, second place went to Roger Hopton's New Connections.

Congratulations to AZ Stars who have won division three.  The team is Barbara Drewery, Claire Freeman, David Milne, Nigel Morgan, Alison Morgan-Milnes and Debbie Townsend.  Ted Cadman's Midland Railway team were a close second.

Division four has been won by Manchester Misfits (Nigel Howarth, Hannah Hutchinson, Enid Noronha and Ron Lowe) who just pipped Allsorts in the final match.

Congratulations also to Revolver (Adrian Shiers, Jeffrey Bor, Jonathan Berg and Howard Rosemarine) who have won division five.

Points for the league have been entered on the Player of the Year spreadsheet.

Garden Cities

Congratulations to the Manchester Bridge Club team who have qualified for the National Final of the Garden Cities team of eight event by finishing fourth in the Northern regional heat on May 8th.  The team was Dave Debbage/Eve Lighthill, John Hassett/Jeff Morris, Andrew Woodcock/Paul Murray, Irene Davies/Karen Reissmann.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Ian Pendlebury

We are sorry to report the death of Ian Pendlebury at the age of 72.  Ian was a very active player when he was younger, reaching the rank of Grand Master and winning a couple of national competitions (the National Masters pairs with Pauline Rudolf and the Silver Plate with David Smith).  He played for Staffordshire in county events at that time often with David Smith.  Latterly, after playing little for a while, he returned to play mainly with Chris Barnard at Bramhall, also in Mike Hart's league team.  He had no close family.

Schapiro Spring Foursomes

The Schapiro Spring Fours double elimination tournament took place from Friday 29th April to Tuesday 4th May in Warwick.  Manchester players involved were John Holland and Gary Hyett in the Penfold team and Michael Byrne in the Knottenbelt team.  Josh Clarke, Nicholas Greer and Phil Taylor played in the Taylor team.  All the Manchester teams lost in the main competition in round 4 with the Taylor team having done exceptionally well to get that far. 

The Knottenbelt team won the Punchbowl, the secondary event.

Results are on the EBU web site.

Jeff Smith 70

As part of Jeff Smith's 70th celebrations he held an individual at Bolton Bridge Club on 24th April.  There were 24 participants.  Congratulations to Alan Nelson who won, one match point ahead of Michael Byrne.  Thanks to Jeff for organising and providing the buffet.  Thanks also to Alec Smalley for directing and Jackie Pye and others for their help.

Jeff Smith Individual


The final of the Goldstone Trophy will be, as is fairly common, between Jeff Morris's team (John Hassett, Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock) and Michael Byrne's team (John Holland, Alan Mould, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton).  The winners will represent Manchester in the Pachabo.

Northern Easter Festival

Congratulations to Barbara Lewis and Alec Smalley who won the Swiss Pairs at Ilkley on April 16th just ahead of John Holland and Jackie Pye.  Results are here.

In the teams on Sunday Alec won again, this time with Tom Slater, Rhona Goldenfield and Jeff Smith.  Results

Ben Franks

The Ben Franks pairs event was held on Sunday 10th April 11.00 am at Bramhall and Cheadle Bridge Centre.  This was the 2021 event postponed from December. 

14 pairs competed, with Rodney Lighton and Tom Dessain making a late rush from third to first place over the last couple of rounds, winning ahead of Martin Taylor and Justin Hackett.  This was Tom's first win in a Manchester event since moving to the county a couple of years ago.  Rodney has won the Ben Franks twice before.

This was Manchester's qualifying event for the Corwen Trophy.  The leading four pairs with primary allegiance to Manchester qualified for the EBU's Corwen Trophy.  They were John Holland/Raymond Semp, Alec Smalley/Barbara Lewis, Steve Mattinson/Rod Franks and Karen Reissman/Irene Davies.

Thanks to Adam Wiseberg, Irene Davies and Barbara Lewis for organising and to Adam for directing.

Results are on the Manchester Events site

In the Player of the Year Rodney Lighton increased his lead in the expert category while Barbara Eastabrook leapt into the lead in the non-expert category.

Ben F winners

Winners Rodney Lighton and Tom Dessain

Ben Franks 2nd

Second Justin Hackett and Martin Taylor

World Bridge Championships

The World Championships took place in Salsomaggiore, Italy from 27th March to 9th April.  This was the 2021 event postponed because of Covid.

Manchester were well represented.  Michael Byrne played with Kieran Dyke in the Bermuda Bowl with Mike Bell/Ben Norton and Tom Townsend/David Bakhshi completing the team.  In the Venice Cup Catherine Draper played with Gillian Fawcett with Sally Brock/Fiona Brown and Heather Dhondy/Nevena Senior.  In the d'Orsi Senior Trophy John Holland and John Hassett played with Paul Hackett/Brian Senior and Gunnar Hallberg/David Mossop.

Congratulations to the Open and Women's teams who qualified for the knockout phase by finishing fifth and second respectively.  Commiserations to the Senior team who were in a qualifying place until the last two matches when they lost both and slipped to 13th place.

In a close match in the Open England lost the quarter finals to Switzerland who were fielding two world class pairs.  The match featured some excellent play by the England team.  In the Venice Cup England won their quarter final match against France fairly comfortably, but lost to a talented Turkey team in the semi-finals.

Here is a link to a brilliantly played hand by Michael Byrne in the quarter finals.  Click repeatedly on Next to follow the play.  Note how Michael cleverly false cards in hearts to induce a heart continuation and then endplays South to get a ninth trick.  (Thanks to John Roberts for reporting this).

Link to the results.

MCBA Council Meeting

The spring meeting of the MCBA took place online on Thursday 24th March. The main outcomes of the meeting were that the AGM will now be held online on 26th May, the Higson Finals will be held face to face on Sunday June 19th (venue to be arranged) and Raymond Semp will be organising a charity par contest on 26th June in aid of Parkinson's Disease Research.

Minutes of the meeting are on the documents page.

National Pairs

Congratulations to Irving and Joy Blakey who won the Northern Pairs played online on 13th March.  Results are are the EBU site.

Senior Trials

Trials for the Senior Europeans took place from 11th to 14th March at Coventry Bridge Club.  Eleven pairs competed for three places.  Manchester interest was provided by John Holland/Gary Hyett and Jeff Morris/John Hassett.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Gary and John finished fourth, with John and Jeff sixth.  The top three pairs qualified.


The Goldstone semi-finalists are now all decided.  St Titus (Michael Byrne) will play Imposter System (Irene Davies) and Jeff Morris will play Grasshoppers (Alec Smalley).   The winners of the competition get to play in the Pachabo.

Manchester County Cares

At very short notice, Espen Gisvold organised a duplicate in aid of Ukraine on 6th March.  He and I are humbled, once again, by the incredible generosity of our members.  The horrors of this hideous war on a peaceful nation have affected us all, so we say a huge thank you to everyone for supporting our fundraising efforts.  If anyone else wants to donate via our Manchester Events site I will wait until the end of the week before sending the money off.

Joy Blakey

MCBA treasurer

One Day Green Point Swiss Pairs

The SwissPairs attracted an entry of 23 pairs on Saturday 5th March at Bramhall and Cheadle Bridge Centre.  To avoid having a half table or 3-way matches a pair of robots played as the 24th pair.

Congratulations to Nicholas Greer and Phillip Taylor who won all their matches to finish 5 VPs ahead of second prize winners Michael Byrne and Fiona Brown.  This is Phillip's first win in a major county competition.  Rodney Lighton and Tom Dessain, playing together for the first time, were third.  First in the non-expert category were Paul Jones and Linda Williams, with Richard Cross and Diana Calvert second.

Everyone seemed to enjoy face to face bridge, only the second county event that has been held live for two years.

Thanks to Rhona Goldenfield for organising, Adam Wiseberg for directing and to Barbara Lewis and Bramhall members for hosting.

The Player of the Year spreadsheet has been updated belatedly.  Rodney Lighton overtook Raymond Semp in the expert category, Karen Jones still leads the non-expert category.

Detailed results are on the Manchester Online Events site.


Winners Nicholas Greer and Phillip Taylor

Second prize Michael Byrne and Fiona Brown

Third prize Tom Dessain and Rodney Lighton
Last round

Last round top score Tom Slater and Alec Smalley
Non-expert 1st

Non-expert first Paul Jones and Linda Williams
Non-expert 2nd

Non-expert second Diana Calvert and Richard Cross

Director Adam Wiseberg

Tollemache Final

The inter counties team of eight final took place on the weekend of 19-20th February on RealBridge.  Manchester qualified in November, winning their group by a narrow margin.

Manchester started well with a 14-6 win against a strong London team.  However, this was followed by a large loss to the winners Gloucestershire.  After that a mixture of results left Manchester in fifth place out of eight.

The Manchester team was Michael Byrne/Alec Smalley, John Holland/John Hassett, Catherine Draper/Andrew Woodcock, Gary Hyett/Alan Mould/Rodney Lighton.  John and John were our best pair with Michael and Alec also positive on the cross imps.

Results are on the EBU site.

Harrogate Spring Congress

Congratulations to Catherine Draper (playing with Gillian Fawcett), John Hassett and Andrew Woodcock who finished second in the Swiss Teams on 13th Feb, also to Martin Hurley and Ben Anwyl who were third in the nine high pairs.  Results are on the EBU web site.

European Womens Trial

Congratulation to Catherine Draper who, playing with Catherine Seale of London, finished third in the trials from 4th-7th February at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club.  They will play in the European Championships in Madeira in June.  Results are on the EBU web site.

Gazette Trophy

The county inter club teams of eight competition was held on Sunday 6th February online on RealBridge. 

Congratulations to Manchester Bridge Club who won convincingly and therefore qualify for the EBU Garden Cities competition.  Their team was Rhona Goldenfield/John Hassett, Andrew Woodcock/Paul Murray, Eve Lighthill/Dave Debbage, Irene Davies/Karen Reissmann.  Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme were second with Altrincham third.  Six teams entered, Manchester had another team, Bramhall and Cheadle had two other teams.  The first three Manchester pairs were the top three in the cross imp ranking.

The PotY spreadsheet has been updated, Raymond Semp still leads the expert category, Karen Jones now has a clear lead in the non-expert category.

Thanks to Irene Davies and Adam Wiseberg for organising and to Ken Johnson for directing.

Results are on the Manchester Events site

Dorset Swiss Teams

Congratulations to Raymond Semp, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy and Irving Blakey who finished third in a large field on 30th January.  Results are here.

Teltscher Trials at MBC

Manchester Bridge Club hosted the trials for the England team for the seniors home internationals from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th January.  Congratulations to Gary Hyett and John Holland who finished second after leading most of the weekend, they will represent England in the Teltscher Trophy in Northern Ireland in May.

Results are on the EBU site.

Thanks to Manchester Bridge Club for their hospitality, the competitors found the venue comfortable and the helpers friendly.  Thanks to Sam Knox and Paul Broadley for vugraph, Anne Naylor, Dave Fernley, Peter Wilson, Paul Jones and Vera Lowson for hosting.


Playing with screens at Manchester Bridge Club
In the foreground John Holland and Barry Myers

New Clubs

Welcome to three new clubs in the Manchester area which have affiliated recently.  Adam Wiseberg Club which meets online only, Chorley Monday Bridge Club which meets, unsurprisingly, on Mondays near Alderley Edge and Larkhill, which meets online on RealBridge at the moment.

EBU Mixed Trials

The second and final stage of the EBU mixed trials took place from 14th-16th Jan on RealBridge.  Congratulations to Michael Byrne, playing with Sarah Bell, who finished in second place.  The top three pairs will be invited to play for England in the European mixed teams.  The results are on the EBU web site.

Manchester Congress

The pairs event held on RealBridge on Saturday attracted a field of 46 pairs, with entrants from Norway, Estonia, London, Cambridge and other far flung places as well as a good entry from Manchester pairs.

Winners of the Michelle Brunner Trophy were Imogen La Chapelle and Stefano Tommasini from London who had a large lead of about 8% at half time, they held on to this until the penultimate round when Julian Wightwick and John Liebeschutz from Cambridge overtook them briefly.  However, a complete top on the last board restored their lead.  In third place were  Royce Alexander and Raymond Semp (probably the oldest player competing).  Jackie Pye and John Holland were fourth.  Men's Pairs title goes to Julian and John, Mixed Pairs to Jackie and John and the Ladies Pairs to Ros Hunt and Janet Tolan. 

The Player of the Year spreadsheet has been updated.  Raymond Semp is now leading the expert category, Karen Jones and Barbara Eastabrook the non-expert category.  (No expert points were awarded for the Championship Teams final as no Manchester team finished in the top five).

In the Player's Progress Cup for Improvers winners were Nigel Catterall and Phil Hayward with Graham Fletcher and Heather Saunders second and Ben Anwyl and Martin Hurley third.  Eleven pairs competed.

The Bernard Goldenfield Trophy was competed for by 21 teams on Sunday.  After a qualifying session the top eight teams played in the final, the other thirteen in the consolation final.  Congratulations to the Devon team of Harry Anoyrkatis, Rob Lawy, Stefan Lindors and Jim Grant who won just 0.1 VPs ahead of the Norwegian team (Tonje Brogeland, Dag Stokkvik, Lisbeth Glaerum and Ole Arild Birset) with Sally Brock, Jovanka Smedervac, Mike Scoltock and Barry Myers third.

The Consolation final was won by Paul Barden, Claire Robinson, Imogen La Chapelle and Stefano Tommasini with Marianne Farr, Rhona Goldenfield, Joy and Irving Blakey second.

The Sunday event for improvers, the Kevin Comrie Cup was competed for by fifteen pairs.  Winners were Chris Cleaver and Mark Gomme, with John Moran and Farokh Engineer second and Christine Richardson and Sheila Wimbleton third.

Results are on the Manchester Online Events site

Thanks to Adam Wiseberg, Alec Smalley and Victor Ridding for directing and to Barbara Lewis and Joy Blakey for organising.

Manchester Congress Quiz

The 15th edition of Michael Byrne's fiendish quiz.

Link to Michael's quiz

Link to answers for Michael's quiz


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