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Bridge at The Athenaeum
 
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A course for Returners to Bridge is being held over 6 evenings early in 2017, commencing on 19th January.  We look forward to welcoming graduates from this course into the regular Club sessions each Tuesday.  More info from Hazelanne Lewis - alewish@gmail.com
 
The next Tutored Bridge session at the Club is on 4th April, 2017.  We will play 12 hands in all, and discuss the key points in bidding and play after each hand. 
 

The St James's Cafe Bridge Drive was once again a sell-out, with 40 pairs competing over 30 boards played at 5 venues, followed by dinner at the Naval & Military Club.  Winners, not for the first time, were the RAC's Tony Scouller & Arun Suri.  Paul Thornton & Gerry Weston were runners up, and Pascal Ricketts & Keith Robertson also finished in the top third of the field

 

 
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24th May 2017 14:55 BST
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Club Matches

Good win vs Carlton
The Athenaeum rounded off the 2016/17 season of Inter-Club matches with a 76 IMPs victory over the Carlton Club, our best result for some time.  Representing the Club were James Cooper & Geoff Lloyd, John Neilson & Donald Singer, Michael Oppenheimer & Mary Baker and Pascal Ricketts & Keith Robertson.

The overall tally for the season was 2 wins, 2 losses and 1 tie.

House of Lords and Athenaeum tie
The Athenaeum recorded its first ever tied match vs House of Lords on February 8th.  We are assured that this owed nothing to James Cooper's recent transfer to the Palace of Westminster!  The Athenaeum was represented by Messrs Cooper & Lloyd, Ricketts & Robertson, Oppenheimer & Collins and Paul & Hazelanne Lewis.

Tables turned in match vs RAC
The Athenaeum lost the annual teams-of-8 match vs RAC on Wednesday 7 December by 66 IMPs. The RAC put out a stronger team this year after our win in 2015. It was close at the break  but they pulled way after dinner. Playing for the Athenaeum were:  John Neilson & Geoff Lloyd, Larry & Mary Baker, Jane Plumptre & Keith Robertson and Michael Oppenheimer & Bill Shanahan.

Narrow win vs Roehampton
After our drubbing in the away fixture, the Athenaeum team faced the return match vs Roehampton with some trepidation.  However a fine team effort by all 4 home pairs (James Cooper & Bill Shanahan, Geoff LLoyd & Paul Thornton, Jane Plumptre & Keith Robertson and Hazelanne & Paul Lewis) enabled us to scrape home by 7IMPs.  The visitors may have coped less well than we did with some unusual distractions from the other end of the room and a particularly fine dinner!

Out and about
This column gives brief details of the exploits of Athenaeum bridge players away from our home base in St James's.
 
Paul Thornton & Gary Diamond (MCC) competed in the Swiss Pairs event at Richmond Bridge Club in May.  With one round to go they were in 2nd place and needed a 20 - 0 victory to displace the leaders.  Whereas this proved to be way beyond their capabilities, a 20 - 0 defeat was not, and they slipped to 7th place!
 
Inter-Club Duplicate at the Athenaeum
Inter-Club Duplicate at the Athenaeum

This is the website for inter-club duplicate tournaments, generally held on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Athenaeum Club in London's Pall Mall.  The Athenaeum is a private members club.  Anyone wishing to play should contact Geoffrey Lloyd at ggll.gower@gmail.com

 

Hands are pre-dealt and scored electronically at the table. Results are available immediately after the final hands are played, together with a copy of the hands.  Results are also posted to the Bridge at the Athenaeum website.  These events start at 18.45 prompt.  Please arrive by 18.35 to allow time for registration etc.

 

 

The Sir Basil Hall Challenge Trophy is awarded to the player with the highest average percentage score over their best 5 appearances during the season, not more than 3 of which are with the same partner*.  To see the running scores, click on Competitions in the box on the left of this page, and then on Challenge Trophy.

 

The next events are on 20th June and 18th July

 

*Subject, of course to a minimum of 5 appearances; the winner must be a member of a St James's or kindred club

 

 

Michael Pater & Ric Cresswell win Challenge Trophy
Michael Pater & Ric Cresswell win Challenge Trophy

Congratulations to Michael Pater & Ric Cresswell, winners of the Sir Basil Hall Challenge Trophy for 2015/16 with a splendid average of over 63% for their best 5 results.  Geoff Lloyd and James Cooper were in hot pursuit both exceeding 60%.

Click for the latest results
O&C pip RAC in Pivot Teams

The Club's Xmas Pivot Teams event held on 20th December was a close run thing.  The RAC (Pauli Laumen, Paul Found, Robin Kilborn and Maxwell McGuire) led until the final board when an adventurous 5DX-1 allowed the Oxford & Cambridge to repeat last year's victory.  Well done to Michael Kaye, Philip Wood, Ian Coleman and Peter Lennon.  Leading home contenders were Athenaeum Beta (Philippa Herbert, Jane Plumptre, Keith Robertson and Pascal Ricketts).

2017 Devonshire Cup News
2017 Devonshire Cup News

The Athenaeum team suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of a strong Savile team in the first round of the 2017 Devonshire Cup.  We now go through to the Plate (which we won in 2015) with our next match on 7th February.

Worse was to come in the Plate, in which we suffered a heavy first-round defeat at the hands of the Hurlingham Club.  We paid a high price for a series of marginal misjudgements against opponents who were more aggressive and consistent.  That's it until next year!

Big Improvement in Centenary Cup

Having propped up the field in the Centenary Cup last year, the Athenaeum entered this year's event, held at the Reform, with some trepidation.  However a much improved performance saw the Club finish 4th of 9 entries, with an overall score of +15 IMPs.  The team comprised Messrs Lloyd & Cooper, Ricketts & Thornton, Shanahan & Robertson and Neilson & Singer.  The RAC Blue team won with an outstanding score of +109 IMPs, ahead of the Carlton and Oxford & Cambridge.  For deatils, click anywhere in this box.

Easy win for Nicholson & McGoughlin

Bryan Nicholson & Ivor McGoughlin romped to victory with 65.2%, well clear of the field.  Bill Shanahan & Keith Robertson were 2nd with 57.7% and Simon Ward & Joan Halpern completed the podium with 55.9%.  Congrats all round.  Paul & Hazelanne Lewis picked up the only slam on the night, bidding and making the unmakeable 6NT on Board 20.  They must have mesmerised the opponents into leading a spade!

There is still all to play for in the race for the Sir Basil Hall Trophy, partly because the leading contenders may be unable to notch up the requisite 5 qualifying scores.  Of those certain to qualify, Bill Shanahan currently leads.

Thanks to Gitte Hecht-Johansen for officiating.

Results
16th May 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
21st Mar 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
21st Feb 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
Calendar
20th Jun 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
18.35
18th Jul 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
18.35
Click for the latest results
O&C pip RAC in Pivot Teams

The Club's Xmas Pivot Teams event held on 20th December was a close run thing.  The RAC (Pauli Laumen, Paul Found, Robin Kilborn and Maxwell McGuire) led until the final board when an adventurous 5DX-1 allowed the Oxford & Cambridge to repeat last year's victory.  Well done to Michael Kaye, Philip Wood, Ian Coleman and Peter Lennon.  Leading home contenders were Athenaeum Beta (Philippa Herbert, Jane Plumptre, Keith Robertson and Pascal Ricketts).

2017 Devonshire Cup News
2017 Devonshire Cup News

The Athenaeum team suffered a narrow defeat at the hands of a strong Savile team in the first round of the 2017 Devonshire Cup.  We now go through to the Plate (which we won in 2015) with our next match on 7th February.

Worse was to come in the Plate, in which we suffered a heavy first-round defeat at the hands of the Hurlingham Club.  We paid a high price for a series of marginal misjudgements against opponents who were more aggressive and consistent.  That's it until next year!

Big Improvement in Centenary Cup

Having propped up the field in the Centenary Cup last year, the Athenaeum entered this year's event, held at the Reform, with some trepidation.  However a much improved performance saw the Club finish 4th of 9 entries, with an overall score of +15 IMPs.  The team comprised Messrs Lloyd & Cooper, Ricketts & Thornton, Shanahan & Robertson and Neilson & Singer.  The RAC Blue team won with an outstanding score of +109 IMPs, ahead of the Carlton and Oxford & Cambridge.  For deatils, click anywhere in this box.

Easy win for Nicholson & McGoughlin

Bryan Nicholson & Ivor McGoughlin romped to victory with 65.2%, well clear of the field.  Bill Shanahan & Keith Robertson were 2nd with 57.7% and Simon Ward & Joan Halpern completed the podium with 55.9%.  Congrats all round.  Paul & Hazelanne Lewis picked up the only slam on the night, bidding and making the unmakeable 6NT on Board 20.  They must have mesmerised the opponents into leading a spade!

There is still all to play for in the race for the Sir Basil Hall Trophy, partly because the leading contenders may be unable to notch up the requisite 5 qualifying scores.  Of those certain to qualify, Bill Shanahan currently leads.

Thanks to Gitte Hecht-Johansen for officiating.

Results
16th May 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
21st Mar 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
21st Feb 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
Director: Gitte Hecht
Scorer: Gitte Hecht
Calendar
20th Jun 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
18.35
18th Jul 2017
Inter-Club Pairs
18.35