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This page shows old "News Items" published in, or relating to, 2015. It includes hyperlinks to the detailed Results, where available.
Items are in reverse-date sequence: the most recent first.
See the menu items to the left for earlier years. These are segregated by calendar year, rather than competition year, as it's probably easier to find things that way.
Your Web Master may in the near future initiate a project to sort these annual pages into a more meaningful Archive, but so far all that has been done is to tidy them up and make the context apparent. In the interim, suggestions from the membership are welcome!
Those of you who think Essex players should get out more will have their hearts warmed by the news that our intrepid players Peter Oake, Robert Elliott, Chris Taylor and Albert "Alison" Kitchin made it out of the country to the SBU Winter Congress at Peebles.
They had a solid congress coming 12th in the Teams and with Chris & Albert 16th in the Swiss Pairs, with Peter & Robert just behind in 18th.
Quite why Albert had to turn up looking like this is unclear - maybe he thought it was mixed teams - but here he is with Peter.
Bernie Hunt will be running at Barleylands a series of 11 weekly classes on Thursday afternoons (13:30-16:30) during the the fourth quarter of 2015, commencing 1st October. The classes are aimed at those with 3 or more years experience who want to improve. The cost is £7.50 for the first session, but with discounted prices for repeat-attendance. Click on the header for the full programme.
For the full schedule, click here.
Bernie would like to plan ahead for the amount of teaching support needed, so an early indication of interest would be appreciated. Contact Bernie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well done to Barleylands (Peter Oake, Robert Elliott, Alan Green & David Clark) who beat Academics (Paul Mollison, Bernie Hunt, Ray Clarke & Gary Howchen) by 99-56 IMPs in the Final. Hanley and May & Baker were the losing semi-finalists.
The Eve Goblets standings have been updated, and as the Ladies didn't trouble the scorer, the changes reflect the Men, with Robert Elliott surging into prime position.
Well done to Audrey Hartley & Ian Moss who won the Essex Mixed Pairs on Sunday. Margaret Curtis & David Sherman came second and Ray Clarke & Linda Fleet came third. Terence & Ann Clark won the Flitch, coming fifth overall.
Links to the results:-
The Eve Goblets standings have been updated, and Margaret & David are on track to retain their trophies.
Congratulations to David Piper & Albert Kitchin and Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy who won this year's Tony Kelvin Teams.
Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting and Jacek Lapszys & John Birch were a close second and Robert Elliott & Sandy Riach and Peter Oake & Simon Moorman were an even closer third.
Click on the heading above for the summary ScoreBridge output.
This year's Middlesex Congress takes place over the weekend of 28-29 November at the usual venue of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet,EN5 4DQ. Both days' sessions start at 12:00. For full details and an application form, click on heading above. Online entry here.
Well done to Pat Watson (partnering Margaret Lane) for winning the Ladies Pairs.
Entries are encouraged for the final ECBA competition of 2015:-
As many parterships will be especially formed for the event, this is a good opportunity for established mixed pairs who don't usually enter ECBA competitions to do so. To enter: follow this link.
Following the success of the Slam Bidding and Pairs Tactics Seminars, conducted by Marc Chawner, and Hand Evaluation by Paul Spencer, a fourth Thorpe Bay Masterclass!
Case for the Defence
These events are proving very popular, with 42 paying attendees at Paul's Seminar, which was warmly received and considered to be both enlightening and entertaining.
Congratulations to Dennis Valtisiaris and John Sutcliffe who took the hard route to the A Final of the Pairs by winning the Secondary Semi-Final with an excellent score of 65.4%. They acquitted themselves well in the final, coming just above half-way in a tough field. Linda Fleet and Jenny Gray just missed out on qualification for the A Final, coming 3rd in the Secondary Semi-Final and so qualified for the B Final, where they came respectably mid-table.
The ECBA Tournament Mobile (07494-056212) for use in emergencies on Event days (ie. NOT for competitions entries) HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED.
Well done to Tony Philpott and Nigel Bardsley who won the second session of this season's Seniors Pairs. Graham Foster & Marc Chawner (who won the first session) were runners-up and Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting came third.
For the current standings: Click Here.
Well done to Southend & Leigh who won the Fletcher Trophy.
The photo to the right shows team members Martin & Cedric Harris, Andrew Mundy & Paul Cast, Geoff Wootton & Yekky Sannie-Lamptey and Fran Alexander. Goulashed rather than shuffled. Ashley Nicklin is off-screen somewhere.
Mid Essex were in second place, with Thorpe Bay in third.
Also, congratulations to Lingwood who won the Cup for Clubs.
Some of you may know that Audrey Hartley (partnering Chris Rebbitt (Sussex)), plays annually in the Scottish Bridge Union Autumn Congress at Peebles. Well, this year they qualified for both the Pairs and the Teams finals, coming 3rd in the Teams (having formed a scratch team with an Irish pair). Audrey tells us that Peebles - which has three congresses a year - is an excellent venue and a most enjoyable event. Green points are transfered cross-border.
Several Essex pairs enjoyed themselves in Rhodes, with variable success. Notable results included:-
Full results can be followed up by clicking the heading above.
Saxons - the ECBA team recently promoted to Division 1 of the TGR Super League - continues undefeated, having won one match and drawn two. The team currently lies 4= / 8.
There are also a couple of teams in Division 2 wholly or substantially populated by Essex Players: Nicole Cook's former Cook team and her new team Too Many Cooks. Both teams also remain undefeated, and are heading Divisions 2 Blue and Red, respectively.
An excellent weekend for Essex players!
In the Swiss Pairs:-
While in the Swiss Teams, Bernie Hunt & Paul Mollison, Val Mollison & Brian Davies (pictured) came first equal, retaining their title! Butlers: here.
Two commendable 3rd places for Essex pairs & teams:-
Other Essex pairs / teams also did well - follow the links above to find out more.
Courses are scheduled at Barleylands as follows:-
Chris Taylor continued his recent run of success - this time in the Bedford Teams with London partner and team-mates Graham Pollack and Paul & Sue Chapman. The team came 2nd / 28. Super result!
The Chris Taylor show continued with 2 / 9 in the South Bucks Blue-pointed Club Championship Teams on Sunday 20th September. This time his partner was David Wing (London) and team mates were Chrys Poole and Steve Lee (Berks & Bucks).
Following the success of the Slam Bidding Seminar, a second Thorpe Bay Masterclass!
Special Pairs Tactics - Outsmart the Opposition!
There were 38 attendees (up from 27 for the first of Marc's classes) and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. A sample piece of feedback:-
For the past year or so, every time I was on lead defending 3NT (or any NT contract for that matter) I seemed to get it wrong and gift opposition a top score to the point where I would try a completely unorthodox lead since nothing else seemed to be working, which naturally resulted in another bottom score, totally frustrating! I am mildly optimistic now that things will improve from here on.
The next seminar in the series is on Hand Evaluation.
Chris Taylor, partnering Roland Gronau (London) with team-mates Mike Skelly (Surrey) & David Wing (London), came third in the Swiss Teams. Well done Chris!
Several Essex players took part in the EBU Summer Festival held for the last time at Brighton. Well done to all for taking part, and congratulations to the following most successful players:-
See the News Archive for more detail.
Well done to Tony Verran & Peter Scotting who came 26 / 287 in the Swiss Pairs, the premier Pairs competitition of the year.
A truly excellent result!
Congratulations to Chris Taylor, Paul Spencer, Marc Chawner & Sandy Riach: 1 / 9 in the Bracketed Teams.
This may be a lesser competition, but a win's a win, and gets a photo on the EBU website!
Gad Chadha has recently transferred his county allegiance to London, but we still count him as "Essex". He formed a partnership with Malcolm Harris and a team with Ed Scerri & Barry Myers. The Scerri team was in pole position in the Swiss Teams at the end of the first day, but slumped a bit to end 10 / 113, hence qualifying for the 8-Team B Final, which they won. It's good to see an Essex player doing well in such company.
Chris Taylor formed a partnership with Kent player Bill Gardner and the partnership came 4 / 50 in the Stratified Swiss Pairs on the final day of the Congress. Well done!
Well done to Chris Chorley & Paddy Murray who came 8th out of 132 in the Swiss Pairs. They were in contention for first place until the last round, having heavily defeated a very strong pair in the penultimate round.
Earlier, Val & Paul Mollison and Keith Seabold & Peter Rogers (with team-mates) had done their best after missing qualification by winning their respective consolation sections in the Swiss Teams.
Congratulations to Mid Essex Bridge Club who came through as convincing winners of the Friendly League - a teams of 8 Club competition for improving players unused to tournament or teams bridge. Chelmsford came second and Hutton third.
Click on the links below for full results (space forbids congratulating the non-Essex teams-winners by name, but see the Herts Website)
Click on this box for details of a new facility for forming teams / partnerships for ECBA events.
Val Mollison has created a Facebook page for us ... still developing, but that won't stop you "liking" it!
See the "Private Ads" Page for details of resources for improving / aspirational players:-
Click on the heading above for details of more Bridge Education in Essex.
How to successfully bid your way to a slam.
The Seminar was a great success with 27 paying attendees, and with positive feedback on the quality of Marc's teaching. For instance ...
I would like to thank you for organising a great seminar. I found the topic very interesting and Marc presented it beautifully. I hope that my bridge partners and I will put the Range Baron to good use and be able to bid many successful slams. The seminar also gave a good insight into how the great players think as it is all about the odds, which I find fascinating but still very difficult to implement in my own game.
For details of the next Master Class in the series, this time on Pairs Tactics, click here.
This year's Seniors programme kicked off with the Summer event at Thorpe Bay Bridge Club on Wednesday 8th July at 11:00. Congratulations to the top 3 pairs:-
Sue Taylor, who as many will know had been gravely ill for the last couple of months, passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday 22nd June. Sue had been an enthusiastic bridge player in the Essex area for the last 14 years and with her husband Chris had achieved the title Grand Master. She had recently been elected to the position of ECBA Tournament Secretary. As all who knew her will know, Sue was a larger than life character who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with Chris at this time.
On the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm in Barleylands there will be a county mentoring event. This is to encourage potential county players to improve their game. The cost is subsidised by the ECBA and is £3 per person. Please see your club secretary for more details.
The composition of the Leagues has now been decided for the coming season - please refer to the Essex Leagues Page for more information. Please would Team Captains (or their delegates) record their entry - including likely team members (you will not be held to these) - via the form used for all other ECBA Competitions.
Thanks to all who took part in the Pro / Am Pairs, particularly to our Pros for giving up their time, and to those Ams new to tournament bridge for being brave enough to take part.
Congratulations to the top three Am-Pro pairs:-
The change from “opt out” to “opt in” seems to have drastically reduced the level of interest in this event - last year we had 17 pairs, this year only 5. Consequently, the Committee has decided to cancel this year's competition.
This does not affect the Club Pairs, which has been well supported and will proceed as planned.
Well done to Eric Field and Dave Brace from Hutton DBC who won the Club Pairs. However, congratulations to Mayflower Bridge Club who win the prize of the 24 packs of cards as the club with the highest best two combined scores. Click here for the detailed results.
The results for the George Curtis Teams of 4 event have now been confirmed. Congratulations to Margaret Curtis & David Sherman, Peter Franklin & Frank Morrison who won by the narrowest of margins over the second and third placed teams in a tough fight, and hence retain their trophy for a second year.
A heat of the ECATS World Wide Bridge Contest in aid of the Nepal Disaster Fund was held at Barleylands, where 13 pairs took part. The local winners were Petra Broomfield and Mike Rand on 64.27%. They came 273 / 3881 internationally. Well done Petra & Mike!
Congratulations to Barleylands (Peter Oake, Robert Elliott, David Clark & Alan Green) who beat Loughton Collier (Peter Scotting, Phil Collier, Sandy Riach & Mike Watson) in the final of the Premier League on Monday 1st June in a close match which finished 53 IMPs to 51.
The composition of the Essex Leagues, following promotions, demotions, entries and exits is as below.
SE Div 1
SE Div 2
SE Div 3
West Div 1
Bernie Hunt's Mid-Essex Bridge Club at Barleylands, Billericay hosted one of the four heats of the Really Easy Afternoon for the EBU Spring Bank Holiday Congress. 16 pairs took part at Barleylands and players taking part there clean-swept the top places nationally:-
Well done to both pairs!
Well done to Robert Elliott & Coral Fallon with Simon Moorman & Albert Kitchin for winning the Essex Mixed Teams. For the full results, follow this link.
Ian Moss Reports: "Saxons took 21VP in the last round of the season to clinch promotion and head their division by 25VP, equal to a whole match. It has been an outstanding squad effort; special mention must go to John Sutcliffe who played in seven of the ten matches with three different partners and finished second in the combined Division 2 Butler rankings."
The AGM only just managed to attract its quorum of 25 voting members. However, a fun time was had by those who attended. Click the heading for some photos, and this link for the New Committee which was elected unanimously. The Annual Report and AGM Minutes will be added shortly.
The 2014-15 season is now over, and all scheduled events have been completed in time for the AGM.
Congratulations to Margaret Curtis and David Sherman, who won their respective Goblets.
Well done and thanks to all the players who took part in the many Essex Events that make up this Victor Ludorum competition.
Click this box for more detail.
Well done to Alaric Cundy's Team (Nigel Bardsley, Tony Philpott, Chris Megahey & Margaret Curtis), who retained their title by beating Ian Moss's Team (Mike Graham, Ted Cockle & Martin Smith) in the Final.
The 2014-15 season is now complete. Well done to the winning teams!
Click on this box for more details, and the identities of the victors.
Congratulations to both Essex-resourced teams, who are in contention for promotion to Division 1 of the TGR Super League. Saxons only need to draw their last match to be sure of promotion, and Nicole Cook's team only needs to win 16-14 to do likewise. Members of both teams featured at the top of the Butler rankings in their latest matches.
An honourable mention for Mike Graham who played a match for the top team in Division 1 and finds himself at the top of the Butler Rankings.
Click this box for a basic Site Search facility. The facility can also be accessed from the menu item at the top of the home page.
Given that controversy over the status of bridge means that the game is currently in the public’s thoughts, the EBU encourages members to contact their local media, or local MP, to extol the virtues of bridge. You need not address the issue of whether it is, or is not, a sport – that is something which will ultimately hinge on a legal ruling – but please explain why it is such a worthwhile pursuit and should get the greater prominence and funding which the status of ‘sport’ would allow it to receive. Any positive response which your contribution receives may aid the EBU’s case, but more significantly will increase interest in bridge in Essex.
Congratulations to Val & Paul Mollison, Brian Davies & John Williams for winning the Teams of Four Plate. They beat Peter Scotting, Sandy Riach, Michael Watson & Philip Collier in the final. Revenge (for Val & Paul) for the Switch Cup.
More teams are invited to enter the Collier Row Blue Pointed Multiple Teams. The event will become Swiss Teams if numbers permit.
Venue: North Romford Community Centre. Start time: 13:45, Expected Finish 21:00, Refreshments provided at the half-time break.
The new improved lighting in the hall should be in operation.
For the results, follow this Link. For the Butlers, click here.
Well done to Peter Scotting, Sandy Riach, Michael Watson & Philip Collier for winning the Switch Cup. They beat Martin & Sandy Smith, Val & Paul Mollison in the final.
The ECL Teams for the coming season have been finalised, and the Teams & Match Schedule can be found by clicking this box. In addition, three documents dealing with procedures & expected conduct have been added. Squad members should read them, in particular the Players' Code. The season started well for the B & C Teams, who won their matches against Suffolk, though the A Team lost.
The web-support for the Eve Goblets has been enhanced: Click on heading above for more information. As the season is drawing to a conclusion, please would the captains of teams in the Essex Leagues with hopes of points please let the Webmaster know the qualifying members of their teams. If your team members' names don't appear on League page (click here), their points cannot be assigned.
A letter has been sent to all Club Secretaries announcing the AGM of 16th May and the Club Pairs Competition of 21st June. Also enclosed were the Summer Competition Programme and the Essex/Herts GP Swiss Events Flyer. Follow the links for more information.
Congratulations to the ECBA Saxons team who came 3rd in TGR Division 2/Blue, and also to the unofficial Essex Cook team that came 2nd in Division 2/Red. Both teams had very strong finishes, and will take part throughout the summer in the play-offs for promotion to Division 1 ready for the Autumn season.
Well done to Ian Moss & Mike Graham for winning the Championship Pairs Final, and to Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner in second and Stephanie & Laurie Burtt in third.
Well done also to John McCoy & Marcia Levan-Harris for winning the Consolation Final, and to Alaric Cundy & Chris Megahey for winning the Qualifying Session.
Finally, congratulations to Terry Burney & Godfrey Chasmer for winning the inaugural "B Flight" Pairs.
A cracking result for Essex player Tony Verran and his partner (Brian Gladman of Surrey). They came second (out of 134) in the Swiss Pairs, above a host of international players. Naturally, they received a mention in the EBU write-up, as did the Cannans (see below). Very well done!
One of the three sessions coordinated nationally as part of the EBU Easter Festival was held at Bernie Hunt's Mid-Essex Bridge Club at Barleylands, Billericay and attracted 11 tables. Well done to all who gave it a go, and in particular to club-regulars David & Jean Cannan who won the Billericay Heat, were runners-up in the B-Flight and came 3rd overall.
Well done to all who took part in the Billericay Heat of the Portland Pairs at Barleylands. In particular to the top three pairs:-
Well done also to those who took part in other venues, in particular to Martin and Sandy Smith (Tunbridge Wells, 33rd nationally).
Well done to the following pairs who qualified (at Peterborough and Leatherhead) for the National Pairs Final held over the weekend of 18/19 April 2015:-
For the National Final results, follow this link.
Congratulations to our winners:-
Mountnessing DBC has two remaining sets of used Duplicate boards for sale at massive discounts. Please click on this box for further information if interested.
*** SOLD (December 2015) ***
This year there was a new initiative: B-flight Pairs - a single session event for non-squad members - in parallel with the Championship Pairs, at 14:00 on Sunday 12th April 2015 at Navestock Village Hall. Click on the heading above for more information.
Well done to Tony Philpott - the winner of this season's Seniors' Cup, and (with John Williams) of the third and final Session held on Wednesday 11th March.
Well done also to Dennis Valtisiaris & John Sutcliffe (2nd) and Chris Chorley & Paddy Murray (3rd) in the final Session.
And to Robert Elliott (runner-up in the Cup) and to the four players in joint-third place.
For more information, click this box.
Members attention is drawn to the next session of the Senior Pairs, which takes place on Wednesday 11th March at Little Baddow Village Hall starting at 11.00 (tea/coffee available from 10.30). The cost is £26 per pair, which includes lunch. This a single session of bridge.
The Spring 2015 season is now well under way - follow the link to see the latest results.
Sandy Riach has decided to step down as ECBA Webmaster and the ECBA committee have appointed Theo Todman with immediate effect. The committee wish to thank Sandy for all his efforts that have greatly improved communication with members in recent years.
Well done to Mid Essex Bridge Club for winning the Ray Cornell Trophy and the right to represent Essex in the Garden Cities Competition. Well done also to Thorpe Bay A for comfortably winning the Helliar Trophy and to Mid Essex A for coming an equally comfortable second.
As part of the EBU Easter Festival of Bridge, a satelite of the Really Easy Afternoon is being held at Barleylands. The event starts at 14:00 and will complete by 17:30, with a short break mid-way. Both rooms are available. The event is intended for newcomers to the tournament scene and is therefore open only to those with fewer than 5,000 local points. Cost is £8, inclusive of tea/coffee + biscuits, and is payable to the EBU (Website or Form).
The Essex Committee have responded to feedback about the Mixed Pairs event that was held at the Romford Community Centre (Collier Row) in December and decided to change the venues of forthcoming events as follows:
This year there were sufficient entries in the Gwen Herga to enable the ladies and gentlemen to play in their own sections. Congratulations to our winners:-
Several Essex pairs and teams took part in the EBU Lanzarote Overseas Congress - with notable success for Gad Chadha whose team came second in the Swiss Teams, and for George & Maureen Vede who came 5th in the Ladies', Men's & Mixed Pairs.
The EBU Master Points Lists for 2014 are now out (Link). Congratulations to Pat Johnson, who received national recognition at Level 3 (Link) and to Dave Brace of Hutton DBC for being a lucky whatsit and winning second prize in the Club Champions Prize Draw (Main Link, and this Link).
The ECBA have decided to cancel the day time pairs league competition; this includes the one that was due to start in March 2015.
Congratulations to Ray Clarke and David Clark for winning the Essex Heat of the EBU National Pairs on Friday 30th January 2015, and to Chris & Sue Taylor as runners-up. Best of luck in the Regional Finals to both pairs and to the other four qualifying pairs.
At the National Teams Congress, Chris Chorley, Paddy Murray, Richard Perryman, Michael Wren came a highly creditable 6th in the Swiss Teams.
Congratulations to Margaret Curtis & David Sherman who won The Essex Swiss Pairs on Sunday 11th January 2015.
Well done to Peter Oake & Simon Moorman and Sandy Riach & Jacek Lapszys who were equal second.