Leicestershire Contract Bridge Association
Yasser Haider

It is with great sadness that we report that Yasser Haider died on Friday 30th December after a long illness which he fought so bravely.

Paul and Sue received a message from Sana, Yasser's wife, on 5th January.

"The funeral was today between 11 and 4 pm in his village in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. The whole village came to the service and a lot of people from Beirut too. It was heart wrenching saying goodbye for the last time".

Paul adds: "It is good to know that many turned out to give a good man (and a fine doctor) a good send-off - I am sure that many from the LCBA would have done the same if given the opportunity. In his last message to me, just before Christmas, Yasser said that he wanted no flowers. However, if anyone cared to make a donation then they should give something to Macmillan nurses. Contributions are, of course, up to you. Clarendon will be making a donation"

Link to map showing Bekka ValleyLink to google map

EBU Autumn Congress (Eastbourne)

Sam Behrens

Congratulations to Ben Norton who partnered Sam Behrens in the winning team of the EBU Autumn Congress Eastbourne Bowl. 

EBU ReportLink to EBU Autumn Congress report

Ben's teammates with links to EBU biographies

Otto & Edith Bowl

Congratulations to Dick and Lucy Pathan who won the Otto & Edith Bowl on 12th October, pictured with Tournament Director John Wilcox.

Top three pairs

  1. Dick & Lucy Pathan 65.03%
  2. Sue Bowyer & Rick Wilde 59.06%
  3. Mary Johnson & Mick Mahoney 55.93%
Bridge Overseas Lake Garda Congress , 5th - 11th October 2016

Simon Stokes partnered Carolyn Fisher (Warwickshire) in the EBU Overseas Congress at Lake Garda.They finished in the top half of all five events and narrowly missed out on the Mixed Pairs trophy on a split tie with Channel Islands pair Howard Basden-Smith & Sue Rankin. For more details visit the EBU web site for write up and results.

Derbyshire GP Weekend

44 pairs played in the Pairs event at Spondon on Saturday 3rd September and 16 teams competed in the teams on Sunday 4th September. Darren Evetts & Ian Handley won the pairs and Liz Cummins (David Stevenson, Stuart Matthews and Mark Weeks) won the teams.

Leicestershire Pairs finishing in the top half were Peter Nuttall & Richard Smith (6th=), John & Tim Glover (11th=) and Andrew Billson & Toni Capewell (17th=).

Leicestershire Teams in the top half were Gary Duddle (Anne Wright, Jenny Grant & Bharat Thakrar) (3rd=) and Carolyn Fisher (Simon Stokes, Marjorie Gilbertson and Pat Watson) (7th).

Nottinghamshire GP Weekend

We are pleased to report Pat Watson won the Nottinghamshie Green Pointed Swiss Pairs event at Spondon on Saturday 23rd July with Carolyn Fisher. Leicestershire Pairs finishing in the top half of the 36 pairs were Patrick Dunham & Marcin Sakowicz (10th), Paul Loveday & Richard Tyler (12th) and Peter Nuttall & Richard Smith (15th).

In the teams event on Sunday Colin Dean, Ben Norton, Dick Pathan and Nick Stevens finished 2nd of 14 teams. Well done.

AGM photo gallery

The LCBA Annual General Meeting photo galleryLink to AGM photos is now available.When in please click on "slideshow" to start viewing.

LCBA Green Pointed Swiss Pairs Event

Congratulations to Andrew Thompson (Norfolk) & Lawrence Haynes (Staffordshire & Shropshire) who won the second LCBA Green Pointed Swiss Pairs event of the year with 103 VPs. The Leicestershire pairs finishing in the top half were:

  1. 4th Paul Loveday & Richard Tyler 94 VPs
  2. 7th Alan Lord & John Thompson 85 VPs
  3. 12th Robert Northage & John Wilcox 74 VPs
LCBA Competitions April / May 2016

The Midlands Mixed Pairs Flitch Cup was held on 1st May at Spondon (20 pairs) and we are pleased to report Dick and Lucy Pathan won with 27 match points to spare. Well done. The other Leicestershire representatives were Paul and Sue Bowyer who finished 7th. Link to results.Midland Flitch 2016 results (14/05/2016).

The Joseph BowlLink to Joseph Bowl 2015-2016 results and draw has been won by Team Jim Mason (Paul Bowyer, Duncan & Kerri Happer, Ben Norton, Dick Pathan) who beat Team Anne Wright (Jenny Grant, Bharat Thakrar, David Twells and Steve Wright) in the final. In the Butterworth Langley TrophyLink to Butterworth Langley Trophy 2015-2016 results and draw final Team Simon Stokes (Yasser Haider, Peter Neville , Tim Glover / Susan Bowyer) beat Team Richard Tyler (Paul Loveday, Dick Bell, Jim Cooil) (02/05/2016).

The LCBA/Glenfield Charity Swiss Teams event was won by Gary Duddle & Anne Wright, Jenny Grant & Bharat Thakrar. 16 teams competed in a very enjoyable event and results can be found in the results section. (11/04/2016)

Click here Leicester Mercury Students Trophy Results. Congratulations to Gilly Clear and Janet McEwan who retained the trophy. (05/04/2016)

The Leicestershire CupLink to Leicestershire Cup 2015-2016 results and draw has been won by Team Susan Bowyer (Paul & Susan Bowyer, Duncan & Kerri Happer, Jim Mason & Simon Stokes) who beat Team Preston (Keith Preston & Ken Vernon, Mary Johnson & Audrey Mount, Gary Duddle & Irene Krantz) in the final. The honours boardLink to Leicestershire Cup honours board shows that this is the 11th win for Team Bowyer in 12 years, well done. The Leicestershire Cup PlateLink to Leicestershire Cup Plate 2015-2016 results and draw was won by Team Halford (Peter Halford & Mike Mahoney, Richard Smith & John Milne / Peter Nuttall) who beat Team Rees (Richard Rees & Diana Bowden, Val Rees & Pauline Dignan / Gail Tillen) in the final. (31/03/2016).


There were some Leicestershire connections in this year's House of Lords vs House of Commons match. Details are in the article below (23/11/2015).


Joyce Cup

12 teams took part in the Joyce Cup which is a teams of four event where every player plays a number of boards with each of his 3 teammates. In this competition each player played 8 boards with partner 1 (4 matches of two boards) before returning back to score up (normal teams of four imp scoring) at the home table The process was repeated with partners 2 and 3. There was one sit out to create 11 matches (one against each opposing team). It is traditionally a difficult event for the TD as the movement is far from straightforward and all the players would like to thank TD John Wilcox who coped with a last minute change in team numbers and managed to get all the players sitting in the correct place with the correct boards 12 times with a movement miraculously found in the depths of his laptop. Full results can be found in the results section and the top two teams were:

Joyce Cup

  1. Team Linda Stone (Andy Mackriell, Ian Walkerdine and John Young)
  2. Team Mick Mahoney (Ian Bruce, Gerry Bucciero and Marjorie Gilbertson)
Buckby Cup and Olga Cup

Congratulations to Tim Glover & Peter Neville and Judy Hulland & Rebecca Ronan who won the Buckby Cup (mens pairs) and Olga Cup (ladies pairs) respectively. The top three pairs in each of the two competitions were:

Buckby Cup

  1. Tim Glover & Peter Neville 63.66%
  2. Paul Bowyer & Rick Wilde 61.81%
  3. Duncan Happer & Jim Mason 59.26%

Olga Cup

  1. Judy Hulland & Rebecca Ronan 65.28%
  2. Diana Bowden & Val Rees 63.19%
  3. Sue Bowyer & Joan Gibson 56.94%
Stanley Trophy

Congratulations to the Stanley Trophy winners Ian Bruce & Mick Mahoney. The final results can be found through the Competitions information page or through this linkStanley Trophy results after heat 7. The prizewinners were:

  1. Ian Bruce & Mick Mahoney
  2. Alison Nichols & Simon Stokes
  3. Dick & Lucy Pathan
  4. Tim Glover & Peter Neville
Gimson Trophy

Congratulations to Colin Dean & Nick Stevens who won the Gimson Trophy by a convincing margin. The top four pairs in the Gimson Trophy Final were:

  1. Colin Dean & Nick Stevens 63.07%
  2. Tim Glover & Peter Neville 57.30%
  3. Peter Halford & John Milne 54.52%
  4. Ben & Joan Gibson 54.24%
Final League Tables 2015/2016

Vu-Bridge sign up Ben Norton

Ben Norton has joined Paul Bowyer on the Vu-Bridge team of writers. His first contribution is in V-Green Issue 95 (15th May 2016) where he works through 6 hands under the series title Tough Deals.You will find more information on Vu-Bridge further down the home page.

Midlands Mixed Pairs Flitch Cup

The Flitch Cup was held on 1st May at Spondon (20 pairs) and we are pleased to report Dick and Lucy Pathan won with 27 match points to spare. Well done. The other Leicestershire representatives were Paul and Sue Bowyer who finished 7th. Link to results.Midland Flitch 2016 results

White House Junior Internationals 2016

Ben Norton is representing England White in the 24th White House Junior Internationals which are taking place from Sunday 20th March to Friday 25th March 2016 at the Het Witte Huis, Amsterdam.The participants were divided into two Groups of 12 in round 1, England White were in Group B. Ben is partnered by Yvonne Wiseman EBU photo of Yvonne Wiseman and the other pair in the team of four is Toby Nonnenmacher EBU biography of Toby Nonnenmacher and Michael Alishaw EBU biography of Michael Alishaw . Jon Cooke EBU biography of Jon Cooke is the team captain. Matches will be shown on Bridge Base OnlineLink to BBO. Bulletins and information are available at www.jeugdbrisge.nl Link to tournament website or at the EBU Link to EBU page.

Round 1 :England Red 3rd (Group A)  England White 5th (Group B) which meant both England Red and England White qualified for the top group of the intermediate finals.

Intermediate finals : England Red finsihed 4th of 12 and England White 9th of 12. England Red go through to the quarter final KO stage.

Quarter finals : England Red lost to Poland.In the consolation QFs England White were 3rd of 4 in Group A.

Semi finals : In the consolation SFs England Red lost to Netherlands White.

Final : Poland beat Netherlands White.

Day One bulletin : Go to page 4 of this bulletin Day One bulletin to find an excellant play by Ben.

Day Four bulletin : How about this for a skillful play Day Four bulletin by Ben's partner Yvonne.

Leicestershire Green Pointed Swiss Pairs

The Leicestershire Green Pointed Swiss Pairs event was held on 5th March 2016 at Spondon, click here for the resultsLeicestershire Green Pointed Swiss Pairs results. Geoff Kenyon & Barbara Boaler and Frank Littlewood & David Musson, both Yorkshire pairs, took 1st and 2nd place. There were top half finishes for Leicestershire players Bill Hood (playing with Ron Davis), Graham Lightfoot (playing with Kath Lightfoot)  and Richard Smith & Ian McKelvey.

National Teams Congress - Point a Board event

The National Team Congress was held at the Holiday Inn (Birmingham Airport) on 16th and 17th January 2016. Simon Stokes (Ian Bruce, Duncan Happer and Jim Mason) played in the Point a Board competition and finished 7th of 18 on Saturday to qualify for the final of the premier event. In a very strong field on the Sunday they had a disappointing session in the final.

This Point a Board tacticsArticle by David Gold in June 2013 English Bridge (Page 25) article by David Gold (turn to page 25 of magazine) explains how Point a Board works and the tactics that need to be employed.

The Tollemache Cup

The Tollemache Cup EBU Tollemache Cup page is an inter-counties team of eight competition organised by the EBU. Entry is open to the 39 County Associations of the EBU and the 4 regions of the Welsh Bridge Union. The qualifying round of the event was held on the weekend of 21st to 22nd November 2015 at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Birmingham Airport (13.30 start on Saturday finishing at approximately 17.00 on Sunday). The qualifiers are run in four sections, with each team playing every other team in the section. The top two teams in each section will qualify for the final weekend on 13th to 14th February 2016. Each team is limited to 12 players and the Leicestershire players will be

Duncan & Kerri Happer

Paul Bowyer & Jim Mason

Colin Dean & Nick Stevens

Ben Norton & Dick Pathan

Yasser Haider / Simon Stokes / Ian Bruce

This year 35 Counties and East Wales competed in 4 groups of nine. Leicestershire finished 4th in Group A. Results can be viewed through the link in the results section.

Last year 35 teams competed in 3 groups of 9 and 1 group of 8.

Previous Results:

2014 Tollemache Cup Qualifier Nov 2014 finished 6th of 8 in Group D

2013 Tollemache Cup Qualifier Nov 2013 finished 7th of 9 in Group D

2012 Tollemache Cup Qualifier Nov 2012 finished 4th of 9 in Group C

2011 Tollemache Cup Qualifier Nov 2011 finished 8th of 9 in Group D

2010 Tollemache Cup Qualifier Nov 2010 finished 7th of 9 in Group B

The first event was run in 1934. Leicestershire have won the Tollemache Cup once, in 1979. The team was D F Griffiths, A N Odams, P A Harvey, A K Pathan, J D Beattie, Barry Seabrook, K A Forsyth, Paul Bowyer, E N Wilde

Children In Need

ECats Bridge are running the Children In Need Simultaneous Pairs 2015 event from 6th November through to 12th November. Last year they raised £70,104 for the BBC Children In Need appeal. Six Leicestershire clubs participated and hosted the event. Here are some of the results.

Friday 6th November County
Ian Walkerdine & Maureen Wiiliams 63.0% (37th) ; Marjories Gilberson & Mathuradas Rughani 59.8% (88th);
Paul & Linda Loveday 59.0% (101st) ; John Bee & Mary Johnson 58.4% (113th)
920 pairs competed
Monday 9th November County, Grantham
Peter Nuttall & Anne Wright 61.5% (131st) ; Charu & Sobhag Shah 60.1% (203rd);
Carol Fisher & Martin Mellor 58.4% (309th); Keith Preston & Ken Vernon 58.1% (319th)
2517 pairs competed
Tuesday 10th November Blaby
Peter Riley & Roger Wharmby 62.6% (97th) ; Lloyd Danvers & Peter Nuttall 61.4% (149th)
2069 pairs competed
Wednesday 11th November County, Lutterworth
Neil Ackerley & Kath Lightfoot 59.4% (180th) ; Mick Aldridge & Ian Blackburn 58.4% (240th)
Hasmukh Sumaria & Paul Winterton 57.8% (280th) ; Ann & Norman Williams 59.8% (362nd)
2027 pairs competed
Thursday 12th November Ashby , County, Rutland
Peter Nuttall & Anne Wright 65.9% (15th) ; John Milne & Ian Walkerdine 65.1% (22nd)
Stephen Foster & Geoffery Snushall 61.4% (121st) ; Ann Robins & Isabel Stanley 59.4% (196th)
Robert Missenden & George Strang 58.0%% (272nd) ; Bill Greenslade & Graham Goode 57.9% (284th)
Peter Robinson & Larry Stuart-Jones 58.0%% (272nd) ; Dean Benton & Barry Davis 57.5% (320nd)
2006 pairs competed
Club Tournament Director Training Courses come to Leicester

EBED (English Bridge Education & Development) are running courses at the County Bridge Club.

  • Essentials £40 Saturday 14th November 2016
  • Book Rulings £45 Saturday 12th December 2016
  • Judgement Rulings £45 Saturday 23rd January 2016
  • Assessment £60 Saturday 20th February 2016

Anyone interested should contact EBEDClick to view
EBED advertisement

British Autumn Simultaneous Pairs

Lutterworth participated in the British Autumn Simultaneous Pairs on Wed 7th October. 15 pairs competed. Glenys Baron & Peter Dunn were the top pair with 58.03% nationally, finishing 150 of 1049.

English juniors win Punch Bowl at Spring Fours

Ben Norton was in a team of English Juniors that won the Punch Bowl, the main consolation event at the Schapiro Spring Foursomes. Full details on the EBU website.Link to EBU/Youth

Derbyshire CBA Green Pointed Event Results

The Derbyshire CBA Green Pointed Event was held on 26th Sept (Pairs - 54 pairs competed) and 27th Sept (Teams - 19 teams competed).

6 pairs included LCBA representation and best performances were Carolyn Fisher and Pat Watson (74/140 VPs - 4 wins) and Alan Lord and John Thompson (73/140 VPs - 4 wins). The teams included 3 that involved LCBA members, best were Andrew Billson & Steve Fieldhouse with Brain Woodhall & Pat Dunham who finished 12th (65/140 VPs - 3 wins).

Clarendon North win Samani Salver 2015

Congratulations to Clarendon North (Paul & Sue Bowyer, Duncan & Kerri Happer, Tony Kitson and Jim Mason) who won this year's Samani Salver.The Plate competition was won by County B (Mike Ayers ,Dick & Lucy Pathan, Mike Gould and Tom Lindop).


Samani Salver semi-finalists Winner Aggregate score Salver Winner
Clarendon South Loughborough A Clarendon South +160 Clarendon North
Clarendon North Glenfield A Clarendon North +1470



Samani Silver Plate semi-finalists Winner Plate Winner
County B Bradgate C County B County B
Bradgate B Blaby A Bradgate B
Hurwich Quaich 2015

The Hurwich Quaich is an open handicapped league teams of four competition run by the County bridge club. This year 9 teams competed. Paul & Sue Bowyer, Ian Bruce, Gary Duddle, Yasser Haider, Duncan & Kerri Happer, Irene Krantz, Jim Mason and Simon Stokes represented team Stokes who won the league undefeated.

British Summer Simultaneous Pairs

Grantham Bridge club entered the British Summer Simultaneous pairs on Tuesday 28th July. June Dixon and Becky Ronan finished 56th of 1175 pairs and Margaret and Roger Shelley finished 71st. Both pairs scored over 60% nationally, well done.

Summer at the Green Point Congresses

Scarborough :

Thursday July 23rd to Saturday July 25th

Congratulations to Alison Nichols & Simon Stokes who won the pre-tournament pairs on Thursday.

On Friday Duncan Happer, playing with S.Cope, B.Green and A.Kent came second in the A Final of the teams event. Alison & Simon played with Brian & Sheila Stockdale coming third in the yellow section. Pat Watson (Carolyn Fisher, S.Evans and L.Gervis) also played in the yellow section.

The pairs was on Saturday with Brian and Sheila (41st) and Alison & Simon (43rd) in top third of field of 130. Pat and Carolyn were lying 8th after the second of three sessions and finished 77th overall.

Notts CBA July 18th and 19th pairs and teams :

46 pairs and 19 teams met at Spondon.In the pairs event Carolyn Fisher & Pat Watson finished 8th, Yasser Haider & Simon Stokes finished 9th, and John Bee and  Mary Johnson were 24th. In the teams event Leicestershire were represented by Graham Lightfoot (Chris Cassin, Lol Tolbutt and Alan Webb) and Andrew Billson (Steve Fieldhouse, Ray Jolland and Miranda Vinecombe).

Ben Norton in 25th European Youth Team Championship

Loughborough's Ben Norton represented England in the Under 21 category of the European Youth Team Championships (see results) at Tromso, Norway on 18th - 25th July. There were 16 teams in the Under 21 series and the competition was run as a round robin (teams of four) event over 7 days. Ben played in every match partnering Frederick Illingworth (first seven matches), Sam Behrens (six times) and Nicholas Dean (twice). Netherlands won the series with England finishing 13th. England U26 side finished 4th and the U16 side finished 5th.

Articles on Ben :

President's Cup

Leicestershire were invited to send a team to the President's Cup - the inter-county teams of eight competition run by Merseyside & Cheshire Bridge Association. Derbyshire hosted the event this year at the East Midlands Bridge Acadamy, Spondon on 27th and 28th June.

Leicestershire were represented by:

Ben Norton and Simon Stokes (capt)

Ian Bruce and Mick Mahoney

Jenny Grant and Bharat Thakrar

Anne and Steve Wright

The team did very well finishing equal 5th of 13 in a very strong field.The results can be viewed through the results link on the right.

Leicestershire Pairs League

The Leicestershire Pairs League 2015-2016 has been completed after 5 rounds of matches. There were 28 pairs competing in three divisions of 8, 10 and 10. Each pair plays against each other pair twice so there are 14 matches in division 1 and 18 matches in divisions 2 and 3. Round 5 was an exciting finale as the battle for promotion and relegation in all divisions was extremely tight. The tightest division was Division 1 where only 59 VPs separated top and bottom.

LPL winners

  • Division 1 Brian & Sheila Stockdale
  • Division 2 Keith Preston & Ken Vernon
  • Division 3 Paul Loveday & Richard Tyler
National Pairs Competition

The EBU National Pairs competition has a new structure this year. The 2016 competition runs without club heats and with an increased number of Regional Finals, open to all EBU members. The Regional Finals took place on 13th March at 9 venues with results reported as 5 regions with South-East run at three venues and South-West and East being run at two venues. The nearest venues for Leicester were Solihull (Midland Counties Region) and Peterborough (Eastern Counties region). Three Leicestershire pairs entered, playing at Solihull. Ben Norton and Dick Pathan qualified for the finals with distinction, coming 3rd of 34 at Solihull and 13th of 244 in the.overall ranking. We wish them well in the finals which will be held on the 16th - 17th April at the Holiday Inn, Birmingham Airport.

Bridge club raided in South Pattaya (Thailand)

In Thailand playing cards have a law all for themselves called the Playing Cards Act B.E.2486 (1943)Playing Cards Act B.E.2486 (1943) . Section 8 explains that "no-one shall possess more than 120 cards or sell playing cards irrespective of their quantity, unless those cards have been produced by, or have been stamped with the seal of, the Excise Department". According to a report in the Pattaya OnePattaya One (3rd Feb 2016) a raid was made on a bridge club in South Pattaya for offenses relating to the act. Thank you to Jonathan Hughes for forwarding the story.

Christmas Quiz answer

The problem is the infamous Monty Hall Problem. In 1975 there was a US television game show called “Let′s make a deal” hosted by Monty Hall in which contestants asked Monty to open one of three doors to reveal their prize.

The solution involves the application of Bayes′ Rule which is a famous rule of probability theory. The rule provides a model for an important process in human reasoning, namely learning from experience. Bayes tells us how we should modify the strength of our belief in a particular hypothesis after we′ve learned some new bits of evidence.

In bridge we start with many hypotheses which we are familiar with. We know that if the defenders have 6 cards in a suit they are split 3-3 only 36% of the time. That is our base point. But then as bits of evidence come in we need to revisit that hypothesis. The bidding (or lack of bidding), the lead, the play to trick one in suit, the play to trick two in suit, the split in trumps or another side suit all provide evidence that needs to be assessed.

The Monty Hall answerAnalysis of Monty Hall problem is perhaps surprising in how emphatic it is. The answer includes a game simulator that you can run 1,000,000 times to demonstrate that the answer is real.

The Principle of Restricted Choice examplePrinciple of Restriced Choice example is a demonstration of an application of Bayes′ Rule to bridge and also argues that if we think of the principle as the much more pleasantly named Freedom of Choice then perhaps we could have a greater affinity with it. The example again includes a simulator that runs through 1,000,000 hands to demonstrate that the answer has some foundation.

Ben Norton wins 2015 IBPA award

Ben Norton won the 2015 International Bridge Press Association Richard Freeman Junior Deal of the Year award with his partner Freddie Illingworth. The event was the 15th International Championship of the Czech Republic of School and Junior Teams (August 2014). The hand was Board 5 which was brilliantly bid by Ben and Freddie to 7H. You will find the award and deal on page 12 of the IBPA award press release Link to IBPA award press release . Well done Ben.

LCBA League - 2015/2016

You can follow your team through the EBU League Management System using the links in the top right of the Home page (without EBU Login). If you are a team captain then it is important to note that your normal EBU login this season will not take you to the league. You need to log in to "My EBU". A link is provided on the right to get you into the correct place. Follow the instructions and you will find your league to enter results and players.

If you are not a team captain you can do exactlly the same (we encourage you to try it) and see all the additional information (including your team's fixtures in reverse date order) that your captain can see, but you will not be able to change any data. Let us know if you have any problems.