Manchester Bridge Club
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A Splinter Bid gives partner more information. It is an unusual jump into a new suit which shows game going points (11+)  and even a possible slam interest. It shows 4+ cards in partners' last bid suit and a singleton or void in the splinter suit (not usually an Ace)

e.g. 1H     4D*

(A response bid of 3D would have shown 16+ points so the 4D bid is an unnecessary jump showing a splinter)

"A Splinter always makes you jump!!"

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John Armstrong Pairs

Manchester pairs did well in the Swiss Pairs event at Merseyside on Sunday 22nd May.  Alan Mould and Michael Byrne were second, Joy and Irving Blakey and Ann Thornton and Linda Williams were joint fourth.
Full results are on the Merseyside County web site click here.


Wednesday Evenings

This is a well-deserved achievement amongst a very strong field of players - many of whom are internationals.

Well Done!




(See the yellow tab above top left)

Every month Michael Newman selects three hands played at the Club during that month and comments on the bidding and play offering invaluable hints and tips on how they should have been played!

You can check out not only the current month but also the archive of all previous editions.

Fisher & Schwartz banned by EBL

It has been reported that Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz, the Israeli pair involved in one of the 'cheating scandals', have been banned by the EBL.

They have been banned from EBL events and activities for 5 years and are banned from playing as a partnership for life. Further details are yet to be released.

Bridge helping ladies stay healthy and active into their 90s

BBC Woman's Hour on Radio 4 today looked at how women in their 90s have managed to stay healthy and active. Two interviewees from Birmingham cited bridge as one of the biggest influences on their prolonged good health, noting both the benefits of keeping the mind active, and also the social benefits of playing bridge after the death of their husbands.

The interview is available on the BBC website for a limited time - scroll to 15:00 for the start of the interview (which lasts around six minutes).

Join a bridge club in retirement and live longer!

Researchers at the University of Queensland have published a study in the online medical journal BMJ which concludes that being a member of clubs and social groups - such as a bridge club - after retirement reduces your risk of premature death.

(For the full editorial go to )

He's done it again.....again!!
He's done it again.....again!!

John Holland tops National Master Point list for the fifth time!

Congratulations to John Holland, who has topped the annual Master Points list for the fifth time (the last four years in succession!) and has claimed the Sunday Telegraph Salver.

John Holland's good year has seen him reclaim the top spot in the Gold Point rankings. He moved marginally ahead of the 2014 leader, David Gold, holding 98.92 to David's 98.02. Andrew Robson, Tony Forrester and Alexander Allfrey complete the top five.

John, who also won this award in 2009, 2012 and 2013 & 2014 gained a total of 29,397 points in 2015.


(Full details are on the EBU website )

John Holland Wins Gold Cup!  


Many congratulations to John Holland who has won Britain's most prestigious competition at Solihull on 11-13th December.  John, who has won virtually every other national event, has previously never won the Gold Cup.

John and partner Ben Green played every board in the final stages beating the holders (Allfrey, Robson, Forrester, Gold, Bakhshi, McIntosh) in the quarter finals on Friday and then Peter Lee's team in the semis by 98 IMPs.  John and Ben's other team members were Simon Cope, Peter Crouch and Nicola Smith.

In some ways this is the ultimate achievement for a British bridge player and ensures a place in the history of British bridge as a winner of the most demanding knockout event in the year

Gold Cup
Simon Cope, Nicola Smith, John Holland, Peter Crouch and Ben Green
About Manchester Bridge Club
About Manchester Bridge Club

Welcome to

Manchester Bridge Club. 

We are at 30 Palatine Road, Didsbury, M20 3JJ.

Ring us on 0161 445 3712

or email

For directions on how to find

us please click on the 

yellow 'Club Information' tab

top left of this page.



has a number of rooms

which can be hired

 for celebrations and functions. 

Suitable for special occasions such as



Please ring Jeff or David on

0161 445 3712

or email


Are you receiving the Bridge Club Newsletter by e-mail?

If not - please let Jeff know so he can make sure you are included.

Tel: 0161 445 3712 or


Archive 2011
My Pictures
  • 00 Barbados
  • 00 Flower
  • 00 Flower2
  • 00 Sunset
Christmas Party and Beginners' Duplicate
Christmas Party and Beginners' Duplicate 

Come along and join in our Christmas Party  and welcome our new beginners when they  play in their first duplicate bridge game.  We hope that more experienced players will partner one of our beginners and help them enjoy and learn from their first duplicate game.  Our party will start with mince pies and a sherry at 1.30 pm with a buffet during the break. We have two new groups of beginners now on a Monday afternoon, one started learning bridge at the beginning of September and the second at the start of November. They are all really keen and enjoying the challenges of learning to play bridge.  They are so keen they also meet up at the club on Tuesday afternoons to practice

Monday 19th December at 1:30 pm

Students Crazy Pairs Evening
Students Crazy Pairs EveningThe University Students Crazy Pairs evening was very successful with Barbara Lewis and Alec Smalley winning the event.  To see more photos click on the orange tab above. Look out for more bridge events being organised by the University Students in the new year.   
Northern Counties Bridge League Success
Congratulations to the Manchester C Team of Kevin & Celia Comrie, Stephen Ward/Chris Hine, Lance Bloohn/Roger Hopton, Irene Davies/Haidee Taattersall who won comfortably on Saturday 22nd October and so qualify for the National League Finals in July 2012.  Stephen and Chris came second in the Butler scoring and the scratch partnership of Irene and Haidee also did particularly well.
David Debbage December Workshop
David Debbage December Workshop

The next in our series of Workshops given by Champion Player David Debbage is on Sunday 11th December 2011.  The topic being covered is the much requested Slam Bidding.

The session will begin at 2.00 pm and finish about 4.15pm with a short break for sandwiches and freshly made scones at half-time.  The cost is £10 per person.  To enrol just e-mail the club or ring Jeff on 0161 445 3712 or mobile 07960 871035.

Santa Claus Pairs
Santa Claus PairsGet your entry in for the Santa Claus Pairs which is being held on Sunday 18th December. This is a two session event starting with Welcome Drinks at 1.30pm.  The first session starts at 2 pm with our sumptuous Christmas Buffet being served between sessions.  Entries are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.  The entry fee is £27.50 per player.  The 1st prize is £150 and 2nd prize is £80.  There will be a small gift for every-one attending.  Coffee and home-made mince pies will be served at the end of the competition.
Crazy Pairs Duplicate organised by University Students
Come along to the Crazy Pairs Bridge event organised by Michael Coop and his fellow students on Thursday 8th December at 7.30 pm.  There will be different rules for each board, for example one bid only per person, playing anti-clockwise etc. Prizes will awarded .  Every-one is welcome to attend so please support the students. Michael is also organising some further events for next year - there will be another Black Tie event before Easter and a Speed Ball Duplicate in May/June.  
Success in Coronation Cup
Congratulations to Michael Newman and his team who won the Coronation Cup which was held in Blackburn on Sunday 16th October.  Michael's team members were Andrew Petrie, Catherine Draper and Andrew Woodcock.


Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield were winners of the 21st Pendle Witch Pairs held on Saturday 24th September at Brierfield Bridge Club.  Eve Lighthill was second playing with Ken Hassell.  Mancheseter Bridge Club have a long association with this event - we started it at the Fence Gate Inn in partnership with the late Ron Morrish of the Pendle Enterprise Trust.


Congratulations to Manchester (Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, Rhona & Bernadr Goldenfield who have reached the final of the 2011 NICKO after defeating Moseley B in the Semi-Final (Round VIII) by 53 IMPS. Bernard & Rhona were previous winners of this competition in 1990 and 1993 while the two Michaels were previous winners in 2007.


Another great performance by Rhona & Bernard Goldenfield who came second out of 123 pairs in this National Green Pointed event.


After a miraculous 1 IMP win against Gary Hyett's team John Hassett's team (Jeff Morris, John Holland, Bill Hirst) have reached the Quarter Finals of the Gold Cup. They will play their Quarter Final against Alexander Allfrey's team (which includes Andrew Robson & Tony Forrester) on Friday 9th December in Peebles.

Results of Eve Lighthill Trophy 2011

After the final round of this year’s competition held on 22nd September the final top six teams are:-




John Holland, Michael Byrne, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton,    Irving Blakey, Joy Blakey



Sue Richmond, Mike Bell, Sinead Bird, Sarah O'Connor



Alec Smalley, Dave Audley, Jeff Smith, Peter Jones




Catherine Draper, Andrew Woodcock, John Hassett, David Debbage, Bernard Goldenfield, Rhona Goldenfield

Linda Williams, Hilary Boydell, Sally Archer, Graham Watton



6th =

Eve Lighthill, Raymond Semp, Ian Kane, Ken Hassell,

Barry Davies, David Olliver  


6th =

Irene Davies, Karen Reissman, Mohammad Jabbar, Mariam Jabbar, Peter Green

For more detailed information see Eve Lighthill Trophy option on main menu left.


Ben Franks Winners
Ben Franks WinnersBen Beever and Eddie Thornton-Chan won the Ben Franks Trophy which took place at Manchester Bridge Club on 4th December.  Ben said at half time their score was 50% so they had not expected to win.  But they scored highly in the second half leapfrogging above several pairs to win by a small margin from Michael Newman and Michael Byrne.  In third place were half time leaders John Hassett and Jeff Morris, with Raymond Semp and Ken Hassell fourth.  These four pairs qualify to represent Manchester in the Corwen Trophy in June.
Latest Club News

National All Counties Final

Congratulations to MCBA 'A' Team Rhona and Bernard Goldenfield, Kath and Alan Nelson, John Hassett and Dave Debbage and Michael Newman and Alec Smalley who won this prestigious event.

European Junior Champions

The England Under 20 team captained by Michael Byrne finished 4th.


The Manchester Bridge Club Team of Rhona and Bernard Goldenfield, Michael Byrne and Michael Newman has reached the national semi-finals.

Recent Club News











Nicholas Greer, Sean Mekie, Michael Coop, Nat Jowitt








Maisie Saffer, Vanessa James, Pauline Cathcart, June Gilbert, Hilary Boydell, Pat Dunningham








Janet Parr, Steve Parr, Iain Hart, Paul Batstone, Katie Hill








Maggie McPhillips, Dorothy Lewis, Michael & Maureen Hernon








John Hurst,  Carol Frost,  Anthony Lawrence, Sanjeet Kamath, Faye Georgiou








Colin Westwood, Dee Connolly, Chris Batt, Christine Middlehurst, Fiona Goode






Following on from the above event the club will be holding a non expert Swiss Pairs on the first Thursdays of August and September (4th August and 1st September). These events are for players from Division 5, Division 6 and Newcomers.

The club’s annual Autumn Swiss Teams will be held on three successive Thursday nights in September- 8th, 15th and 22nd. Organise your teammates now!!

The next evening course of lessons for beginners will start on Tuesday 6th September 2011 at 7,15pm. Ben Beever will be the course teacher. Dave Debbage will be starting a daytime course on the 12th September 2011 at 1.00pm


At the fifth attempt Manchester have finally won the A Division Final of the National County Teams of 8.  Manchester had qualified for the final (for the fifth year running) by winning the A Division of the 2010 Northern Counties Bridge League. Well done to Bernard & Rhona Goldenfield, Kath & Alan Nelson, David Debbage & John Hassett and the emergency partnership of Michael Newman & Alec Smalley.  Bernard & Rhona were by far Manchester's best pair on the day in the Butler scoring (finishing second overall) although all four pairs finished positive.

Manchester - 51 VPs
Surrey - 43 VPs
Warwickshire - 40 VPs
Hertfordshire - 35 VPs
Somerset - 31 VPs

Congratulations to John Holland playing with Erika Slatcher from the Isle of Man who won the pairs at the Senior's Congress at Eastbourne on 9th July by the large margin of nearly 7%.

NICKO 2011
Congratulations to Manchester C (Michael Byrne & Michael Newman, Rhona & Bernard Goldenfield) who are through to the semi-finals of of the National Inter-Club Knockout after defeating West of England C by 34 IMPS over 32 boards in the quarter final.  This is the third time in the last six years that the two Michaels have reached the semi-finals of this competition.

Success at Bolton Congress

Well done to Lance Bloohn and Roger Hopton who won the Pairs at the Bolton Congress on Saturday 3 September and then followed it up by winning the Wednesday night duplicate at Manchester Bridge Club four days later !!

Congratulations to Haidee and David
Congratulations to Haidee and DavidCongratulations and best wishes to Haidee Schofield and David Tattersall who got married on Monday 12th September at Stockport Registry office.  David and Haidee had a pre-wedding holiday over the week-end playing bridge in Skipton!  David and Haidee met at Manchester Bridge Club - one of the many couples at our club who met through playing bridge. Haidee and David will be holding a wedding celebration for their family and friends soon.
Club hosts MCBA match against Derbyshire
Club hosts MCBA match against DerbyshireManchester Bridge Club hosted the match between Manchester County and Derbyshire on Sunday 18th September.  Many of the MCBA players were from Manchester Bridge Club.  The captain, Karen Sandler received the Trophy from Jeff Morris who directed the match. The MCBA team also included Lance Bloohn, Jeanne and Ron Bayley, Gillian McMullen, John Fitzgerald, Ann Thornton, Dave Matthews, George Leigh, Michael Wymer, Graham Winn and Susan Triggs. MCBA beat Derbyshire by 131 imps.  Karen thanked Derbyshire for a very enjoyable match and both teams thanked Jeff and his staff for the fantastic meal they provided at half time.  
Tom Middleton Memorial Evening
This event, to celebrate the life of Tom Middleton, will take place on Sunday October 16th 2011. There will be a drinks reception starting at 6.30pm with the Swiss rubber bridge competition starting at 7pm.  Food will be provided by a local middle eastern restaurant during the break at approx 8.30pm.  The entry fee is £10 with all profits going to the  Parkinson's Society charity.  There will also be a raffle which is being organised by Eve Lighthill who would be grateful for any donations. 
Congratulations to Jeff Morris and his team
Congratulations to Jeff Morris and his team
The final of the 2010-11 Seniors' KO was held on Monday 8th August at Manchester Bridge Club.
The finalists, with the exception of North East's Clive Owen, were all from Manchester.
Clive Owen, John Holland, John Hassett and Jeff Morris won by 80 IMPs  when Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield, Joy and Irving Blakey conceded with 8 boards to play. 

Brighton Congress
Barbara Lewis and Alec Smalley went to the Brighton Congress for the first time this year. They had an enjoyable and successful time. Find out more by clicking here.
Winner of Tony Woods' Memorial Cup 2011
Winner of Tony Woods' Memorial Cup 2011 Lesley Johnson, this year's winner was presented with the Cup on Monday by Dave Debbage. This competition runs through the summer in the memory of Tony who was a regular player in the Monday night duplicate. Lesley wants to thank David Sarabowski, her regular partner on a Monday evening, who she feels is solely responsible for her success. The rest of us, of course, know differently!
NICKO 2012 Entry Conditions

NICKO 2012

Conditions of Entry

Players must be members of the affiliated club, and must have been so for at least three months immediately prior to the day they first represent it. Moreover, nominated players must play regularly at the club or for the club or contribute regularly in some other way OR have met this criteria in previous years, yet be unable to currently do so through some personal circumstance (e.g. illness, work, childcare, etc).

It is left to individual clubs themselves to decide whether their members meet these criteria and are thus eligible to represent them. Clubs are asked to ensure that their representatives match the ethos of the competition. Examples will be provided on the EBU website of what the EBU believes is good practice in this area. Any complaints that a team does not meet these criteria will be referred to the club that entered them.

At least 4 players must be nominated for each team when the entry form is submitted. Please give EBU numbers for all players. If you cannot provide EBU numbers, then it is essential that you give their postcodes.

Extra players may be added, up to a maximum of 6 players per team, at any time during the competition provided:

(a) that they satisfy the entry conditions,

(b) that they have not represented another team in the competition this season,


(c) that they are nominated to the EBU Competitions Department before they play

‘Strong teams’ (i.e. those with 2 or more Grand Masters or above or ranked in the top 40 of the EBU Gold Point scheme at the end of August) will be exempted until round 2.

Partner Teacher Workshop

Manchester Bridge Club successfully hosted an EBU Partner Teacher Workshop over the weekend.  The course supports members of the EBU who want to become Bridge Teachers or who want to play a fuller role with in their own bridge club.  All participants on this course, including 3 members of our club, achieved accredited EBU Bridge Teacher status.   

The workshop was run by Titch Glenday who has run her own successful bridge school,  the Devon School of Bridge, for over 20 years.  The workshop demonstrates the best way to teach beginners to learn to play bridge, for instance using mini-bridge initially and helps new teachers to develop marketing strategies to help them attract new members. The EBU also provides new teachers with professionally produced teaching materials.

Manchester Bridge Club is about to offer a new day time bridge course starting in September 2011 and we will be able to benefit from much of the advice given at this workshop. We urge all existing members of the club to tell their family and friends about our new day time bridge course.  We will be asking you to pass on leaflets advertising our new course to any family and friends who you think would be interested in learning bridge nearer the time. Watch this space for more info about our new day time beginners course............................... 

Well Done to Sue and Neil
Well Done to Sue and Neil

Sue Richmond and Neil Thomas won the Manchester Bridge Club heat of the Kidney Research SIMs on Thursday 14th July 2011. Sue and Neil  had an excellent second half and beat strong competition at the club scoring 66.25%.  In second place were Maggie McPhillips and Dorothy Lewis with Alan Bray and Philip Mott coming third.  Sue and Neil  did well nationallly, coming 27th across the country.  Manchester Bridge Club regularly runs SIMS (simultaneous pairs) events. Any non-members are welcome to attend our SIMS and if you ring up beforehand we will always find a partner for you.

Students' Black Tie Bridge Evening
Students' Black Tie Bridge Evening Manchester University Bridge Club had a fun evening at the Bridge Club.  Now students are returning for the new academic year we are hoping to hold another joint evening in the near future. Details to follow soon.
Ruia Cup 2011 Winners
Ruia Cup 2011 Winners

The Ruia Cup Final session took place on Thursday 21st July.  Catherine Draper and her team finished in first place with Sid Travers and his tem in 2nd place. Congratulations to both teams in a hard fought competition. Details of the top six teams are on our News Page.

Ruia Cup Top Teams



The top six teams after the concluding round on Thursday 21st July 2011 were:-
Team VPs
1st Catherine Draper (Andrew Woodcock, David Debbage, John Hassett, Rob Myers) 95
2nd  George Balon (Bernard Kaye, Len Gorodkin, Sidney Travers, Lesley Hyman, 88
Martin Taylor, John Parson, Alan Nelson)
3rd Angela Parkinson (Ray Ashleigh, Denis & V Robson, Frank McCarthy, Celia Comrie) 81
4th Jean Hand (Peter Hand, Pauline Rudolf, John Rudolf) 79
5th Dave Matthews (Ann Thornton, John Fitzgerald, Gillian McMullen) 72

Boris Ewart (Phil Callow, Neil Thomas, Peter Foster)


Brighton Congress - report from Barbara and Alec

Brighton Congress August 2011

This was our first trip to the Brighton Congress, having previously been to several continental bridge events.  In respect of the bridge, the intensity is much higher than in Europe, especially if you play in all the events.  Only the American Nationals are comparable in this respect.

The 2 main competitions, Swiss Pairs and Swiss Teams, are contested over the weekends, and are long and demand high levels of consistent concentration – as evidenced by Michael Byrne’s team who won the main event, the A Star Teams final  (136 boards in total).  However, during the midweek there are several more relaxed and fun competitions: Play with an Expert, Mixed Pivot Teams and Mixed Pairs in the evenings; and Open Pairs and Senior (over 60 years) events every afternoon.  And, for anyone who has not yet had enough bridge there are Speedball events starting at midnight!

Everyone who we met and played against were friendly and were enjoying the events.

We were especially impressed with the large turn-out of talented young bridge players…who give the events some vibrancy and augers well for the future of bridge in the UK. We were successful in the Mixed Pivot Teams (playing with Tom Slater and Ben Paske), winning a prize: and Alec and Tom had a wonderful experience playing in the Swiss Teams with Irving Gordon and Bill Whyte from Scotland – finishing 6th in the Brighton Bowl.

Brighton offers varied accommodation from top hotels to comfortable apartments within easy walking distance of the bridge, and a multitude of reasonably priced dining experiences from traditional seafood to Korean and Japanese cuisine.  For those who want to take a break from the bridge there are the Lanes of Brighton, and easy access by bus and train to cultural and other seaside attractions.   Travelling by train to Brighton is to be recommended as it took us just over 4 hours door-to-door: and parking is very expensive in Brighton.

For full results, see the link below:

Barbara and Alec

Jeff and David's December Newsletter
Jeff and David's December Newsletter

Read Jeff and David's latest Newsletter by clicking on December Newsletter tab in Menu Section above.

Winners of Santa Claus Pairs 2011
Winners of Santa Claus Pairs 2011

Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield were the winners of this year's Santa Claus Pairs. They won the first session with 63.83% and were 2nd in the second session with 61.90%, and were overall winners of the event with 62.88%. In second place were Rose Davenport and Ray Hill with Barbara Heaton and Irene Bowers in 3rd Place. 

Rhona thanked Jeff Morris and David Debbage for organising the event and Mike Amos for directing.  Rhona said that she and Bernard really enjoyed playing in such a friendly event and thanked  Briget and the staff at the club for providing a great buffet.

For more pictures of the Santa Claus Pairs click on the orange tab at top on left. The full results are available on the results pages - click on tabs on the right.