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Monthly Bulletin - April 2016


We are approaching the time for elections at the AGM. To run a charity well the Trustee group needs to contain a mix of business skills, financial skills, legal skills, marketing skills and many others.  If you are a member, perhaps who has joined the club recently, and you can bring a skill from outside the bridge world we would love to hear from you.  Each year we have to elect all the club Officers and there are also vacancies for the election of at least 3 trustees. If you think you might have something to contribute, please talk to one of the Trustees.

The club depends on the efforts of many to run smoothly. For many years, John Cecil has kindly discharged the unglamorous but essential task of ordering consumables such as bridge stationery.  John now wishes to stand down, so we need to find a replacement.  Any member willing to take on this task, please contact the chairman on chair@oxfordbridgeclub.com.

Bridge education

The primary focus for the education team currently is to recruit beginners for the Bridge for All courses that are starting at the club in October.   If you know someone who would like to learn to play Bridge, please encourage them to book a place a one of our free Taster Sessions on Thursday 5th May at 7.00 pm or on Wednesday 3rd August at 10.00 am. 

The next Saturday Seminar is on 7th May at 9.30 am.  The topic is ‘Playing with the Odds’,   Places are filling up so if you want to come, please do book your place soon by visiting https://bookwhen.com/obs-education.   Seminars costs £10 including coffee and biscuits.  

The club has now taken over the running of the Learn and Play sessions on Monday evenings and Thursday mornings.   Our thanks go to Colin Wels for his hard work in planning and executing the transition.   A new team of scorers has been trained to support these sessions.

From 6th October 2016, the club will be running a Gentle Duplicate session on Thursday evenings from 7.15 pm – 10.15 pm.    These are sessions designed to be accessible to Novices.   They will be open to all but with partnership restrictions.

New Projector and Screen

The club has purchased a digital projector and a screen with money that was kindly given to the club by the late John Simpson. This is intended for use in some education classes and events. We will also use it at General Meetings of club members. The facility is relocatable if and when we refurbish and extend the premises. Because the equipment will last longer if treated carefully, those that handle it must have first been briefed on its use.


Bridge at Stowe - 8th April

There will be a Charity Bridge Event on 8 April in the magnificent setting of Stowe, to raise funds for the Buckingham Area Community Advice Bureau.  The day will include free parking, a bridge competition with prizes, a tutorial from Abbey Smith, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, an opportunity to tour the ground floor of Stowe House – all for £25.  Details from sharon_humphries@yahoo.co.uk.

Oxford Congress - 11th/12th June

The Oxford Congress is now open for booking, and the link to the entry form on the county website is:
Paper copies of the leaflet will shortly be on display.

Novices Competition for the Morrie Marsh Trophy held on 14th March

Congratulations go to this year’s winners of the Morrie Marsh Trophy, Tessa Goddard and John Cooper with 64.84%. In second place were Colin Wels and Tilly Dearden, and third were Matt Wright and Jan van der Ploeg.  The Morrie Marsh is the Club pairs competition for novice players. Entrants may have no more than 500 EBU Masterpoints. For a photo of the presentation to the winners, have a look on the website.

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the February round of MP promotions.

Local Master:                                   Gaynor Cooper, John Cooper

Club Master:                                    Peter Hamilton

Area Master:                                    Hazel Hobbs, Sharma Shah         

District Master:                                Sue Burge, Ann Lloyd

County Master:                                Marion Hebblethwaite

5 Star Master:                                 Jaap Hoek         

Montly Bulletin - March 2016

This bulletin goes to all OBC membersI’m afraid the bulletin is longer than usual – but there are several important issues, so I do hope that members will make time to read it.

Forthcoming events

·        Seminar on Saturday 5 March – see “Bridge education” section below.

·        OBA Swiss Teams on Sunday 6 March.

·        Morrie Marsh Trophy on Monday 14 March – see item below.

·        Stratified simultaneous pairs on Wednesday 16 March.

 Novices Competition for the Morrie Marsh Trophy

This event will be on Monday 14 March at 7.00pm; no need to book – just turn up by 6.50pm.  Those who are eligible to enter the competition are pairs who are novices from any category of membership and learners with OBL who

1.    have gained fewer than 500 master points

2.    have not previously won this or any other Club trophy, excluding the Roger Hughes Trophy

3.    do not hold Master points from a non-EBU organisation.

Bridge education

Oxford Bridge School’s first course, Aspects of Play I, was fully booked and is now in full swing. There are still spaces on Aspects of Play II but as the course has already started it would be sensible to consult Kathy Talbot before booking a place for an individual lesson or for the remaining lessons.

There are still a few places on the first of our Saturday Seminars which takes place on Saturday 5th March starting at 9.30 am.   The seminar focuses on Declarer play and some strategies to adopt if you want to increase the number of tricks that you make – see the poster in the club or visit the website for further details.   Seminars cost £10 including coffee and biscuits.   Book online at https://bookwhen.com/obs-education.   

If you have friends who want to learn to play Bridge, please encourage them to book a place for one of our free taster sessions at 7.00 pm on Thursday 3rd March or Thursday 5th May.

Slow play

 I have received representations about slow play in the Club, and it prompts me to pen some do’s and don’ts – for ALL members – so please don’t skip this paragraph.  We all witness delays at tables, so here are my guidelines.

  • If you are being held up by slow play DON’T criticise any players – it may not be their fault.  Direct criticism – or snide remarks – are contrary to the principles of Best Behaviour at Bridge – and merit a procedural penalty, or even referral to the Conduct Committee.
  • If you are being held up by slow play DO call the Director – he/she is there to sort it out.
  • If you are dummy at a table that is still in play when the move is called, DO take the first board and pass it to the next table – that avoids the distraction of players from another table leaning across to help themselves to a board.
  • Once the move is called, DON’T continue to review the results of the last board – just move on.
  • To avoid unnecessary delays, before writing down the contract, DO lead to the first trick (if on lead) and DO spread your cards (if dummy).

Tuesday evenings

When the county abandoned their weekly county night on Tuesday evenings in the middle of last year, OBC took the decision to try running a duplicate session on those Tuesday evenings that the county had elected not to use. Since 1st July 2015 OBC has hosted duplicate sessions on 2nd, 4th  and 5th Tuesday evenings.

 In spite of the valiant efforts of Claire MacDonagh, the attendance has not grown as we hoped it might. In recent weeks it has fallen to a level where it is really not viable. The Trustees have decided that the session will not continue after the last Tuesday in March. Tuesday evening 29th March will be the last session in the series.

The county will continue to run their events on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at the club.

TDs and scorers

 As a club run by volunteers we have to use the valuable contributions of our directors and scorers in the most effective way and occasionally we have to make decisions like the one above.  However we are taking steps to increase the number of active directors and scorers.  At least five new directors will be attending the EBU Director training this summer and in March we will be running a training course for scorers – there are nine new scorers on the list for this. Thank you to all those who have volunteered. If you think you might be willing to make a commitment to help the club in one of these ways then please make contact in the first instance with Kathy Talbot.

Supporting the Director

The Trustees have been reflecting on the load that the TDs are currently expected to bear and concluded that it is too much.  Furthermore, in the (admittedly unlikely) event of an emergency requiring an evacuation of the premises, it is clear that there needs to be more than just the TD and scorer to co-ordinate the response. Therefore, in future, at each session the TD will appoint a Session Steward from among those playing to help facilitate the running of the session from a safety and security perspective. It is expected that senior members of the club (such as Trustees, directors and scorers) will volunteer to act as Session Steward on an ad hoc basis as and when needed. However, ANYONE can act in this role which is not very onerous.

 The Session Steward will:

  • Be appointed by the session TD and will act to support the session TD. The session TD is in overall charge of the session
  • Ensure that the conservatory door is unlocked for the duration of the session
  • Ensure that the front door is closed at the beginning of the session
  • Ensure that the playing area remains free from obstruction (such as bags and coats on the floor) to prevent trips
  • In the event of a smoke or fire alarm sounding, investigate whether there is a fire provided it is safe to do so. Note that, if an alarm sounds, the TD should immediately supervise an orderly evacuation whilst the Session Steward is investigating whether there is a fire
  • In the event of an evacuation, help the TD to assist players with limited mobility to leave the premises using the wheelchair and/or walker as necessary
  • If there is an incident or accident during the session, ensure that an appropriate Accident Report is completed before leaving the club at the end of the session and advise Tilly Dearden that a report has been written
  • At the end of the session, ensure that all windows and doors are closed and locked and confirm to the TD that this is the case.  It is the TD’s responsibility to close and lock the front door.

Oxford Junior Bridge Internationals

Holly Kilpatrick informed us that Oxford Junior Bridge Club pupil, Henry Rose, has been selected to play for England  in the Under 15’s World Championships in Italy this year.  This is the most brilliant achievement, especially as he is still only 11 years old!  Henry started bridge at the Dragon School Bridge Club when he was 8 years old and took to it like the proverbial duck to water! He was the first pupil at the OJBC.  He has worked really hard at the game and truly deserves this recognition.  Congratulations are also due to Holly and her team for nurturing this talent.

The England Under 26 team have won the Junior Camrose for the fourth year in a row. The team of Shivam Shah, Freddie Illingworth, Toby Nonnenmacher, Michael Alishaw, Basil Letts and Sean Mekie with NPC Alan Shillitoe were run close by the Scottish juniors who were ahead at the half-way point but a very strong second half, including a 20-0 victory over the Scottish hosts, saw them pull ahead and win by 13 VPs.

Bridge at Stowe

There will be a Charity Bridge Event on 8 April in the magnificent setting of Stowe, to raise funds for the Buckingham Area Community Advice Bureau.  The day will include free parking, a bridge competition with prizes, a tutorial from Abbey Smith, morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea, an opportunity to tour the ground floor of Stowe House – all for £25.  Details from <sharon_humphries@yahoo.co.uk>

Children in Need

We have learned that the total raised by bridge clubs nationwide for 2015 was £71,347.32. Yet another record.  ECats has now sent over £811,000.00 to BBC Children in Need over the years.  The 2016 CiN sim pairs will run from Friday 11 to Thursday 17 November; and OBC will enter on at least one of those dates.

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the February round of MP promotions.

Club Master:   Rosemary Buckland                      

Area Master:   Jane Matheson, Jean White                        

District Master:  George Clary     

County Master:  Clare Lim, Suzette Reynolds         

3 Star Premier Master:  Linda Edwards   

1 Star Regional Master:  Marilyn Newbould

2 Star Premier Regional Master: Irina Woods                   

Monthly Bulletin - February 2016

This message goes to all OBC members.

Hilde McIlvenna

I am sorry to have to report the death of Hilde McIlvenna, a long-standing member of the Club.  Funeral details will be published in due course on the notice board at the clubhouse.

Bridge education - past

When I started at OBC at the turn of the century, there was a thriving Thursday morning teaching programme, staffed by five volunteers (Esme Alden, Peggy Manuell, Morrie Marsh, Winnie Ling and John Simpson).  Learners progressed from one class to another – and the classes also spawned new relaxed duplicates on Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings.  Many players graduated to the more serious duplicates, so the Club owes a great debt of gratitude to those five teachers.

However, the number of classes declined as some members ceased to teach because of age or ill health so, about 7-8 years ago, OBC outsourced the teaching to Oxford Bridge Learning.  OBL brought something new to bridge education, with their marketing expertise and a range of lessons on different days and at various levels.  Altogether, they taught over 700 learners – a remarkable achievement – and I wish to express my gratitude to Melinda and John, and their teachers, for bringing many new players into the Club.  Latterly, the education provision by OBL has reduced – to a large extent because of uncertainty over the timing of the redevelopment plans – so OBL decided to cease its operations from the end of March 2016.  Incidentally, some of their former learners are among those now helping Viccy with the management of the new education programme.

Bridge education – present and future

There is now a notice board for Oxford Bridge School in the middle room at the clubhouse.  The first of our Saturday Seminars is on Saturday 5th March starting at 9.30 am.   Come along to hone your skills in making more tricks when playing in suit contracts, one of the keys to success at Pairs.   See the poster in the clubhouse or visit the website for further details.   Each seminar costs £10 including coffee.   If you have friends who want to learn to play bridge, please encourage them to book a place for one of our free taster sessions on Thursday 3rd March or Thursday 5th May.   Booking for both is online at https://bookwhen.com/obs-education.    Beginners’ courses will start in September and will be run on Thursday evenings and Wednesday mornings following the EBU’s Bridge for All programme.

A course for intermediate and experienced players!

 As part of the club’s initial programme, Peter Litchfield has offered to give a course on the 2/1 (“two over one”) system for those experienced players who would like to become familiar with the system.  As well as the specifics of 2/1, the course would cover the general mechanics of a five card major, strong no trump system and as such could be of interest to those who do not want to embrace the full power of 2/1.     The course content is under consideration, but the format will probably be one hour of teaching and discussion and one hour of playing example hands.   The course would run on ten evenings, probably not before the autumn of 2016.  If you are interested in such a course, please e-mail education@oxfordbridgeclub.com with a copy to plj@physics.umn.edu of course without final commitment.  We need to establish that there is sufficient interest to warrant putting on the course and would welcome indicative responses by 29th February.     Further brief details of the system are given at the end of this newsletter.


There is slow but discernible progress with the planned redevelopment.  We have now submitted our formal application for a loan to the Charity Bank and await assessment of the request. Once we have an agreement in principle, the builder will discuss with us ways of reducing the overall cost.

Forthcoming events

1.           County Pairs heats: there are no longer any club-based heats.  For entry to the qualifier on Sunday 7 February, contact Claire MacDonagh.

2.           The Club Open Championship Pairs for the Beck Salver will be held at 2.00pm on Sunday 14 February.  There is a sign-up sheet in the tea room.

3.           The Mixed Pairs competition for the Winnie Ling trophy will be held at 7.15pm on Thursday 18 February.  No sign-up sheet - just turn up on the day!


Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the January round of MP promotions.

Club Master:  John Lewis-Crosby, Mary Perryman, Raj Shah, Graham Walcroft, Colin Wels

Area Master:  Claire McGlashan                           

County Master:  Irene Holland                    

Master:  Rosemary Morton Jack

Advanced Master: Avis Roberts       

Regional Master:  Chris Dawe                                      

Annual MP Ranking List, 2015

 Each year the EBU publishes annual ranking lists for masterpoints won in the course of the preceding year, by club and county as well as nationwide.

Congratulations to Aleksandar Lishkov: national leader at Level 2 (National & Premier National Masters).

OBC members head the county lists in most ranking categories, as follows.

Grand Master:  Kathy Talbot: 12,732 MPs, followed by Denis Talbot: 12,494 MPs.

Premier National Master:  Aleksandar Lishkov: 15,438 MPs.

National Master:   Carol Benzie: 8,568 MPs.

Premier Regional Master:  Rob Dixon: 8,947 MPs.

Star Regional Master:  Diane Coe: 7,675 MPs.

Regional Master:  Matthew Covill: 4,829 MPs.

Star Premier Master:  Robert Gasser: 5,829 MPs.

Premier Master:  Howard Arnes: 3,477 MPs, followed by Ruth Kim: 3017 MPs.

Tournament Master:   Cliff Pavelin: 2,570 MPs.

Star Master:   Linda Edwards: 5,528 MPs.

Advanced Master:  Matt Wilkinson: 3,339 MPs, followed by Julie Anderson: 3,101 MPs.

District Master:  Michiel Cottaar: 3,903 MPs.

Area Master:  Carlos Acero: 1,653 MPs.

The above list includes MPs gained in events at other clubs and at congresses.  However, the EBU also lists club champions ranked in sessions played at each club.  OBC champion for 2015 in sessions played at OBC was Diane Coe, followed by Robert Gasser and Bridget Watson.


Two over one system

2/1 game forcing is a modern version of the Standard American bidding system, i.e. a natural 5-card major, strong no trump system.   The two major differences are that a 2 level response to a one level opening is forcing to game.  This allows extra space for the exchange of information below game level, resulting in more often ending in the right game contract and more accurate slam bidding.  A corollary of this is that a 1NT response to a major suit opening has to cater for all hands below a game force and is thus forcing for one round.   A large majority of tournament players in the USA play 2/1 as do many of the top UK pairs.  Robson and Forrester were playing a version in the recent world championships.

Monthly Bulletin - January 2016

Front door code

The code to the front door of the club will be changed on Sunday 10th January. Code holders will be informed of the new code for the front door by e-mail (where possible).  If you have any queries, please contact Martin Illingworth on martin.illingworth415@btinternet.com


Bridge education

The Club is hoping to begin to offer courses and seminars from late February/early March.    Details will be sent out to members once the booking and payment procedures have been set up.   Several of the Club’s officers are involved in the initial planning process and their willingness to devote time to this in the run up to Christmas is much appreciated.   Courses for beginners will not start before the autumn.   Please contact the education manager, Viccy Fleming via education@oxfordbridgeclub.com if you have any suggestions or if you would like to help with education at the Club.


Forthcoming events

1.           Bridge England simultaneous pairs on the morning of Tuesday 2 February.

2.           County Pairs heats: there are no longer any club-based heats.  For entry to the qualifier on Sunday 7 February, contact Claire MacDonagh.

3.           The Club Open Championship Pairs for the Beck Salver will be held on Sunday 14 February.

4.           The Mixed Pairs competition for the Winnie Ling trophy will be held on Thursday 18 February.


Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.

Local Master:  John Lewis-Crosby

Area Master:  Lynette Bradley, Herman de Louw            

District Master: Gay Hawley

County Master: Tom Brus            

Master:  Ian Edwardes, Itzhak Kremnizer, Rodica Kremnizer, Michael Spira

1 Star Master: Viccy Fleming    

Premier Master: Michiel Cottaar

Premier Life Master: Peter Randall

Monthly Bulletin - December 2015

This bulletin is addressed to all OBC members.  It is longer than usual; but it contains some really important issues, so I do hope that members will make time to read to the end – including the appendix.

Best Behaviour at Bridge

“Make bridge enjoyable for yourself, partner and opponents.”

Whilst the vast majority of members observe the above tenet of BB@B, the Trustees are concerned about the number of reports of bad behaviour reaching them concerning a small minority who can spoil the enjoyment of their partner, or their opponents, or those sitting nearby.

The trustees are determined to do all in their power to change this for the good of the Club and all the players.  So with effect from the date of this newsletter, the trustees are launching an initiative to try and eliminate bad behaviour at the club by asking all directors to take immediate on the spot action in cases where such behaviour occurs. 

Here are some examples from the recent past that we seek to eradicate:

  • Being less than scrupulously polite either to opponents or to partner
  • Arguing with the director
  • Talking loudly about the hands or reading out contracts from the BridgeMates such as to spoil the novelty of a hand for someone yet to play it
  • Talking loudly about anything else while other tables are in play
  • Players not calling the director when they think that something is amiss
  • Players other than the director trying to advise what to do when something has gone amiss

And in future directors will share information about such instances of bad behaviour to ensure consistency across all sessions.

The requirements are very simple – but they need the active cooperation of ALL players.  Details are in the attached appendix which all players are asked to read.

Let’s all make bridge enjoyable for ourselves, partner and opponents!


The guaranteed presence of a host encourages players without a partner to attend a bridge session.  This has proved invaluable at the supervised duplicates and also at the Tuesday morning sessions, where Rosemary Morton Jack continues to arrange a successful rota. 

The Bridge Committee has decided that, starting on 1st January 2016, we shall draw up a rota for hosting all evening sessions. To make this work, we will ask all players who regularly attend those sessions  to take their turn. If everyone helps, it means any individual player would only have to act as host perhaps once or twice a year.

Hosts play for free and receive a voucher entitling them to another free game at any of the club’s sessions, but if the host is not required then they receive two free game vouchers.  And for those hosts concerned about the effect playing with an unfamiliar partner might have on their NGS rating, under a new EBU initiative they can ask for their score when acting as host to be ignored for NGS purposes – although they must ask before the session starts (by speaking to the director).

Liza has offered to coordinate the host list for Friday evenings.  However, we need volunteers to coordinate the host lists for Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.  It shouldn’t be too onerous – but will be a great boon to the Club by enabling more members to play – and also enabling us to appear more welcoming to visiting bridge players who are looking for a game.  Offers, please, to Claire MacDonagh <ts@oxfordbridgeclub.com>


The OBA Swiss Pairs on Sunday last was won by Liza Furnival and Peter Finbow with Martin Illingworth and Marion Sheppard coming a creditable 3rd.

Social committee

 OBC raised a staggering £1188.45 for Children in Need from table monies and the sale of cakes and raffle tickets! According to the Ecats web-site this makes us currently the second biggest contributor in the country!  The cake sales and raffle raised £1072.05 of the total so a big “Thank You” to Pat Lewis and all the Social Committee. Also many thanks to all the bakers and to all players for your generous donations and ticket purchases. Without our members' donations and ticket purchases we would not have been able to make such a significant donation. 

The Social Committee is pleased to arrange events but often needs an extra pair of hands. Willing helpers would be a real asset and it need not be an onerous task.  Volunteers should contact Pat Lewis <pat.lewis@zen.co.uk>

Premises refurbishment

We would like to give an update on where we are with the refurbishment of the clubhouse, which we appreciate seems to be a never ending saga.  We would also like to thank those members who responded to the Treasurer’s message in August about loans to the club.

  1. We are currently in active dialogue with one bank about raising the necessary loan finance.  We have provided all of the voluminous information they asked for, and hope to get a reply one way or the other shortly.
  2. On the question of forecourt access, we have signed an agreement with the owner of Flat A to secure access. We have been in discussion with the owner of Flat B and reached an outline agreement in principle, and hope to sign a formal agreement in the next few weeks.

The earliest the building work could commence has now slipped to late summer 2016, and depending on the work commitments of our preferred builder, that date could slip into 2017.

Forthcoming events

  1. Christmas party on Wednesday 9 December: bridge in the afternoon; wine, nibbles & light entertainment from 6pm to 7pm; followed by evening bridge.
  2. No bridge on 25 December.  All other sessions continue as usual – including Friday 1st January.
  3. County Pairs heats: there are no longer any club-based heats.  For entry to the qualifier on 7 February, contact Claire MacDonagh.  A flier is attached.

Partner Finding for Teams

Jennifer Marsden will help members, either individuals or pairs, to find team mates for the competitions on the first Wednesday and the third Friday each month. Contact her at partners@oxfordbridgeclub.com.

Do let Matt Wilkinson know if you are having any problems using the Pianola partner finder – or any other aspect of Pianola.  Email him at mattwilkinson52@me.com.

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.

Local Master:  Alasdair MacDonald, Mary Perryman, Graham Walcroft                  

Area Master:  Patricia Nossek                

County Master: Jean Maisey                      

2 Star Master:  Tunde Scott                      

3 Star Master: Elizabeth Nutten, Rosemary Catolfi Salvoni

Premier Life Master: Diana Thorne     


Appendix: Best Behaviour at Bridge

1.      Bridge is a game to be played for enjoyment. Good behaviour is an essential part of that.  In addition, bridge has a set of laws which, like any other game or sport, have to be followed for the good of all.  The director in charge of any session is the person entrusted with ensuring both good behaviour and that the laws are properly observed.

2.      Please note that the director is the only person who is entitled to deal with instances of bad behaviour, or who can rule on a case where a problem arises within the laws (eg lead out of turn etc).  The director is there to help.

3.      The trustees therefore wish to emphasise to all players that there is no stigma or implication of malpractice attached to calling the director to a table, and that this should be done in all cases where there is a problem of any sort.

4.      In the event of an infringement of BB@B, it is essential that the TD is called – either by the victim or by any another player affected (even at another nearby table).  Regrettably, infringements are often reported after the event – which results in a referral to the Conduct Committee, inevitable delays while evidence is gathered, and judgements made by people who were not present at the session.

5.      It is also important that no player, however experienced, should attempt to make a ruling at their own table.  The director must be called.

6.      Players should be aware that the TD has very considerable powers, both to impose summary justice, in the form of a procedural penalty; and also to ensure that offenders are not in a position to offend, by being removed from the premises.  According to the laws, a TD can remove a player from a session; and according to the OBC Articles of Association (clause 7.2), “the director may exclude any player from a session if in their reasonable opinion that player would not satisfy the requirements of clause 13.1 (Conduct) of these regulations for that session.”  That means that, for example, a player who has made life unpleasant at a Tuesday morning session could find that all TDs refuse them admission to a Tuesday morning session for a period of time.

7.      So from the date of this newsletter, the trustees have asked directors to take immediate action in all cases where they find unacceptable behaviour – whether directed at an opponent or partner. This could be in the form of:

  1. A warning in the first instance,
  2. A procedural penalty,
  3. In serious cases (or repeated instances), exclusion from the session.

8.      Directors will henceforth be sharing information about players who behave badly, and where such bad behaviour is repeated, will be asked to consider excluding such a player from a future session.

9.      The trustees appreciate that, especially for new or inexperienced players, this can all seem very intimidating.  But that is why the directors are there, they are your friends and you should not hesitate to call them if you think things are going wrong for any reason.

10.   However we understand that calling the director is very public, and if a player is still reluctant for any reason to call the director in the case of bad behaviour, the trustees encourage you to make a report on one of the pink feedback forms in the hallway. These will all be read, and will help monitoring of behaviour issues.

11.   Please be in no doubt, the trustees are determined to eradicate bad behaviour from the club.

Monthly Bulletin- November 2015

Forthcoming events

1.             OBC Swiss teams in two sessions on 4 November and 2 December.

2.             Teaching bridge to children on 7 November – see next paragraph.

3.             Children in Need the week of the 9 to 13 November.  We plan to have a raffle running for the whole week and we will also try to serve cakes or biscuits for every session.  These will cost money so please can everyone give generously - we made a significant donation last year to CIN.  If anyone can give a donation of cakes or biscuits it would be greatly appreciated; also any small gift to go in a seasonal hamper - tea, nuts, dates, etc.

4.             Children in Need simultaneous pairs on Wednesday 11 November.

5.             Rose Bowl (Multiple Teams) Final on Sunday 15 November.

6.             Oxford Junior Bridge Club is holding its winter competition for 8 to 18-year olds on Sunday 22 November.  A flier is attached.

7.             Christmas party on Wednesday 9 December: bridge in the afternoon; wine, nibbles & light entertainment from 6pm to 7pm; followed by evening bridge.

8.             County Swiss Pairs on Sunday 29 November.  Entries to Claire MacDonagh.  A flier is attached.

9.             County Pairs heats: there are no longer any club-based heats.  For entry to the qualifier on 7 February, contact Claire MacDonagh.  A flier is attached.

Junior bridge

Alison Nicolson is a very experienced and extremely good bridge teacher and she has agreed to run a session for teaching children on the morning of Saturday 7 November at the Oxford Bridge Club.   Timings are to be confirmed but it will probably be of 3 hours duration and will encompass mini-bridge and elementary bidding. 

This course is free of charge and is open to ANYONE who might be interested.  There is no obligation whatsoever to become involved with Junior Bridge, either now or in the future, but some members might be interested for the purposes of teaching and playing with their children/grandchildren or any other young people.  For further information, email juniorbridgeoxford@gmail.com

Partner Finding.

Do let Matt Wilkinson know if you are having any problems using the Pianola partner finder.  Email him at memsec@oxfordbridgeclub.com

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.

Club Master:  Herman de Louw, Shama Shah

District Master: Margie Charnock            

County Master: Suzanne Litchfield         

Master:  Lucy Edwardes, Isabel Pack

Premier Master:  Miriam Seaver 

Monthly Bulletin: October 2015

Individual event

We held the Individual on Sunday 27 September – a fun event with 5 tables – won by Esme Alden.

Forthcoming events

1.           OBA Mens & Ladies Pairs on Tuesday 6th October at OBC - start time 19:00 - 19:15 - table money £4.  No need to pre-book.

2.           Teams next week (Wednesday evening 7 October) is the Rose Bowl Qualifier.

3.           October – April:  OBC Rubber bridge competition for the Meltzer Trophy.    NOTE – the final entry deadline is now Friday 9 October.  Sign-up sheet in the tea-room.

4.           Reminder re Tuesday evenings.  The new 2nd & 4th & 5th Tuesday evenings have started well, with a decent number of tables.  All members are welcome, and the session is hosted, so you do not need to come with a partner.  We are looking for hosts so if you would like to volunteer please contact Claire <Claire.MacDonagh@clearviewtraffic.com>

5.           Advance notice for Children in Need events, 9-13 November; and the Christmas party on 9 December.

Redevelopment plans

 The Premises Committee continues to make progress towards overcoming the remaining hurdles, namely, securing the agreement of the flat owners to vacate the forecourt for the duration of the works; and securing a loan to cover the bulk of the cost.  The remaining 30-35% of the cost will be covered by a combination of the charity’s cash resources and member loans.  Members willing to make a loan, but who have not yet informed the Treasurer, are invited to contact him at chriskerr281@btinternet.com


From time to time we have floated the notion of mentoring, whereby a more experienced player would offer guidance to, and/or play occasionally with, a less experienced player.  Having myself played with 37 different players (about 10% of the membership) in the past 3 years, I can vouch for the fact that it can be both fun and beneficial to both parties.  We don’t yet have a fully-fledged scheme in place; but I’d like to start the ball rolling by asking members willing to act as mentors to let me know, so that we can start compiling a list of the willing.

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.

Area Master:  Peter Elvins       

District Master:  Su Kong Lo        

County Master:  Rosemary Young            

Master:   Jane Darke

3 Star Tournament Master:  Peggy Manuell                

1 Star Regional Master:   Robert Gasser

Monthly Bulletin: September 2015

Recent event

I was sorry to learn that the teams event scheduled for Friday 21 August turned out to be a pairs session.  I wish to apologise on behalf of the Club to all those who were disappointed, and to assure them that it will not happen again.

The change was caused by the absence of key scorers, and the lack of other scorers confident to use the teams scoring programme.  We should not be in that situation again; and in the highly unlikely event of a recurrence, I would ask the TD to run a teams session, collect score cards from all teams and leave them for a senior scorer to enter later on the computer.

This problem highlights the desirability of having several more members willing to join the scoring team.  The EBU is about to launch a new scoring programme, and to provide training materials – so it is a good time for more volunteers to come forward.  Don’t forget that, for an organisation like ours to flourish, we need members willing to take on such roles.

Door codes

The codes to the front door and the side gate of the club will be changed on Sunday 13th September.  The new code for the side gate will be posted on the club notice board. If you need to know the code for the front door please contact Martin Illingworth on martin.illingworth415@btinternet.com


Players living north or west of the northern bypass will be aware of current traffic congestion – which is likely to get worse as the school term starts.  OBL are delaying the Thursday morning starts till 10.30am; but OBC will NOT follow suit for the Monday, Tuesday and Friday morning sessions, because of the desirability of getting through enough boards by lunchtime.  Players attending morning sessions need to be seated by 09.50am – and are therefore advised to leave plenty of time for their journey – or find a different route.  If you are delayed, but expect to arrive by 10.00am, please phone the clubhouse on 01865 554414.

Forthcoming events

  1. Wednesday 9 September:  EBED simultaneous pairs event at OBC.
  2. Thursday 10 September:  Menagerie “Play with Two Experts”.  A flier is attached.
  3. Sunday 13 September:  Wallingford blue-pointed Swiss Pairs at Roke.  A poster is attached.
  4. Friday 18 September:  OBC teams night – definitely teams!
  5. Sunday 27 September:  OBC Individual competition for the Thompson Trophy. Sign-up sheet in the tea-room.
  6. Wednesday 7 October:  OBC teams night – Rose Bowl Qualifier
  7. September – April:  OBC Rubber bridge competition for the Meltzer Trophy. Sign-up sheet in the tea-room.
  8. Tuesday evenings.  The new 2nd & 4th & 5th Tuesday evenings have started well, with a decent number of tables – despite the holiday season.  All members are welcome, and the session is hosted, so you do not need to come with a partner.  We are looking for hosts so if you would like to volunteer please contact Claire.

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.

Local Master:  Peter Hamilton, Herman de Louw, Colin Wels

Club Master:  Jane Matheson

County Master: Lesley Budgen, Diana Pick

1 Star Premier Master: Matthew Wilkinson

3 Star Premier Master:  John Briggs

3 Star Premier Regional Master: Sandra Millikin



Monthly Bulletin: July 2015

Inter-Club matches

OBC runs seven or eight teams in an inter-club competition called the Wessex League.  In these teams we have players ranging from NGS grade 3 up to NGS Ace of Diamonds – so there is a place for most of our members!

A number of members who played last season are not available for 2015-2016.  We are short of about 4 pairs, especially at the top (division 1) level. Before we shuffle many pairs up a team we would like to check that we haven't missed anyone who might make themselves available. Also, in the absence of additional players it is likely that there will not be enough players to run 8 teams next season.

For those that have not played Wessex League before, it involves a maximum of seven 24–board matches per season (October to April), half of which are played at home and half away.  And there will be some training sessions during the summer months, which will give players an opportunity to learn and improve their teams play.

If you would like to volunteer or want to know more send an email to James Anderson captain@oxfordbridgeclub.com or <james.w.j.anderson@gmail.com>

Call the Director!

Some players are reluctant to call the director, to avoid a fuss; others choose to take matters into their own hands.  Neither reason is justified.  Two recent cases.  A player tells another pair that they should have moved orientation, in accordance with an edict from the TD.  Another player accuses a pair of being slow and holding up the play.  In the first case, the player does not know that one of the unmoving pair has a dispensation to sit N/S.  In the second case, the player cannot be certain who or what has caused the delay.  In both cases, it is not for any player other than the TD to make a judgement or to usurp the functions of the TD.  Please help to preserve a pleasant ambience by calling the TD – and encouraging others to do so!


  1. The summer party, originally scheduled for Wednesday 8 July, is postponed to Wednesday 22 July.  There will be afternoon bridge, including tea, starting at 3pm; drinks and nibbles in the interval between the two sessions, starting at 6pm; then evening bridge at 7.15pm.
  2. Tuesday evenings.  Starting in July, the 1st & 3rd Tuesday evenings are still county nights; but the 2nd & 4th (& 5th) Tuesdays are club nights, when we’ll play duplicate pairs.  So do come along on 14th & 28th (and why not on county nights as well – multiple teams on the 1st Tuesday, Swiss pairs on the 3rd Tuesday?)
  3. Wednesday 29 July: the Men’s & Ladies Pairs, for the John & Doreen Simpson Trophies.

Annual General Meeting

At the AGM, four trustees stood down – Joan Bailes, Andy King, Cathy Rowland and Peter Sherry; and three new trustees were elected: Claire MacDonagh, Marion Sheppard and Rita Todd.  Claire MacDonagh also took on the role of Tournament Secretary.

Several revisions to the Articles of Association were passed, and the revised version is available on the web site at: http://www.bridgewebs.com/obc/OBC%20Articles%20of%20Association%202015-05-29%20Final.pdf

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to the following members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions.


Local Master:                    Gwyneth Goss,  Sue Seddon,  Raj Shah,  Jean White

Club Master:                     Juliet Johnson, Brian Knight

Area Master:                     Eileen Windows

District Master:                  Mary Bennett

County Master:                 Jane Armstrong,  Peter Da Costa,  Christina Hardyment, 

                                         Alan Topham,  Pauline Wyman

Master:                              Kathryn Park

Advanced Master:             Rosemary Dorey

1 Star Master:                   Sara Alden

3 Star Master:                   Steve Nyman

5 Star Master:                   Moira Pavelin, Bill Timms

1 Star Premier Master:     Julie Anderson,  Ruth Kim

2 Star Premier Master:     Linda Edwards

1 Star Regional Master:   John Deech

National Master:               Rob Dixon

Monthly Bulletin: June 2015

AGM and elections

All members should have received notice of the Annual General Meeting of Oxford Bridge Club CIO, to be held at 6pm on Wednesday 17 June.  I hope that as many members as possible will be able to attend.  I would also urge members to consider whether they may be able to discharge any of the roles without which the Club would not be able to function.  Don’t be shy – to contribute to the running of the Club, you don’t have to be one of the top players.  On the contrary, we warmly welcome the active engagement of recent recruits to the game.  If you’d like to know how you can help, just ask any of the trustees (our names and photos are in the hallway at 147 Banbury Road).

Master Point promotions

Congratulations to OBC members who feature in the May round of MP promotions.

Local Master:   Gwyneth Goss, Sue Seddon

Club Master:   John Carrington, John Hanmer

Area Master:   John Bagnall, David Eyton, Pam Eyton

County Master:   Michiel Cottaar

3 Star Premier Master:   Alison Withers Green

Premier National Master:   Carol Benzie

And special congratulations to ….

Life Master:   David Southcombe

Monthly Bulletin: May 2015

Tuesday evenings

Tuesday evenings have traditionally been “county night” – but there will be some changes in the near future.  Oxfordshire Bridge Association will continue to run county nights through May and June; but as from July, OBC will run some of the sessions.  The pattern of sessions is:

1st Tuesday:   OBA Multiple Teams
2nd Tuesday:  Duplicate Pairs (run by OBA in May & June; thereafter by OBC)
3rd Tuesday:  OBA Swiss Pairs
4th Tuesday:  Duplicate Pairs (run by OBA in May & June; thereafter by OBC)
5th Tuesday:  Duplicate Pairs (run by OBA in May & June; thereafter by OBC)

Regardless of who is running the session, all members of OBC – indeed all members of Oxfordshire clubs and all visitors – are welcome to attend all Tuesday evening sessions.

Master Point promotions

Congratulations to OBC members who feature in the April round of MP promotions.

Local Master:   Brian Knight

Club Master:   Pat Silver

Area Master:   Pam Donaghy

District Master:   Carlos Acero, Philippa Lawrence

County Master:   Fay Mogridge

2 Star Master:   Linda Edwards

4 Star Regional Master:   Liza Furnival

1 Star Premier Regional Master:   Jo Murray

4 Star Premier Regional Master:   Rita Todd

And special congratulations to …..

Life Master:   Aleksandar Lishkov

Monthly bulletin: April 2015

Noise in the bridge club

Members will be aware that loud voices create a problem at OBC. That is partly because of the cramped nature of the premises; but also due to the presence of a small number of players who persist in speaking in loud voices. Members who also play at other clubs will be aware that this problem appears to be unique to OBC. For the sake of the enjoyment of the vast majority of players, we feel that it is high time that OBC takes decisive action to reduce the volume of noise. We therefore propose the following measures.

1. All players are encouraged to call the TD immediately, if the level of noise is distracting; or if there is audible discussion of hands.
2. If the TD judges that the complaint is likely to be justified, he/she will display a yellow "caution" card to the offending player(s).
3. In the event of any further transgression(s) at the same session, by the same player(s), the TD will impose a maximum fine on the offender(s), on the board(s) in play.
4. The TD will be required to log any caution issued under point 2, and any penalty issued under point 3.
5. Any gross violation of the need for a quiet ambience - and any emerging pattern of habitual infringement - will be referred to the Conduct Committee.

Noise outside the bridge club

A few weeks ago, we received a complaint from one of the occupants of the flats about undue noise late at night. May we remind players to be considerate to our neighbours and avoid conducting conversations on the forecourt late at night.

Forthcoming events at OBC

  • Wednesday 8 April. British Spring simultaneous pairs.
  • Sunday 12 April at 2.00pm. County Beck Cup Final.
  • Friday 17 April at 7.15pm. The new teams event on the 3rd Friday of the month
  • Sunday 26 April at 2.00pm. County Pairs Final.

Other bridge events

  • Sunday 17 May at 1.30pm. Summertown Blue Pointed Swiss Pairs, to be held at Islip Village Hall. All profits will be going to Footsteps, an Oxfordshire-based charity which supports children and young adults with cerebral palsy and similar conditions. See attachment.

Annual subscriptions reminder

The annual member subscription was due on 1 April 2015, and we know that many of you will have paid already. For the benefit of any members who haven’t done so, the details of the new current account are as follows:

  • Account name: Oxford Bridge Club CIO No. 1
  • Sort code:   30-80-45
  • Account no:   34241360
  • Reference:   your name
  • Amount:   £16 for Full Daytime Members, £24 for Full Members

Master Point promotions

Congratulations to OBC members who feature in the March round of MP promotions.

Club Master:  Anita Feiger, Hazel Hobbs
Area Master:  Carol McNamara
Premier Master:  James Anderson, Matt Wilkinson
1 Star Premier Master:  Howard Arnes
3 Star Regional Master:  Marion Sheppard


Monthly Bulletin: March 2015

Annual subscriptions

The annual member subscription is due on 1 April 2015, and we know that many of you pay early (thank you!).  It is also easier from an administration point of view if members pay by standing order direct into the charity's bank account.  Following the conversion of the old members club to a charity, we had to open new bank accounts and the old OBC bank accounts have now been closed.  It is important that members check that their standing orders are updated, otherwise payments sent to the old account may go missing.  The details of the new current account are as follows;

Account name:                  Oxford Bridge Club CIO No. 1
Sort code:                          30-80-45
Account no:                       34241360

Reference:                         your name

Amount:                             £16 for Full Daytime Members, £24 for Full Members

Please also check that if you pay by standing order, you do not also pay by cheque - last year we had quite a few members who paid twice.

A new bridge event!

From April, we will be running an additional monthly teams event - on the third Friday of each month.  Just turn up as a team the same way you do on the first Wednesday.  It's probable that not everyone will know/remember about the new arrangement.  So for the first few months, we will run teams with an even number of pairs and cross-IMPed pairs with an odd number of pairs.  That way, no one will be sent home.

Junior Bridge/Minibridge

We have received the attached flyer for the OBA Junior Bridge/Minibridge competition day, including the revised date which is now Sunday 22nd March.

Forthcoming events at OBC

  • Sunday 8 March at 2.30pm.  Individual competition for the Thompson Trophy ; sign-up sheet in the tea room.  Entry fee of £7.50 includes tea.
  • Wednesday 11 March at 7.15pm.  Stratified sim pairs.  Table money £6.50.
  • Monday 16 March at 7.00pm.  Novice Pairs for the Morrie Marsh Trophy.  Table money £4.

Other bridge events

  • Thursday 19 March at 10.30am.  Celebratory bridge drive at Cumnor Village Hall.  Tickets from Christine Casson: 07787 831831 or harmonyinspires@hotmail.co.uk
  • Tuesday 21 April at 10.00am.  Henley Café Bridge: see attachment.
  • Sunday 17 May at 1.30pm.  Summertown Blue Pointed Swiss Pairs, to be held at Islip Village Hall.  All profits will be going to Footsteps, an Oxfordshire-based charity which supports children and young adults with cerebral palsy and similar conditions.  See attachment.

Master Point promotions

Congratulations to OBC members who feature in the Febuary round of MP promotions.

Local Master:          John Carrington, John Hanmer
Club Master:            John Brown, Gillian Chapman
Area Master:           Carlos Acero, Gay Hawley
District Master:       Sally Wills
County Master:       Hazel Rankin, Anthea Robinson
Master:                    Paola Belloni, Chris Earl
1 Star Master:         Ashley Cooper
1 Star Premier Master:    Clare MacDonagh, Judy Wesselbaum
4 Star Premier Master:    Patrick Hodson, Bridget Watson
5 Star Premier Master:    Dave Dobson
3 Star Regional Master:  Diane Coe

Monthly Bulletin: February 2015

This first edition is an unusually long bulletin – because of the item on annual MP rankings.

Forthcoming events

Thursday 19 February:  OBC Mixed Pairs competition for the Winnie Ling Trophy.  Sign-up sheet in the tea room.

Sunday 22 February:  County Swiss Teams competition.  Blue pointed event.  Entries to Claire MacDonagh.

Sunday 8 March:  OBC Individual competition for the Thompson Trophy.  A sign-up sheet will appear soon.

Wednesday 11 March:  EBU Stratified Simultaneous Pairs.  Just turn up on the day.

Thursday 19 March:  Harmony InSpires is running a celebratory bridge drive at Cumnor Village Hall.   £30 per pair.  Tickets from:  Christine Casson:  07787 831831 or harmonyinspires@hotmail.co.uk

Masterpoint promotions

Congratulations to OBC members who feature in the latest round of MP promotions:

  • Local Master:  Anita Feiger, Hazel Hobbs, Sheila Robinson, Sharma Shah
  • District Master:  Min Inness, Jean White
  • Premier Master:  Laura Covill

Annual Masterpoint Rankings.    The EBU publishes each year a list of members with the number of Masterpoints gained during the preceding year - as well as lifetime MP awards.  Members are listed according to their MP rank at the start of the year.  Several OBC members distinguished themselves by heading the Oxfordshire list for the year 2014 within their MP rank, as follows.

Premier Life Master   Kathy and Denis Talbot head the Oxfordshire list, with 12811 & 11823 MPs respectively.

National Master   Aleksandar Lishkov headed this list with 17496 MPs.  Aleksandar is also awarded a prize for topping the nationwide Leader Board Level 2.

Premier Regional Master   Carol Benzie headed the Oxfordshire list with 7548 MPs.

Star Regional Master   Diane Coe headed the Oxfordshire list with 7582 MPs.

Regional Master   Rob Dixon headed the Oxfordshire list with 7836 MPs.

Premier Tournament Master   Liza Furnival headed the Oxfordshire list with 6214 MPs.  Liza is also awarded a prize for topping the countywide Leader Board Level 4.

Premier Master   James Andersonl headed the Oxfordshire list with 3493 MPs.

Star Tournament Master   Peggy Manuell headed the Oxfordshire list with 2184 MPs.

Tournament Master   Cliff Pavelin headed the Oxfordshire list with 2016 MPs.

Advanced Master  Linda Edwards headed the Oxfordshire list with 4247 MPs.

Master  Judy Wesselbaum headed the Oxfordshire list with 4346 MPs.  Judy is also awarded a prize for topping the countywide Leader Board Level 5.

District Master  Isabel Pack headed the Oxfordshire list with 1820 MPs.  Isabel is also awarded a prize for topping the countywide Leader Board Level 6.

Area Master  Elizabeth Fitzgibbons headed the Oxfordshire list with 1411 MPs.

Unranked (at start of year)   Michiel Cottaar headed the Oxfordshire list with 1185 MPs.

In Warwickshire, Peter Randall and Diana Thorne head the Life Master ranking list with 10475 & 10249 MPs respectively.

The full list of all Oxfordshire members can be viewed at http://www.ebu.co.uk/mpreports/data/2014/5/oxford.pdf