Three significant changes to the Suffolk events calendar for 2019 have been agreed by the county's bridge association.
For the first time, the Senior Pairs will be staged at multiple venues on the same day, to enable more players to take part.
The competition on Wednesday 10 July will take place in the evening at Clare (its traditional home) and Nowton Park (home of Abbeygate bridge club) and in the afternoon at either Woodbridge or Ipswich & Kesgrave (to be confirmed soon).
Staging events at a geographical spread of locations was one of the suggestions made at a meeting of club representatives organised by the county last year. Another idea from that meeting has resulted in the Ladies, Mens, Mixed, Married Pairs being amalgamated into a new Suffolk Autumn Pairs on Sunday 15 September.
The SCBA has also responded to the enforced absence of club bridge for up to a fortnight over Christmas and the New Year by agreeing to stage the Bah Humbug Pairs on Sunday 29 December at Elmswell.
The new event will involve a late morning start and around 32 boards. In addition to a prize for the overall winners, there will also be a Handicap (based on NGS grades) prize - not to mention the best mince pies in Suffolk and a glass of something festive. More details in due course.
A card play technique highlighted by Andrew Robson during a Masterclass held locally provided the answer to playing a tricky hand at the Ipswich & Kesgrave bridge club. Suffolk captain Rick Hanley explains how. Click on ANALYSIS to read more.
Andrew Robson, the leading bridge teacher/player in the country, is returning to Lavenham village hall early next year to give another of his acclaimed master classes.
The event on Friday 1 February is being organised by Clare bridge club. Click on ANDREW ROBSON for more details and to download an entry form.
The qualifying rounds for the Tollemache Trophy, the national competition for county teams of eight, took place at the weekend. Suffolk finished seventh in their group and thereby failed to make it to the finals. Click on Table, Results and Cross Imps for more details.
Click on TOLLEMACHE to read captain Rick Hanley’s report.
Are you one of Suffolk's 'missing' bridge players who is consistently left in the dark about local competitions and news?
Up to 200 of the county's 1,000 EBU members could be affected because information, such as an inaccurate email address, is on the EBU database - or simply does not exist.
The good news is that you can check and, if necessary, update your personal details. To find out how click on MISSING
Welcome to Suffolk Bridge's new website which will bring you results, news and much more besides.
The county now has one dedicated website - www.suffolkbridge.co.uk - as opposed to the two which existed before. It is hosted by Bridgewebs, whose package of bridge friendly software is used by most clubs and counties.
add it to your favourites!
Richard Evans & Paul Rickard are the new webmasters running Suffolk's dedicated bridge website.
If you would like to publicise a forthcoming event or submit a news item for this website click Richard or Paul
The 2019 East Anglian Bridge Weekend will be at a new venue - and feature a new competition.
After several years at the Ipswich waterfront home of the University of Suffolk, the event is switching to the Blackbourne community centre in Elmswell, which hosts an increasing number of Suffolk bridge fixtures. Just north of the A14 and 10 miles east of Bury St Edmunds, the spacious premises offer good facilities and ample car parking.
The two day event will be on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March, with Swiss Pairs on the Saturday (1pm start) and Swiss Teams on the Sunday (11am start). Also, for the first time, there will be Relaxed Teams on Sunday (3pm start), aimed at less experienced players.
To enter on-line, for the Pairs click SATURDAY, for the Swiss Teams click SUNDAY and for the Relaxed Teams click RELAXED. To pre-order food for either day click MEALS. If you would prefer to download, complete and post an entry form click on FORM.
* A stand-by pair is required for the Swiss Pairs on the Saturday. Volunteers will receive free entry (which can be transferred to any other Suffolk event if not used). Please email Jeff Orton by clicking on JEFF
MID ANGLIA PAIRS:
SUNDAY 20 JANUARY - 11am
Community Hall, Station Road, Woodbridge IP12 4AU →
A two session pairs event scored by IMPs. Tea/coffee/soft drinks available all day. No food is provided but there are numerous local places to eat lunch - or you can bring your own. Entry: £12 per person.
To enter on-line, click on MID ANGLIA. Or download an entry form by clicking on WOODBRIDGE and post it.
BURY ST EDMUNDS SWISS PAIRS:
SUNDAY 27 JANUARY - 11am
Blackbourne Centre, Elmswell IP30 9UH
Entry £30 per pair (including lunch).
Click BURY to enter on-line. Click SWISS to download an entry form.
Maximum of 20 tables.
JYL MARSH INDIVIDUAL:
SUNDAY 24 FEBRUARY - 2pm
St Michael's Rooms, Church Street, Framlingham IP13 9BJ
Between 24 and 32 boards, playing with different partners using simple systems + an excellent tea.
The winner receives the Waters Cup, won last year by Dave Walker. Entry: £12 per head.
Click JYL MARSH to enter on-line.
Click INDIVIDUAL to download an entry form.
LITTLE CLACTON WEEKEND:
SATURDAY & SUNDAY 6-7 APRIL
Weeley Village Hall, Weeley, CO16 9DH
Click LITTLE CLACTON to enter on-line. Click BP W/E to download an entry form.
GOOD MANNERS: Is it too much to ask?
Loosely interpreted, the EBUs 'Best Behaviour at Bridge' owes much to Manners Makyth Man, the motto of William of Wykeham - and Winchester College and New College, Oxford - both of which he founded in the 14th Century.
Indeed, the EBUs CODE, which asks players to be pleasant to each other and the director, might be better named Best Manners at Bridge.
The Suffolk bridge committee is taking a particularly strong line on 'bad behaviour/manners' and cracking down on anyone found to be in breach of the code. As with most counties, the culprits in Suffolk can be counted on the fingers of one hand - but that is a handful too many.
To highlight the issue, this website is running a series of cartoon strips devised by Peter Bushby (see below), and an article (click on 2½ No Trumps) by Glyn Button, the chairman of Framlingham bridge club, whose regular blog has delighted so many readers.
The Summer League has attracted plenty of attention this year with seven teams in division 1 and six teams in division 2 playing a total of 34 matches.
Ipswich and Kesgrave Diamonds were Division 1 winners with 302 VPs, followed by Colchester in second with 293.
Colchester II won Division 2 and will be promoted for next year's competition.
Mike O'Reilly, who organises the league, commented: "A total of almost 15 000 master points were awarded this year and special thanks are due to the team captains who spent many hours trying to organise the timetables of eight of their club players in the 34 matches.
"They also had to arrange venues and sort out transport and without their excellent efforts the event would never suceed - thank you all!"
Suffolk Sims turned into a procession by Hospitals pair
Peter Brown and Bob Kemp are the wide-margin winners of this year's renewal of the Suffolk Simultaneous Pairs.
Playing at Ipswich Hospitals bridge club, they recorded a county wide score of 72.30%, well clear of Richard Evans and David Unwin from Stansfield (65.37%, with another gap back to Jane and Pat Hudson (62.89%) from Deben in third.
The highlight of the winner's success was 7NT bid and made on Board 20, a feat matched by only one other of the 138 pairs who took part.
Nine clubs participated: Abbeygate, Clacton, Clare, Deben, Framlingham, Hadleigh, Ipswich Hosptials, Stansfield and Woodbridge. Peter Bushby co-ordinated the scoring in addition to writing a commentary on the boards played. Click on SIMS to see all the results and COMMENTARY for analysis of the boards.
After the dead-heats of the Felixstowe Congress, the Championship Teams at Nayland produced wide margin successes.
The event attracted 12 foursomes on Sunday and following a qualifying heat, seven contested the main event while the remaining five played for the Suffolk Plate.
The team of Mike Sherer, Chris Green, Rick Hanley and Peter Sutcliffe (below left) finished a distance clear of David Price, Jane Moore, Cleopatra Hensby and Jenny Price in the main event. The top four teams now take part in a knock out to determine the overall winners.
It was a similar story in the Suffolk Plate, with Joan Watson, Mike O'Reilly, Patsi Barnes and Peter Bushby (below right) well ahead of Richard Evans, Susan Nisbett, John Bloomfield and Celia Jeal.
Results: Click on ROUND 1 and ROUND 2 and PLATE. Click on PICTURE GALLERY for views of the day.
In the semi-finals, Hanley will host Edwards/Carey and Price will host Talaga.
Ipswich & Kesgrave produced a stunning performance to run away with the Suffolk Club Teams of 8.
After building up a big lead by half-time, they finally won by 30 VPs, eqivalent to a match and a half.
A strong Clare line up finished second with near neighbours Stansfield taking third spot, ahead of Bury and Colchester A.
This event is invariably popular - a maximum field of 12 teams took part - and a contributory factor is the wonderful tea at half-time prepared by the local sea scouts.
The supremacy enjoyed by I & K was reflected in the X-Imps table in which three of the clubs pairs - Peter Sutcliffe & Chris Green, Din Gudka & Cathy Rowland, and Peter Gemmell & Chris Chambers - filled the top three spots while the other pair, Malcolm & Karen Pryor, were fifth out of 48 pairs!
To see a breakdown of the finishing positions, the teams, individual match scores, the boards played and the X-Imps table, click on RESULT. Click on PHOTOS for more views of the event.
If your club needs a new director, now's your chance to get them trained...
EBED (English Bridge Education & Development) is running training sessions in Ipswich next February/March on Running a Club Duplicate and becoming a certified EBU Club Director.
Click on DIRECTOR, PLEASE! to see full details.
Top 'Non-Expert' Team:
In the 38 year history of the Felixstowe Congress, the results have never been as nailbitingly close as those witnessed in the latest renewal. Both the main events - the Championship Pairs on Saturday and the Swiss Teams on Sunday - ended in dead heats, as did the contest for the leading 'Non-Expert' team.
Because trophies are awarded for all three events, Rob Sassoon, the chief tournament director, and Jeff Orton, the SCBA chairman, spent overtime poring over the rule book to work out who were the outright winners. The outcome was determined by how the contestants who tied for first place performed against each other during their respective competitons.
* To see all the scores, scroll down the right hand column to Results and click on the relevant competition. For a flavour of the weekend, click on PHOTO GALLERY
Every card, every board, every score counts. And never more so than on Sunday at the Felixstowe Congress.
With a live screen showing the running results in the Swiss Teams, numerous players watched in suspense as the final scores were posted - and resulted in two dead heats.
The two teams sharing first place were last year's winners - Eric Newman & Diane Whitley, David Willson & Simon Riley - and (pictured top left) Norman Less & Helen Mason, Mike O'Reilly & Peter Bushby.
And a little further down the results two other teams were in a dead heat for the 'Non-Expert' prize - awarded to the leading team whose members are all below the rank of National Master.
Rob Sassoon and Jeff Orton consulted the rule books and determined that the Helen Mason team were overall winners while the 'Non-Expert' prize went to the Stansfield quartet of Paddy Lockwood & Gerry Ford, Kathy Rose & Penny Easting (centre photo).
The Really Easy Pairs, which is contested by less experienced players who have won less than 1,000 Master Points, did not require a judge to determine the outcome. Alison & Conrad Simons (pictured right) put clear daylight between themselves and runners-up Sheila Boxshall & Mark Leggett.
Gary Diamond & Russell Tenzer won the Suffolk Championship Pairs at the first time of asking - with a helping hand from Mrs Tenzer.
The north London pair only decided to head to Felixstowe after Russell got a 'free pass' to attend. “I have never been allowed to go away for a bridge weekend before but she is away learning bridge with her club this weekend so I was able to come here. Gary and I did some research and found that the only congress was on at Felixstowe."
The duo, who normally play their bridge at Pinner and the MCC bridge clubs, won by the narrowest margin. They tied for first place on 62.12% with Paul Darby asnd Gabriel Ip from Norfolk, but won on a countback.
Earlier in the day, David Willson & Simon Riley from Stowmarket finished top of the 62 pairs who took part in the Pairs Qualifier. The Consolation Pairs was won by Ipswich pair Cathy Rowland & Din Gudka while the Open Pairs was won by Sandra Nicholson and Krys Kazmierczak.
Scroll down the right hand column to Results and click on the relevant event.
The left photo shows Gary (left) and Russell (right) with SCBA chairman Jeff Orton. David Willson (l) and Simon Riley are in the centre photo. The Open Pairs was won by Sandra Nicholson & Krys Kazmierczak (right photo)
To see older items please click on NEWS ARCHIVE
Opener had 18 points but was quickly sidelined by the opposition at Abbeygate bridge club. Click on MoreOrLess to find out more.
If you play an unusual or interesting hand at your club, Norman would love to hear about it. Just email him at Hand of the Week
Glyn Button on the Suffolk player in his personal Hall of Bridge Fame.
Click on 2½ No Trumps, the antidote to traditional bridge chronicles, to read more.
Glyn Button on the Suffolk player in his personal Hall of Bridge Fame.
Click on 2½ No Trumps, the antidote to traditional bridge chronicles, to read more.
Suffolk travelled to Cambs & Hunts for their first county match of the new year - and returned home with little to show for it.
The 'A' team lost 20-0; the 'B' team 17-3 and the 'C' team 15-5. To see all the scores, boards played, X-IMPs etc click on SUFFOLK. To read captain Rick Hanley's report click on NEW YEAR.
The county’s remaining matches are:
v Cambridge University (a) 10 March
v Norfolk (h) 24 March
During October most Suffolk clubs staged heats for the annual Suffolk Championship Pairs.
This competition has three stages: heats at clubs in October (with an extra heat at Ipswich & Kesgrave in January, open to those who missed their club heat); a semi-final held at Elmswell on the evening of Friday 15 February 2019; a green-pointed final at Nayland village hall on Sunday 14 April 2019.
For more details click on Championship Pairs Summary
For those who score 50% or more in their heat, and who meet the entry conditions, click on SemiFinal to download an entry form, or PairsSemiFinal to enter online.
Suffolk's Malcolm Pryor will play in the World Bridge Team Championships (D'Orsi Bowl) in China next year after the England seniors finished eighth in the European team chamionships.
The full team representing England will be John Holland & Alan Mould, David Muller & Malcolm Pryor, Peter Shelley & Trevor Ward. NPC: David Jones. The event takes place at Wuhan, Hubei Province from 14-28 September.
We have two new additions to the ranks of County Directors after Christine Cooke and Jacks Morcombe took, and passed, the annual County Directors' training course on September 8 and 9.
Congratulations to them both!