When Suffolk captain Rick Hanley and his partner missed a slam, he decided to email US expert Marty Bergen and - for $1 a minute - seek his opinion.
How did he rate my bidding?
Within a couple of hours, I discovered the answer.
He didn't rate it all! Nor did he rate my partner's bidding as being much better.
How did he rate my bidding?
Within a couple of hours, I discovered the answer.
He didn't rate it all! Nor did he rate my partner's bidding as being much better.
Click on Consulting The Oracle to read more.
Hertfordshire has released details of its popular green pointed congress next July.
The two day event will be on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July at the usual venue - Wodson Park, Wadesmill Road, Ware SG12 0UQ.
For all the details click on HERTS. To enter on line, click PAIRS (Saturday) and/or TEAMS (Sunday)
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
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
Teaching course offers chance 'to learn and play bridge in 24 hours'
A 'fast track' bridge course which aims to give students a grasp of the main apsects of the game over two weekends is being held soon in Aldebrugh.
The specially designed EBU course is targeted at those students who would like to learn quickly - and are capable of learning quickly - and progress to playing as soon as they are able.
Instead of taking the traditional three terms to learn the basics, Fast Track Bridge condenses the material so that people can 'learn and play in 24 hours,' according to the EBU.
The accelarated course is being run by two qualified EBU teachers, Jacks Morecombe (right photo), who is a county director, and Viv Mason.
The weekend dates are March 30 & 31 and April 6 & 7. The cost is £150 and the venue is Aldeburgh church hall. For more details, e: Jacks @ firstname.lastname@example.org, call her on 07778 639407, or click on FastTrack.
A choice of dishes - including a vegetarian option - is being offered for the next Suffolk bridge lunch on Wednesday 22 May (1pm).
Gerry Ford and his daughter, Emily, are both professional chefs and their menu for the event will be Coq au Vin or Leek and Three Cheese en croute with Red Pepper sauce - followed by Lemon and Almond Merinque Roulade or Winter Fruit Salad.
The delicious two course lunch + a glass of decent wine - and a 24 board duplicate to follow - costs £17.50p per player, which represents outstanding value.
The bridge lunch takes place at the Blackbourne community centre, Elmswell (IP30 9UH).
To reserve a place for you and your partner, click on BRIDGE LUNCH and complete the online form. If you prefer to download, complete and post an entry form click on 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.
Maximum of 20 tables.
CLARE SWISS PAIRS:
SUNDAY 12 MAY - 11am start
Lavenham village hall, CO10 9QT
£17.50 per player (includes substantial sandwich lunch)
To download an entry form click on CLARE
SUNDAY 19 MAY - after AGM @ 3pm
Assington village hall CO10 5LW
£5 per player (including tea)
To enter online click on AGM. To download and post an entry click on PAIRS
CLUB TEAMS of FOUR & RELAXED TEAMS
SUNDAY 30 JUNE
Lavenham village hall CO10 9QT
Club Teams: 12 noon start
Relaxed Teams, for less experienced players: 2.30pm start
Teams of Four, from the same club, for the Thornway Cup.
Clubs can enter more than one team.
£56 per team (includes lunch). £20 for Relaxed Teams
To enter online click TEAMS. To download an entry form click on FOUR.
SENIOR PAIRS at multiple venues
WEDNESDAY 10 JULY
Ipswich & Kesgrave bridge club IP5 1JF 2.00pm
Clare bridge club CO10 8PX 7pm
Abbeygate bridge club IP29 5LU 7pm
Same boards - merged results. Entry fee £6 per player
Click on SENIOR to enter online. Click PAIRS to download an entry form.
Mary Moir, Tony Trathen, Lynda Tibbs and Mark Leggett have every right to smile. They were the winners of the first Relaxed Teams event at the East Anglian Bridge Weekend.
The weekend, run by Suffolk in conjunction with Cambs & Hunts and Norfolk, was staged at Elmswell for the first time and the new venue appeared to be well received by competitors. The Swiss Pairs on Saturday attracted 48 entries, the Swiss Teams on Sunday saw 21 teams take part, while the Relaxed Teams, aimed at less experience players, was supported by four teams.
The Tractor Boys are very much second best to the Canaries on the soccer ground, but on the field of bridge the honours were shared between the home county and Norfolk.
Suffolk county captain Rick Hanley partnered Graham Beeton to win the Swiss pairs, just pipping the Norfolk duo of Giles Ip and Alan Oddie. In the Swiss Teams, Norfolk gained the upper hand with Paul Darby, Steve Dannell, Giles Ip and Mark Hill gaining a last board success over last year's winners - Malcolm & Karen Pryor, Neil Bresler & David Cooper.
The third placed team deserve a special mention: Catherine Curtis and Paul Fegarty, who partnered their two talented teenage sons, Liam and Jamie.
To see all the placings and scores for the two days click on SWISS PAIRS, SWISS TEAMS or RELAXED TEAMS.
Click on PHOTOS to see more of the action.
.... and Chris Rickard has added to her collection of post-bridge-event lost property - this time a beautiful turquoise Passigatti scarf. If the owner wants it back, please email email@example.com.
A decent turnout of 30 pairs took part in the Mid Anglia Pairs at Woodbridge on Sunday but it is doubtful if there has been such a wide margin victory in the recent history of bridge locally as that achieved by Malcolm and Karen Pryor.
By half-time the England Seniors player and his partner enjoyed a virtually unassailable lead and far from resting on their laurels, they kept their foot firmly on the pedal to finally notch up a score of +125. IMPs - more than 50 IMPs ahead of runners-up Din Gudka and Cathy Rowland. Suffolk captain Rick Hanley and Andre Gray were third.
With a reasonable turnout of county players, not to mention England youngsters Liam and Jamie Fegarty who partnered their parents, Catherine Curtis and Paul Fegarty, the annual renewal of the Mid Anglia appeared to be up to strength.
To see the full results click on MID ANGLIA. For a flavour of the day, click on PHOTO GALLERY.
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 Ipswich & Kesgrave.
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.
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
The Annual General Meeting of the Suffolk Contract Bridge Association will take place at Assington village hall (CO10 5LW) on Sunday 19 May at 3pm - and be followed by the AGM Pairs (click AGM to enter online).
Suffolk’s final match of the season against Norfolk on Sunday ended with mixed fortunes.
The 'A' team won 11-9, while the ‘B’and 'C' teams lost 11-9 and 14-6 respectively. To see all the scores, boards played, X-IMPs etc click on SUFFOLK
Click on 2019-20 to see Suffolk's ECL fixtures for next season
Rick Hanley, the county captain, analyses a hand from the match in which a Norfolk player tried a cunning pysche!
Click on HEARTLESS NORFOLK to read more.
Making that extra trick is vital at Pairs. Norman studies a hand 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 asks: Where is the 'home' of bridge and why doesn't the BBC resume broadcasting the game - in the style of Top Gear?
Click on 2½NoTrumps, the antidote to traditional bridge chronicles, to read more.
David Willson and Simon Riley were the comfortable winners of the Suffolk Championship Pairs semi-final which was staged at two venues - Elmswell and Ipswich & Kesgrave bridge club - on Friday evening.
The Stowmarket pair finished more than 5% clear of Din Gudka & Cathy Rowland, with Norman Less & John Hancock in third place. Click on RESULTS to see all the scores.
Forty eight pairs took part and the top 24 qualify to play in the final at Nayland village hall on Sunday 14 April.
* Qualifiers should click on FINAL and complete the online entry form.
The Bury Swiss Pairs ended in a dead heat on Sunday with, left to right, John Bloomfield & Andre Gray sharing the spoils with Roger & Jill Tattersfield.
36 pairs took part. To see all the scores click on RESULT