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The expert analysis

Bogdan has generously offered to get to ABC at 1pm on Thursdays to go over any hand played on the Wednesday afternoon. Feel free to come along and seek his expert advice.

Welcome to Afternoon Bridge Club
ABC TEMPORARY CLOSURE
We have with great regret taken NCBA advice and decided to close the club until advised that it is safe for our vulnerable members to reopen.
Sarah has emailed everyone to confirm that sad decision but, if you know anyone who does not have access to the internet, please give them a call. The Costessey Centre assures us that our Wednesday and Thursday afternoon slots will be kept open for us.
Take care and we hope to see you all again as soon as possible.

Do you see yourself as a pioneer? Bravely going where nobody has bid before? If so your bridge club needs YOU to become a founder member of ABC Online and help keep Norfolk playing for the duration of the current crisis.

This is the plan. ABC is registering as a club with Bridge Club Live, hoping to set up regular times when we can play with our regular partners and, hopefully, get comparative results in a similar way to normal sessions at the Costessey Centre. We have consulted widely round the county and the consensus seems to be that this UK-based platform would be the most suitable for the purpose. It will cost you £6 a month for unlimited bridge (possibly plus VAT) - after your initial payment of £1.20 for the first 30 days . And online is the only place any of us are likely to play at present so cheap table money.

We all need to work together to get through Covid-19 and out the other end. So we are offering a warm welcome to members of all other Norfolk clubs to join ABC Online free of charge until the end of 2020. You just need to let Jan Wells have your name, EBU number, phone number and email address. Email janwells144@gmail.com.

That is in addition to registering with BCL As they put it: "To benefit from the CLUB facilities each club member must be a full member of BCL." The trial month for £1.20 is their incentive to try it out now. This is how it works and three of us have already done it at time of writing this so definitely do-able by bears of average brain. With only moderate difficulty!

You go to the BridgeClubLive website, sign up and pay your £1.20 for the highest grade membership Then, on the CLUBS page (which then becomes visible from the home page of BCL if you click the Members tab at the top of the screen and then Clubs), you will see all the clubs which have signed up. Click on ABC and you will see your other club members who have joined BCL - listed, as they put it, by ALIAS. By which they mean something like the identity they gave me which is JaneS45931. That will enable you to play on BCL any other time you like with anybody you choose. Our hope is that we will also be able to set up an ABC Online bridge room at specified times notified by club email but that is a work in progress. In the meantime we will be able to take part in any competition or game with our regular Norfolk partners.

I played 10 boards in the Social room yesterday - if I'd played 12 I'd have got onto the leaderboard which I now know - and received an email telling me I'd played boards 42-51 in the Social Bridge Event and got 52%. You can chat by text as you play and the partner and opponent were friendly and pleasant. When my partner Omarj excused himself briefly I discovered that the opponents were locked down in Portugal and Italy respectively. I would have enquired further but Omarj returned and wanted to restart play!

Now you've read all that you are ready to register with BCL which you do by clicking here to go to their website. It is a bit complicated - well, I found it so - but achievable with a bit of persistence.

Lastly, you'll have to bear with us. Taking a bridge club online is a new thing for us and we will all be learning as we go along. Our club secretary Robert Piller is leading on this project and his email is robert.piller@btopenworld.com.  Do get in touch with him with any further questions - and especially if you can share your experience of playing bridge on-line as he would appreciate all the advice he can get!

Sad news

We have just heard from her husband John that longstanding ABC member Mariea Kerr has passed away peacefully at home. You may recall that we haven't seen her recently because she and John always spent the worst winter months abroad.

It will be a private funeral with no flowers and no donations but I know we will all remember her with great affection. She was a lovely person, a delightful bridge partner and will be much missed.

Blue Pointed Swiss Teams Winners
Blue Pointed Swiss Teams Winners

Here are the brilliant winners of the ABC blue-pointed Swiss Teams 2020 with 87 Victory Points. They are, left to right, Imogen La Chapelle, Adrian La Chapelle, John Dennis and Matt Milson - with his arm round NCBA county President Sue Hutchings who presented their awards.

And full credit too to the runners up Stuart Langridge, Bryan Renouf, Bogdan Drobny and Maureen Kimbley with 79 Victory Points.

Congratulations to them all.

Chris Cunnington

We are sad to report that Chris Cunnington, a long-standing, enthusiastic and loyal member of ABC, passed away peacefully at home after a long illness. The committee would like to send our deepest sympathy and condolences to his wife and family.

Sad news

We are sorry to let you know that our friend and longstanding ABC member Roger Amey passed away at home on Saturday 28 September with his family around him. Roger, who has been unwell for some time, will be greatly missed.

There will be a memorial service in a few weeks.

ABC is hosting Norwich Bridge School beginners' bridge lessons. See below for details:

Wendy Gee and the Big C
Wendy Gee and the Big C

Our annual Wendy Gee Teams event in aid this year of the Big C had an excellent 11 table turnout which meant lots of money for Norfolk's own cancer charity.

Congratulations to the crack winning team of John and Penny Stroud, Maria Budd and Adrian La Chapelle who swept to victory with a lead of 11 IMPS.

Wendy was a much-loved ABC member whose life was cut much too short by cancer. Now her husband Ron is carrying on her dedication to bridge by learning to play himself - although he would be the first to admit that it will be a long time before he achieves her standard!

By Royal Command
By Royal Command

Congratulations to ABC member David Hitcham whom the Queen has honoured with the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to Aylsham Show and Holt Rugby Club.

David himself is typically self-deprecating about the recognition: "I am delighted, honoured and humbled," he said. "I know that there are so many other people out there who do just as much."

Apologies that the only photo I could lay my hands on in the club annals is this rather old one of him facing the camera at the bridge table. A testament, perhaps, to a man who says little but does a lot.

Triumph in the Open Pairs Trophy
Triumph in the Open Pairs Trophy

Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 ABC Open Pairs Trophy Val Bobbins and John Copson. They are pictured here - with Chris Cunnington on the left - being presented with the trophy and engaged glasses by NCBA President Sue Hutchings.

What happens in Newbury Stays in Newbury
What happens in Newbury Stays in Newbury

Team ABC Away took on all comers at our annual jaunt which took place this year at the Doubletree by Hilton in Newbury North.

To say we covered ourselves in bridge glory would be a slight exaggeration, but Val Bobbins and John Copson managed a second place and Peter and Jan Pennington-Smith a third. The gossip won the trophy - but what happens on tour stays on tour. Val is already planning our 2020 extravaganza so you'll have to go if you want to know ...

Our star performance was reserved for the retail therapy when all ABC female followers of fashion swerved the Saturday seminar and headed into Newbury in a six-seater taxi. Word swiftly swept round the retail emporia that Norfolk was in town and Norfolk was spending and we were welcomed everywhere with wild enthusiasm.

If everyone looks jolly in the photo it might be because one particular hotel barman got a trifle confused and seemed to think that wine is served in glasses holding at least half a pint. Surprisingly no-one sought to disabuse him. (I confess by the time on Sunday night when I took that photo I was on the decaff tea instead but I'm a shocking lightweight).

Huge thanks as ever to Val for organising the bunfight and looking forward to next year.

ABC reigns supreme in Committee Cup
ABC reigns supreme in Committee Cup

We are in celebratory mode after our A team scooped the NCBA's Committee Cup - triumphing against Norfolk's finest!

 As Neil renamed the teams, here is a reminder of the victorious players:

 A Team :

  • Karen Blacklock and Bhadrinath Bindumadhava (Bhadri)
  • Margaret Motch and Alan Hourd
  • Val Bobbins and Dave Macro
  • Masume Knevitt and Peter Walters

 Congratulations to our A Team!

 Our B team came second - but sadly that was second from bottom, despite putting up a good fight in the second half.   Next year ...

 But thanks are still due to the B team (below) for taking part, further raising ABC's profile and helping to make it such an enjoyable day.

 B Team :

  • Susan Falgate and Jane Scarfe
  • Louise Ball and Sue Smith
  • David Earl and Paul Gilbertson
  • Myself and Carol Lippert

(And thank you to Barbara who took the photo and sorted out all the team names, so I hardly had to write any of this at all - Jane).

Calendar
1st April 2020
Summer Trophy 1
Stafford Hall - The Costessey Centre 1.30pm
2nd April 2020
Club Pairs
Stafford Hall - The Costessey Centre 1.30pm
8th April 2020
Club Pairs
Jerningham Room - The Costessey Centre 1.30pm
9th April 2020
Charity Pairs - Norfolk Blood Bikes
Stafford Hall - The Costessey Centre 1.30pm
Results
Club Pairs
Director: Jane Edwards
Scorer: John Copson
Club Pairs
Director: Peter Cotes
Scorer: Michael Harvey
Winter Trophy 6
Director: Peter Cotes
Scorer: John Bradley
Club Pairs
Director: Nigel Block
Scorer: Michael Harvey
Affiliations

The Afternoon Bridge Club is affiliated to the EBU and the NCBA (Norfolk Contract Bridge Association).