Charlestown Bridge Club
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AGM Charlestown Bridge Club Friday 9th December 2022
AGM Charlestown Bridge Club Friday 9th December 2022

The AGM was successfully held on December 9th.  Here is a picture of the  President cutting the Christmas Cake!  The President's Report follows:

 

Presidents report

Charlestown bridge club

By Janice McKay

December 2022

 

Here we are at the end of 2022 – another pandemic year! We have welcomed some new players to the club again this year which has been great and our numbers seem to be fairly stable at around 5 - 6 tables which probably isn’t too bad considering the pandemic; but I am always hopeful of greater numbers.  I was out of action for a while with my broken jaw, and away for 2 months in winter and I thank you all for keeping everything running so smoothly.

 

Your committee members have been working hard.  We had to lodge a financial statement to Dept of Fair Trading for 2020, so we had to have an AGM for 2020 which was a pandemic mix-up.  We have kept the club open all year and we have swapped and changed partners as various members either had Covid or were close contacts.  We still have members who are wary to play at present.  We continue with our covid-safe practices.

 

We purchased a new laptop during the year and our Bridgemates are operating quite consistently each week – a big thankyou to Rosemary for her massive effort, to Sarah for helping set up the new computer and to John for taking over so successfully when Rosemary was away. We are delighted that Margaret and Linda are becoming Bridgemate operators which really takes a lot of pressure off our small team – thankyou Linda and Margaret.  With Rosemary’s great manual, it is pretty straight forward, and if anyone else wants to have a go, just let us know – especially as Rosemary is stepping down from this role.

 

Our 3 pm starts seem to be suiting most (but not all) of our members so we will continue with this from now on.  We will continue to skip the supper break while the pandemic is on, and will reassess later – it certainly does save some time.  There is still some time for socialising before and after the game.

 

Very sadly this year, we lost Robert Shearer and a number of members attended his funeral (some of us did so virtually).  Robert was a Grand Master in bridge and had been a member of our club more than 30 years ago.  Dennis told me he was of great assistance in getting Belmont Bridge club up and running and he was a regular player there, as well as at Quicktricks and Newcastle.  He is missed by many.

 

Robert had been in training to take over the master point role from Dennis and Dennis has kindly continued to look after our master points which is fabulous – thankyou Dennis.  Secretary Cheryl has been keeping us running smoothly as always, Brigitta has been faithfully looking after our money, Sue has been running tournaments, directing, organising our program and doing lots of jobs such as running our mid-year AGM, Rosemary has taken care of our Bridgemates and continued to update the manual, John has been directing as well as managing the web page and the bridgemates; and Enza has stood up for me in my absence with my broken jaw and my trip away, audited the books, and she is a fountain of information with much of our organisational tasks.  Two committee members are rostered on each month to unlock, set up and lock up.  Thank you to all our committee for all your efforts.

 

Thanks also go to our non-committee helpers –  our directors – Dennis, Kerrie and Hans; and to Bob for all the running around he does for me.  All your help is very much appreciated. As I said last year, it really is a team effort at this club so a big thank you to all of you who assist with setting up and tidying up – many hands make light work!

 

There will be no increases to our table fees for next year.  I’ve also had a request to give a bit more education, for example, which bids are alertable, so we might re-introduce that next year.

 

We are now purchasing pre-dealt hands from Newcastle Bridge Club which has been a lovely initiative.  We are lucky to afford such a luxury for such a small club.  We can play without dealing, and we can have the hands loaded straight onto the computer.  Thankyou to Brigitta and Cheryl and others who drop the cards to Newcastle and pick them up for us.

 

While I have been President, I have awarded my special prize each year – usually to non-committee members who have gone above and beyond.  This year I’m donating a different prize.  In memory of Robert, who LOVED penalty doubles and constantly winged to me that players don’t use them enough, I have purchased four free bridge tokens which will be awarded to the first four successful penalty doubles played tonight or on subsequent weeks.  Please call to me when it occurs.  Robert told me, not long before he died, that an inexperienced player had recently doubled him at Belmont Bridge Club and he had gone down a number of tricks.  He was so proud of this person who had doubled him!!

 

We have our programmes here and you can start filling in your invitation partners today, so grab a card and start making bookings.  Most of our experienced players are happy to play with beginner players on some of the invitations, so don’t be afraid to ask.  It is also a good opportunity to invite one of your other bridge playing friends to play with you on one or more of those nights to introduce them to our club.

 

Thank you all for your great bridge and for your support this year.  Please feel free to give us your suggestions throughout the year.  I wish you and your families a very safe, healthy and happy festive season and I look forward to playing Friday bridge with you in 2023 – hopefully in less turbulent times.

 

 

The Tournament Director presenting her report at the AGM
The Tournament Director presenting her report at the AGM
GNOT Regional Final NBC 29th August report

Charlestown entered one team in the regional final of the Grand National Open Teams (GNOTS).  Brigitta Kuegler and Cheryl Pletz teamed up with Enza and Tony Di Stefano to represent the club.   There were 16 teams in the final and we were seeded 12th (on total masterpoints).  There were 4 teams from Newcastle and Maitland, 2 each from Tomaree and Hawks Nest and one from Tilligery, Toronto and Muswellbrook.  The competition took the form of 6 x 10 board matches and Charlestown started off playing Newcastle 4 (seeded 4), a strong team. We were defeated by 17 IMPS as the team was finding its feet.  The next match  against Muswellbrook (seeded 7) was much closer as our team got used to the conditions.  There were several significant swings but Muswellbrook prevailed by 6 IMPS leaving us in 14th position.  Round 3 saw us pitted against Maitland 3 (seeded 13th) and was very close. After giving away 10 IMPS on board 22 we recovered well on the last 2 boards to make a N/S game on Board 29 while our E/W took it down and on the last board Cheryl and Brigitta sacrificed in 5 clubs doubled going off 300 while Enza and Tony made 5 Hearts doubled for 750 to bring the two teams level for a well earned draw and 0.2 Gold Points!!.

After lunch, now in 13th place we played Hawks Nest 1 and suffered a moderate defeat dropping to 14th position.  Spurred on by the thought of finishing up with the wooden spoon, we had an excellent result against Maitland 4 winning by 32 IMPS and bringing us up to 11th position.  The highlights were 2 x 12 IMP swings when on Board 16 N/S defeated a 3 NT contract which E/W made and on Board 19 the same thing happened.  With a good win under their belt and a further 0.4 of a Gold Point, the last round was against the Newcastle 3 Team (seeded 3) with Enza and Tony while missing a 3NT contract on Board 22, redeemed themselves by doubling 6 clubs on Board 24 for a 12 imp swing when Cheryl and Brigitta made 3 NT, and getting significant swings on Boards 23 and 25 to finish up winners by 9 IMPS.  So after languishing in the bottom 4 for most of the day, Charlestown finished up 7th, a very creditable result well above their seeded place of 12.  And earned ONE WHOLE GOLD POINT!!   Well done Team!

Full results available on NBC website.

John Stuart

 

Friday 19th August Results
Friday 19th August Results

These results could not be posted in results due to computer malfunction.  Scored by Dennis Forsythe and emailed, Thanks Dennis.  John Stuart

Country Teams Regional Final, NBC 31st July 2022

The Country Teams Regional Final was held at the Newcastle Bridge club on Sunday 31st July.  Charlestown  was represented by Brigitta Kuegler, Sue Haines, Deanna and John Stuart.  The day was organised and directed by Ken Wilks and took the form of a 6 round 8 board teams competition.  There were 4 teams from Newcastle, 3 from Maitland, 2 from Tomaree and one each from  Tilligery and Charlestown with a Newcastle "House Team" to make up an even number of 12 teams.  Charlestown started of against the Newcastle 4 Team and suffered a 13 imp loss to be in 9th position after the first round.  The second match was against Maitland 3 which we won narrowly by 3 imps.  The 3rd match was a loss to Tilligery by 5 imps and then we had another win against Newcastle 3 by 3 imps.  The fifth match was the highlight for us with a 19 imp win against Maitland 2 to bring is into 5th position with a real chance of progressing to the next round.  Unfortunately this brought us up against the very strong team of Newcastle 1 (Sharon and Greg Mayo, Paul McGrath and Michael Simes) who well and truly beat us by 61 imps, they finishing 2nd.  We all enjoyed the day, especially Sue Haines who had not played in a regional final before and acquitted herself very well.  The teams to qualify were Newcastle 2, Newcastle 1, Newcastle 4, Tomaree1 and Tilligery.  We finished up 8th, but less than 5 VPs from 5th position.  All team members contributed and earned some red points and we were reassured that Charlestown is a competitive club at this level.  Full results can be found on the NBC website.

 

John Stuart  6th August 2022

HUNTER INTERCLUB SWISS PAIRS

The first round of the new competition "Hunter Interclub Swiss Pairs" was held on Real Bridge on Saturday March 26th.  The competition was organised by Peter Clarke who runs the Hunter Region Bridge Association online on Real Bridge.  Charlestown could only muster 2 pairs, Sue McConnell and Cheryl Pletz, and Deanna and John Stuart.  Most of our players seem to prefer face to face Bridge and there is no doubt that some of the online technology can be daunting.

Real Bridge is as close as you can get to face to face bridge, you can see the other 3 players and alerting is the same as at the table with partner responsible. This is assuming the technology is working.  One certainly needs an efficient broadband and modern computer to enjoy the experience.  If the computer or I-Pad is playing up it can be a nightmare.  Unfortunately Sue had some problems with her computer and had to use an I-Pad which was not ideal.  However she was able to battle on (with occasional "undo" requests) and she and Cheryl finished 8th overall and came 2nd in their section (Intermediate).  Deanna and John were not quite as successful, finishing 10th overall out of 20 pairs, and 3rd in Intermediate.  Both pairs acquired some red points.

The clubs represented included Southlakes (6 pairs), Toronto (3), Tomaree (4), Charlestown (2), Maitland (3) and Belmont (1).  One pair was not included in the final results when the technology failed and the director John McIlraith played most of the competition (as well as directing superbly!)

While it is not everyone's cup of tea to spend most of a rainy Sunday in front of a computer screen, those that played enjoyed the experience and are looking forward to the next round.  Thanks to Peter Clarke (the overall winner with Hans Van Weeren for Toronto) for his organisation and John McIlraith for Directing.  Results can be found on the NSWBA website.

 

John Stuart 29th March 2022

 

 

 

 

Country Teams Regional Final

The 2021 Country Teams Regional Final was held on Saturday 25th September on Realbridge, sponsored by Newcastle Bridge Club.  The following has been provided by Janice McKay -

 

On Saturday 25 September, we had a team play in the Regional round of the Country Teams via RealBridge.  Seven x 8 board matches were played with two teams from Tomaree, two teams from Newcastle, two teams from Maitland and one from Charlestown, with a "house" team from Newcastle making up an even number.  Unfortunately, our first qualifying team comprising K Stien, S Dowling, R Lovell and J Carson were unable to play, so the gong went to our second team – J & B McKay, R Shearer and P Scaife.  Peter was also unable to play so Cheryl was the substitute from our third team.  Our team had an enjoyable day (despite some technology problems in the McKay household) and placed 6th with 3 wins and 4 losses.  The winning team was Newcastle 1.

Hunter Interclub

The first round of 2020 Hunter Interclub was held on Sunday 15th March at Rathmines, sponsored by the Toronto Bridge Club.  Charlestown was represented by Judy Hayes, Cheryl Pletz, Jody Swaine and John Stuart.  They managed 3 wins and 3 losses in the 6 nine board matches coming 6th overall out of 20 teams.  The event was somewhat overshadowed by the Coronavirus pandemic, with hygiene precautions heavily emphasized.  The Toronto Bridge club provided an excellent spread of food and Alan Bustany directed the day with his usual aplomb.

 

John Stuart.