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News Archive - 2015
News Archive - 2015

This page shows old "News Items" published in, or relating to, 2015. It includes hyperlinks to the detailed Results, where available.

Items are in reverse-date sequence: the most recent first. 

See the menu items to the left for earlier years. These are segregated by calendar year, rather than competition year, as it's probably easier to find things that way. 

Your Web Master may in the near future initiate a project to sort these annual pages into a more meaningful Archive, but so far all that has been done is to tidy them up and make the context apparent. In the interim, suggestions from the membership are welcome! 

Peebles Again ... December 2015
Peebles Again ... December 2015

Those of you who think Essex players should get out more will have their hearts warmed by the news that our intrepid players Peter Oake, Robert Elliott, Chris Taylor and Albert "Alison" Kitchin made it out of the country to the SBU Winter Congress at Peebles.

They had a solid congress coming 12th in the Teams and with Chris & Albert 16th in the Swiss Pairs, with Peter & Robert just behind in 18th.

Quite why Albert had to turn up looking like this is unclear - maybe he thought it was mixed teams - but here he is with Peter. 

Improvers Course - Barleylands, Oct - Dec 2015

Bernie Hunt will be running at Barleylands a series of 11 weekly classes on Thursday afternoons (13:30-16:30) during the the fourth quarter of 2015, commencing 1st October. The classes are aimed at those with 3 or more years experience who want to improve. The cost is £7.50 for the first session, but with discounted prices for repeat-attendance. Click on the header for the full programme. 

For the full schedule, click here

Bernie would like to plan ahead for the amount of teaching support needed, so an early indication of interest would be appreciated. Contact Bernie at

League Cup - 2015

Well done to Barleylands (Peter Oake, Robert Elliott, Alan Green & David Clark) who beat Academics (Paul Mollison, Bernie Hunt, Ray Clarke & Gary Howchen) by 99-56 IMPs in the Final. Hanley and May & Baker were the losing semi-finalists.

The Eve Goblets standings have been updated, and as the Ladies didn't trouble the scorer, the changes reflect the Men, with Robert Elliott surging into prime position. 

ECBA Mixed Pairs - December 2015

Well done to Audrey Hartley & Ian Moss who won the Essex Mixed Pairs on Sunday. Margaret Curtis & David Sherman came second and Ray Clarke & Linda Fleet came third. Terence & Ann Clark won the Flitch, coming fifth overall.

Links to the results:-

The Eve Goblets standings have been updated, and Margaret & David are on track to retain their trophies. 

Congratulations to David Piper & Albert Kitchin and Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy who won this year's Tony Kelvin Teams

Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting and Jacek Lapszys & John Birch were a close second and Robert Elliott & Sandy Riach and Peter Oake & Simon Moorman were an even closer third. 

Click on the heading above for the summary ScoreBridge output.


  1. The consolidated results initially uploaded were incorrect and have been deleted, but the session results have been retained, and used to create the Butlers / X-IMPs (Click Here)
  2. This season's Eve Goblets Victor Ludorum competition is now well under way, and the Tony Kelvin results have been added. Follow this link for the current standings. 

This year's Middlesex Congress takes place over the weekend of 28-29 November at the usual venue of Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet,EN5 4DQ. Both days' sessions start at 12:00. For full details and an application form, click on heading above. Online entry here.

Up-coming Competitions

Entries are encouraged for the final ECBA competition of 2015:-

As many parterships will be especially formed for the event, this is a good opportunity for established mixed pairs who don't usually enter ECBA competitions to do so. To enter: follow this link

Case for the Defence - January 16th 2016

Following the success of the Slam Bidding and Pairs Tactics Seminars, conducted by Marc Chawner, and Hand Evaluation by Paul Spencer, a fourth Thorpe Bay Masterclass!

Case for the Defence

  • A Bridge Master Class for the intrepid intermediate player
  • This time conducted by one of our very own bridge Grand Masters - Marc Chawner  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, Saturday, January 16th 2016, 10:00 - 12:30
  • £5/player, no partner required
  • Please email entries/queries to

These events are proving very popular, with 42 paying  attendees at Paul's Seminar, which was warmly received and considered to be both enlightening and entertaining. 

Congratulations to Dennis Valtisiaris and John Sutcliffe who took the hard route to the A Final of the Pairs by winning the Secondary Semi-Final with an excellent score of 65.4%. They acquitted themselves well in the final, coming just above half-way in a tough field. Linda Fleet and Jenny Gray just missed out on qualification for the A Final, coming 3rd in the Secondary Semi-Final and so qualified for the B Final, where they came respectably mid-table.  

Well done to Tony Philpott and Nigel Bardsley who won the second session of this season's Seniors Pairs. Graham Foster & Marc Chawner (who won the first session) were runners-up and Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting came third.

For the current standings: Click Here.

Fletcher Trophy - October 2015
Fletcher Trophy - October 2015

Well done to Southend & Leigh who won the Fletcher Trophy.


The photo to the right shows team members Martin & Cedric Harris, Andrew Mundy & Paul Cast, Geoff Wootton & Yekky Sannie-Lamptey and Fran Alexander. Goulashed rather than shuffled. Ashley Nicklin is off-screen somewhere.


Mid Essex were in second place, with Thorpe Bay in third. 

Also, congratulations to Lingwood who won the Cup for Clubs.

  • 17 pairs took part in the Session of the Really Easy Afternoon held at Barleylands. The local session was won by mid-Essex regulars Pascaline Mower & Pat Reeves, who have only been playing the game for two years. They came 5/96 nationally, but were pipped by the more experienced mid-Essex pair Alan & Carolyn Veats, who came 4th. Well done to both pairs!
  • Chris Taylor (playing with David Wing) did well to qualify for the 20-pair Two Stars Pairs Final
SBU Autumn Congress - October 2015

Some of you may know that Audrey Hartley (partnering Chris Rebbitt (Sussex)), plays annually in the Scottish Bridge Union Autumn Congress at Peebles. Well, this year they qualified for both the Pairs and the Teams finals, coming 3rd in the Teams (having formed a scratch team with an Irish pair). Audrey tells us that Peebles - which has three congresses a year - is an excellent venue and a most enjoyable event. Green points are transfered cross-border. 

Several Essex pairs enjoyed themselves in Rhodes, with variable success. Notable results included:-

Full results can be followed up by clicking the heading above. 

Felixstowe Congress - October 2015
Felixstowe Congress - October 2015

An excellent weekend for Essex players!

In the Swiss Pairs:-

  • Congratulations to Ann Morgan and John McCoy who WON the Championship Pairs Final. Chris Taylor (playing with David Wing) was 3rd. 
  • Robert Elliott and Sandy Riach won the Consolation Final. Brian Davies (playing with Annie Thompson) was 3rd. Well done!
  • Val and Paul Mollison got the highest %age in the Qualifiers

While in the Swiss Teams, Bernie Hunt & Paul Mollison, Val Mollison & Brian Davies (pictured) came first equal, retaining their title! Butlers: here

Two commendable 3rd places for Essex pairs & teams:-

  • Ray Clarke & Robert Elliott came 3= in the Swiss Pairs, and
  • Sandy Riach & Chris Taylor, Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner came 3rd in the Swiss Teams

Other Essex pairs / teams also did well - follow the links above to find out more. 

Bedford GP Teams - 13th September 2015

Chris Taylor continued his recent run of success - this time in the Bedford Teams with London partner and team-mates Graham Pollack and Paul & Sue Chapman. The team came 2nd / 28. Super result!

The Chris Taylor show continued with 2 / 9 in the South Bucks Blue-pointed Club Championship Teams on Sunday 20th September. This time his partner was David Wing (London) and team mates were  Chrys Poole and Steve Lee (Berks & Bucks).

Pairs Tactics - 12th September 2015

Following the success of the Slam Bidding Seminar, a second Thorpe Bay Masterclass!

Special Pairs Tactics - Outsmart the Opposition!

  • A Bridge Master Class for the intrepid intermediate player by our very own bridge Grand Master Marc Chawner.  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, Saturday, 12th September 10:00-12:30
  • £5/player, no partner required

There were 38 attendees (up from 27 for the first of Marc's classes) and feedback was overwhelmingly positive. A sample piece of feedback:-

For the past year or so, every time I was on lead defending 3NT (or any NT contract for that matter) I seemed to get it wrong and gift opposition a top score to the point where I would try a completely unorthodox lead since nothing else seemed to be working, which naturally resulted in another bottom score, totally frustrating! I am mildly optimistic now that things will improve from here on.

The next seminar in the series is on Hand Evaluation.

Several Essex players took part in the EBU Summer Festival held for the last time at Brighton. Well done to all for taking part, and congratulations to the following most successful players:-

See the News Archive for more detail.

Well done to Tony Verran & Peter Scotting who came 26 / 287 in the Swiss Pairs, the premier Pairs competitition of the year. 

A truly excellent result!

Congratulations to Chris Taylor, Paul Spencer, Marc Chawner & Sandy Riach: 1 / 9 in the Bracketed Teams.

This may be a lesser competition, but a win's a win, and gets a photo on the EBU website!

Gad Chadha has recently transferred his county allegiance to London, but we still count him as "Essex". He formed a partnership with Malcolm Harris and a team with Ed Scerri & Barry Myers. The Scerri team was in pole position in the Swiss Teams at the end of the first day, but slumped a bit to end 10 / 113, hence qualifying for the 8-Team B Final, which they won. It's good to see an Essex player doing well in such company.

Chris Taylor formed a partnership with Kent player Bill Gardner and the partnership came 4 / 50 in the Stratified Swiss Pairs on the final day of the Congress. Well done!

Well done to Chris Chorley & Paddy Murray who came 8th out of 132 in the Swiss Pairs. They were in contention for first place until the last round, having heavily defeated a very strong pair in the penultimate round. 

Earlier, Val & Paul Mollison and Keith Seabold & Peter Rogers (with team-mates) had done their best after missing qualification by winning their respective consolation sections in the Swiss Teams

Click on the links below for full results (space forbids congratulating the non-Essex teams-winners by name, but see the Herts Website)

  • The Green Pointed Swiss Pairs was won by the Hertfordshire pair Malcolm Harris & Rick Irwin, with Derek & Celia Oram (also Hertfordshire) in second and Malcolm & Karen Pryor (Suffolk) in third. Honourable mention goes to Essex pairs Robert Elliott & Peter Oake (7=) and Sandy Riach & Chris Taylor (13th). 112 pairs took part. 
  • In the Green Pointed Swiss Teams, Essex teams Paul Mollison & Bernie Hunt, Val Mollison & Brian Davies came 4= and Chris Taylor & David Wing, Albert Kitchin & David Clark came 6= (out of 50 teams). Belated congratulations to Essex team John Birch & Marion Cook, Keith Thompson & Graham Olliffe who won the Non-Expert prize for a strong showing of 15=.

See the "Private Ads" Page for details of resources for improving / aspirational players:-

  • Case for the Defence: a Bridge Master Class, Thorpe Bay, Saturday January 16th 2016, 10:00 - 12:30

Click on the heading above for details of more Bridge Education in Essex.

Slam Bidding - 11th July 2015

How to successfully bid your way to a slam.

  • A Bridge seminar for the aspirational intermediate player by bridge Grand Master Marc Chawner.  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, Saturday July 11th 10:00-12:30
  • Please email entries/queries to

The Seminar was a great success with 27 paying attendees, and with positive feedback on the quality of Marc's teaching. For instance ...

I would like to thank you for organising a great seminar. I found the topic very interesting and Marc presented it beautifully. I hope that my bridge partners and I will put the Range Baron to good use and be able to bid many successful slams. The seminar also gave a good insight into how the great players think as it is all about the odds, which I find fascinating but still very difficult to implement in my own game.

Petra Bromfield

For details of the next Master Class in the series, this time on Pairs Tactics, click here.

This year's Seniors programme kicked off with the Summer event at Thorpe Bay Bridge Club on Wednesday 8th July at 11:00. Congratulations to the top 3 pairs:-

  1. Graham Foster & Marc Chawner
  2. Alan Green & Frank Morrison
  3. Chris Chorley & Paddy Murray
County Mentoring Scheme

On the first Tuesday of each month at 7pm in Barleylands there will be a county mentoring event. This is to encourage potential county players to improve their game. The cost is subsidised by the ECBA and is £3 per person. Please see your club secretary for more details.

The composition of the Leagues has now been decided for the coming season - please refer to the Essex Leagues Page for more information. Please would Team Captains (or their delegates) record their entry - including likely team members (you will not be held to these) - via the form used for all other ECBA Competitions.  

Thanks to all who took part in the Pro / Am Pairs, particularly to our Pros for giving up their time, and to those Ams new to tournament bridge for being brave enough to take part.

Congratulations to the top three Am-Pro pairs:-

  1. Martyn Neill & Simon Moorman
  2. Richard Manning & Jon Ward
  3. Richard Wilson & Mike Harbour

The change from “opt out” to “opt in” seems to have drastically reduced the level of interest in this event - last year we had 17 pairs, this year only 5. Consequently, the Committee has decided to cancel this year's competition.

This does not affect the Club Pairs, which has been well supported and will proceed as planned.  

Well done to Eric Field and Dave Brace from Hutton DBC who won the Club Pairs. However, congratulations to Mayflower Bridge Club who win the prize of the 24 packs of cards as the club with the highest best two combined scores. Click here for the detailed results

George Curtis Teams - Sunday June 7th

The results for the George Curtis Teams of 4 event have now been confirmed. Congratulations to Margaret Curtis & David Sherman, Peter Franklin & Frank Morrison who won by the narrowest of margins over the second and third placed teams in a tough fight, and hence retain their trophy for a second year.

ECATS SIMS - Saturday 6th June

A heat of the ECATS World Wide Bridge Contest in aid of the Nepal Disaster Fund was held at Barleylands, where 13 pairs took part. The local winners were Petra Broomfield and Mike Rand on 64.27%. They came 273 / 3881 internationally. Well done Petra & Mike!

Essex Leagues: 2015-16

The composition of the Essex Leagues, following promotions, demotions, entries and exits is as below. 


SE Div 1

  • May & Baker
  • Ultra Vires
  • Barleylands
  • Hanley
  • Academics
  • Ladies and the Tramps

SE Div 2

  • Crowstone
  • Chelmsford Green
  • Chelmsford Blue
  • STC A
  • Silent Trumpers
  • Hutton Blue

SE Div 3

  • Weakenders
  • Southend and Leigh
  • Never on Mondays
  • Hutton Froggies

West Div 1

  • Waltham Forresters
  • Loughton Collier
  • Redbridge
  • Hatfield Heath
  • New Foresters
  • Goodmayes Billinge
  • Loughton Cookies
  • Loughton O’Gara
  • The Good Guys
Essex Mixed Teams - Wednesday 20th May 2015

Well done to Robert Elliott & Coral Fallon with Simon Moorman & Albert Kitchin for winning the Essex Mixed Teams. For the full results, follow this link

The AGM only just managed to attract its quorum of 25 voting members. However, a fun time was had by those who attended. Click the heading for some photos, and this link for the New Committee which was elected unanimously. The Annual Report and AGM Minutes will be added shortly. 

Congratulations to both Essex-resourced teams, who are in contention for promotion to Division 1 of the TGR Super League. Saxons only need to draw their last match to be sure of promotion, and Nicole Cook's team only needs to win 16-14 to do likewise. Members of both teams featured at the top of the Butler rankings in their latest matches. 

An honourable mention for Mike Graham who played a match for the top team in Division 1 and finds himself at the top of the Butler Rankings

Collier Row Open Teams - Sunday 10th May

More teams are invited to enter the Collier Row Blue Pointed Multiple Teams. The event will become Swiss Teams if numbers permit.

Venue: North Romford Community Centre. Start time: 13:45, Expected Finish 21:00, Refreshments provided at the half-time break.

The new improved lighting in the hall should be in operation.

For the results, follow this Link. For the Butlers, click here.  

The web-support for the Eve Goblets has been enhanced: Click on heading above for more information. As the season is drawing to a conclusion, please would the captains of teams in the Essex Leagues with hopes of points please let the Webmaster know the qualifying members of their teams. If your team members' names don't appear on League page (click here), their points cannot be assigned.  

Letter to Club Secretaries - March 2015

A letter has been sent to all Club Secretaries announcing the AGM of 16th May and the Club Pairs Competition of 21st June. Also enclosed were the Summer Competition Programme and the Essex/Herts GP Swiss Events Flyer. Follow the links for more information. 

Championship Pairs & B-Flight Pairs - 12th April 2015

Well done to Ian Moss & Mike Graham for winning the Championship Pairs Final, and to Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner in second and Stephanie & Laurie Burtt in third. 

Well done also to John McCoy & Marcia Levan-Harris for winning the Consolation Final, and to Alaric Cundy & Chris Megahey for winning the Qualifying Session

Finally, congratulations to Terry Burney & Godfrey Chasmer for winning the inaugural "B Flight" Pairs. 

A cracking result for Essex player Tony Verran and his partner (Brian Gladman of Surrey). They came second (out of 134) in the Swiss Pairs, above a host of international players. Naturally, they received a mention in the EBU write-up, as did the Cannans (see below). Very well done!

Portland Pairs - 22 March 2015

Well done to all who took part in the Billericay Heat of the Portland Pairs at Barleylands. In particular to the top three pairs:-

  1. Stephanie and Laurie Burtt (35th / 397 nationally)
  2. Anne Catchpole and Phil Mattacks (32nd, prizewinners)
  3. Tanya Gente and Richard Register (68th)

Well done also to those who took part in other venues, in particular to Martin and Sandy Smith (Tunbridge Wells, 33rd nationally). 

Well done to the following pairs who qualified (at Peterborough and Leatherhead) for the National Pairs Final held over the weekend of 18/19 April 2015:-

  • Bernie Hunt & Paul Mollison
  • David Piper & Simon Moorman
  • Gad Chadha & Partner

For the National Final results, follow this link

This year there was a new initiative: B-flight Pairs - a single session event for non-squad members - in parallel with the Championship Pairs, at 14:00 on Sunday 12th April 2015 at Navestock Village Hall. Click on the heading above for more information. 

Change of Web Master - February 2015

Sandy Riach has decided to step down as ECBA Webmaster and the ECBA committee have appointed Theo Todman with immediate effect. The committee wish to thank Sandy for all his efforts that have greatly improved communication with members in recent years.

Really Easy Afternoon - Friday 3rd April 2015

As part of the EBU Easter Festival of Bridge, a satelite of the Really Easy Afternoon is being held at Barleylands. The event starts at 14:00 and will complete by 17:30, with a short break mid-way. Both rooms are available. The event is intended for newcomers to the tournament scene and is therefore open only to those with fewer than 5,000 local points. Cost is £8, inclusive of tea/coffee + biscuits, and is payable to the EBU (Website or Form). 

Venue Changes - Spring 2015

The Essex Committee have responded to feedback about the Mixed Pairs event that was held at the Romford Community Centre (Collier Row) in December and decided to change the venues of forthcoming events as follows:

  • Ray Cornell Trophy (Helliar; Feb 22nd) was held at Mountnessing.
  • Pairs Championship (Apr 12th) will now be held at Navestock Side.
Gwen Herga Trophies - February 2015

This year there were sufficient entries in the Gwen Herga to enable the ladies and gentlemen to play in their own sections. Congratulations to our winners:-

  • Ladies: Marcia Levan-Harris & Coral Fallon, with Linda Fleet and Mary Homer runners-up.
  • Gentlemen:  Monty Krimgoltz & Cecil Leighton, with Peter Oake & Robert Elliott runners-up.
EBU Master Points Lists - February 2015

The EBU Master Points Lists for 2014 are now out (Link). Congratulations to Pat Johnson, who received national recognition at Level 3 (Link) and to Dave Brace of Hutton DBC for being a lucky whatsit and winning second prize in the Club Champions Prize Draw (Main Link, and this Link).  

Daytime Pairs League - Spring 2015

The ECBA have decided to cancel the day time pairs league competition; this includes the one that was due to start in March 2015.

Essex National Pairs Heat - January 2015

Congratulations to Ray Clarke and David Clark for winning the Essex Heat of the EBU National Pairs on Friday 30th January 2015, and to Chris & Sue Taylor as runners-up. Best of luck in the Regional Finals to both pairs and to the other four qualifying pairs.  

National Teams Congress - January 2015

At the National Teams Congress, Chris Chorley, Paddy Murray, Richard Perryman, Michael Wren came a highly creditable 6th in the Swiss Teams