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News Archive - 2016
News Archive - 2016

This page shows old "News Items" published in, or relating to, the 2016 calendar year, for which the Home Page no longer has room. It includes hyperlinks to the detailed Results, where available.

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

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

ECBA Teams of 4 and Switch Teams

The deadline for entries to these two KO competitions (Teams of Four, and Switch Teams) has been extended to June 15th. Interested pairs who require team-mates of comparable ability should let Val Mollison know, and she will endeavour to form teams. 

National Competitions - 2016/17

Your attention is drawn to two items on the website related to national competitions of one sort or another. Click on the links for more information:-

  1. National KOs: the page has now been set up for the current year. 
  2. CiN SIMS: These have now been finalised, and Essex successes are listed. 

Since these pages are produced by your webmaster following a long trawl through pages of stuff, please report any errors or omissions to him. 

Well done to John Stimson & Winnie Godber who won Sunday's Mixed Pairs. Richard Perryman & Mary Homer came second and Steven Coulter & Val Card came third. Martin & Sandy Smith won the Flitch. 22 pairs took part. 

The Eve Goblets standings have been updated. 

The Essex team for the qualifying round of EBU Inter-county championship (Margaret Curtis, David Sherman; Peter Oake, Robert Elliott; John Sutcliffe, Richard Register; Frank Morrison, Peter Franklin; Simon Moorman, Steve Cade-Bowyer) performed creditably in Birmingham over the weekend of 19th-20th November, but did not progress to the finals. They came 6th / 9 in Group B, an improvement on recent years in what is a very tough competition. 

Congratulations to  Margaret Curtis & David Sherman and Peter Franklin & Frank Morrison who won the Sue Taylor Memorial Trophy by a considerable margin. Twelve teams took part. Click here for full details.

The Eve Goblets standings have been updated. 

Autumn Bridge Seminars at Barleylands

This Autumn, the ECBA are continuing with our popular program of seminars "The Secrets of the Grandmasters" at First Class Bridge Academy, Barleylands Craft Village, run by Grandmaster Marc Chawner. He is presenting:-

  1. "Slam Bidding" on Saturday Oct 8th at 14:00 and
  2. "Teams Tactics" on Saturday Nov 12th at 14:00.

The seminars should be finished around 16:30-16:45, with a refreshment break halfway through.

This year we are asking for a contribution of £ 5.00 on the door. (Although those entering our new Friendly Fours League will get the "Teams Tactics" seminar for free).

Marc will provide a PDF file of notes which we will circulate afterwards to all attendees.

Well done to Dennis Valtisiaris & John Sutcliffe who came fourth in the "B" Final of the Seniors Championship Pairs at Reading on 5th November. 

  • Fletcher 1
  • Fletcher 2
  • Fletcher 3
  • Fletcher 4

Well done to the following club teams who were successful in the above two competitions:-

Well done to Stephanie & Laurie Burtt who won the Autumn Seniors on Wednesday 26th October. Val & Paul Mollison were second and  Peter Oake & Frank Morrison third. 25 pairs took part.

After two of the three events, Dennis Johnson and Graham Foster are jointly in the lead, with Val and Paul Mollison in joint-third place

Congratulations to Ultra Llama, consisting of Marc Chawner, Graham Foster, Simon Moorman and Steve Cade-Bowyer, who defeated Peter Scotting’s Loughton Collier Team in the Final of the League Cup.

Eve Goblets points have been applied. 

EBU Overseas Congress (Lake Garda) - October 2016

Well done to Chris Taylor who with partner David Wing (London) and team-mates Kathy and Denis Talbot (Oxford) won the Swiss Teams by a distance! He also won one of the Open Pairs events with Kathy. 

Felixstowe Congress - October 2016

Congratulations to the following successful Essex players in this weekend's Felixstowe Congress:-

  • Swiss Teams2nd - Peter Oake & Robert Elliott; Alan Green & Frank Morrison
    → (Butlers)
  • Championship Pairs: 2nd Robert Elliott & Albert Kitchin
  • Consolation Pairs: 1st - Val & Paul Mollison
  • Pairs Shield:
    • 2nd - Graham Olliffe & Keith Thompson;
    • 3rd - John McCoy & Ann Morgan
  • Qualifiers
    • 1st (EW): Chris Taylor (with David Wing)
    • 3rd (EW): Graham Foster & Ray Clarke
    • 3rd (NS): Robert Elliott & Albert Kitchin

These SIMS - from 5th to 9th September 2016 - have now been finalised. Congratulations to Paul Spencer and Marc Chawner, who won the Monday SIMS at Hutton ahead of 731 other pairs nationally. Click the heading for further success-stories!

Essex / Herts Green Pointed Swiss Weekend - September 2016

Swiss Pairs - 12.00 Saturday 24th September
Swiss Teams - 12.00 Sunday 25th September
Wodson Park, Ware,

More entries encouraged!

Click hereFor the Entry Form, or

Click hereFor On-Line Entry.

Essex / Herts Green Pointed Swiss Weekend - September 2016

Well done to Robert Elliott & Richard Register and to Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner who were joint-second (of 70 pairs) in the Essex / Herts GP Swiss Pairs on Saturday 24th September. 

Well done to Chris Taylor who - with Bill Gardner - came 2nd (of 52) in the One-Day Stratified Swiss Pairs on the final Saturday - a feat they repeated on the Sunday!. 

Bargain Offer - Used Bridge Tables!!!!

St Edith's Bridge Club is seeking to reduce its demand on storage space. For this reason, it is looking to sell off some of its surplus Bridge Tables. New, such tables would cost tens of pounds, but we are able to offer our surplus at just £5 each!!! What a bargain! If you are interested, please contact Your table(s) would need to be collected from St Edith's Hall, Billericay, on a Wednesday evening.

ECBA Really Easy Pairs - Sunday 31st July 2016

12 pairs contested the inaugural ECBA Really Easy Pairs at Barleylands. 

Linda & Vaughan Jenkins of Loughton Bridge Club ran away with the event with an excellent score of just under 70%. 

Cath Fox & Val Poter came 2nd and Richard Manning & Mustapha Rahaman and Mike Wares & Amanda Murphy came joint 3rd.

Thanks to all who took part and made this event a success, and congratulations to the winners!

Click here for the results, and the heading for more information on the competition. 

Essex / Herts GP Weekend - July 2016

Well done to Peter & Ann Clark who ran away with the Swiss Pairs. Congratulations also to Chris Megahey & John Sutcliffe who came 7th in a field of 108. Not much Essex success in the Swiss Teams, sadly. 

The seats at both events were much more comfortable than in previous years, but nontheless fewer bums turned out to sit on them, so the message may not have got out. Bear this in mind for the September Essex/Herts Congress

Essex A Team Captain

After 5 years service, Peter Oake has decided to step down as captain of the Essex A Team. The ECBA Committee extend their thanks to Peter for all his hard work over the years.  

In a markedly improved turnout compared to last year, 33 pairs contested the first session of this year's Seniors Cup. Well done to the winners -   Graham Foster & Dennis Johnson!

Chris Chorley & Paddy Murray were runners-up and Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting were third.

Thorpe Bay Masterclass - July 2016

Following the success of earlier Seminars, conducted by Grand Masters Marc Chawner and Paul Spencer, Paul will premiere his next Master Class at Thorpe Bay Bridge Club

The Competitive Auction

  • A Bridge Master Class for the intrepid intermediate player
  • Conducted by one of our very own bridge Grand Masters - Paul Spencer  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, Saturday 9th July, 10:00 - 12:00
  • £5/player, no partner required
  • Please email entries/queries to
Private Adverts

Click on this box for more information on:-

  1. Thorpe Bay Masterclass: The Competitive Auction - Paul Spencer - Saturday 9th July 2016, 10:00 - 12:00 at Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, £5/person.

Well done to John Stimson & Winnie Godber who, teamed up with Rick Hanley & Graham Beeton of Suffolk, won the George Curtis TeamsBernie Hunt & Sheena Millins, Val & Paul Mollison were second and Richard Register & John Sutcliffe, Tanya Genthe & Alan Cohen were third. Twelve teams took part.

For the Butlers / X-IMPs, Click Here

Friendly League - 2016

After the final round of matches on "Party Night", Tuesday 21st June, congratulations to the Danbury team who emerged as the winners after a closely-fought season, with Chelmsford in second place and Southend & Leigh in third, of the 6 teams-of-eight that took part. 

While this is not an official ECBA inter-club competition, it is warmly supported by the County as a way of encouraging developing players into teams events. Thanks to Graham Foster for organising it!

The photo shows Graham with Barbara Osborn, the Danbury Captain, holding the trophy. 

The ECBA is hoping to run similar "friendly" leagues (but teams-of-four, and not necessarily associated with particular clubs) for developing players who want to play teams bridge. Please contact Bernie Hunt if you are interested. 

A sensational result for Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner, who came 3rd out of 98 pairs in the Corwen Trophy, the inter-county pairs championship held in Birmingham over the weekend 4th/5th June. Three other Essex pairs took part amongst a very strong field and Laurie & Stephanie Burtt did well to score above 50%. Click here for the final results

Club Pairs - June 2016

Well done to Hutton, who swept the board at the ECBA Club Pairs on 5th June. The winners were Sandra Fenton & Roger Bacon (pictured) and the runners up were Dave Brace & Linda Fleet

For the results - including the Club ranking - follow this link

Top Clubs

Based on the EBU's statistics for 1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016 we now have 3 clubs amongst the 50 most active in the country. Special congratulations to Bernie Hunt for the "new entry", Mid Essex BC:-

Really Easy Afternoon - Saturday 28th May 2016

12 pairs took part in the Barleylands heat of the Really Easy Afternoon, and  Barbara Simia & Penny Hanson of Chelmsford Bridge Club won the Barleylands heat, and came 7 / 50 nationally, winning the prize for their stratum. Well done to them and the others who took part.

Three teams dominated the session, stealing all the IMPs off the other six. After a closely-fought tussle, the team of Margaret Curtis & David Sherman, Peter Franklin & Frank Morrison emerged victorious. Well done!

SBU Overseas Congress - May 2016

Chris Taylor has been on his travels again, this time to Mlini Dubrovnik in Croatia. Partnering David Wing, his team won the Swiss Teams

End of Season News
  1. All competitions are now complete and prizes were awarded at Saturday's AGM, which was a lively affair much better attended than of late. Minutes and an Annual Report will be provided in due course. 
  2. See the League Page for the winners of the various leagues - too many results to announce here. 
  3. The winnners of the victor lodorum competition - the Eve Goblets - were:-
    • Ladies:
      1. Margaret Curtis
      2. Sandy Smith
      3. Audrey Hartley & Tanya Genthe
    • Gentlemen:
      1. Robert Elliott
      2. Peter Oake
      3. Simon Moorman
  4. Don't forget that some Essex teams are still making progress in the National Knock-out competitions. Of particular note: Mid Essex A are through to the last 16 in the NICKO. Can Thorpe Bay A join them?
Thorpe Bay Masterclass

NOTE: The event below - originally scheduled for 14th May 2016 - is POSTPONED. Please keep an eye on the Thorpe Bay website for announcements of future classes.

Following the success of earlier Seminars, conducted by Grand Masters Marc Chawner and Paul Spencer, Marc will premiere his next Master Class - the sixth in the series - at Thorpe Bay Bridge Club

Declarer Strikes Back!

  • A Bridge Master Class for the intrepid intermediate player
  • Conducted by one of our very own bridge Grand Masters - Marc Chawner  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, POSTPONED - DATE TBA
  • £5/player, no partner required
  • Please email entries/queries to
Eve Goblets - 2015-16

2015-16 Status on the morning of the AGM

As it happened, both the Gentlemen's and Ladies' Goblets were determined by the result of the last League match in SE/Div1 between Barleylands and Ultra Vires, the only outstanding match in any competition, which took place just before the AGM

  1. Gentlemen: If Ultra Vires beat Barleylands 14-6 or better, Simon Moorman would win, else Robert Elliott would.  
  2. Ladies: Margaret Curtis would retain her title unless Ultra Vires beat Barleylands either 13-7 or 14-6. In that case, Sandy Smith would pip her by a point in virtue of Ladies and the Tramps joint-winning SE/Div1. 

To make it easy to announce the winners at the AGM - I included the gory details in the table below. Click on the Barleylands scores below for "what if" scenarios showing the final Eve Goblets standings based on the posited match scores.


  1. When I produced these tables, I hadn't been alerted to the exact composition of the Crowstone team, joint winners of SE/Div 2, which enabled Tanya Genthe to come 3= in the Ladies, and Chris Taylor to move up the Gentlemen's ladder by 6 points. These scores aren't reflected in the "what if's" but the overall message is unaffected.
  2. I could have just deleted all this now it's ceased to be useful, but it was such a work of art, I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sad, I know. 
  3. As is announced elsewhere, Ultra Vires beat Barleylands, but by the insufficient margin of 12-8, so the final results were as in the "12 to 8" column below.  
Team Contender Current Total Barleylands scores against Ultra Vires (Click the Score for the Eve Goblets Scenarios)
14+ 13 12 to 8 7 6 5 to 1 0
↓ Final Team League Position ↓
Barleylands Robert Elliott 52 1 1 1 1 3 3 3
Ladies & Tramps Sandy Smith 59 2 2 2 1 1 2 2
Ultra Vires Simon Moorman 45 4 3 3 3 1 1 1
Hanley N/A 52 3 3 4 4 4 4 3
Ladies' Winner → Margaret Curtis Margaret Curtis Margaret Curtis Sandy Smith Sandy Smith Margaret Curtis Margaret Curtis
Gentlemen's Winner → Robert Elliott Robert Elliott Robert Elliott Robert Elliott Simon Moorman Simon Moorman Simon Moorman


Collier Row Open Teams - Sunday 8th May 2016

9 teams took part in the Collier Row Open Teams.

Congratulations to the winners: Simon Moorman & Marc Chawner; Fran Alexander & Ray Clarke!

For the full results, click here (with a quick take on the Butlers, here).  

Peter Oake has been enjoying himself in Jersey playing with Gad Chadha (formerly Essex, now London). The pair came 2nd= (of 38) in the pre-Congress Pairs, 7th (of 58) in the Swiss Pairs, and 1st (of 9) in the B-Final of the Mid-Week Teams. They'd had enough by then, and came home. 

Congratulations to:- 

  • Teams of FourGraham Foster (with Steve Cade-Bowyer, Simon Moorman & Marc Chawner) who beat Ian Moss (with Mike Graham, Ted Cockle & Martin Smith) in the Final.
  • Plate: Alaric Cundy (with Nigel Bardsley, Tony Philpott, Chris Megahey & Margaret Curtis) who beat Dennis Valtisiaris (with Linda Fleet, Chris Taylor, Albert Kitchin) in the Final.

​Eve Goblets points have been applied. 

  • Margaret Curtis remains top of the Ladies' leader-board, with Sandy Smith in second.
  • Simon Moorman has leap-frogged Robert Elliott at the top of the Gentlemen's leader-board. 

↑ Follow the "Eve Goblets" link above for more exciting details!

Congratulations to our winners!

​Eve Goblets points have been applied. 

Switch Cup 2015-16

Well done to Martin Smith (with Sandy Smith, Tony Philpott & Ted Cockle) who beat Graham Foster (with Steve Cade-Bowyer, Simon Moorman & Mike Harbour) in the Final by 660 points.

​Eve Goblets points have been applied. 

We like to encourage our up-and-coming players, so well done to those Essex players who took part in the above event put on by the EBU:- 

Jan & John Radley (left): E/W winners of the Pairs on the Friday and the Saturday afternoon.

Sue & Tony French (right): Runners-up in the Swiss Pairs

June Brown, Angela Fenton, George & Maureen Vede got off to an excellent start, sharing top spot (of 12) in the Bob Lawton Trophy, the warm-up Teams event, in a field containing some very strong teams. Well done! However, no Essex pair made it to either of the main Pairs finals, but George & Maureen Vede did well to come 2 / 22 in the consolation event (the Markwell Trophy). The same team of June Brown, Angela Fenton, George & Maureen Vede took the day off from representing Essex "C" in the ECL and came a commendable 13 / 39 in the Swiss Teams (Neville Hill Cup)

Several Essex Pairs and Teams took part in the London event. No truly amazing results to report, but praisworthy results nonetheless:-

  1. Championship Pairs: this is a really tough competition, and our veteran pair Margaret Curtis and David Sherman continued to fly the Essex flag, coming a creditable 32 / 94. 
  2. Swiss Teams: this is also an elite competition, and Sandy Riach & Chris Taylor, Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner did excellently to come 9 / 58. 
  3. Swiss Pairs: Ann Owen and Cath Fox punched well above their weight to come 21 / 121 in the "A" Flight. 

19 Pairs contested the Session of the Really Easy Afternoon held at Barleylands, with 56 pairs in total competing nationally. Well done to the top three pairs, in particular to Amarjeet & Gurdeep Singh of St. Anne's BC in Chingford who won the national event:-

  1. Amarjeet & Gurdeep Singh (St. Anne's, 1st nationally)
  2. Andrew & Anne Smith (Mid Essex, 4th nationally)
  3. David & Jean Cannan (Mid Essex, 6th nationally)

The local results are here; click on the header for the national results. 

Well done to Ray Clarke & Linda Fleet, who came 32nd in this year's Portland Pairs, and to Linda Barker & Chris Taylor, who came 34th - out of 360 pairs nationally

22 pairs took part in the Billericay sessions, held at Barleylands, where the order of merit differed from that nationally, with Linda & Chris ahead of Ray & Linda, and with Graham Foster & Frances Alexander interposed.

Well done to Graham Foster & Marc Chawner, joint-winners of this season's Seniors Cup (despite, let's say, an indifferent showing in the last round) and to Chris Chorley in third place. 

Congratulations to  Linda Fleet & Albert Kitchin who won the Spring session, with Val & Paul Mollison in second and Peter Williamson & Derek Stewart in third place.

28 pairs contested the new-format Billericay half of the Eastern Regional final held at Barleylands. When rolled-up with Peterborough, Val & Paul Mollison came 5th and Richard Register & John Sutcliffe 6th (of 51 pairs). 

These Regional finals are rolled up nationally and the top 50 qualify for the National Final in April. Congratulations to Val, Paul, Richard & John for making it to the finals in 25th and 33rd place, respectively (of 244 pairs). 

Thorpe Bay Masterclass - March 2016

Following the success of earlier Seminars, conducted by Grand Masters Marc Chawner and Paul Spencer, Paul returns by popular demand to talk to us about Doubling in a fifth Thorpe Bay Masterclass!

Double-Trouble - Instructional Tales from the Bridge Table

  • A Bridge Master Class for the intrepid intermediate player
  • Conducted by one of our very own bridge Grand Masters - Paul Spencer  
  • Thorpe Bay Bridge Club, Saturday, March 12th 2016, 10:00 - 12:15
  • £5/player, no partner required
  • Please email entries/queries to

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

  • Ladies: Jill Hair & Tanya Genthe, with June Brown & Angela Fenton runners-up.
  • Gentlemen:   Alaric Cundy & Chris Megahey, with Simon Moorman & Robert Elliott runners-up.

The results have been applied to the Eve Goblets Victor Ludorum competitions. Margaret Curtis & Robert Elliott remain in the lead. 

East Anglian Bridge Weekend - March 2016

Well done to Sheena Millins & Bernie Hunt who - by a considerable margin - WON the Swiss pairs! Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting came a commendable 6= (of 54 pairs).

Less success in the teams, but Pat Johnson & Peter Scotting; Chris Taylor & Sandy Riach are to be congratulated for coming 4th (of 20 teams). 

Well done to Ashley Sawyer & Gary Waller of Collier Row BC who came 3rd out of 127 nationally in the EBU Masters Pairs, having won the session held at Barleylands. Click on the heading for the Pianola results. 

Well done to Chelmsford A for running away with the Ray Cornell Trophy and to Mid Essex B for coming second. There was a tie for first place in the Teams of Eight competition, but the tie-break means that the Ray Cornell Prize and the right to represent Essex in the Garden Cities Competition goes to Chelmsford Bridge Club with Mid Essex Bridge Club again in second place. 

The full results (including the Butlers) are here

There was a good turn-out this year, though not quite up to the highs of the last couple of years, and thanks to all those who made the effort, in particular to our "experts" who gave up their time.

Well done to those who did well, and commiserations to those who didn’t.

The winners were:-

  1. Stephen Monk (with Jon Ward)
  2. Amarjeet Singh (with Keith Thompson)
  3. Alan Brown (with Audrey Hartley)

We're a bit short of news at the moment - so a brief update on the above. Chris Taylor (him again) is out there playing with David Wing and - with team-mates Maria Budd and Mark Westley (Herts) - came second in the Pivot Teams. Apparently he's not just wasting his time playing bridge, but is enjoying the scenery and history of the place.  

Thanks to all who supported the SWF Congress this year, and congratulations to the winners:-

Further placings can be found by following the links above. 

Well done to Paul Spencer & Marc Chawner who won this year's Swiss Pairs, winning all their matches. Martin & Sandy Smith were second and Alan Bryant & Geoff Webber were third.

The top of the leader-board for the Eve Goblets is unchanged with Margaret Curtis and Robert Elliott remaining in the top places for the Ladies and Gentlemen respectively. 

2016 - 2017 Season

Essex League Competitions

Have you thought about Entering the Essex Leagues? Teams is a format that many players prefer and find more relaxed. If you haven't tried it before, why not give it a go.


South-East Essex and West Essex Leagues

The Essex Leagues are teams competitions consisting of a series matches generally played in players own homes (although some teams use clubs as their home venue). Teams play approximately one match per month over the season which runs from October 1st to April 30th. The Leagues are divided into two regions: South East Essex and West Essex to minimise travelling distances as much as possible.  Teams can be entered by clubs or by a group of players (up to 6). The number of divisions depends on the number of teams in each area, and there is room for all standards of players.

If you are a pair who would like to play but without team mates, let us know and we will try to match you with a pair of similar standard.


Entry fee: £20 per team               Enter by date: 1st Sept 2016

*** NEW ***

Friendly Fours League

For players new to Teams/Leagues

We hope to introduce a new league for teams new to League competitions. Whether this will be regionalised will depend on the number of teams. The divisions should be slightly smaller than in the main leagues so there will be fewer matches to play. Matches can either be played at home or at a club if you have a nearby club who will let you play a match on their club night (normal table money would apply). This league will only be open to teams who have not played in the main leagues. Any team who wins this league in several consecutive years (number yet to be determined) may be asked to join the main league for their area.

Note: This initiative is distinct from the Club-sponsored Teams of Eight Friendly League (Click here).

If you are a pair or an individual who would like to play but without team mates, let us know and we will try to match you with a pair of similar standard. We already have a few names of players looking for teams.

We hope to run a seminar on team tactics (TBC) to which new league players will be given free entry.


Entry fee: £20 per team            Enter by date: 1st Sept 2016

Please Contact:       

The League Secretary, Mr B Hunt at

Suite 60, Barleylands Craft Village, Barleylands Road, Billericay CM11 2UD

Tel: 01268 533961   Mobile: 07973 925315