MANCHESTER BRIDGE CLUB AGM – 29th DECEMBER 2013
Review of 2013
Manchester Bridge Club players Sarah O’Connor and Sinead Bird won Silver Medals in the World Mind Sports Womens Open Teams held earlier this month in China. John Holland and Paul Hackett have qualified for the final of the Seniors trials to decide the team that will represent England in the European Championships. John Holland finished second in the Premier League and has been selected to play in the first Camrose Trophy weekend in Wales and the Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championships in Scotland.
Alex Birchall played for England in the Girls Team in the Channel Trophy and Mike Bell and Michael Byrne were non playing captains for the under 25s and the under 20s respectively.
Sarah O’Connor played for England in the European Under 25 Championships and the Under 25 Camrose and Rob Myers played for England in the White House International Youth Tournament in Amsterdam.
Paul Hackett and John Holland both played for England in the Seniors Camrose.
Manchester Bridge Players have done very well in National Events. The main highlights are:
Gerard Faulkner Seniors Knockout
This was won for the second time in three years by Clive Owen’s team which includes John Hassett, John Holland and Jeff Morris.
Gary Hyett & Rodney Lighton were the best placed Manchester pair finishing 7th out of 97 pairs in this event over the weekend of 1-2 June 2013.
The Manchester team of Michael Byrne, Michael Newman, John Holland, Alan Mould & Gary Hyett finished 6th out of 29 teams in the Pachabo on the weekend of 22-23 June 2013.
National League Final
The National County Teams of Eight finals took place at Solihull on Sunday 7th July. In the A Division Manchester finished runners up to Sussex. Well done to Alec Smalley & Tom Slater, Michael Newman & Rodney Lighton, Bernard & Rhona Goldenfield, Mike Bell & Sarah O’Connor. In the B Division Manchester finished runners up to Hertfordshire. Well done to Ian Kane & Ken Hassell, David Pennington & Rod Franks, Eve Lighthill & Sidney Travers, John Roberts & Fred Bell.
Michael Byrne & Gary Hyett played in Dan Crofts team which did magnificently to reach the Quarter Finals before losing to Brian Senior’s team.
Catherine Draper’s team (Andrew Woodcock, David Debbage & John Hassett) reached the semi-finals of the 2013 Hubert Phillips bowl.
Great Northern Swiss Pairs
Congratulations to Kath and Alan Nelson who were joint winners of this event at Leeds on 4-5th October in a large field of 94 pairs
Manchester won their qualifying group in the Tollemache held over the weekend of 23 – 24 November. Well done to John Hassett & Jeff Morris, Michael Byrne & Michael Newman, John Holland & Ollie Burgess, Mike Bell & Sarah O’Connor, Gary Hyett & Rodney Lighton.
Lake Garda EBU Overseas Congress
In the EBU holiday congress in October Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield won the Swiss Pairs and then made it a double by winning the Swiss Teams with Irving and Joy Blakey
Year End Congresses
Well done to the Blakeys and the Goldenfields on winning the Blackpool Year End Swiss Teams.
National Bridge Award
Congratulations to Kevin Comrie on being awarded by the EBU the prestigious Dimmie Fleming award which publicly recognises those who have worked hard for bridge administration at County level. Kevin retired as Chairman of the MCBA at the AGM in May after many years service to the MCBA as Chairman, tournament secretary and chief organiser of everything. The success of the annual Manchester Congress has been mainly due to his unstinting efforts.
MANCHESTER AREA EVENTS
The pairs was won in 2013 by Tracy Capel and Liz Muir. The teams was won by a team including John Holland and Michael Byrne.
Michael Byrne’s St Titus team (Michael Newman, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton & Alan Mould, Mike Bell & Sarah O’Connor) won their fourth league title in six years.
Merville Goldstone Trophy
Michael Byrne’s team (Michael Newman, Rodney Lighton, John Holland) defeated Jeff Morris’s team (John Hassett, Joy & Irving Blakey) in the final which is the qualifier for the Pachabo.
Manchester A won the Gazette Trophy the inter club teams of eight at Altrincham on Sunday 3rd February with a score of 92 VPs and thus qualified for the Garden Cities Regional Final. Well done to Mike Bell & Sarah O’Connor, Jeff Morris & John Hassett, Rodney Lighton & Rhona Goldenfield, Kath Nelson & Alan Nelson. Seven teams entered from Manchester, Altrincham and Bramhall & Cheadle Hulme clubs.
On 18 May Manchester could only manage 4th out of 6 teams in the Northern Regional Final of the Garden Cities Trophy and so failed to qualify for the national final.
Congratulations to Kath Nelson & John Currie in the Ben Franks who won this year’s 23 pair event on Sunday 1 December.
Green Point Teams July 2013
Congratulations to the winners Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield together with Bill Hirst and Patrick Collins visiting from Kent. Especial mention to the third placed non-expert team of Christopher Hine, Stephen Ward, Michael Wymer and James Shephard.
Green Point Pairs Saturday 9 March 2013
Congratulations to Rodney Lighton & Tom Slater on winning this 25 table event at Altrincham Bridge Club.
Higson Cup and Plate
The Higson finals were held at Manchester Bridge Club on Sunday 28th April. Congratulations to Isolated Menaces (John Holland, John Hassett, Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield) who won for the second consecutive year by a small margin from Bare Bones (David Debbage, Ed Levy, John Parsons and Nicholas Greer).
The Plate was won by a large margin by Upper Cut (James Shephard, Michael Wymer, Chris Hine and Stephen Ward).
Susan Triggs and Graham Winn won the County Intermediate Pairs NS in a capacity field of 15 and a half tables.
MCBA PLAYER OF THE YEAR 2013
There was a three way tie for the MCBA Player of the Year between Rodney Lighton, Mike Bell and John Holland.
Michelle Brunner Memorial Event
18 teams took part in the second Mixed Pivot Swiss Teams held on Saturday 20th July in memory of Michelle Brunner. Winners were John Holland & Bill Hirst, Jeff Smith & Jackie Pye. Second were Irene Davies & Karen Reissmann, Ann Thornton & Roger Hopton. Over £1500 was raised for The Christie Hospital and St Anne’s Hospice.
Club Championship 2013
Martin Taylor won the Club Championship for the third year running which is awarded to the best performance over 21 sessions on Wednesday night duplicates.
Geoff Nuttall Trophy 2013
Nicholas Greer won the Geoff Nuttall Memorial Trophy which is awarded to the best performance on Monday nights over the period January to April.
Tony Wood Memorial Trophy 2013
Chris Hine and Stephen Ward won the Tony Wood Memorial Trophy donated by Tony’s partner Beryl and his sister Janet awarded to the best performance on Monday nights over the period May to August.
Cheadle Royal Cup
David Sarabowski and Lesley Johnson won this event for the best performance on Monday nights from the beginning of September to the end of December 2013.Michael Wymer and James Sheppard were a close second.
RUIA CUP 2013
Winners were John Hassett & David Debbage, Catherine Draper & Andrew Woodcock. 14 teams played.
Eve Lighthill Trophy 2013
Winners were Michael Byrne, John Holland, Gary Hyett, Rodney Lighton, Ollie Burgess & Rhona Goldenfield.
Santa Claus Pairs
Winners were Mike Amos and Peter Foster
Peter Ader Memorial Trophy 2013
Winners were Bernard and Rhona Goldenfield.
One of the big success stories this year is the Monday Afternoon Supervised Duplicate Sessions. From March David Debbage has given a short talk each week at 1.00 pm then followed it with a supervised duplicate. This format has proved very popular especially in combination with Bridget’s home made scones which she makes fresh on the day.
Thursday night Swiss Pairs is growing in popularity. The committee have decided not to hold EBU or Charity Sims on Thursdays in future so that members will know that Swiss Pairs will always be held. From time to time we will take advantage of Bridget’s culinary skills to combine Swiss Pairs with a themed food evening at minimal extra cost.
Joint ventures with the University Bridge Society have proved very popular and enjoyable. This year there have been three major events – a Charity Marathon, a Crazy Pairs and a Halloween Pairs all of which were characterised by a great atmosphere.
Beginners Courses start again on the 8th January 2014 in the evening. Please tell your friends. It is also intended to start another afternoon beginners session but until a date is set Susan Triggs will continue to do supervised play sessions with her most recent group.
The Club Website is now fully up and running thanks to the efforts of members of the Committee. I would like to particularly thank Annie Curtis who has been fantastic in keeping the site up to date and flagging up forthcoming events.
Ben Beever has a number of Sunday workshops planned for the New Year all at 3.15pm
Sunday 12th January: Discovery Play
When you have a 2-way finesse, how do you decide which way to take it? Helping to solve such problems this lesson will show you the value of teasing out information about the closed hands, whether declarer or defender, to improve your card play decisions.
Sunday 26th January: Lebensohl
1) Partner opens 1NT, RHO overcalls at the 2 level and you bid 3C. Is this forcing or not?
2) Left opponent opens a weak 2S and partner doubles. You bid 3H. Partner has 18 HCP with 4 hearts - should she bid up? These are common situations that need agreements. This lesson will give you a popular method to deal with them.
Sunday 9th February: Signals In Defence
As defenders your task is a tough one. This lesson will show you how to pass information to each other legally, so that you take all the tricks to which you are entitled!
Sunday 23rd February: Trump Reduction
Ever noticed a bad trump break and had the thought, "if only I had one more trump in dummy I could finesse in trumps and make the contract"? In this lesson we show a technique for making such contracts - when most players would simply give up!
Sunday 9th March: Position and Vulnerability
Should our bidding strategy change in the 3rd or 4th seat? And how should the vulnerability affect our bidding decisions? All will be revealed in this lesson and most will be surprised by the answers!
The cost for these seminars is £8 for members and £10 for non-members.
National Pairs – Thursday 13th February 2014 at 7:30pm
Tthere is a qualifying competition for the National Pairs. If you would like to compete please add your name to the list in the Club Reception..
Tom Middleton Memorial Competition
A date for this event will be chosen by the Committee in consultation with Farhad Seka.
Memorial Event for Michelle Brunner - Saturday July 19th at 1pm
As in the previous two years this will again be a Mixed Pivot Teams Charity Event..
Manchester Bridge Club will once again host one of the Premier League weekends on the 27th and 28th September 2014.
It remains for me to conclude my report by thanking the members of the Club for their support during the last year. We are sad to record the recent loss of three popular members, Sally Archer, Martin Braid and Jessica Smith. Sally’s family have donated a trophy in her memory for the best performance by a non-expert at the Santa Claus Pairs. Most fittingly this trophy was won this year by Hilary Boydell, Sally’s regular bridge partner.
Manchester Bridge Club has continued to be a centre of excellence for bridge producing considerable numbers of talented players at all levels of the game. The success of our young players in going on to achieve amazing things at open level is very gratifying. Silver medals at World Championship level in the Womens teams for Sinead and Sarah O’Connor must rate as the best. It is a shame that career moves have now taken Sinead, Sarah and Mike Bell away from Manchester.
I would like to thank the Club Committee so ably chaired by Eve Lighthill for making this year such a success. Retiring from the committee this year are three members, Barrie Klein, Tean Porteus and Colin Westwood and I would like to personally thank them all for the support they have given the club over many years and the ideas they have contributed to improving the way the club operates.
Finally I would like to wish members of the club a Happy and Healthy New Year.