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News Page

This page has information and news of interest to the members. For a full list of forthcoming events, see "Calendar" on the menu and for a list of results see "Results".

HBA Championship Pairs Semi-Final 19th Jan 2020

Of the five eligible pairs who qualified in the Royston heat of the HBA Championship Pairs last November, John & Colin were the only ones who took part in the semi-final at St Albans on Sunday.

There were also some other familar names from the club in the rankings, including two other Royston pairs Brian & Valerie and Alan & Saroj who qualified at the Hitchin heat a month earlier. Results can be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

Special congratulations to Brian & Valerie for coming in the top half of a strong field, and qualifying to play in the final in April. Good luck!

Last updated : 2nd Feb 2020 14:13 GMT
Humble Cup 5th January 2020

Two qualifying teams from the Royston heat of the Humble Cup took part in the first knockout day of the competition at St Albans on Sunday. Ron & Elaine were playing with Andy & Katka (from Hitchin) and Brian & Valerie were teamed up with Chrissy & Gordon (another Hitchin player).

Well done to those from the club who took part, with special congratulations to Ron & Elaine whose team came through both their matches to qualify for the next round(s) of the competition in February. Good luck!

Last updated : 14th Jan 2020 08:44 GMT
Eccles Cup 15th November 2019
Eccles Cup 15th November 2019

Royston played in the HBA Eccles Cup on Friday night. Thanks to the team of Saroj & Alan, Carole & Peter, Colin & John and Peter & Ruth who braved the elements and the drive to Hemel Hempstead to represent the club.

The winners were a team from Watford & Bushey Bridge Club, with Royston and Hitchin tied in second place just one point behind. The travellers and team placings can be viewed on the HBA website under the Results tab.

Last updated : 1st Dec 2019 09:23 GMT
Children in Need SIMS 14th November 2019
Children in Need SIMS 14th November 2019

Thursday was definitely the best day of the week to play in the ECATS Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs (SIMS) events this year. The dealing machine had gone into overdrive, with any number of exciting distributional hands.

According to the deal statistics, makeable slams were available on an incredible EIGHT of the 24 boards played, and by my reckoning, only one of these was in reality impossible to bid. Hope you all had at least one moment of glory to look back on.

The result has now been finalised, with the leading Royston pair in the rankings being Saroj & Alan in 50th place overall with a score of nearly 64%. The overall results, commentary (and more) can be viewed on the ECATS website in the usual way, by clicking on the ECATS tab in the Results ranking.

The club raised £110 for Children in Need. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the successful evening.

Last updated : 14th Jan 2020 08:46 GMT
Humble Cup Heat Teams 3rd October 2019
Humble Cup Heat  Teams 3rd October 2019

Congratulations to "Team Titchner" for their convincing win in this year's Humble Cup heat, with a score of +101 IMPs. The winning team are pictured right (Dave & Suzanne, Miriam & Phil).

It was a hard-fought contest, with every team registering at least one win and no team remaining undefeated over the six rounds played.

The four highest-placed teams qualify for the next round of the HBA Humble Cup on Sunday 5th January 2020, should any of them wish to compete further.

An exciting board from the Royston heat features as October's Hand of the Month.

Last updated : 20th Oct 2019 09:11 BST
We've Moved 15th August 2019

As most of you will know by now, the club has moved to the Coombes Community Centre, with the first event at the new venue taking place place on Thursday, 15th August.

The club's new address is Coombes Community Centre, Burns Road, Royston SG8 5PT. Full details of how to get to the new venue are available on the club website (see Information / How to Find Us etc), but if you're unclear how to get there, just ask.

The committee hope that the majority of members will find the new clubroom a significant improvement, but also recognise that the move may involve a slight increase in journey time or complexity for some.

If anyone has genuine difficulty getting to the new location, for example because it is no longer within walking distance, just mention it to someone on the committee. The club may be able to arrange a lift from one of the members who drive to bridge regularly on Thursdays.

Last updated : 17th Sep 2019 12:48 BST
Mavis Drake Teams Challenge 4th July 2019
Mavis Drake Teams Challenge 4th July 2019

Congratulations to Norman & Elaine and Valerie & Brian (pictured left), who were winners of the Mavis Drake Teams Challenge on Thursday. In a large field of eight teams, they came first by a convincing margin with a score of +99 IMPs, streets ahead of their nearest rivals.

It's the second time both pairs have won this trophy (though with different teammates). Elaine & Norman were joint winners last year and Valerie & Brian the year before.

For the second week running at Royston, there was not only a laydown grand slam and a Eurovision-style null points (board 1), but also a genuine Yarborough in the same round (board 4).

Last updated : 7th Jul 2019 15:44 BST
Berks & Bucks Swiss Pairs 22nd June 2019

Congratulations to Brian & Dave for coming 11th out of over 100 pairs in a strong field in the Berks & Bucks Swiss Pairs on Saturday.

Resuts can be found on the Berks & Bucks CBA website.

Last updated : 1st Jul 2019 08:32 BST
Corwen Trophy 1st-2nd June 2019

Suzanne & Dave were one of four Hertfordshire pairs who qualified to represent the county in the Corwen Trophy, competing over the weekend of 1st-2nd June against other top pairs from each County Association in England.  They came a respectable 27th out of 94 pairs in a very strong field, with a score averaging over 52.5% across the four sessions.

Results can be found (in Pianola format) on the EBU website under Latest Results, by clicking here.

Last updated : 17th Jun 2019 18:33 BST
Hitchin Swiss Pairs 1st June 2019

Well done to Saroj & Alan, who tied for first place in the Hitchin Spring Blue Pointed Swiss Pairs on Saturday 1st June, with five wins out of the six rounds for an overall score of 89 Victory Points.

Results can be found on the Hitchin Club website by clicking here.

Last updated : 17th Jun 2019 18:31 BST
Club AGM 25th April 2019
  • Improver of the Year 2018
  • Pairs 2018
  • Butler Pairs 2018/19
  • Third Thursday 2018/19
  • Slams 2018
  • Club Member of the Year 2018

The club's AGM took place on Thursday, 25th April.

The Chairman John Crosher and Treasurer Malcolm Dean delivered their annual reports. The Treasurer's report and Accounts for 2018/19 can be found on the club website under Notices, for those who were unable to attend on the night.

Trophies and prizes were then presented by the Chairman. Congratulations to all the award winners (pictured above):

Pairs                                Suzanne & Dave
Butler Pairs                      Saroj & Alan
Third Thursday                 Malcolm & Ron
Slams                              Dave
Club Member of the Year   Will
Improver of the Year         Brian

Last updated : 1st Jul 2019 08:32 BST
HBA Championship Pairs Final 14th April 2019
HBA Championship Pairs Final 14th April 2019

Congratulations to Suzanne & Dave for coming second in the HBA Championship Pairs at Welwyn, the county's premier pairs event, with a score of over 59%.

The field included many of the county's strongest pairs, with only Celia & Derek Oram outscoring them by a narrow margin (the top pair winning the trophy for an incredible thirteenth time)!

The results can be viewed on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 25th Apr 2019 23:37 BST
HBA Cadet Pairs Final 12th Apr 2019
HBA Cadet Pairs Final 12th Apr 2019

John & Colin represented the club at Friday's HBA Cadet Pairs Final at Welwyn.

They narrowly missed a "podium finish", coming fourth with 56%. Better luck next year.

The results can be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 25th Apr 2019 13:03 BST
Marjorie Lukyn Charity Cup Final 8th Mar 2019
Marjorie Lukyn Charity Cup Final 8th Mar 2019

A number of the club's members played in Friday's Marjorie Lukyn Charity Cup Final, including three pairs who qualified from the Royston heat of the HBA competition last November.

Congratulations to Suzanne & Dave who came second in a large field of 38 pairs with a score of over 63%, with Saroj & Alan not far behind in fifth place.

The full results can be viewed on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 17th Mar 2019 09:26 GMT
Charity Challenge SIMS 7th March 2019

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the Charity Challenge SIMS on Thursday evening.

We were rewarded with some exciting and challenging boards, including seven distinct slams bid and made on five separate boards. The charity nominated by ECATS, the RNLI, also benefited from the net proceeds by a total of £93, which included cake sales from "The Director's Kitchen".

Congratulations to Norma & Therese who came first on the night. They were also the highest-ranking pair from Royston in the overall standings by some margin, finishing 44th in a field of nearly 1,100 pairs.

Last updated : 22nd Mar 2019 11:11 GMT
HBA Championship Pairs Semi-final 27th Jan 2019

Two pairs from Royston took part in the semi-final of the HBA Championship Pairs on Sunday, and both qualified for the final in April. Suzanne & Dave came 14th, and Saroj & Alan came 23rd.

Well done to both pairs.

The results can be viewed on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 17th Mar 2019 09:27 GMT
Royston qualifiers win Humble Cup Plate 13th Jan 2019
Royston qualifiers win Humble Cup Plate 13th Jan 2019

Congratulations to Saroj & Alan who made up half the winning team in the HBA Humble Cup Plate competition which took place last Sunday, 13th January.

Playing with Bernard & Margaret Eddleston from Hitchin, the team (who qualified from the Humble Cup heat at Royston last October) were narrowly defeated in Session 1 of the 1st Qualifinal, but then went on to convincingly win the Plate competition against six other teams.

The results of the Plate competition can be seen on the HBA website.

Last updated : 25th Jan 2019 08:30 GMT
Marjorie Lukyn Charity Cup heat 29th Nov 2018

The Royston heat of the Marjorie Lukyn Charity Cup was held last Thursday. The Marjorie Lukyn is a long-running HBA event in support of local charities, but it is the first time that Royston has participated. Table money for this event was increased to £5 to support the nominated charities, which this year were Jackie's Drop-In Centre and Herts Musical Memories.

The top 50% of the field (as indicated in the rankings) are eligible to compete in the single-session final, which will be held at Welwyn on Friday evening 8th March 2019.

Full details can be found on the HBA website.

Last updated : 12th Dec 2018 16:17 GMT
Middlesex Swiss Pairs 24th Nov 2018
Middlesex Swiss Pairs 24th Nov 2018

Contratulations to Brian & Dave, who won a prize as the highest-placed "non-expert" pair at the Middlesex Congress Swiss Pairs on Saturday, by finishing 27th out of 130 pairs in a very strong field.

In fact, the field was so strong that there were only two non-expert pairs who managed to finish in the top fifty, and eight in the top hundred!

The full results can be found on the Middlesex County Bridge Association website by clicking here.

Last updated : 3rd Dec 2018 09:57 GMT
Eccles Cup 16th Nov 2018

Royston came fifth in the HBA Eccles Cup this year, competing against teams from some of the largest and strongest clubs in Hertfordshire. So an unprecedented hat-trick of consecutive victories was not to be, alas.

Thanks to the four pairs who represented the club: Jules & Dave, Clare & Peter, Valerie & Brian and especially Geoff & David, who stepped up when the club was struggling to find a fourth pair to make up the team.

Jules & Dave came first in their section with a score of over 61%. Ron & Elaine also did well, playing for a strong Hitchin team who came second overall, narrowly behind the winners, Harpenden A.

Full results can be found on the HBA website (via the Results tab on the left).

Last updated : 25th Nov 2018 00:15 GMT
Children in Need SIMS 15th Nov 2018

The club enjoyed the annual Children in Need SIMS event, hosted by ECATS, and raised £165 for the charity.

There were plenty of exciting boards, including a tricky slam bid and made by Ron & Malcolm. And if the bridge wasn't enough, some delicious cake was provided by Saroj and Peter as an additional fund-raising idea.

Suzanne & Dave were the highest placed Royston pair, finishing in 77th position in the overall rankings with 63%. Full results can be found on the ECATS website, or simply click on the "Ecats Results" tab on the results page to see how you've done. Any queries, just ask.

Clare & Peter did even better in the equivalent event the day before at the Morden Ruffians, coming 13th with over 68%!

Last updated : 28th Nov 2018 22:16 GMT
Club Winners Cup 9th November 2018
Club Winners Cup 9th November 2018

Two pairs from the club, Suzanne & Dave and Saroj & Alan, represented Royston in the HBA Club Winners Cup at Welwyn on Friday, both finishing in respectable mid-table placings in a strong field.

A special mention must be made of another club member, Brian Combridge, who was representing Hitchin on this occasion. Brian and his partner won the event, and by a convincing margin. Full results and a photo of the winning pair can be found on the HBA website.

Last updated : 16th Nov 2018 13:51 GMT
Humble Cup heat 4th Oct 2018

The Royston heat of the Humble Cup teams event provided plenty of exciting and challenging deals.

There was little to separate the top three teams, with no team remaining undefeated throughout. In the end, a retrospective scoring correction made all the difference.

Congratulations to the winning team of Suzanne & Dave and Miriam & Phil, and to the runners-up Therese & Norma and Jules & Ron.

Thanks also to Peter Grice for directing, and Peter & Ruth for acting as host pair.

Last updated : 18th Jan 2019 08:36 GMT
Charity Event 13th Sep 2018
  • Charity event prizes
  • Charity event

In a new initiative for the club, Royston held a charity event on Thursday 13th September to raise funds for a local charity, Herts Young Homeless.

Those who attended enjoyed a great evening of cake-eating, interspersed with the occasional hand of bridge!

We must have all been feeling very charitable, as not only was over £300 raised by the event, but the winners on the night were a visiting pair from Hitchin Bridge club... well done Christine & Angela.

Thanks to everyone at the club who helped make the evening such a success, especially those who contributed food or donated raffle prizes (including one from Tesco Extra). A special mention must go to Saroj, the driving force behind the event.

Last updated : 15th Oct 2018 10:54 BST
Bridgemate Percentage display 6th Sep 2018

The short trial period for displaying the percentage score at the Bridgemate after each board is now over.

The majority verdict from the feedback received was No, so the display has been discontinued.

Details of all the hands, including the percentage score and the full deal and traveller information (including the lead) are of course available on the club website soon after each event has finished — usually by 11pm and certainly by the next morning.

For those who miss the percentage display, it is perhaps worth pointing out that the information on Bridgewebs is much more meaningful than any Bridgemate display. The latter is by definition incomplete, and can be misleading in the early rounds.

Last updated : 19th Sep 2018 09:10 BST
HBA Swiss Pairs 21st July 2018
HBA Swiss Pairs 21st July 2018

Well done to three pairs from Royston (Valerie & Brian, Elaine & Ron and Jules & Dave) for braving the heat to tackle a very strong field at the popular HBA Swiss Pairs event recently.

Additional congratulations to Jules & Dave as prize-winners in the "non-expert" category, finishing 16th out of 108 pairs after a storming finish.

Full results can be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

PS. Forty-nine boards obviously wasn't enough for Brian, who showed admirable stamina by also taking part in the Swiss Teams the following day with three team-mates from Hitchin (two of whom, Katka & Andy, are familiar to many at Royston as occasional visitors).

Last updated : 15th Aug 2018 08:14 BST
Mavis Drake Teams Challenge 5th July 2018
Mavis Drake Teams Challenge 5th July 2018

There was an excellent turnout for the club's annual Mavis Drake Teams Challenge which took place on Thursday 5th July, with seven full teams taking part.

Congratulations to the clear winners, the team of Saroj & Alan and Elaine & Norman with a score of +78 IMPs. The winning team are shown receiving their trophy from Malcolm (Norman not pictured).

Last updated : 16th Jun 2019 15:28 BST

A number of players from Royston entered the Hitchin Swiss Pairs event on Saturday.

Jules & Dave, Brian & Valerie, Elaine & Ron and Chrissy (with a partner from Hitchin) all took part, with Jules & Dave finishing highest out of the Royston contingent, in seventh place out of a field of forty pairs.

The full results can be viewed on the Hitchin website.

Last updated : 17th Jun 2019 19:08 BST
New Release of Bridgewebs 29th May

A new release of Bridgewebs has been implemented for the Royston club website, with a number of minor enhancements specifically catering for GDPR.

The good news is that these enhancements give all members improved control over their personal data held on the club website. The even better news is that you don’t have to do anything. Your Bridgewebs Account preferences are still set according to the box(s) you ticked on your 2018 Membership Application form.

You can of course change these at any time in the future via the Account tab in Members Only... for example, you might prefer to supply a contact phone number as well as (or instead of) an email address for use with Find a Partner.

The choice is yours... just “Opt In” using the appropriate Y/N setting(s) in your Bridgewebs Account. This is fully documented in the club’s Privacy Notice, which has been revised to reflect the recent Bridgewebs changes.

Any queries or concerns, just ask.

Last updated : 16th Jun 2018 07:25 BST
GDPR 25th May 2018

As most of you must be aware by now, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now in force. We believe that the club has made every reasonable effort to conform to both the spirit and letter of the law as regards this legislation.

However, if you still have any queries or concerns about the way the club holds and processes your personal information, it is all documented in the club's Privacy Notice which can be found on the club website under the Documents tab (left).

If you need further explanation of clarification, just ask John, Jules or Dave (their email addresses are available in the Members list under Members Only), and they will do their best to help.

Last updated : 11th Jun 2018 10:09 BST
Club AGM 26th April 2018
  • Pairs 2017
  • Third Thursday 2017/18
  • Improver 2017
  • Club Person 2017
  • Slams 2017
  • AGM 2018
  • Butler Pairs 2017/18
  • Mavis Drake Challenge 2017

Congratulations to the winners of the club's annual competitions, pictured here receiving their trophies from John at the recent AGM:

Pairs...  Suzanne & Dave
Butler Pairs... Suzanne & Dave
Third Thursday... Saroj & Alan
Improver of the Year... Penny
Club Person of the Year... Peter
Slams... Dave

A couple of late additions, photos taken on a sunny evening at the club two weeks later:

Butler Pairs... Suzanne & Dave (Suzanne not pictured)
Mavis Drake Challenge (Teams)... Norma & Therese and Valerie & Brian

Thanks to Saroj for taking the pictures.

Last updated : 10th Jul 2018 07:08 BST
HBA Championship Pairs Final 22nd April 2018

It's not that often that a pair from Royston make it through to the finals of the HBA Championship Pairs. So congratulations to Saroj & Alan, who not only qualified but also scored over 50% in the two-session event on Sunday against a very strong field containing many of the top-ranked pairs in Hertfordshire.

The full results can be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 30th May 2018 15:26 BST
Bridgemate Proposal to Capture Leads 2nd April 18
Bridgemate Proposal to Capture Leads 2nd April 18

The club is proposing to change the Bridgemate options so that the opening lead is entered at the Bridgemate along with the other contract information. This will be trialled for a few weeks followed by a quick vote on the proposal with a show of hands, at the club's AGM on 26th April.

Full details can be found in Bridgemate Proposal under Documents on the website menu to the left, or by clicking anywhere here. Give it a quick read before Thursday if you're planning to play at the club this week.

Note especially the advice that the best time to enter the contract details (including the lead) is during the period when the lead is being made and dummy is being put down. This minimises the elapsed time taken to score the board (regardless of whether the lead is being captured or not).

Last updated : 10th Jul 2018 07:25 BST
GDPR and Royston Bridge Club 27th March 2018

By now members should have seen references to the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR for short, in this month's English Bridge magazine (see the April edition, p3). If you didn't receive a paper copy, the latest edition can also be viewed online from the EBU website via My EBU.

Royston Bridge Club are legally obliged to comply with GDPR, and have revised the Membership renewal form to conform to the GDPR legislation, in time for the run-up to the AGM at the end of April. The form refers to the club's Privacy Notice, which is now available on the club website under Documents.

In the meantime, it would be helpful if all members could check their personal details to ensure they are accurate on both the club and the EBU databases, as follows:

a) Club... Logon to < Members Only > from this website and select the Account tab

b) EBU... Logon to < My EBU > from the EBU website and select Account -> My Details

In both cases, the userid is your EBU number (the password may differ, however). If you don't know your EBU number it can be found in the < List of Members (Public) > and you can reset your password in either system if you've forgotten it.

Remember, it's your personal data, not the club's. 

Any queries or problems, just ask.
Dave Simmons

Last updated : 13th May 2018 21:35 BST
Charity Challenge SIMS 8th March 2018

Very encouraging to see such a good turnout for the Charity Challenge on Thursday. The club raised £108 for the nominated charity, the RNLI.

Suzanne & Dave were the best-placed Royston pair in the overall rankings, scoring 64.5% and coming 29th in a field of over 1,000 pairs. They narrowly pipped Malcolm & Ron who scored 63.8%, and were only a few places behind them. Local and national results are available from the club website via Latest Result and the Ecats website respectively.

For those who may have not have noticed, there's a handy additional tab on the Bridgewebs results page for the Charity Challenge, which links directly to the overall SIMS results on the Ecats website:

Ranking
Scorecards
Matrix
Travellers
Hands
Ecats Results
Last updated : 17th Mar 2018 10:02 GMT
EBU Masters Pairs 25 Feb 2018
EBU Masters Pairs 25 Feb 2018

Congratulations to Brian & Dave who managed a top ten finish in this year's EBU Masters Pairs, finishing 9th out of a national "SIMS" field of 66 pairs playing across 5 locations. They achieved a score of 55.36% for the two sessions combined.

They also deserve a special award for persistence, as the Welwyn heat was cancelled at the last minute, and they had to travel to Billericay in deepest Essex to compete.

Watch out for their guest appearance in the next series of TOWIE. smiley

Last updated : 17th Mar 2018 10:05 GMT
HBA Cadet Pairs final 16th Feb 2018
HBA Cadet Pairs final 16th Feb 2018

Congratulations to Malcolm & Ron who came third out of 21 pairs in the HBA Cadet Pairs Final at Welwyn on Friday with a score of over 60%. Let's hope a Royston pair can bring home the trophy next year!

The results are available on the HBA website, and (for those who are interested) note that the opening lead is captured along with the traveller and deal for each board, something Royston hope to introduce in the near future.

Last updated : 26th Feb 2018 08:38 GMT
Host System February 2018

The Royston club has recently implemented a Host system, so that visitors without partners can just turn up at the club and be sure they will get a game.

The host system is aimed primarily at potential visitors. Members should use Find a Partner in preference, to alert all members (including a solo host, if applicable) that they're looking for a partner.

See the club calendar for details of this and other club rotas.

Thanks to those volunteers (and their partners) who have made this initiative possible.

Last updated : 10th Jul 2018 07:13 BST
Eccles Cup Winners 24th Nov 2017
Eccles Cup Winners 24th Nov 2017

Congratulations to the Royston team of Carole & Peter, Jules & Dave, Clare & Peter and Colin & John, who successfully defended the HBA Eccles Cup on Friday.

The team's three best results were to come first, first and second in their respective sections on the night, ensuring a convincing win for Royston.

This makes it three wins for the club in the last five years in this Herts inter-club competition, a feat only previously achieved by Welwyn Bridge Club in the early years of the competition.

It aso marked a personal hat-trick of wins in the competition for three of this year's victorious team (Jules, John and Dave).

The full results can be found on the HBA website.

Last updated : 19th Dec 2017 12:06 GMT
Children in Need SIMS 16th Nov 2017
Children in Need SIMS 16th Nov 2017

Royston was one of well over 100 clubs in the UK (and abroad) who participated in the annual Children in Need SIMS event last Thursday, hosted by ECATS.

Our club raised over £200 for the charity this year, with special thanks to Saroj for baking the delicious cakes which raised over £40.

The local and national results are available via the club website, and congratulations to Suzanne and Dave who finished in third place overall, with a score of well over 70%.

Last updated : 28th Nov 2017 12:08 GMT
HBA Club Winners Cup 10th Nov 2017
HBA Club Winners Cup 10th Nov 2017

Two pairs represented the club at the HBA Club Winners Cup at Welwyn on Friday 10th November, both pairs finishing in the top half of a strong field.

Congratulations to Miriam and Phil who came seventh with 52%, with Suzanne and Dave close behind in ninth place. Another Royston member, Brian Combridge, was also playing, although he was representing Hitchin Bridge Club on this occasion.

Full details can be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 24th Nov 2017 13:07 GMT
Championship Pairs Qualifiers 26th Oct 2017

This week's Pairs event doubled up as a local heat for the HBA Championship Pairs, with the top half of the field qualifying. So here is the provisional list of qualifiers for the semi-final at Welwyn in January:

Colin and John
Jules and Robyn
Laszlo and Shelagh
Kevin and Paul
Mel and Geoff
Saroj and Alan
Carole and Ruth

Congratulations to all the above, and good luck to those pairs who decide to compete further.

(Note: Eric and Dave played "Without standing" as Dave had already played in a previous qualifing heat at Hitchin Bridge Club with another partner.)

Last updated : 8th Nov 2017 08:08 GMT
Humble Cup heat 5th Oct 2017
Humble Cup heat 5th Oct 2017

The top three teams qualified for the next round of the Humble Cup, a teams event, following Thursday's Royston heat of the HBA event.

Congratulations to Phil & Miriam and Suzanne & Dave, who were convincing winners on the night. Full results are on the club website.

Thanks to all the teams who took part and to Peter Grice for directing.

Last updated : 14th Oct 2017 13:18 BST
Cadet Pairs heat 28th Sep 2017
Cadet Pairs heat 28th Sep 2017

Congratulations to the following three pairs who qualified from the Royston heat of the HBA Cadet Pairs last week:

  • Jane Tulloch & Pat Holroyd
  • Malcolm Dean & Ron Raine
  • Jean & Peter Morris

The club are happy to pay the entry fee for any qualifying pairs who wish to enter this event... the more the merrier!

So good luck to any of these pairs who put themselves forward for the finals at Welwyn in February next year.

Last updated : 14th Oct 2017 13:20 BST
HBA Swiss Pairs 25th Sep 2017
HBA Swiss Pairs 25th Sep 2017

Royston had some representation at the recent HBA Swiss Pairs competition at Wodson Park, Ware.

Ron & Elaine just pipped Brian & Dave in the rankings, with the former pair favourites to win the non-expert prize until well into the final round, but it was not to be. Ron & Elaine ended up in 21st place out of 64 pairs, with Brian & Dave just one point behind. Well done to both pairs, and better luck next year.

This obviously wan't enough bridge for Brian, as he also competed in the HBA Swiss Teams the following day as part of a team from the nearby Hitchin club. This time, they did win the non-expert prize, coming 15th out of 30 teams in a very strong field.

For the mathematically minded, Brian held one extraordinary hand in the Swiss Pairs with a 7600 shape (seven clubs and six hearts) — what are the odds against that?

The full results can all be found on the HBA website in the usual way.

Last updated : 6th Oct 2017 08:11 BST
Happy Birthday, Bruce 17th Aug 2017
Happy Birthday, Bruce 17th Aug 2017

For those who missed it, the club held a small celebration of Bruce's up-and-coming 90th birthday before play on Thursday 17th August. Martin made a brief speech and presented some prizes on Bruce's behalf on the bridge-related theme of "Scoring 90" (something to do with 1NT so they tell me). Therese & Norma, Ron & Malcolm and Saroj & Alan were the lucky winners.

Once again, congratulations Bruce. Here's to many more.

Last updated : 26th Nov 2017 18:26 GMT
Bridgemate Options 15th Jul 2017
Bridgemate Options 15th Jul 2017

By now, you should be aware that the Bridgemate options were changed at the start of July, for a trial period. Those who played in last Thursday's Pairs event will already have seen these changes for themselves.

The traveller information and the percentage match-point score are no longer displayed at the Bridgemate after the score has been entered for each board. This is to discourage "post-mortems" at the table and thus speed up play significantly.

Once the score has been entered, the Bridgemate simply displays ENTRY COMPLETE which can be OK'd so that the Bridgemate is ready to receive the next score. 

The other options remain unchanged, so at the end of each round the scores for the boards just played at that table will be displayed, enabling NS and EW to double-check that they agree with the scores entered, before moving on. And at the end of the event, the RANK button can also be used to obtain a provisional position and match-point percentage for the two pairs at that table, as before.

Of course, the full traveller information and percentage score (including the deals and makeable contracts) is available on Bridgewebs, usually by about 11pm that evening.

These changes to the Bridgemate options are for a trial period of 6 weeks which started with the Teams event on July 6th. At the end of the trial the committee will consider whether the experiment has been a success, based on observation and feedback. So whether you like it or dislike it, let the committee know, preferably by email to the chairman.

Last updated : 3rd Sep 2017 13:20 BST
Mavis Drake Challenge Winners 6th Jul 2017
Mavis Drake Challenge Winners 6th Jul 2017

Very well done to the winners of the Mavis Drake Challenge trophy:
Therese & Norma and Brian & Valerie who won the Teams event by a convincing margin.

A deal from the event also features in the latest Hand of the Month.

Last updated : 3rd Sep 2017 13:20 BST
Slow Play and Bridgemate Proposal 22nd Jun 2017

By now you should all have received the email from John Crosher outlining the proposed changes to address slow play at the club, starting in July for a six week trial period.

The Bridgemates will be tailored to suppress both the display of "traveller" information and the Match Point percentage score after each board.  This change will be for a trial period to enable everyone to experience the change for themselves, and comment as they see fit.

Like all change, this one will no doubt be received with mild suspicion and hostility in some quarters, so here's some personal thoughts on the change, which is being introduced largely at my suggestion.

The obvious benefit is to speed up play, and avoid unnecessary timeouts, which are universally unpopular. It will do this by preventing some/all players at the table poring over the Bridgemate after every board going through the traveller and speculating as to whether they were in the right contract or whether declarer or defence could have made more tricks.  It seems obvious to me that this wastes a significant amount of time that would be better spent ensuring all the boards in the round are played and completed in good time.

In a nutshell, I'd much rather play bridge at the club... the post mortems can wait.

This policy has been implemented recently at Hitchin Bridge Club, resulting in a time saving of between 5 and 10 minutes on an average session. To be fair, I was initially unconverted, but having experienced it in action, I soon realised that the loss of the traveller information was in reality no great loss. And stating the obvious, the best time by far for any post mortems is after the event, preferably in conjunction with the excellent and informative BridgeWebs displays which include the deals, the travellers, makeable contacts and the double-dummy "Play it Again" facility.

Here's a few reasons why inspecting the traveller and percentage at the Bridgemate on the night is essentially a waste of time:

a) without details of the full deal and "makeable contacts" for unhurried analysis, the traveller information is largely meaningless
b) there are many other factors that determine contract and outcome, so a traveller summary is insufficient for informed discussion
c) during the early rounds, the available scores provide much too small a sample to be meaningful
d) for Butler Pairs events, the percentage displayed is irrelevant, as percentage score only applies to match-pointed events

Finally, I'd ask all members to approach the trial period with an open mind. Once you've played in a few sessions with the new setup, I hope you'll agree that this is a sensible initiative to address the perennial problem of slow play that affects almost all clubs (not just Royston). The committee look forward to hearing your views on the trial in due course, but be aware that — even in a democracy — you can never please everyone.


Dave Simmons, June 2017

Last updated : 3rd Sep 2017 13:16 BST
No More Late Nights 19th Jun 2017

It's official!  No more late nights at Royston Bridge Club.

The club has formally adopted a policy to play a maximum of 24 boards on normal club nights, to ensure a finish by 10.30pm (or very soon after).

Thanks to Peter Grice and Dave Simmons who have recently provided a set of revised club movements that implement this policy.

Last updated : 3rd Sep 2017 13:18 BST
Find a Partner 15 Apr 2017

It's good to see Find a Partner being used increasingly by club members. Here's a reminder of how it works, for those who haven't yet tried it.

Find a Partner (Members) is available to all via the menu on the left. However, if you wish to update it, typically to submit a Find a Partner request, you will have to logon to Members Only.

Once you've logged in, you need to fill in the appropriate details on the Find a Partner screen:

  • Show Email / Phone / Mobile... tick box(es) as appropriate
          depending on how you wish to be contacted
  • Select Event and tick the PR box
          There are in fact three tick-boxes per event: 
          PR = Partner Required, NP = Not Playing, PL = Playing
  • Click Confirm to submit your Find a Partner request

This request will now appear on the club Calendar, as a visible flag "(Partner?)" against the event, acting as a link to Find a Partner.  In addition, the club will reinforce this request by circulating an email to the entire club membership summarising the request.

Once the Find a Partner request has been satisfied, the requestor should out of courtesy update Find a Partner by simply removing the request (untick the PR box and Confirm). Alternatively, they can tick the PL box, add their partner's name for this event as comment, and Confirm as before. The request will now appear on the Calendar as "(Reservation)".

Remember, it's your club and the BridgeWebs facilities are there to be used. There's more on the club website than just the Latest Result!

Last updated : 3rd Sep 2017 13:17 BST
Charity Challenge 9th Mar 2017

The club held its traditional spring ECATS SIMS event, the Charity Challenge, on Thursday, 9th March. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event a success, with Stoke Mandeville Spinal Research benefiting from the proceeds.

Alan and Saroj were the highest placed Royston pair nationally with a score of over 58%, just ahead of Keith and Denis. However, on this occasion no-one from the Royston club managed to make it into the top 100 places overall.

Full details are on the ECATS website: just click on the "Ecats Results" button in the Latest Result or click here to go direct to the club standings.

Last updated : 6th Apr 2018 18:43 BST
EBU Masters Pairs 26th Feb 2017

Royston Pair finish fifth in the EBU Masters Pairs

Congratulations to a scratch pairing from Royston, Brain Combridge and Dave Simmons, who came fifth out of 99 pairs nationally in the EBU Master Pairs competition held on Sunday 26th February. The Masters Pairs takes place simultaneously at seven locations throughout the country, and Brian and Dave played in the Welwyn heat.

They came 37th overall with 52.4% in the first session, and a storming first place overall with 71.1% in the second session, just enough to get them into the top five on aggregate. The full results can be found on the EBU website, under Latest Results / Ranked Masters Pairs.

Very well done to both of them.

Last updated : 16th Mar 2017 13:21 GMT
HBA Cadet Pairs final - Fri 17th Feb 2017
HBA Cadet Pairs final - Fri 17th Feb 2017

The final of the HBA Cadet Pairs competition took place at Welwyn on Friday 17th February.

Ron and Malcolm were the only qualifying pair from the club who entered this year, and scored just over 50% in an unexpectedly large field.

Full results can be found on the HBA website.

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:47 GMT
Identity Crisis at the Bridge Table? Feb 2017
Identity Crisis at the Bridge Table? Feb 2017

Some of you may not yet have noticed a useful new feature of the club's Bridgemate system, available after a software upgrade last year: the NAMES key has been added to the number of function keys available at the Bridgemate keypad. If your name is entered incorrectly (or not entered at all, for that matter), you can now correct it using the NAMES and CORREC keys at the Bridgemate (*).

The NAMES key allows you to review and/or re-enter any player's number at the table — either the club number or the EBU number will be accepted — and the player's name will be changed dynamically, ie it will display correctly at the Bridgemate at the start of all subsequent rounds. (In much the same way, a score can be corrected during the current round with the SCORES and CORREC function keys.)

So you don't need to trouble the long-suffering TD or Scorer if you notice that your name has been entered incorrectly at the start of round one, you can simply ask North to change it during any subsequent round at a convenient moment. Remember, the Bridgemates are a shared resource available to everyone at the table, not just North — though traditionally it is up to North to enter the scores.

If only this feature had been available in the past, I would have been saved the embarassment of being identified as "Gaynor" throughout an entire session at Hitchin, and — believe me — by the twelfth round the hilarity that this inevitably caused had worn a bit thin with at least one person at the table.

Dave smiley

(*) For more detailed instructions on how to use the Bridgemate, a User Guide can be found under Documents on the club website.

Last updated : 16th Mar 2017 15:31 GMT
HBA Championship Pairs 29th Jan 2017
HBA Championship Pairs 29th Jan 2017

There were some familiar faces from Royston competing in the Championship Pairs semi-final at Welwyn on Sunday (29th January), competing against a strong field from across the county.

Well done to Malcolm & Ron who were the only pair who entered courtesy of qualifying in the Royston heat in October, and two other pairs who are members at Royston also took part (Saroj & Alan and Valerie & Brian) as a result of them qualifying a day earlier at a similar heat held at nearby Hitchin Bridge Club.

Full results can be found on the HBA website. The final takes place in April.

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:47 GMT
Eccles Cup 25th Nov 2016
Eccles Cup 25th Nov 2016

Royston win the Eccles Cup

A team from Royston competed for the Eccles Cup on Friday 25th November and came first, beating eight other Hertfordshire clubs in the process. The club has now won this trophy twice in the last four years.

Congratulations to the four pairs who made up the team: Carole Parker & Peter Jackson, Denis O'Brien & Dave Simmons, Robyn Farquhar & Jules Davidoff and Colin Barnes & John Crosher.

The Eccles Cup is a club representative event, with each club team of restricted Master Point ranking consisting of four pairs who compete in two separate sections as N/S and E/W. So there are in effect four separate competitions played with the same boards, and each pair is awarded points from 1 to 9 based on their position in their respective ranking list. The team with the lowest aggregate score from their best three positions is the winner. Royston had a combined score of 5 (first, first and third), making them convincing winners of the event.

Both the aggregate team scores and the detailed scores from each section are available on the HBA website via the Results tab on the left.

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:46 GMT
Children in Need 17th Nov 2016

The BBC's Children in Need extravaganza took place on Friday 18th November and, as is customary, Royston Bridge Club did its bit towards fund-raising by hosting their annual Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs event.  This year it took place on Thursday 17th November and the club raised £215 for the charity (table money plus sales from Saroj's homemade cake).

The highest placed Royston pair in the overall ECATS SIMS standings for Thursday's Children in Need event were Dave Simmons & Suzanne Sheasby, coming 35th out of 2049 pairs, with 65.93%

Full details of this and other SIMS events can be found on the ECATS website, at www.ecatsbridge.com/sims/default.asp

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:45 GMT
Mavis Drake Challenge 2nd July 2015
Mavis Drake Challenge 2nd July 2015

Congratulations to the winning team of the Mavis Drake Challenge teams event:

Therese & Norma, Morgan & Steve, with an excellent score of +22 IMPs.

Last updated : 26th Nov 2017 18:42 GMT
Sims on 19 March 2015

Congratulations to Morgan Bunday and Paul Merryweather for their impressive win last week . This was a 'national' event [and some clubs were entered from overseas] . Morgan and Paul are coming in at 13th in the entire competition so far [ out of over 1100 clubs !] . If you want to see their details or your own score then go to http://www.simpairs.com/default.asp?session=004570 and enjoy 

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:39 GMT
Humble Cup Heat 2nd Oct 2014
Humble Cup Heat 2nd Oct 2014

Winners of the club's Humble Cup teams heat: Ruth Katz & Peter Grice, Kevin Clark & Paul Kemp

Last updated : 26th Nov 2017 18:37 GMT
Mavis Drake Challenge 3rd Jul 2014
Mavis Drake Challenge 3rd Jul 2014

Winners of the Mavis Drake Challenge teams event:

Dai Rowley-Jones & Fergus Moynihan and Carole Parker & Peter Jackson (not pictured), with Mavis Drake

Last updated : 26th Nov 2017 18:49 GMT
HBA Cadet Pairs final - Fri 29th Jan 2014
HBA Cadet Pairs final - Fri 29th Jan 2014

Very well done to Dave and Roger, who won the HBA Cadet Pairs trophy last night.  This is the first time that a pair from the club have won this trophy.

In fact, it was a good night for the club all round, as Peter and Jean Morris joined Roger and Dave on the "virtual podium" in third place, and Pat Fletcher and Pat Bridges came ninth.

Full results can be found on the HBA website.

Last updated : 3rd Mar 2017 09:38 GMT
Eccles Cup 29th Nov 2013

Royston win the Eccles Cup

Royston are proud winners of the Eccles Cup, the first time the club have won this coveted HBA trophy!

The team was made up of the following four pairs: John Crosher & Keith Darley, Peter Grice & Ruth Katz, Peter Rice & Clare Rice, and Dave Simmons & Jules Davidoff

Congratulations to everyone who took part in what turned out to be a convincing victory.

Last updated : 1st Nov 2017 12:16 GMT