July hands now online
The new bidding feature produced by Chris Green and his panel of experts at Ipswich & Kesgrave proved very popular when it was launched last month - if the increased number of 'hits' on this wesbite is anything to go by.
July's eight hands are now available. Test your bidding skills by clicking on THE AUCTION. Good luck!
Rick Hanley explains why we should all switch from 0314 to 1430 when using Roman Key Card Blackwood. Click on RKCB to read more.
Two pairs, representing Suffolk in the EBU competition for county pairs champions, played with great credit recently. To read more click on Suffolk@TheNationals
Hertfordshire has released details of its popular green pointed congress next July.
The two day event will be on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 July at the usual venue - Wodson Park, Wadesmill Road, Ware SG12 0UQ.
For all the details click on HERTS. To enter on line, click PAIRS (Saturday) and/or TEAMS (Sunday)
Richard Evans & Paul Rickard are the webmasters running Suffolk's dedicated bridge website.
If you would like to publicise a forthcoming event or submit a news item for this website click Richard or Paul
Local club director training courses available
Every sport and game needs someone to run the event, whether it be an umpire, referee - or director.
A well run bridge session adds to everyone's enjoyment. One that is poorly run...well, let's not go there!
In a bid to guarantee the former and eliminate the latter, the Suffolk Contract Bridge Association is offering affiliated and non-affiliated clubs some local courses on directing.
The courses are one day only and designed for small groups. They can be tailored to specific requirements, such as:
The club director training is very much aimed at allowing participants to support their local club. It is not a replacement for a full (four day) EBU directors course. The cost is £20 per person for affiliated clubs, £40 for non-affiliated clubs.
For more details, contact Jacks Morcombe, Suffolk's chief tournament director, or Peter Bushby by clicking on DIRECTOR PLEASE
Multiple venues double Senior Pairs turnout
The decision to run the Senior Pairs at three venues spread across the county paid off handsomely on Wednesday.
After a gradual decline in entries for the event in recent years, the turnoout more than doubled from 10½ tables 12 months ago to 22½ for the latest renewal.
The message would appear to be very clear: players will support events within a reasonable travelling distance, but not if they involve a trek across Suffolk.
Clare has hosted the event for many years but that involved a drive of more than an hour each way for players in the Ipswich and Colchester area. This year the event was staged during the afternoon at Ipswich & Kesgrave (9½ tables), and in the evening at Abbeygate (8 tables) in Bury St Edmunds, and Clare (5 tables).
The success of multiple venues could be applied to other Suffolk competitions and is likely to be discussed at a forthcoming meeting between the county bridge committee and club representatives.
The Senior Pairs was won by David & Jenny Price who just pipped Din Gudka & Cathy Rowland. Joan Watson & Patsi Barnes who were third won the Veterans' Trophy. Click on RESULTS to see all the scores.
HORSES for courses...
The Relaxed Teams of 4 and the Club Teams of 4 ended with some familiar faces returning to the winners enclosure at Lavenham on Sunday.
In the relaxed race, the smiling faces of Mary Moir, Tony Trathen, Lynda Tibbs and Mark Leggett, repeated their success of four months ago when they won the equivalent event at the East Anglian Bridge Weekend.
And in the main event of the day, the winners of 12 months ago followed up: the only difference being that John Wilmott took the place of Mike Sherer, and joined Jeff Orton, Rick Hanley and Andre Gray. To see all the results, click on CLUB TEAMS or RELAXED TEAMS
We are sad to report that Claude Stokes, a key figure in Suffolk bridge for 40 years, died recently.
Claude was a founder-member of the Suffolk Contract Bridge Association, its chairman for many years, organiser of the highly successful Clacton Congress, and an A-team county player - to mention just a few of his roles.
In 2011, the EBU magazine English Bridge, carried a series on how long serving players got hooked on bridge and profiled Claude. To read more on how he contributed so much to bridge in the county click on CLAUDE. To read a tribute written by Phillip Edwards, please click on OBITUARY.
A short committal service will take place at Weeley Crematorium, Colchester Rd, Weeley CO16 9JP at 2.45pm on Friday 19 July, followed by a memorial service at Frinton Parish Church at 4pm.
SUFFOLK AUTUMN PAIRS
SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
Lavenham village hall CO10 9QT - 12 noon
For many years, Suffolk Bridge has run events for Mixed Pairs, Married Pairs and Ladies' & Men's Pairs. Recently, attendance has been limited because events with restricted partnerships on a weekday evening disrupt both players' calendars and their regular partnerships.
It is now planned to amalgamate these events into one - the Suffolk Autumn Pairs - to be held on Sunday September 15 in Lavenham Village Hall. Start time will be 12.00 noon and a sandwich lunch will be provided at the interval.
Trophies or prizes will be presented to the winners in each historical category (Men, Ladies, Mixed & Married) plus a new Handicap category, providing more opportunities to win (no-one can win in two categories) and no necessity to arrange one-off partnerships.
We anticipate playing an extended session of Bridge with a relatively early finish. To enter on-line click AUTUMN. Click PAIRS to download a ‘paper’ entry form.
SUFFOLK CONGRESS at FELIXSTOWE
SATURDAY 5 & SUNDAY 6 OCTOBER
Pier Leisure Centre IP11 2AE
It is never too early to book your annual bridge visit to the seaside!
The 39th Suffolk Congress at Felixstowe is the county's flagship event and takes place this year on Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 October at the Pier Leisure Centre - and entries are already coming in.
The Championship Pairs are on Saturday, starting at 1pm. On Sunday, the Swiss Teams start at 11am, and the Relaxed Pairs for less experienced players (fewer than 2500 Masterpoints) begin at 3pm.
To enter on-line click on FELIXSTOWE or click ENTRY to download, complete and post an entry
Three significant changes to the Suffolk events calendar for 2019 have been agreed by the county's bridge association.
For the first time, the Senior Pairs will be staged at multiple venues on the same day, to enable more players to take part.
The competition on Wednesday 10 July will take place in the evening at Clare (its traditional home) and Nowton Park (home of Abbeygate bridge club) and in the afternoon at Ipswich & Kesgrave.
Staging events at a geographical spread of locations was one of the suggestions made at a meeting of club representatives organised by the county last year. Another idea from that meeting has resulted in the Ladies, Mens, Mixed, Married Pairs being amalgamated into a new Suffolk Autumn Pairs on Sunday 15 September.
The SCBA has also responded to the enforced absence of club bridge for up to a fortnight over Christmas and the New Year by agreeing to stage the Bah Humbug Pairs on Sunday 29 December at Elmswell.
The new event will involve a late morning start and around 32 boards. In addition to a prize for the overall winners, there will also be a Handicap (based on NGS grades) prize - not to mention the best mince pies in Suffolk and a glass of something festive. More details in due course.
A chance remark during a recent Winter League match revealed that the Suffolk Contract Bridge Association is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.
Two members of the original group who met in 1979 to restart the association - Phillip Edwards (left) and Malcolm Carey - are still active in the county today and Phillip has very kindly penned a potted history of the SCBA.
In it he also explains the geographical anomaly within the SCBA which means clubs from north east Essex are included but clubs from north Suffolk are excluded. To read more click 40thANNIVERSARY
You remember playing in your Club's heat of the Suffolk Championship Pairs last October?
Pairs scoring over 50% qualified for the Semi-final played in February and the top 24 pairs there qualified for the Final in April.
And the top three in the Final were eligible to represent Suffolk in the Corwen Trophy - which was played on June 1/2 in Daventry.
Just two pairs went to Daventry, David Willson/Simon Riley and Din Gudka/Cathy Rowland, and both finished in the top half of a very strong field. Congratulations to the four of them. Click CORWEN to see the full results, and SUFFOLK to read Malcolm Pryor's analysis
The annual general meeting of the Suffolk Contract Bridge Association was the best attended for years.
Forty nine people made it to Assington village hall to hear about the activities, achievements and finances of the association over the past 12 months and nearly all stayed on for bridge afterwards - won by Malcolm & Barbara Carey (click on RESULT to see all the scores).
In his chairman's report, Jeff Orton said the SCBA now had 22 affiliated clubs following the recent addition of Dovercourt bridge club. Following a break of several years, the committee held a 'very constructive' meeting with representatives of clubs and this would be repeated in July, when some non-affiliated clubs would also be invited.
He underlined the 'increasingly firm line' taken by the association against bad behaviour. A new conduct committee had examined three incidents and taken action where appropriate. He also touched on the changes to the website which appeared popular - with more than 33,000 hits so far this year - and changes to the make up of the committee.
Jacks Morcombe, the new chief Tournament Director, has joined the committee together with Paddy Lockwood. A third person will be co-opted to fill the recent vacancy of general secretary. To read his report in full, click on CHAIRMAN.
Chris Rickard, the competitions secretary, reported good attendance at most events and in response to numerous requests the starting times of some events had been brought forward to 11am or noon. Click on COMPETITIONS to read her full report and WINNERS to see who was successful in comnpetitions during the year.
Roger Tattersfield, the treasurer, reported on a 'very satisfactory' year with a surplus despite investing in long term initiatives which should benefit bridge in Suffolk. To obtain more details about the finances click on TREASURER and email Roger.
Debby & Maria win Championship Pairs for the fourth time
A nail biting finish to the final of the Suffolk Championship Pairs ended with Debby Sutcliffe and Maria Allnutt winning the event for the fourth time.
After six and a half hours of play and the result of the final board still awaited, Jane & Andrew Moore held the narrowest of leads over Debby and Maria. But when the last score was punched in via the Bridgemate the positions were reversed. Eric Newman & Mike Sherer were third, ahead of Jo Harpur and Conor Bignell.
The winners first landed the Championship Pairs back in 1991-2 and also were successful in 2011-2 and 2014-5.
Unusally, all 24 pairs who qualified for the final back in February stood their ground and contested the final. To see all the scores, click on FINAL
GOOD MANNERS: Is it too much to ask?
Loosely interpreted, the EBUs 'Best Behaviour at Bridge' owes much to Manners Makyth Man, the motto of William of Wykeham - and Winchester College and New College, Oxford - both of which he founded in the 14th Century.
Indeed, the EBUs CODE, which asks players to be pleasant to each other and the director, might be better named Best Manners at Bridge.
The Suffolk bridge committee is taking a particularly strong line on 'bad behaviour/manners' and cracking down on anyone found to be in breach of the code. As with most counties, the culprits in Suffolk can be counted on the fingers of one hand - but that is a handful too many.
To highlight the issue, this website is running a series of cartoon strips devised by Peter Bushby (see below), and an article (click on 2½ No Trumps) by Glyn Button, the chairman of Framlingham bridge club, whose regular blog has delighted so many readers.
To see older items please click on NEWS ARCHIVE
'Card placing by assumption' applies when you cannot make a contract unless a certain card is in a certain place - and you have to assume it is there! Norman highlights a slam from Abbeygate where this principle applied.
Click on MoreOrLess to find out more. If you play an unusual or interesting hand at your club, Norman would love to hear about it. Just email him at Hand of the Week
'Eleven Plus failures all, we were there to fail and in this respect if in no other we lived up to expectation...'
Glyn Button reflects on schooldays of yesteryear. Click on 2½NoTrumps, the antidote to traditional bridge chronicles, to read more.
Four teams progressed from last December's Championship Teams event, competing in a knockout format for the right to represent Suffolk in the national Pachabo Cup. Rick Hanley,with Peter Sutcliffe and Malcolm & Karen Pryor, qualified for the national event which was won by a very strong team from Manchester. Click the title of this item for the local knockout results and HERE for the Pachabo Cup results.
Suffolk's 'A' team started the 2019-20 Eastern Counties League in fine style by beating Hertfordshire 14-6 on Sunday.
The 'B' and 'C' teams did not fare so well, losing 14-6 and 17-3 respectively.
To see all the results and scores, click on COUNTY