This is the ARCHIVE website for Mountnessing Bridge Club
2006 - 2015

For current news, results, etc please visit
Affiliated to the Essex Contract Bridge Association and to the English Bridge Union


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For some while, we have had interest in trying to eliminate the need for reliance on WIndows (c) based Bridge Scoring Software. Recent experiences with multiple computer crashes, linked to Microsoft's stated plans to cease support for both the XP and VISTA versions of WINDOWS (c) from April 2014 brought earlier experimental work back to the top of the agenda. The results are beginning to look promising. This is very much work in progress, so please do call back for future updates.

Further work with the SCOREBRIDGE program is planned.


We have had some issues at the Hall recently with access to the Disabled Parking bays being partially blocked, thus effectively putting some of the bays out of use. As you will be aware, we have a number of mobility-impaired players at the club, who really do need to park in these bays. Could I ask that if you are an able-bodied person that you park well clear of these bays, please?


  1. Christmas Party on December 19th: the usual Christmas Party night arrangements apply - no table money for club members, 5 table money for non-members. The club will provide the drinks; it would be appreciated if players could bring a small plate of party food, and a glass.
  2. The club will be closed on Boxing Day
  3. [Unfortunately the third of the four challenge matches against Southend & Leigh, which was scheduled for December 12th, has had to be cancelled.]


  1. We return from the Christmas / New Year break by contesting the Mary Rogers Trophy - the Winter Pairs Championship - on January 2nd. The holders are Graham Allen & (non-member) Phil Hills
  2. On January 23rd we are holding a local heat of the WBF Charity Simultaneous Pairs, which this year will be supporting disaster relief following the recent typhoon in the Philippines.
  3. The fourth of the four challenge matches v Southend & Leigh is currently scheduled for Wednesday January 15th at Leigh; the date and venue are to be confirmed.


Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy who, with a score of 71.40% on November 28th, For the full results, please click here.


This note is a follow-on from the message posted on November 18th.

This website is intended for use as a Results, Statistics, and Information Service for members and visitors to Mountnessing Bridge Club. We also welcome visits from anyone around the world who has a genuinine interest in the game of Bridge in general, and in any of the features carried on this website. However, the managers of this website have a 'Duty of Care' towards its bona fide visitors to keep it safe, and in particular free of embedded links to websites that carry malicious and / or fraudulent intent. We therefore operate a ZERO TOLERANCE policy towards any visitor who appears to be attempting to corrupt this website.

During the past week, the number of malicious attacks on this website from China in particular has spiralled out of control - to such an extent that for November to date there have now been more visitors to the website from China than from the UK! We have retatiliated by imposing a 100% blanket ban on any access to this website from China. To clarify what that statement actually means: it is no longer possible for any user stationed at any computer that is physically located anywhere within China to access any pages at all on this website. This comment also applies to any automated visits originating from within China, including 'spyders', 'crawlers', and 'robots'. One has to question just why anyone in China should have any legitimate interest in this website anyway.

One side effect of this action is that should a club member take a holiday in China and wish to acccess the website whilst there, they too will find that they have been locked out. I think that our reaction to such a situation would be "You are on holiday - get a life!!!" You will find that as soon as you move to a more friendly part of the world, your access will return.

Note that other countries that are also a hot-bed of malicious attacks are liable to similar treatment, and, indeed, many other partial bans are already in force.


Three club members have recently found themselves accidentally (temporarily) banned from this website, for which I apologise profusely. An explanation is required.

It may sound a bit far-fetched but for some while this website has been under sustained malicious attack from some rogues, mostly from either China or Ukraine, mostly trying to embed adverts for fake designer clothes and / or porn, but some of them trying to emulate the website administrator, and others looking as though they may be trying to infect the website with a virus. Unbeknown to me - until I was alerted to the side effects - both TALKTALK and SKY have been allocated some IP addresses for UK residents in a block that mostly belongs to 'rogue states'. I apologise that I was evidentally a bit over-zealous with my blocking.

Bona fide visitors to this website may be astounded to see the summary statistics for the first 15 days of November as below: many of the visitors from overseas are malicious, though some of them have been looking at the featured hands or other items that could legitimately be of interest to Bridge players from abroad. The summary figures for country of residence of website visitors are:
CountryNo of Visitors% of Total
United Kingdom49036.4
Rest of the World31223.2
Grand Total1345100


competition for 2013/4 and their progress to date. Please revisit this page in the future to check on the progress of the teams.


This is just a reminder that we will NOT be running a heat of the Children in Need Sim Pairs this week. Our reasoning is that players will have had plenty of opportunity to support CIN, with heats running at many local clubs since last Friday; experience is that our table numbers tend to be well down when we have run the Sims in the past. Instead, we will be holding our Autumn Pairs Championship for the Windmill Trophy. Normal table money applies for members and visitors. There will be a random draw for starting positions, but If you need a guaranteed stationary seat please let me know.

Our next Charity Sim Pairs will be the World-Wide event on January 23rd. It has just been announced that the beneficiary this year will be the Philippines Hurricane Relief, so please make a note of the date in your diary.


The only special event at the club in November will be on the 14th, when we will be running the Autumn Pairs Championship for the Windmill Trophy - holders Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy. All events at the club are open to both members, and non-members and the normal table money is charged. For all Championship events there is a random draw for starting positions, so please let me know in advance if you require a guaranteed stationary seat. This date is the one chosen for the annual Children in Need Simultaneous Pairs but please note that we will NOT be running the Sims this year, the argument being that heats are available at other local clubs on November 8th, 11th, 12th, and 13th, and past experiences are that players want a break from it by the time 'our' Thursday comes round!

The other event of potential interest will be held at Southend & Leigh Club on Wednesday November 20th, when the first of the 'return' matches from the Inter-Club Challenge will be held. Please visit www.mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk/Results_pages/2013_14/challenge_series.shtml for further details.


The team representing Mountnessing - Margaret Curtis & Dave Piper; Frank Morrison & Peter Franklin; John Sutcliffe & Alan Eames; Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy finished second in this year's Essex Invitational teams-of-eight event. The team should be congratulated on such a fine result; however, members may also feel a bit 'gutted' now to have narrowly lost out to the Thorpe Bay club in BOTH of the Essex Invitational Teams events in 2013, especially despite having accumulated what would normally have been a clear winning score in the Fletcher.

The team to represent Mountnessing in the Ray Cornell Trophy in February 2014 has now been announced - please see the 'Honours' page for details

POSTED 04/10/2013: Used Cards available for members

I have replaced all the cards in the boards and the old cards will be available free to club members on a first-come-first served basis. Beware the very slippery cards you will encounter on October 10th!!!

POSTED 04/10/2013: Reminder - SIM PAIRS on October 10th

On October 10th we shall be running the EBU's Autumn Green-Pointed Sim Pairs - that's one of the four SIMS that we regularly run at the club per year, and one of the two Green Pointed events that we run each year.

POSTED 04/10/2013: Inter-Club Challenge Update

On October 17th we shall be running the first of the series of four 'inter club challenge' matches against Southend & Leigh Club at Mountnessing. There is a new page on the club's website dedicated to this series - see here.

POSTED 04/10/2013: Partner Requests

Remember that if you need a partner, just drop me an e-mail and I will circulate your request, assuming that I am around to do so, and / or you can post a message at any time here.


The team to represent Mountnessing in the invitational Essex Teams of Eight event (the Fletcher Trophy) on October 20th at 2 p.m. at Navestockside Village Hall will be: Alan Eames & John Sutcliffe; Frank Morrison & Peter Franklin; Margaret Curtis & Dave Piper; Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy

Updated 13/09/2013, originally posted 02/08/2013: The Summer Trophy - a new entry in 'The Seventy Club'

Many congratulations to Peter Oake & Simon Moorman who, with an incredible 76.14% in the Club's Summer Trophy , September 2006. For the full results, please click here. For the full list of past winners of the Summer Trophy, please click here

The trophy was presented to Peter & Simon at club night on September 12th.
Simon & Peter with the trophy

Posted 23/08/2013: another new entry in 'The Seventy Club'!

Many congratulations to Peter Franklin & Frank Morrison who, with a score of 72.16% on August 22nd, For the full results, please click here.

Posted 22/08/2013: New "Inter-Club Challenge"

Members will be aware that for several years the club has held monthly teams of 4 sessions all through the Summer months, i.e., from April to September. We have found from experience that during the remaining months of the year there is too much competition from county and national league and cup matches, and thus the teams sessions at the club are not then viable. However, always looking to try new ventures, we have been in discussion with Officers from the Southend & Leigh Bridge Club and we have been working on the establishment of a series of four inter-club challenge matches between Mountnessing and Southend & Leigh.
  1. The format is that each match would be contested by two teams of four from each of the two clubs.
  2. Computer-dealt boards will be used for all matches, with hand records at the end of the evening
  3. Each team would play an 8-board match against each of the other teams, with scoring by IMPS, then conversion to Victory Points.
  4. For the two sessions to be played at Mountnessing, members of the winning team of four would each receive a bottle of wine; the Mountnessing sessions would also contribute, for MBC members, towards the club end-of-year ladder award and, for all contestants, towards the Club's monthly 'player of the month' award, using our normal method for calculating ladder points for teams events (Please see /Documents/advisory_teams_of_four.html.)
  5. There will also be an overall winning Club, based on all the teams' individual achievements over the four sessions in total. The method of aggregation would be on a points basis, just like the Ray Cornell Trophy / Helliar - 1 point for winning, two for second, etc, and at the end of the four sessions the club with the lowest overall total will be deemed to be the overall Challenge winner. There will be some kind of award for the overall winning club - but we haven't yet decided quite what the form of that award will be! Southend & Leigh will be treating this challenge as a 'Development Opportunity' for some of their up-and-coming players.
  6. It is hoped that from Mountnessing the Challenge Series will appeal to players who don't normally take part in County events, but who might like to step outside the Mountnessing club once in a while; that point is a guideline, rather than a rule!
  7. The intention is that players representing Mountnessing will be club members, but again that is a guideline, not a rule, and we would be happy to include 'regular visitors'.
  8. Table money will be charged at the standard Member Rate for the host club - i.e., 2.50 for matches played at Mountnessing.
  9. All the players representing Mountnessing should be prepared in principle to play on two designated Thursdays at Mountnessing, and on two occasions in intervening months at Southend & Leigh, which is located close to the centre of Leigh, postcode SS9 1AY, though I hope to achieve enough flexibility to cope with likely occasional non-availability.
The dates are as below. If you are interested in representing the Mountnessing Club in this event, please let me know, ideally as a pair, or even as a pre-made team of four. Clearly, the event as envisaged will only be viable if at least four pairs express interest. Ideally, we are hoping to attract five or six pairs, so that not every pair will have to be available for all four sessions. I would be grateful for your response as early as convenient, if possible by the end of August, so that we can firm up the arrangements with the officials from Southend & Leigh.


October 2013: Thursday 17th at Mountnessing
November 2013: Wednesday 20th at Southend and Leigh
December 2013: Thursday 12th at Mountnessing
January 2014: Wednesday 15th at Southend and Leigh

Updated 09/08/2013, originally Posted 05/08/2013: Time to nominate NICKO Entries!!!

Now is the time to be nominating teams for the 2013/14 season EBU National Inter Club Knock-out (NICKO). All four members must be a member of the club they represent, and all entries have to be through the Club, ie, through me, please (alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk). The full details are on the EBU Website. The cost per team - which can be of 4, 5, or 6 players - is 66; if only four players are originally registered, then up to 2 more can be added during the course of the campaign.

Entries received so far for teams captained by Dennis Valtisiaris, Linda Fleet, Alaric Cundy

Updated 08/08/2013, originally Posted 27/07/2013: NEW EBU GUIDANCE

Please see the EBU Links page for news about two very important new publications from the EBU that take effect from 1st August 2013. The 'Blue Book' replaces BOTH the previous 'Orange Book' and 'Tangerine Book' and defines the range of 'Understandings' that are permitted by the EBU. The updated 'White Book' covers the subject of 'Technical Matters' and covers, for example, redress in the event of irregularites during the course of bidding and play, such as misexplanations and revokes and the like. Players are advised to read through section 1 of this document. Just added to the EBU Links page - a link to an extract from the August edition of English Bridge, covering the changes to announcements and alerts effective from 1st August 2013. Just added - a link to a very handy summary table from the EBU showing the key points about alerting and announcing that are effective from August 2013.

Posted 30/07/2013: EBU English Bridge Magazine now available on-line

I have received this message from the EBU:

"Dear Alaric
Thank you for asking to receive future issues of English Bridge via your member's area. The August 2013 issue is now available for you to read at https://www.ebu.co.uk/members/. Our sincere apologies for not sending this out till today. The current issue and the past five issues have relevant web links enabled so you can click to go directly to any site mentioned. In addition, page numbers can be clicked on and you will be taken directly to the article you wish to read. We have included additional content too. Please note that you do not need special software for the on-line magazine and you will be able to print all, or part of it, if you wish to do so.

If you have any problems with access, please visit http://www.ebu.co.uk/passwords

We hope you enjoy the August edition of English Bridge.

English Bridge Union"


I have been told that it will take 48 hours to repair the major problem with the electrics at Mountnessing Village Hall, so the club regrettably will be closed on July 25th.. Our next club session will therefore be on August 1st, when we will compete for the Summer Club Championship; normal table money applies, but there will be enhanced wine prizes.


Many players will already know that there is a major electrical problem at Mountnessing Village Hall, and there is some doubt that the hall will be open for our scheduled club session on Thursday July 25th. The problem first arose on Tuesday evening, it was repaired, but then there was a fire in the electrical boxes so it is now a very big mess. I'll have a better idea of the prospects later this evening (24th). It is highly likely that the club will NOT be open on Thursday; I will post status reports on the home page and we will take a final, final decision about opening at 5 p.m. on Thursday - so please keep an eye on the website. I am aware that not everyone who plays at the club has access to e-mails and websites, so please spread the word. On top of that, I am suddenly experiencing problems with e-mails to players with AOL Talktalk, or Tiscali e-mail addresses / ISPs, which I think is probably linked to the new filtering that David Cameron was extolling earlier this week!

Posted 22/07/2013: PROBLEMS WITH AOL e-mail addresses

I have suddenly started getting all my e-mails sent to members and visitors who have AOL e-mail addresses rejected. It seems to be a problem with AOL, not at my end; a friend has reported an identical problem. I will publish all 'group' e-mails on this page, unleast until the problem is resolved.

Posted 20/07/2013:Transcript of a recent e-mail

To members, visitors, Mountnessing Bridge Club

We have two special events at the club in August; non-members are welcome at all events at the club.
  1. August 1st - the Summer Club Championship (Holders: Maureen Vede & Lorraine Butler). There will be random draw for starting positions, so if you have mobility issues and intend to play please let me know so that I can pre-draw a guaranteed stationary seat for you.
  2. August 15th - Teams of four (and Pairs Section too)
We hope to see you at the club for either or both sessions, and, of course, at any of the standard club night sessions.


Several Club members have asked me about the ROMAN KEY CARD BLACKWOOD (RKCB) Ace-asking convention. There is now a link from the Miscellaneous Conventions page to an article that is based on some notes originally prepared by Chris Megahey. The notes also describe the circumstances in which it is appropriate to use GERBER or ROMAN BLACKWOOD.

Posted 02/07/2013: Trophy Presentation

Two members of the club won this year's Essex Championship Pairs - the premier County Pairs event for players in Essex. The picture shows Chris Megahey & John Sutcliffe. who were presented with their trophy at club night on June 27th at the request of the ECBA Committee. The full final ranking list from the event held on April 21st can be found on the Essex Website under the 'Essex Results' link. Chris & John with the trophy

Posted 02/07/2013: The consequences of slow play (Reminder)

At the club, we make every attempt to finish play of 24 boards within three hours - implying a nice easy-to-remember 15 minutes for each 2-board round. The vast majority of the players make every effort to keep to time, and if they do happen to fall behind, they then make every effort to 'catch up' with the clock. Sadly, a tiny minority often fall behind, and then make no real effort to catch up, and when they do so they cause a 'ripple effect' - just like a line of falling dominos - all around the room. On June 27th, two completely innocent pairs found themselves unable to play the second board on one round, simply due to the slow play of others elsewhere in the room. Though, in accordance with the rules, they were both 'rewarded' with a 60% score on the non-played hands, that just isn't really fair. Indeed, the score for the wine-winning position on the 27th was so close to that for the runners-up that it is theoretically possible that the first two places could have been swapped, due to the 'colateral' effects of the adjusted scores caused by the non-played boards, had all the boards been played. The mathematics of this situation has been described in straightforward terms in an article here about the consequences of slow play. ALL players at the club would be very grateful if that tiny minority of slow players could speed up their play.

Posted 02/07/2013: Alerts and explanations

The system of 'Alerts' and 'Announcements' is now well known by all club players. Should you need a reminder then please see Alerting (1) and Alerting (2) and Alerts and Announcements and EBU Summary

An issue arose at the club on June 27th because when a player asked about an alerted bid - at a time permited by the rules - only a partial explanation was given. To keep to the spirit of the 'Alerting' principles it is important that a full explanation of the bid is given whenever a legitimate query is raised. Whatever wording is actually used in the question it should be answered as if it said "could you explain why the bid was alerted, please?"

Posted 22/06/2013: IMPORTANT message from the EBU for very regular players

If you played 150+ sessions at EBU-affiliated clubs during the EBU membership year from April 1st 2012 to March 31st 2013 - ie, on average, three times a week - then you will be entitled to a rebate of some of your 'Pay to Play' contributions that those clubs will have made to the EBU on your behalf. See the EBU Notice if you think you could benefit.

Posted 22/06/2013: Message from Essex Contract Bridge Association re County Leagues

Many members of the Club already play as part of one or other of the existing league teams, but the ECBA is seeking to 'reach out' to attract new players into this type of Bridge - which is viewed as huge fun by those who already participate. MBC is offering free support to teams comprising club members - see this note for details.

Posted 22/06/2013: Essex Cup for Clubs, October 20th 2013

The club is inviting expressions of interest from club members who would like to play in a team of four representing the Club in the Cup for Clubs at Navestockside Village Hall, near Brentwood, 2.00 p.m. on October 20th. The event takes place at the same venue and on the same date as the major Essex Invitational Teams of Eight event - the Fletcher Trophy, which tends to attract members of the Essex Squad - so clearly players in that event will not be available to play in the 'Cup for Clubs'. The club pays all entry fees, which covers tea / coffee / biscuits, and a plated tea at half time. Please contact Alaric (eg, via alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk) if you are interested in representing the club in the Cup for Clubs.

Posted 22/06/2013: Used cards available to club members, free

The cards in the computer-deal set have been replaced and the old cards will be available free to Club Members only on a first-come first served basis. Note that I have this time deployed a set of part-used cards that I inherited from Lionel Wernick that had got a bit 'lost' in the back of the cupboard. I plan to replace them again with brand-new cards in August.

Posted 21/06/2013: Newest members of "The Seventy Club"

Many congratulations to club members Angela & Bill West who became the newest members of The Seventy Club at club night on June 20th, with a score of 71.4%!!!


The Essex Contract Bridge Association defines an 'ordinary club member' as a player who is not currently 'a member of the Essex County Squad or equivalent standard'. The ECBA is keen to attract a wider pool of players to some of its events, and has established one pairs event and one teams event that are both specifically for 'ordinary club members'. Mountnessing Bridge Club will pay the entrance fee for any players it sponsors in either of these events, so if you qualify and you are interested in representing the club, please contact Alaric, eg, via alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub'org.uk. If nominated, you will be able to enjoy a relaxed game of Bridge for free against players of similar abilities and temperaments.
  1. CLUB PAIRS EVENT, Sunday June 9th 2013 at Barleylands - this event has now been held
  2. CUP FOR CLUBS (for teams of four), Sunday October 20th 2013 at Navestockside, near Brentwood

Posted 15/06/2013: Trophy Presentation

The winners of the 2012/13 Ladies' Pairs Championship - the Margaret Curtis Cup - were presented with their trophy at club night on June 13th. The picture shows Joan McGuffin & Barbara Osborn with the trophy and with the club in full swing in the background. The full final ranking list from the event held on March 7th can be found here.

The complete list of past winners can be found here
Barbara & Joan with the trophy

Posted 06/06/2013: NICKO PROGRESS

Sadly, both Mountnessing teams have now been eliminated from the 2012/3 competition.

Posted 27/05/2013: Trophy Presentation

The winners of the 2012/13 Ladder Championships were presented with their trophies at club night on May 23rd. Both winners - Lorraine Butler [The Faye Wernick Trophy for the ladies' ladder] - and Chris Megahey [The Lionel Wernick Trophy for the men's ladder] - retained the trophies thay had won the previous year. The picture shows the two players in action against each other at the club. The full final ranking list can be found here.

The complete list of past winners can be found here
Lorraine & Chris with the trophies

Posted 24/05/2013: Club night 23rd May was a very eventful night!

  • Margaret Curtis and Albert Kitchin became the newest members of "The Seventy Club", with a score of over 70%!
  • A scoring adjustment was required after a failure to alert an ambiguous 'Fourth Suit Forcing' bid on board 11 - please see a report on the hand here
  • Board 24 is surely a strong contender for the most bizarre deal ever to arise at the club!!! Please see the report here

Posted 23/03/2013: Trophy Presentation

The joint winners of the 2013 Men's Pairs Championship - Len Williams & Roger Bacon and Tim Connett & Steve Ensor - were presented with the Trophy at club night on March 21st. The picture shows the two pairs in action at the club. The full ranking list can be found here. Steve, Tim, Len, Roger with the trophy

Posted 08/03/2013: Championship Events, March 7th

Congratulations to Barbara Osborn & Joan McGuffin, winners of The Margaret Curtis Cup. There was an unprecedented tie for the Peter Seaton Trophy between Len Williams & Roger Bacon and Tim Connett & Steve Ensor; club policy is that we do not split ties for pairs events, and therefore both pairs will hold the trophy for six months each. Meanwhile, Stella & Frank Tomlin won the Open Section.

The full ranking lists can be viewed here.

Posted 25/02/2013: Helliar Trophy, 2013

Teams from Mountnessing finished 2nd and 3rd in this year's event. Unfortunately, we finished 2nd in the qualification for the Regional Final of the Garden Cities on a losing 'split tie'. Further details can be found on this page.

Posted 25/02/2013: Website searches

The "Search This Site" link in the green bar above is now fully functional. You can search on topics such as 'Multi' or 'Landy' or 'Strong 2' or 'Roman Key Card Blackwood', etc, or you can find all your results at Mountnessing since May 2006 by searching on your name. On the other hand, you could search on some highly improbable words for a Bridge Club website, such as 'quiz', or 'concert', or 'honey' and you will still get some matches....

Posted 08/02/2013: EBU Calendar year masterpoints report (2012)

The Annual Masterpoint Reports are now available to view on the EBU website; there is a link to the relevant page from this website on the EBU Links page

Posted 25/01/2013: Trophy Presentation

Graham Allen and Phil Hills were presented with the Mary Rogers Trophy after their triumph on January 10th. The full ranking list can be found here. Graham and Phill with the trophy

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