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NEWS ITEMS: 2014If you reached this page from the 'News Index' then simply close this window to return. ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣
POSTED 12/11/2014: ACCESS TO THIS WEBSITE LIMITED TO UK INTERNET CONNECTION POINTSThere have been previous messages on these News Pages about concerted attempts by all sorts of villainous minds from around the world to hack into this website in order to corrupt it with unauthorised links to a variety of inappropriate websites, spanning such things as fraudulent / fake 'Designer' goods, on-line gaming / betting, 'Adult' dating, and pornography, and much, much more. Why they are so fascinated by this particular website is a matter of mystery, but it is thought likely that the 'form fill' page that is now called the 'Message Pad' was the original cause of interest, but since extreme steps have been taken to protect that particular page, their ingenuity has expanded into attempts to emulate the website manager and to hijack the email server associated with the website.
Very recently, we have witnessed what was clearly a co-ordinated attempted attack from a villain based in Kiev and another in Moscow. This particular episode was so serious that we had to ask the web hosting service to take special measures to keep them at bay.
We have wasted far too much time trying to maintain the integrity of the website, and we have now decided to adopt 'the ultimate solution' to these potential raiders from around the world. Henceforth it will only be possible to access the Mountnessing Bridge Club Website via an Internet connection that is physically located within the UK (or from Seoul National University, South Korea, which is where the Technical Adviser is currently based.) The inference is that if you are a genuine visitor to the website who happens to be away on holiday or on a business trip you will only see the 'Error 403 - ACCESS DENIED' message if you attempt to browse the website. You can safely view a sample of this message here. If you become inconvenienced by this effect and you have a burning desire to view, say, the latest results or the current Ladder standings, then if you follow the instructions in the '403' message you will be sent an off-line copy of your page(s) of interest. If any villain discovers that they can resume their practices from within the UK, then they will leave behind a sufficiently detailed trail to allow them to be identified, and hence dealt with appropriately by the provider of the Internet point.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this approach may cause you, but we have been fighting this 'cyber war' for over five years, and we have completely lost patience with these menaces.
POSTED 10/11/2014: TWO NARROW SQUEAKS IN THE NICKO!!!!Mountnessing has entered two teams in the 2014/15 EBU National Inter-Club Knockout (NICKO) and both teams recently recorded very narrow wins in their first round matches. David Tennet's team recorded a victory by just 2 IMPS, but Alaric Cundy's team went one better - or one worse, depending how you look at it - by recording victory by just one IMP!. Full details, including Team-sheets etc, can be found at the bottom of the Honours and Awards page.
POSTED 13/10/2014: MAJOR REFRESH OF THE 'EBU LINKS' PAGEThe EBU Links page on this website provides a quick way to navigating to particular EBU Issues, including to archives for the English Bridge magazine, Tournament Focus, Club Focus and Appeals Focus newsleters, EBU Knockout Events, Alerting & Announcing summary guidance, The Blue Book, The White Book, and much more. Do check it out and, while there, have a browse.
POSTED 12/10/2014: PILOT TRIAL WITH 'BUTLER SCORED' PAIRS EVENTNow that the Summer Season of Teams of Four events has passed, we will be experimenting with a hybrid Pairs / Teams session on October 16th. This event will be conducted just like an ordinary Pairs event, but it will deploy 'Teams of Four' scoring, otherwise known as 'Butler' scoring. Though the organisation of the event is exactly the same as for a traditional 'Match Pointed' pairs event, players who regularly play both Teams and Pairs Bridge would acknowledge that the two different formats can impact on tactics deployed in bidding, Declarer Play, and Defence. We are aware that some club members have no experience of Teams of Four style Bridge, so a new page is now available here that explains how 'Butler Scoring' works and the differences compared with a traditional 'Match Pointed pairs event; the new web page also offers some summary tips.
UPDATED ON 01/09/2014 (ORIGINALLY POSTED ON 08/08/2014): SUMMER CLUB TROPHY
|Congratulations to Peter Oake & Simon Moorman who won this trophy for the second year in a row! They were presented with the Trophy on 28/08/2014. The full results for the Summer Trophy 2014 can be viewed here.|
POSTED 22/08/2014: THE FIRST QUALIFIER FOR THE 2014/15 LADDER AWARDSAfter the club session held on 21st August 2014, Sheila Vincent became the first club member to qualify for the Ladder Awards as she played her 20th session since April 1st. There is clearly still a long way for the season to run, and other players are expected to earn their 'Q' label in the ladder tables in the coming weeks.
POSTED 20/08/2014: THE FUTURE MANAGEMENT OF MOUNTNESSING BRIDGE CLUBThis is an important message for all current and prospective members of Mountnessing Bridge Club about the future running of the club - please click here.
POSTED 15/08/2014: NEW MEMBERS OF 'THE SEVENTY CLUB'Congratulations to Lorraine Butler & Maureen Vede who become the newest members of The Seventy Club with a score of exactly 70% on 14th August!
POSTED 09/06/2014: SPECIAL EVENTS IN JUNE
- Teams of Four and Pairs on June 26th. Please let me know in advance if you wish to enter a team.
POSTED 09/06/2014: SPECIAL EVENTS IN JULY
- Kidney Research Simultaneous Pairs on July 10th. Please come along and support this very worthwhile cause - and at the same time compete against players for other clubs.
- Teams of Four and Pairs on July 31st. [Please note the change of date from that published originally.] Please let me know in advance if you wish to enter a team.
POSTED 09/06/2014: A MESSAGE RELAYED FROM THE EBUThis note will be of interest only to players who play Bridge at affiliated clubs and / or County / national events in total more than 150 times a year - i.e., an average of three times a week or more. If you are such a player then you are likely to be eligible for a refund on your Pay-to-Play contributions for the year 2013/14. Every time you play at such a club or event, the club or other organising body will send off on your behalf the 39p 'Pay to Play' fee - which is included within the Table Money you pay - to the EBU to cover the costs of your registration with the EBU, and a small part of it is passed on to Essex CBA. The number of payments any one player can make in a single EBU membership year is capped at 150, and the EBU portion of any excess payments for sessions beyond that figure are rebated by the EBU to the individual player concerned.
If you think that you may be entitled to a rebate, then:
- If you have given the EBU your e-mail address, then you will have received a personal email from the EBU, and all you need to do is to respond appropriately to it
- If you have not registered your email address with the EBU, and / or you have not received such an email, and you think that you may be eligible for a rebate, then you should contact Karen at email@example.com or by calling 01296 317200
POSTED 22/05/2014: A MESSAGE FROM THE ESSEX CONTRACT BRIDGE ASSOCIATION"It is with regret the ECBA Committee has accepted the resignation of its Chairman, John Williams.
John has made a huge contribution to the development and promotion of bridge in Essex over the last four years.
The Committee is looking for volunteers who would be willing to be considered to take on the role of Chairman of the ECBA. If you are interested please contact Audrey Hartley, Hon. Secretary of the ECBA by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter to 168 Broomfield Road, Chelmsford, CM1 4HF, to be received by June 11th."
POSTED 16/05/2014: TROPHY PRESENTATIONS
Fran Alexander & Theo Todman won the Club's two year long Ladder trophies for 2013/14, and on recent club nights they have been presented with, respectively, The Faye Wernick Trophy and the The Lionel Wernick Trophy. Additionally, the Peter Seaton Trophy - the Club's Men's Pairs Championship - was won by Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy. The picture to the left shows Fran with her trophy, and to the right, Theo (right) and Chris with their trophies.
The final Ladder standings for 2013/4 can be viewed here, and the full results for the Ladies' and Men's 2013/14 Pairs Championships here.
POSTED 18/04/2014: NEW MEMBERS OF THE 'SEVENTY CLUB'Many congratulations to Lorraine Butler & David Warren, who became the newest members of the 'Seventy Club' at the club session on April 17th, with a score of 70.45%! The full session results can be viewed here.
POSTED 18/04/2014: EBU SIMULTANEOUS PAIRS, APRIL 10thAt the time of writing the national rankings for this event looked to be complete, although not confirmed as finalised, but it seems highly probable that club members Peter Oake & Frank Morrison will be confirmed officially as Runners-up nationally - a tremendous result! The full session results can be viewed via links here - see the second row up from the bottom.
POSTED 11/04/2014: Coming Essex Contract Bridge Association events for "ordinary club players"
The Club Pairs Competition: (Barleylands on Sunday, June 22nd 2014 starting at 13.00 hours.)Essex clubs are invited to enter up to four pairs to represent their club in this competition. Players must not be members of any Essex squad. Players will play about 32 boards with a short half-time break. The first two pairs will be invited to represent Essex as the third C team in the Metropolitan Cup (provided this competition is held this year) with the third pair as reserves. There will also be a prize of a set of 24 packs of EBU cards for the club whose top two pairs have the highest combined score. This event was held for the first time last year and was a very successful venture by the ECBA to involve non-squad members in a competition specifically for them.
The Club will pay the entry fee for up to four pairs that play in the Club's name - if you are interested please contact email@example.com.
The PRO/AM Competition: (Barleylands on Sunday, June 29th 2014 starting at 13.00 hours.)The first PRO/AM was held 3 years ago but since then the ECBA has had to cancel it through lack of entries. It is intended that this competition should be similar to the very successful "Play with an Expert"; the main difference being that the less experienced players have the opportunity to play with a partner they know rather than one randomly chosen. For the purposes of this competition a "PRO" is anyone who takes part in EBU and/or ECBA tournaments (excluding "Play with an Expert", "PRO/AM" or "Essex Club Pairs") and an "AM" include all other players. The ECBA is asking clubs to pair a "Pro" with an "AM" who are members of their club and make the entry for them. If a club has very few "AM" or "PRO" players perhaps they could join up with a neighbouring club, non-affiliated club or class to find pairs for the competition. There will be a draw during the afternoon for a prize of twenty-four packs of EBU cards which will go to the AM's club. This competition is open to "AMs" who are not members of the EBU. Please contact Audrey hartley, the ECBA Secretary, if you need an PRO to play with an AM player.
POSTED 11/04/2014: MESSAGES FROM Essex Contract Bridge AssociationThe Summer programme of events is now available and a copy can be viewed here.
The Essex AGM will be on SUNDAY May 11th [note change of date] at Mountnessing Village Hall, at 5 p.m. After the business of the meeting, there will be a FREE buffet supper, followed by a FREE Teams of Four Bridge session. Teams can be made up on the night if necessary. The draft agenda can be viewed here.
POSTED 28/03/2014: END OF YEAR LADDER AWARDSTwenty four pairs competed in our final pairs session of the 2013/14 Membership Year on March 27th, and the winners were Lorraine Butler & Maureen Vede. The outcome of the two season-long ladder awards was decided.
For the Ladies Ladder - for the Faye Wernick Trophy - Fran Alexander had done just enough to hold off this late challenge from the reigning champion, Lorraine Butler.
The Men's Ladder - for the Lionel Wernick Trophy - was not decided until the last card was played on the 27th, and the winner was Theo Todman, with his usual partner, David Tennet, leading the very closely packed bunch of challengers. Several of the challengers for the Men's Ladder were unable to play on the 27th, including Theo, who sadly was unwell. Of those who did play, Frank Morrison and Simon Moorman were best placed to knock Theo off top spot, but both fell agonisingly short of the scores they needed to achieve.
The final listing can be viewed here.
POSTED 22/03/2014: APRIL AT MOUNTNESSINGThe full programme of special events at the club for 2014/15 is available here. There are three events listed for April:
- On April 10th, we will hold a local heat of the EBU Green-Pointed Simultaneous Pairs. As a compromise, the Club now runs four "Sim Pairs" events each year - two Green-Pointed, and two Charity - and this one is the first of those events for the new year. Further Sim Pairs are arranged for July, October, and January.
- On April 24th, the now regular "Summer Series" of monthly Teams of Four Events starts with the first event of the Summer 2014 season; they will be held again every month until September, subject to a minimum of four entries. There will be a regular Pairs Section alongside as well. Please see this page for details
- Also in April, on Monday 10th, a team representing Mountnessing will be competing in the second of a series of Friendly matches against five other local clubs; this match will be away, against a team from the Chelmsford Club. I am pleased to say that the Mountnessing team won the new 'Inter Club Challenge' series.
POSTED 22/03/2014: MARCH AT MOUNTNESSINGIt will not have escaped your notice that we are just one Thursday away from the end of March, which therefore means that there is just one Thursday left in the 2013/14 membership year.
- Firstly, thank you very much to all those members who have already renewed their club membership for the new year starting on April 1st. If you have not yet done so, and would like to rejoin, please note that you can download a renewal form from here [or here for new or lapsed members], or collect one at the club. There are no changes to charges compared with 2013/14.
- There is now just one week left to run in the year-long Club Ladder awards. The current standings can be viewed here
- The Ladies Ladder - for which the winner is presented with the Faye Wernick Trophy - looks almost to be resolved; it would take some freak results on this coming Thursday to prevent Fran Alexander from becoming the new Champion.
- By contrast, the Men's Ladder - for the Lionel Wernick Trophy - is still wide open, and, given the way the Ladder Rules operate to give a 'bonus' for those members who play at the club very regularly, arguably Frank Morrison, who is currently in 7th place, could well finish at the top - see the current algorithm described here.
POSTED 21/03/2014: THE FIRST OF THE NEW 'CLUB CHALLENGE' SERIES OF MATCHESThe first match, against Barleylands, was held on March 20th at Mountnessing. The detailed results are available here. The matches are initially scored on IMPS as if for four teams of four. These IMP totals are then summed for the two "teams" from the same club to yield an overall net Club total. This total is then converted to Victory Points using this scale.
For the match held on March 20th 2014, the net score was +24 to Mountnessing, thus the match result was: Mountnessing beat Barleylands 14 - 6.
The team representing Mountnessing was Barbara Osborn & Ray Lenger; Judith Loveridge & Nick Hunt; Ian Wilson & John Dodds; Keith Nicholl & Colin Ryan.
The next match will will held away against Chelmsford on April 14th, when the team representing Mountnessing will be:Barbara Osborn & Ray Lenger; Judith Loveridge & Sue Thorburn; Ian Wilson & John Dodds; Sheena Millins & Chris Comer.
POSTED 14/03/2014: CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS ON MARCH 13thCongratulations are due as below:
Winners of the Margaret Curtis Cup (Ladies' Pairs Championship): Margaret Curtis & Jill Tattersfield
Winners of the Peter Seaton Cup (Men's Pairs Championship): Chris Megahey & Alaric Cundy
Winners of the Open Section: Linda Fleet & Ray Clarke
All three of these pairs win a bottle of wine, and the first two also win the Trophy as indicated.
POSTED 08/03/2014: COMING EVENTS - MARCH AT MOUNTNESSINGOn March 13th we will be holding the Ladies' and Men's Pairs Championship; there will also be an 'Open' Section for mixed pairs. The holders of the Ladies' Pairs are Barbara Osborn & Joan McGuffin; last year there was a tie for the Men's Championship between Len Williams & Roger Bacon and Tim Connett & Steve Ensor. The usual table money applies; the winners of all three sections win wine prizes, and the winners of the championship sections also hold the respective cup for a year. There will be a random draw for starting position.
On March 20th we will be holding our first match in the new 6-Club 'Inter-Club Challenge' for teams of eight, and this first match will be at home against a team from Barleylands. The full Mountnessing line-up will be confirmed very shortly - please keep an eye on this We are closing in on the final standings for both the two ladder awards and it is quite likely that new names will be engraved on both trophies this year, though with just three weeks to go, the final outcome is still very uncertain. The leading contenders for the Faye Wernick Trophy - The Ladies' Ladder - are Fran Alexander, Margaret Curtis, Lorraine Butler, and Margaret Rastin, and for the Lionel Wernick Trophy - The Men's Ladder - Frank Morrison, Theo Todman, Peter Oake, and Paul Mollison. The full up-to-date standings can be
Membership renewal for the year starting on April 1st is now invited. Many thanks to those members who have already renewed. Membership for 2013/4 stands below the limit of 120 determined by the Club's Insurance, so there is no waiting list for non-members / visitors who wish to join.
POSTED 19/02/2014: ANNUAL 2013 EBU MASTER POINT RANKING LISTSThe Annual 2013 EBU Master Point ranking lists are now on the EBU website - to view, click on this link.
POSTED 07/02/2014: CLUB TROPHY PRESENTATION
Back in early January Fran Alexander & Dennis Valtisiaris won the Club's Mary Rogers Trophy. They were presented with the Trophy at Club Night on February 6th. The full results of the event can be viewed here. For the full list of past winners of the Mary Rogers Trophy, please click here
POSTED 06/02/2014: NEW MULTI-CLUB CHALLENGE SERIESClub members will have been aware that Mountnessing recently played a small series of friendly matches against Southend & Leigh Bridge Club. Graham Foster, who is a committee member at Leigh, has now further developed this idea into a multi-club challenge. The clubs involved are Thorpe Bay, Leigh, Barleylands, Chelmsford, Hutton, and Mountnessing. The format is that each club will play one match per month, and will play against each other team once, starting in March, and ending in July. Each club will play two matches at home - typically on their normal club night - and two away, and in July all the final round matches will be played on the same evening (July 22nd) at the same venue (Barleylands) in a 'party spirit', with nibbles, wine, etc.
We are looking to identify some more pairs to represent Mountnessing in some of these matches; clearly for a team of 8, we need at least four pairs 'in the pool', and we are additionally looking to identify at least two further pairs, so then nobody need feel committed to playing in all the matches. These matches are intended to be contested by players who do not normally play in Essex CBA events, and they will offer a very 'gentle' opportunity to compete against non-aggressive players who you probably do not normally encounter. If you think that you may be interested in playing for Mountnessing in one or more of these matches then please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone for further details.
POSTED 28/01/2014: TRIALS WITH UBUNTU-BASED SCORING DEEMED TO BE A SUCCESSThere have been earlier postings on this subject, eg on January 9th. After a series of trials towards the end of 2013, we ran a three-week 'parallel run' starting on January 9th, comparing scoring using a UBUNTU installation of the Jeff Smith Program Suite against our traditional methods that includes a link to a technical document that describes the methodology and the evalauation criteria. Scoring from January 30th onwards will deploy the JAS program suites running under UBUNTU.
POSTED 20/01/2014: SPURIOUS E-MAILS, ALLEGEDLY FROM MOUNTNESSING BRIDGE CLUBThis posting may sound a bit like an extract from the latest Spy Novel, or perhaps a premature 'April Fool' prank. It is neither.
The number of rogues and villains from around the World who seem to be hell-bent on corrupting the Bridge Club website is unbelievable, and one is tempted to ask "Why?" Our current theory is that it is because the statistics on visitors to the website are disproportionally impressive, and therefore they portray a picture of a site worthy of concerted effort. What the stupid twits do not realise is that upwards of 95% of the visits to this website are from like-minded villains, with similar intent, and so the more active they each individually become, the more attractive the site appears to be as a target to others. I suspect that if they knew that the genuine visitors to the website probably number fewer than 100 per week, and that those visitors only have interest in Bridge Club matters, and not in fake designer clothes or on-line pharmacies, and they are too worldly-wise to fall for other on-line scams, they would probably all give up very rapidly. However, the process that has built up over the past 15 months or so has become self-perpetuating.
The steps, mostly introduced by my son, to keep these rogues at bay have hitherto been 100% successful. No villain has actually gained access to the website, though that is not for want of trying. However, the villains are getting more and more audacious and determined, and the website access log files show increasingly ingenious activity. The point of this posting is to forewarn club members and visitors of a whole new dimension that has just come to our attention. The 'ether' appears to be being flooded with spurious e-mails that purport to have originated from Mountnessing Bridge Club. We can't really tell the scale of the problem - because the messages haven't really come from us, all we see are the numerous 'delivery failure' messages when that situation arises. Some of these failure messages are track-able, and the original source is not Mountnessing in Essex, but rather some obscure town in Southern Russia.
Should you receive such a message please do the obvious thing - i.e., delete it. Please also be assured that Mountnessing Bridge Club has NOT recently started an on-line pharmacy as a side-line!!!!
POSTED 17/01/2014: CHALLENGE SERIES V SOUTHEND & LEIGH BRIDGE CLUBThe final match in the series was played on January 16th, when the teams from S & L finished 1st and 2nd on the night and also were declared as the overall series winners. Our thanks to all who represented Mountnessing in this event.
Note that a new, broader challenge series against a larger number of clubs is being planned - please let me know at email@example.com if you are interested in playing for Mountnessing in the new event
POSTED 09/01/2014: TROPHY SUCCESSCongratulations to Fran Alexander & Dennis Valtisiaris, winners of the The Mary Rogers Trophy on January 2nd. The full ranking list can be found here.
POSTED 09/01/2014:: BRIDGE SCORING UNDER THE UBUNTU OPERATING SYSTEMFor some while, we have had interest in trying to eliminate the need for reliance on WIndows (c) based Bridge Scoring Software in order to avoid reliance on a 10-year old Windows XP computer. We are now in a position to commence a 'parallel run' trial of the new arrangements, and for the next few weeks the standard results pages will show TWO DIFFERENT versions of the results. Players are invited to browse and pass comments. The two documents linked below describe the background; both are now out-of-date but will be updated shortly to reflect the progress made in the past three weeks.
Strenuous attempts have been made to get the SCOREBRIDGE program to run under UBUNTU, but insurmountable hurdles have been encountered, and that work has been abandoned.
POSTED 09/01/2014: JANUARY EVENTS
- The third of the (reduced to three) challenge matches v Southend & Leigh is scheduled for Thursday January 16th (at Mountnessing)
- 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.
POSTED 09/01/2014: USED CARDS AVAILABLE FOR MEMBERSI 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!!!
POSTED 09/01/2014: 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.
A new club policy is such that players who repeatedly over-run will be 'fined' 3 match points. If you reached this page from the 'News Index' then simply close this window to return.