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

NEWS AND GOSSIP: May to August 2009

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Posted 20th August 2009: Updated message about the first ever meeting of the club - February 5th 1987

The club was jointly set up and run by Lionel Wernick & Joe Smaje and at the time it was one of the few 'No Smoking' Bridge clubs in Essex. On the first night, the doors were opened - and much to Lionel and Joe's delight, 28 pairs arrived to play. In those days there was just one section.

We still hold the original results sheet from 'opening night' in in our archives, but we have re-typed them into a computer-friendly form - click here. Back in 1987 there were no computer programs to help with scoring - not even an EXCEL spreadsheet. Twenty eight boards were in play and it was all scored by hand by Joe Smaje

Evidently on this first night Lionel was a non-playing Director, but Joe partnered Mr Hollingworth. It is perhaps fitting that the winners of the NS section with over 66% were Adele Smaje and Faye Wernick - respectively Joe and Lionel's wives. The winning EW pair was Sadie & Gordon Legg with 59%. Two of the names appearing on the result sheet are still regular attendees at the club - Angela Spittal and Bettie Simpson. Additionally, Lionel Wernick still plays regularly.

If you have any additional recollections from the first night, please e-mail me (alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk) and tell me about them.

Posted 17th July 2009: Best Behaviour

It is perhaps time for a reminder about 'Best Behaviour' at the table. Please see the comments and links on the Director's Page concerning the EBU's and ECBA's codes of conduct at the table. Bridge is an extremely enjoyable game. Courteous behaviour is an exceptionally important part of that enjoyment. All players naturally follow this code of conduct but there are times when concentration and pressure can take their toll and it is for these situations that the EBU has issued this code as a reminder. It is particularly important that if a player feels that he / she has been infringed against, then that player should remain calm, call the director, and adopt a pure 'matter of fact' approach. Unnecessary aggression can cause upset and spoil enjoyment for others, even for those not directly involved. The problem should be described factually to the director, who will reach either an 'on-the-spot' ruling or will offer a deferred judgement ruling. Few Directors are infallible, and the players have a right of appeal if they wish to contest the resolution - but remember - it is only a game!

Posted 17th July 2009: SLOW PLAY

It is also appropriate to give a reminder about SLOW play. We seek to play 24 boards in 3 hours playing time - that is eight boards an hour. I know of at least one nearby club where the rate of play is nine 3-board rounds in under three hours. Slow play can cause disruption throughout the room, leading to rushed hands in an attempt to 'catch up' and possibly therefore to inferior lines of Declarer play and / or defensive play. It also means that players get home late. Under the Laws of Duplicate Bridge the Director has the power to fine pairs who are consistently slow - 3 match points for a first offence, and rising if slow play persists.

Posted 17th July 2009: Pay to Play / Mountnessing Bridge Club

The new EBU Pay-to-Play (P2P) scheme is due to come into effect in April 2010. Mountnessing Bridge Club has committed to remaining affiliated to the English Bridge Union (EBU) after this date. More details about P2P can be read via links on the EBU Links page. Assuming that the EBU confirms its plan to go ahead with this new scheme from April, then arguably the two most important implications are:
  • Anyone who joins or rejoins Mountnessing Bridge Club from April 2010 would automatically become a full member of the EBU
  • Because P2P in effect involves a transfer of costs from individuals to clubs, and given that the club's reserves are very low, for this club to remain financially viable after that date there will have to be a review of the weekly table money, and / or the annual membership fee, and / or our costs. Details for 2010/11 will be made known by the end of January 2010.

Posted 29th May 2009: Blue Section Ladder 2008/9

Congratulations are in order to Bill & Angela West, who have been presented with the Faye Wernick Trophy - the Blue Section Ladder - for 2008/9. The full finalised standings for 2008/9 can be viewed via this link. Angela and Bill with the trophy

Posted 8th May 2009: Blue Section, May 8th 2009

A special note for Blue Section players: firstly, many apologies that the movement went haywire. So what happened? At 7.25 I had 11 whole tables and I thought I was going to play the usual 11-table movement, which involves a swivel at table 11, so I mentioned that point to the players at table 11. Subsequently I slipped in an extra pair at table 12, which changed the movement and eliminated the need for the swivel. Unfortunately in practice the swivel happened, with the result that half way through the evening some players started to encounter boards they had already played... Bill kindly found a 'short-term fix' for me by introducing additional board-sets. Please could all Blue Section players check their scores carefully - in case you haven't already discovered this point, if you click on your name in the ranking list, it will take you to your 'personal scorecard', which you can check against your own records, please. As compensation for this problem we will be offering wine to the first two pairs in the Blue section for this session.

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