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

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Affiliated to the Essex Contract Bridge Association and to the English Bridge Union

NEWS AND GOSSIP: September to November 2006

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Our first 'Player of the Month'...

Congratulations to Frank Morrison who has won the 'Player of the Month' award for October 2006, narrowly 'fighting off' the joint challenge from Les Friery & Harsh Dhawan

For those of you interested in statistics: during October, 138 different players played at the club, at an average of 2.4 times each. Twenty two of those players played every week (including Frank). The player of the month award is based on total ladder points scored during the month - so the award is biased towards those who play every week and score well each time. The ladder awards are based on season-long averages, so they will be biased towards those players who consistently score well, even if they do not get to the club every week.

News from the County Invitational events - 16/10/2006

On October 16th Mountnessing finished third in the Fletcher trophy, and won the 'Cup for Clubs' for the third year in a row. Congratulations to Lionel Wernick, Linda Seymour, and Jean & George Rance.

Club Night - 12/10/2006

There was a full house last night with 13 tables in the Blue Section and 11.5 in the Red. That made for easy and simple movements. The 'share and relay' style in the Red Section avoided the prospect of a 'Revenge Round'. I continued my ruthless time-keeping - working from the clock on the wall - with two-board rounds we move every 15 minutes, on the hour, quarter past, etc.

It does however help considerably if players can be at their seats by 7.25 - especially on 'special nights' such as the simultaneous pairs. In the space of a crucial 5-minute period yesterday the movement in the red section changed from 9 to 10 to 11 to 12 tables, and in the blue from 11 to 12 to 13!

Movements and Table Layouts

On September 28th 2006 I experimented with the use of a three quarters Howell movement in the Red Section. As ever, your views on this change are invited, either by phone (see the club noticeboard), or e-mail to alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk, or via a comment posted on the message pad. This change did not meet with universal approval, but at least it achieved its main objectives:
  • The same number of boards per round in both sections
  • It avoided a 3-board sit-out
  • It was flexible enough to cope easily with additional players arriving just before the start time
  • It maximised the number of opponents each pair played against to give a fairer competition

The main adverse comment that I heard was that the room resembled 'Piccadilly Circus in the rush-hour' as players scrambled around trying to find their new table at the end of each round.

From the Director's perspective, organisation of the movement is relatively straightforward if there are at least 10 tables in each section - then some appropriate variation on a 2-board per round Mitchell can be deployed in both halves of the room, and, courtesy of a Hesitating Mitchell or share-and-relay if necessary, each pair will play against at least 11 different opponents. The point that causes difficulty is when the number of tables in either section drops to 10 or lower, then without resorting to a Howell, 2-board per round movements become impossible, and then the risk of either a 3-board sit-out or a 3-board per round / 2-board per round hybrid movement looms large. Recently, the number of tables in the blue section has passed the 10 tables 'watershed', but the number in the red section has been down as low as 8. It is very easy to set the room up for, say, an 8-table Howell, and then if necessary to adapt it at the last minute to 9 or 10 tables (as happened on September 28th), and if by any chance 10 grows to 11, it is not difficult to revert to a Hesitating Mitchell. It would help if all players were in their seats by 7.25....

One suggestion for trying to gain the advantages of the Howell movement - but with the 'Piccadilly Circus' effect minimised - is to re-orientate completely the table layout, with both sections running across the room, rather than lengthwise. The Red section would be at the stage end of the hall, and the blue section nearest to the door. There would be an access 'corridor' down the left hand side of the hall. By turning the tables through 90 degrees - you will have noticed that they are not symmetrical - it is theoretically possible to fit in 4 rows of three tables each for each section - with more space between tables. Please do let me have your comments (alaric@mountnessingbridgeclub.org.uk) about Howell Movements, Table Plans, and the 'Piccadilly Circus' effect.

In the Blue Section I tried a 10.5-table 'Hesitating Mitchell', which after a few gremlins right at the start seemed to work out OK. I have now printed out table cards for this movement so that in future it will be easier to check the position and orientation of pairs and boards for this movement.

For the past few weeks I have been incorporating Arrow Switches into the Mitchell movements - again this is a consequence of the drop-off in table numbers. Personally I think that a 'two-winner' movement is inappropriate unless there are at least 12 tables in the section. So if you want to revert to separate NS / EW winners please encourage your friends to come to increase the number of tables!

Failing to re-deal boards

In the past there have been occasional problems with hands not being re-dealt from one week to the next - and then suddenly being recognised part-way through the evening. In order to overcome this potential problem, the club is now following a new practice, which is already normal at many other clubs. After the boards are played for the last time, players are asked to return the cards to the board with the North hand face upwards.

Cup Winners

On September 14th Alaric presented the cup for the Summer Club Pairs to Catriona Lovett and David Warren. See the results for full details of the event. Catriona, David and Alaric, with the Summer Club Pairs Trophy

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