Auckland News by Douglas Russell
First, very many thanks to our Editor Richard Solomon for so ably covering for Biritch the Russian Blue and me during our absence overseas in August and September. I am happy to say that we are now settling in to our new abode, and that my laptop has emerged from the chaos.
The "local" Bach
As often happens during these round up reports, one or two names emerge from the list of those have done well in tournaments during the previous period. This time it is local identity Peer (aka Peter) Bach, well known to all his many friends for his, shall we say, idiosyncrasies at the bridge table and beyond. Peer is originally Danish, but has lived much of his adult life in Australia and New Zealand. He is a Silver Grand Master, and has represented New Zealand at the Senior level. He is, of course, related patrilineally to World Pairs Champion Ashley. Here he is in his favourite setting, surrounded by adoring women.
And so to tournament results for this period. The major event was the annual NZ Bridge Congress, of course, where local players covered themselves with glory (and sometimes embarrassment). Pride of place must go to Auckland’s Patrick Carter and Julie Atkinson, who won the New Zealand Pairs, and Michael Courtney, Rosie Don and Nick Jacob, who constituted half of the Trans-Tasman New Zealand Teams' winners .
Yours Truly has to confess to scooping the most prestigious prize of all, The "Even Homer Nods" award for the “expert” who makes the biggest prat of himself.
Back in September Carol Richardson and Matt Brown won Franklin’s Open tournament, with Tony Jiang and Julia Zhu (yet again!) the Intermediate. Royle Epsom took advantage of the absence of the big guns at Congress to run a Junior only event, won by Jay Kim and Joy May.
Andrew Tarbutt and Jeremy Fraser-Hoskin paired up to take Mt. Albert’s Restricted event, while that man Peer Bach’s first appearance on the winners’ podium was in the Auckland Club’s Thursday Teams with Mike and Viv Cornell and visiting Argentinian international Carlos Pellegrini.
Up to Orewa, where Leslie Watt and Cheryl Winsor were successful in the Open event, and Nicola Timms and Gil Jury the Intermediate. The Michaels Ware and Curry triumphed at Auckland’s Wes Dodd after a close 3-way tussle, and on the same day the North Shore Club was the scene for wins for Anne Leighton and Charlotte Jager in the Intermediate and Steve and Chris Moore in the Junior. As has already been reported, this year’s NZ Wide Pairs, sponsored by Babich Wines, was the biggest and best ever, with best local placing going to Philip Zheng and William Wang who recorded 71.13% at the Mt Albert club. Finally, our hero" PB" won Restricted events on successive weekends, with Lanell Monreal on Waiheke and Lanell’s frequent partner Heather Robertson at East Coast Bays.
The final results of the year-long Interclub tournament have already been reported, with Auckland Watt winning the Open section, the Waiheke Sharks the Intermediate, and Auckland The (yes, I do mean" Auckland The") the Junior.
On a somewhat lighter note, the Auckland Club dedicated its Wednesday morning session following the Melbourne Cup to an Interesting Headwear event. Here are Angie, Andrea and Desiree entering into the spirit of the occasion.
A "cat call"
And what of Biritch? He is beginning to emerge from his withdrawal following the trauma of our relocation, and is returning to his usual vitriolic self. He has not played a lot of bridge in the past few months, instead reserving his sarcasm for tales of my own frequent disasters. Hopefully, we shall see him on the tournament circuit shortly, and we can all delight in his company again.