WELLINGTON REGIONAL NEWS with Paul Maxwell
There were kind words about the Wellington Regional Congress in late April from players, praising the organisers for their planning and preparation beforehand, and all those working during the five days.
I have too many photos of the many placegetters to show them all, but I feel this first one catches some of the enjoyment we get from playing bridge.
It’s of three members of the top Novice team, Rosy Moar, Tahlia Crabtree and Miriam Tankersley. (Simon Tankersley is the absent fourth member.) Since there were no other Novice teams entered, they had to play against the Intermediate and Junior teams. While not ranking highly in the overall field, they managed to score a couple of wins along the way.
Moving onto the Open events, Jane Lennon and Alan Grant (pictured above) won the Open Pairs, after setting themselves a small challenge in the first session (they got 47.6%, 12th out of 16 in their group). GeO Tislevoll, Tom Jacob, Michael Ware, and Peter Newell won the Open Teams, not the first time each has been in a winning team in this event. I think Michael even had to recycle a joke.
As usual, we started the Swiss Pairs held on Anzac Day with Chris Bolland reading the Ode of Remembrance as we stood in silence. Nelson Proctor and John Donbavand came first after the 64 boards over 8 rounds. Other results are still available through the Congress page on the regional website.
These were also held early on in this period. Moss Wylie has commented on the problems getting trials right. It’s fair to say Wellington too has had criticism over the years. Recent successes in the final have perhaps eased some of the pressure on the organisers.
Many elite players prefer a Teams format over Swiss, and, thankfully, often work together prior to the trials to ensure we have strong Open teams. Some players prefer a Swiss pairs approach, where a team is formed from the two top pairs, (perhaps subject to confirmation by the selectors). If this format is chosen (we usually offer and take on the majority view of the entered players), then we seem to get bigger pools of entries from which to chose. For these Pairs events, not all the entries expect to get to the national finals. Instead they hope to get some quality bridge over the two days. This is good, but is not the main aim of having the trials.
Given we had only the one Open team entry this year, it’s all a bit academic for how we selected the top Open team. There were several pairs entering the Women's group, the majority preferring a Swiss Pairs format (we played 8 rounds of 14 boards). Similarly, we ran the Senior and Intermediate groups the same way in one combined trial, but with Seniors playing only Seniors, and Intermediates playing only Intermediates (5 rounds of 20 boards in each case). Once again, we’re lucky to have Nigel Kearney as the Chef de Mission, and this time he is also playing in the Open team.
Another two local clubs have held their Open and Junior tournaments on the same (but different) day. This is a good solution to reducing the effort required to run two tournaments and recognises the reality these days that Junior tournaments don’t attract big fields.
At the Upper Hutt tournaments held on 29 April, Anthony and Kathy Ker won the Open, and Anne Wolf and Anne Verboeket won the Junior. At the Hutt club on the 20th May, Anthony Ker and Alan Grant won the Open, and Sally Broadhurst and Jeremy Gogan won the Junior tournament. It was pleasing to see 17 pairs enter the latter event.
Anthony and Alan also had another win in the Victoria Swiss Pairs held on the 10th June. Nigel Kearney and Tegan Bennik, a local young player, were second.
Talking of multiple winners, Anshu Prasad and Steve Baron won the Kapi-Mana and the Otaki Multigrades, held on the 6th and 21st May. They were also the Intermediate/ Open winners. The second placegetters were Vivienne Cannell and Peter Delahunty at Kapi-Mana, and Martin and Pat Oyston at Otaki.
Junior winners at the Hutt Club, Sally Broadhurst Multiple winners, Anshu Prasad and Steve Baron
and Jeremy Gogan with Hutt member Raewyn Dowman.
Jim and Margot Brough won the Paraparaumu Intermediate on the 20th May by a small margin from Linzee Inkster and Bob Jennings, and Graeme Wylie and Elizabeth Cornford, who came second equal.
Hawkes Bay Congress
Needless to say, many Wellington players escaped the recent weather for the only slightly less wintery climate of Taradale and the Hawkes Bay Congress over the Queen’s Birthday weekend. Once again, I can’t fit in all the achievements of our local players. Heather Jared and Gary Duncan won the Matchpoint Swiss Pairs, and the Gruschow team (Ray, Graeme Norman, Lynda Rigler and Peter Delahunty) came second in the Open Teams final. The D’Arcy team took out the Plate.
Graham Potter, nominated by the Wellington Bridge Club, is New Zealand Bridge's Volunteer of the Month for June. He is not only as helpful as described, but is a keen player, eager to learn and getting some good initial results. I first came across Graham when I was assigned as his bridge buddy when he emerged from Alan Grant’s lessons. We picked up a few tops, and I began to wonder who was helping whom.
Also, congratulations to the Paraparaumu Bridge Club, who are celebrating their 50th anniversary. Their anniversary lunch will be on Saturday 15th July, followed by an anniversary tournament on the Sunday. Another club of similar vintage is Upper Hutt, who are looking forward to their anniversary in early May next year.