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Wellington News with Paul Maxwell

Bridge and....

July saw a rather nasty cold circulating among local bridge players. While recovering, I was flicking through TV channels and came across a novel sport. One fan had combined his love of chess and boxing. The two activities alternated, and victory was either via checkmate or knockout.

I guess the complementing sport for a partnership game such as bridge would be tag team wrestling, where we would switch between wrestling cards and opponents. My first thought was that the wrestling ethos would not match the spirit that we should show at the bridge table. On the other hand, professional wrestlers strive to do little harm to each other. So there might be a good fit after all. Another advantage is that it might help the chances of bridge becoming an Olympic sport. (Will Paul lead the way into the wrestling ring?)

Wellington Club Championship

Our region has now held a local club championship for the last three years. It’s a social event  where each club fields 4 pairs, Open, Open Restricted, Intermediate and Junior pairs, each playing against their peers. We hope that this competition helps build a team spirit across players within each participating club. There certainly was positive feedback from many people, although some of the smaller clubs find it hard to find an Open pair that can confidently take on the Grand Masters (plus!) of the bigger clubs.

This year, there were nine clubs entered. So we needed to form a combined Nomad team to avoid having byes. It was rather a strong team from the Wellington and Kairangi clubs ( Kate Davies, John Patterson, Denise Barnett, Ruth Brucker, Kathy O’Halloran, Sandie Lepper, Lester Goodfellow and Norman Furness) and it comfortably won the event.

                   The winning Nomads                                                           The club winners, Wellington

 nomads.jpg                             Wellington club champions 19.jpg

Since the 4 pairs concerned weren’t able to to turn themselves into an instant club, they weren’t eligible to take away the trophy for the top local club. That went to the Wellington Club.

Open                    Nigel Kearney & Anthony Ker

Open Restricted   Maureen Pratchett & Stuart Badger

Intermediate         Jeremy Morley (absent from photo) & Tegan Bennik

Junior                   Murray Climo & Helen Climo

The Masterton, Kairangi and Karori clubs also did well, with the latter two clubs also having the top scoring pairs in the three lower grades. Kate and John of the Nomads were the top scoring Open pair. Also a special mention to the Otaki club, who travelled far to join in this year.

Locally Held Tournaments

There were two events on the weekend following the Hawkes Bay Congress. The Karori Bridge Club held a one session Junior tournament on the Sunday afternoon. This attracted 31 pairs, which is a good turnout, perhaps helped by the half day timing. Peter and Jane Furnish won with a big score of 68.8%. The other tournament was the Victoria club’s 5A Open Swiss Pairs. Maciej Szçzesny and Mariusz Tumiłowicz headed off Patrick D’Arcy and Graeme Norman from a field of 40 pairs.

                                                            Victoria and Kapi Mana winners

 Maciej and Marius 19.jpg                  Eleanor Morel Lorraine McArthur 19.jpg 
  Maciej Szçzesny and Mariusz Tumiłowicz                            Eleanor Morel and Lorraine McArthur
   (on left, Victoria Club President Derek Gill)

Masterton held their Intermediate and Junior events on the 23rd June, while the Kapi Mana Open that day ensured there was something on whatever your grade. There was also apparently something on for out-of-towners, as Garry Hodge and Debbie Marcroft (Palmerston North club) and Walt and Liz Crawshaw (New Plymouth club) were first and second in the Intermediate. The locals fared better in the Junior, with Paul Baines and Dora Aw Yong, from the nearby South Wairarapa club, coming first.

In the Kapi Mana Open, we had two very local winners, Eleanor Morel and Lorraine McArthur, as they are members of the home club.

The last weekend in June saw the Wellington Regional 10A Teams, hosted by the Wellington Club, with 8 rounds of 12 boards over the 2 days. The Reid team (Martin, Peter Newell, Michael Ware and Hugh McGann) were comfortable winners from Alan Grant, John and Jane Skipper, and Tegan Bennik (also of the club championship team referred to above).

There was a prize for the top team with less than a combined 750 rating points and no Grand Master. This was won by Ruth Brucker, Phil Revell, Anthea Black and Dorothy Mackay. They were 15th of the 24 teams.

The Kairangi Bridge Club have been running a Multigrade Teams tournament with its own particular format for a few years now. Teams consist of a “major” (usually Open) pair and a “minor” (Junior or Intermediate) pair. I’ve just invented the terms, "major and minor", because I was getting tangled with grading terms when I began calling them senior and junior pairs. The major pairs play each other, as do the minor pairs, in the usual Swiss Teams format. There is a handicap of 5 IMPs added for each Junior player in the minor pair.

           Multigrade winners (half family)                               and third (three quarters family)

 Peter Newell Nelson Procter Dougal Watson Elizabeth Schuck.jpg             Polish team.jpg
  Peter Newell, Nelson Procter, Dougal Watson            Helen Fitzgerald, Barbara, Mariusz and Tymek
  and Elizabeth Schuck ( father and daughter)      Tumilowicz (mother, father and son)

          ( Andrew Hawkes of the sponsor, Park Kitchen, is in both pictures)
The top team was Peter Newell, Nelson Procter, Dougal Watson, Elizabeth Schuck,  followed in second place by Jude Manhart, Loretta Wong, Peter Jackson, Lester Goodfellow. I’ll also give the third placing, as this team was somewhat of a family affair - Helen Fitzgerald playing with Barbara, Mariusz and Tymek Tumilowicz. Tymek was by far the youngest player of the day.

The Paraparaumu Junior and Karori Intermediate were held on the 21st July. Anne Brunt and Colleen Mankelow won the Junior, and Joanne Gapes and Michel Norrish, averaging just over 60%, won the Intermediate.

About this time, six local candidates, thoroughly trained and motivated by Allan Joseph, sat the three hour director exam on Saturday, the 27th July. Good luck to all, as we await the results

On the following day, we again had events for all the grades. Kapi Mana ran an Intermediate / Junior / Novice tournament, for pairs formed from any of those three grades. June Sheperd and Hank Ankins were first, and Nicky Bradley and Miriam Lewin  second.

Open players could head off to the Wellington Open. Here, Graham Stronach and Sandy McKirdy came first, and Tegan Bennik (third mention. A busy bridge month!) and John Davidson were next. Annette and Stephen Henry were third.

The North Island 20A Pairs, held at the Wellington Bridge Club last weekend, attracted many from out of town. Sam and Jo Simpson of Tauranga held their lead through most of the last few stanzas and when it mattered. The first current local was Anthony Ker, in 4th place, playing with his brother Charles. Karl Hayes and Nigel Kearney were the next locals, in 6th place.

Ruth Brucker put in a long day helping behind the scenes on the Saturday, and then went out to Waikanae to win the Waikanae Multigrade with partner, Dorothy Mackay. They scored 59.6 and 69.6 percent, thus winning both sessions their way as well. So Ruth wasn’t slowed down much by her Saturday duties. Maureen Pratchett and Margaret Curnow were very consistent in coming second, with 63.3 and 63.0 percent.

Rubber Bridge

We have now settled on our two local pairs to go to the rubber bridge final in Hamilton. They are John Davidson and Susan Laurenson (who also qualified last year), and Graeme Norman and David Macdonald.


We have had five rounds of Interclub. The Henry team (Wellington) lead the 8 team Open grade. There are two sections of 8 teams in the Open Restricted grade, with two Wellington teams, Cannell and Hannaway-Willcox, ahead in their section. The Miller team, also from the Wellington club, is first of the 20 Intermediate teams.

The Junior grade also has two sections of 8 teams.  Tumiłowicz (Karori) and Goodfellow (Kairangi) are first in their section. Sargission  from the Hutt club is the top of the 8 Novice teams. As usual, there is a web page, setting out progress to date and mapping out the future, on the Wellington Regional Bridge Committee website, at

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