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Central Districts News with George MacLachlan

Meet one of most recent arrivals to the Central Districts bridge scene. Read on further to discover who his keepers are.

The Levin Open, held on 21st July, attracted a field of 30 pairs and was won easily by the Ker brothers, Anthony and Charles. A 60 followed by a 68 is always hard to beat. Well done boys!  A very good effort from the Feilding pair of Mandy Jones and Marnie Norris to finish as runners-up. Third placing went to Jan Whyte and Ken Bateman who finished strongly with a 65 after a 48 in the morning session. Congratulations to you all.

           Charles and Anthony Ker


The Wanganui Open held on 14th July was a resounding success. In recent years the turnout had been very average, 10 to 13 tables being the norm.  This year there were 26 tables!   The Wanganui Bridge Club was established in 1940.  Swiss Pairs scoring was introduced this year for the first time in the history of the club and the response was staggering. Players from 13 regional clubs took part and 25 members of the Wanganui club turned out for the occasion. Seven matches were played with each match being of 9 boards.

Director and Scorer was Martin Oyston who not only performed with great competence on the day but also spent many hours prior to the tournament day in dealing the hands and preparing a system that allowed for a stratified method of rewarding players in groups, according to the combined rating points of each pair.  For prize-giving purposes, the field was "sorted" into three sections.  Those pairs with zero to 50 rating points were in the "Diamonds" group.  From 51 to 150 rating points the group was in the "Hearts" section and the "Spades" section was for those pairs with combined rating points exceeding 150. The effect of this was to encourage the Junior and Intermediate players by including them in the prize-giving. In any "first past the post" prizes system, it would be highly unlikely than pairs other than "0pen" would qualify.

Cash prizes were awarded to the first 5 pairs in the "Spades" group with a bottle of wine for 6th placing.  The first two pairs in the "Hearts" and "Diamonds" sections also received cash prizes and 3rd was rewarded with a bottle of wine.  In all, 24 players received a prize.                                                    Sectional Winners at Wanganui

                   Overall (150+ Rating Points)            51-150 Rating Points                               0-50 Rating Points

Morgan Booker and Jan Whyte.JPG     Anne Putt and Diane Waite.JPG  Brian Meedham and Irene Taunt.JPG 
  Morgan Booker and Jan Whyte                       Anne Putt and Diane Waite                        Brian Meedham and Irene Taunt

A special thanks is recorded for John Lidgard who was an 11th hour recruit as "Caddy-in-Chief".  With 26 tables in play, it was a full-time job but John had served his "apprenticeship" under the direction of Allan Joseph during the Inter-Provincial trials two months earlier and that proved to be a valuable introduction to his busy role in this tournament. Thank you, John.  

   "Caddy in Chief" at Wanganui                     " Daffodil Day" Winners

 John Ligard.JPG       Jan Whyte and Ken Bateman 19.JPG 
   John Lidgard                                   Jan Whyte and Ken Bateman

The Hokowhitu club always puts on a great day for their annual "Daffodil Day" tournament which this year was held on Sunday, August 11th. 18 tables were in play and the prizes table was the usual impressive spectacle that we have come to expect. The work involved in organising such a huge response from Palmerston North businesses takes many hours over many days and the commitment by club members is tremendous. The Cancer Society is always grateful for the support of all who take part in this popular event and never fail to have a representative in attendance to thank the players for their contribution to the Society's local funding.  Well done, Hokowhitu!

The winners of the trophy for 2019 are the same winners as for 2018, Jan Whyte and Ken Bateman. In 2nd place were the winners in 2017, Alan Doddridge and Alister Stuck, followed by Steve Baron (Wanganui) and Matthew Hughes (Marton). 

Head Honcho (convenor) for the tournament was Tony Fayerman who arrived back from Australia the day before to take control of domestic proceedings in the kitchen. Along with his happy band of helpers, everything went very smoothly and the Hokowhitu club can be really pleased with their efforts in making this tournament a "must" for all grades of players to continue supporting the Daffodil Day tournament. Tony is both personable and witty. Here is one of his witticisms ,which has an element of accuracy about it:

  "People with small minds talk about other people.
   People with ordinary minds talk about events. 
   People with superior minds talk about ideas.
  People with warped minds talk about bridge hands!"

The Havelock North Club ran an Open Swiss Pairs event on July 27th and a field of 30 pairs entered. Many of the pairs were not graded as Open players and it is so good to see the Junior/Intermediates taking advantage of the "kindlier" scoring regime that makes Swiss Pairs so attractive. The competition resulted in a big win for Scott Smith and Gerry Palmer. Ken Bateman/Jack James held 2nd, narrowly from Margaret and Harold Orsborn.

The John Fullarton Memorial Teams was hosted by the Wanganui club over the weekend of 17/18 August and attracted a strong field of 22 teams. 20 clubs were represented. Grand Masters were very much in attendance and the first four teams were jammed-packed with them. 10 Wanganui players took part and all enjoyed momentary successes, but the big winners were all from out of town. 

In the closest finish for many years, the Cup was awarded to the Wellington team of John Luoni, John Davidson, Kate Davies and John Patterson. The Akarana club's four international players of Michael Whibley, Matt Brown, Carol Richardson and her daughter, Andi Boughey, were pipped at the post.  Third place went to the Wellington quartet of Lynda Rigler, Peter Delahunty, Graham Stronach and Sandy McKirdy.  Wayne Burrows, Clair Miao (Auckland), Sandra Calvert and Colin Carryer were "half a trick" away in 4th place. 

Central Districts Centre Chairman, Mairi Fitzsimons, played and made the pleasing comment that "Wanganui did a really fantastic job of hosting the competition."  Thank you, Mairi. Glad to hear it!

The New Plymouth Open Pairs was held on Saturday, August 24th, and attracted a field of 10 tables. Plenty of Grand Masters attended but Mark Noble from the Feilding club showed that they don't always finish 1st.  He combined with Charles Ker to win comfortably from the New Plymouth sisters, Raewyn McLean and Bev Bromfield. Pam Livingston and Grant Jarvis finished a very close 3rd just ahead of the ultra-consistent Sandra Calvert and Colin Carryer. 

                                                                   New Plymouth Winners

Charles Ker and Mark Noble 19.JPG   Lois Harrap  Jennifer Horner.jpg   Blair and Liz 19 aug.JPG 
Charles Ker and Mark Noble in the Swiss   Lois Harrop and Jennifer Horner in         Blair and Liz Fisher in the Swiss Pairs
Pairs                                                            the Intermediate/Junior Pairs
                                                                                                                (with event sponsor, Anne Wilson)

Only 10 tables for the Open .. but look what happened 24 hours later when the Swiss Pairs began ... almost twice that number!

All of the Grand Masters from the day before turned up again and this time showed their class.  Not just Grand Masters .. Silver and Gold Grand Masters!  Liz and Blair Fisher had a winning lead of 10 vps after the 7 rounds but the next 9 pairs home were remarkably close. 

Alister Stuck/Russell Wilson finished 2nd with Pam Livingston/Grant Jarvis in 3rd position, just a whisker ahead of Peter Ramsey/Steve Baron.

While Saturday's Open players were toiling away in the main room, 12 tables of Intermediates/Juniors were striving in the other room. Jennifer Horner (Hawera) and Lois Harrop (New Plymouth) returned scores of 63 and 55% and were clear winners from Stephanie Larmer and Cecelia Stringer. John Holdom and John De Bueger held 3rd placing, just ahead of Theresa Roberts and Anne Smith.

Anne Wilson is a very keen New Plymouth player who supports her club by sponsoring the local tournaments on behalf of the Real Estate industry in which she works. Your sponsorship of all three of these tournaments is greatly appreciated, Anne. Thank you.

Jan Whyte and Pam Livingston are very well-known faces in the bridge world, especially in the Central Districts region. Congratulations are conveyed to you both on attaining the ranking of "Silver Grand Master." 

Pam Livingston and Grant Jarvis 19.JPG 
Two third placings at New Plymouth were enough
to make Pam Livingston a Silver Grand Master. She
still has some way to go to catch her partner that
weekend, Emerald Grand Master, Grant Jarvis

Finally, back to where we started with a dog named Bryn, Central Districts right through. Born fairly recently in Wanganui, he now lives at the home of Lorraine Stachurski and Alister Stuck in Palmerston North. We are sure he will soon be up to speed with all New Zealand Bridge matters and will be challenging the feline Biritch at the bridge table. Welcome, Bryn.




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