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Northland News with Tania Brown

Olive looks happy. Why?

Greetings from the Winterless North once again.

It’s been a pretty eventful last couple of months since Congress with the addition of two new Grandmasters to Northland’s total. Both John McIntosh and Neil Ruddell made this milestone and bring Northland's total now  to three (along with Patsy Walters). Congratulations to you both.

Northland Swiss Pairs has Northland winners

Just before Congress we had the Northland Swiss Pairs in Kerikeri. Quite a few Auckland players made the trip up for the practice but I am pleased to report that first place honours went to a couple of Whangarei locals, Judith Byrne and Laura Maton. While not a regular partnership, they beat a strong field to emerge winners on the day. 2nd were Tim and Helen Healy while 3rd were Ant Hopkins with Mike Curry. I am sorry there are no photos of this event as I had to rush away but well done to our “local” winners in such a tough field.

At this competition, we had a new type of personal score sheet and in the bottom right hand quarter was a small addition asking if you had ever heard a Bridge player say things like these?

  • This club is always the right temperature – never too hot or too cold.
  • Free coffee? No thanks.
  • Cool! A four board sit out.
  • No I don’t think tournament fees are too high.
  • I can always count on my partner to remember every convention on our cards.
  • No gossip please. I’m not interested.
  • No matter what direction we sit the cards always go our way.
  • I don’t feel like Bridge today thanks. I’d rather jog and work out.
    Bridge players always tell the truth....don't we!

     73% Average at Dargaville

    The next event in Northland was the Dargaville Kauri tournament. This also attracts a lot of Auckland “post congress players” and in this strong field a new partnership emerged as winners on the day with a whopping 71% in the morning and 76% in the afternoon. Congratulations to James Yang and Andrew Liu who took this one out with a huge margin from Auckland personalities, Christine Wilson and Tracey Lewis.

    James Yang and Andrew Liu.jpg         
    Andrew Liu, Dargaville President Peter Ball 
    and James Yang     
    Andrew also played very well at this year's National Congress where he was a winner in Open Swiss Pairs and finished 7th in the New Zealand Open Pairs.

    Busy Olive  
    Northland’s tournament director Olive Dent has also had a busy time of it lately. Two Junior players decided to search for a mechanism to help Olive deliver her judgement succinctly and to help hurry proceedings. At a Thursday night Club session, a presentation of a “deluxe cattle prod” was made. Olive has also been signed up for a 3 day training course to satisfy OSH requirements.However, the resourceful pair who made this presentation are under the impression they are exempt from any disciplinary proceedings and prodding which is definitely not the case if you know Olive. No favourites here!

     Olive Dent 1.jpg              olive dent 2.jpg

    They also tried the “bribe” theory on her 70th birthday when a napkin, bowl of nuts and gin and tonic with all of the trimmings waiting for her at her seat. This worked a little better as it certainly resulted in one of our less than average Bridge scores (I was playing with Olive) but a lot of fun was had.

    Who said Swiss events were bad!

    Next was an 8B Swiss tournament in Whangarei. Some people like Swiss but I personally hate it. You battle all day for some burglar from table 5 to swoop in and take the honours at the end. I am pleased to say that didn’t happen for Bob and Sue Brown who stayed at table 1 pretty much all day. However, maybe I shouldn’t be so judgemental as at this tournament Neil Ruddell and myself found ourselves in the role of “burglar” due to a couple of good wins in the last two sets propelling us from 9th into second and a podium finish. 

             The "Swiss" lovers
    Sue and Bob Brown and Lee.jpg
    Big fans of a Swiss event were Sue and Bob Brown,
    here with Whangarei's Lee Walters

    This past weekend was eventful as it was the Final Northland tournament for the year. Winners were myself and Neil Ruddell. Neil also won Open player of the year. 2nd were Margaret Hooson and Richard Bland while 3rd were Jolene Zink and Pam Brown. Unfortunately missing from the top three were Roger Toplis and Peter Hirzel who scored a whopping 67% in the morning but had a nightmare second session to finish up in 5th place.

                                        Northland's Players of the Year
    neil ruddell 19.jpg       Kim Thomas    Kerikeri 19.jpg     Pam Brown  Kerikeri 19.jpg
    Open: Neil Ruddell                           Intermediate: Kim Thomas             Junior: Pam Brown
                                               ( in each case with Sue Brown, Auckland- Northland Region Chairperson)

    Great Score in Babich Wines New Zealand Wide Pairs

    Prizes were also given to Bill and Sulochna Humphrey from Kerikeri who came an excellent 2nd overall in the NZ Wide Babich Pairs. Both are seen here with the sponsors’ prize and there was more than one envious look passed around the room. (Yes I was one of them).
    Bill and Sulochna Humphries.jpg
    Bill and Sulochna with Auckland-
     Northland Regional Chairperson,
    Sue Brown

    Whangarei took a clean sweep in the trophies for Best junior, Best Intermediate and best Open team while Paihia took the Wylie Salvor off Whangarei. Just goes to show don’t ever give up, especially in Bridge, as anything can happen.

    A Tribute to Maureen

    Whangarei also had a moment of silence for one of the club’s long-time members Maureen Jonas who recently passed away. Maureen was a very active member of the club and held most committee positions over her years as a member including president and club captain. Rest easy, Maureen and thank you for your dedication to our club. May God Bless and keep you safe.

    A Diary Date at Kerikeri

    We wrap up from here for the year apart from the Christmas celebrations and hope to see some of you holidaying in the beautiful North over Christmas and New Year. Our first tournaments for the year are the 11th and 12th of January, Pairs one day and, wait for it, Swiss the other. BRING IT ON.

    How to beat Matthew and Ashley at cards

    Just saying if you want to beat a couple of the NZ Open Team at cards try Cribbage. Matt Brown and Ashley Bach were easy pickings at Congress. However, full credit to Michael Ware who put money on me for the win before we started.



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