2023 – Knottenbelt

Knottenbelt: (l-r) Ollie Burgess, Ben Handley-Pritchard, Maggie Knottenbelt, Kieran Dyke, Michael Byrne

Michael Byrne has made the long trek from the North of England to make another appearance in the Lederer.

Last year Michael and Kieran played in the Lederer shortly before they went on to represent England in the Bermuda Bowl where they reached the quarter finals. They are hoping to end the Lederer differently to the Bermuda Bowl in two ways – they want to win and they want to finish with the same number if teammates they began with!

 I’m Ollie Burgess bridge player, not the footballer, and I started playing bridge at the age of 11 (I’m now a few years off 40) and have played serious bridge since the age of 15 when I played for the England juniors.

I did an English degree then studied law and worked at several legal firms.  In covid times, I took my life by the scruff of the neck. Did I want to be a mediocre lawyer or follow my dreams and do bridge full time. So I moved to London and with support from the community I find myself doing the job I love as a bridge pro.  The past couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster with trips to America, Poland and most recently Iceland. I also teach bridge face to face and on line and feel strongly that bridge should be a game for people of all abilities.

I clearly remember the ‘Learn Bridge with the Lederers’ books from my youth so I feel privileged now to be playing in this prestigious event and grateful to all who have supported me on the way.

Kieran Dyke is a professional bridge player from Australia and has lived in England for the last decade.
His bridge results include national championship wins – a bunch in Australia, a few in England and one in New Zealand. He won a bronze medal in the European Teams in 2015 and reached the quarter-finals of the Bermuda Bowl in 2022, losing to the eventual winners.
He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife and two cats. He listens to a lot of 1970s progressive rock and wishes that he was able to play boardgames more often.

Ben Handley-Pritchard last played the Lederer in 2001 representing England Juniors where he famously won the Best Played Hand award. He now lives in Croatia with his wife but recently rejoined the English bridge scene, representing the Open Team at the 2022 European Championships. Ben is widely considered the best Barbu player of all time.

Maggie Knottenbelt started playing bridge as a child with her keen bridge playing parents. She played many all-night rubber bridge sessions at university and still managed to get a Physics degree at the end. Following a career as a management consultant and bringing up two sons, she made her way to Andrew Robson, who encouraged her back into the bridge world. She became an American National Champion at her first US Nationals in Austin in 2021.