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Friday, January 06, 2017

Camrose 2017

This evening at around 1900 the annual Camrose Bridge Party starts. I think it should be on Bridgebase Online for all to see.

After a little research I discovered it takes place in Coventry so all should be well for our viewing pleasure. EBU usually put on a good show but in some countries the vugraph operators can be brand new and take some time to get up to speed. However EBU are almost as good as Paul Porteus.

The usual teams will play with Scotland having two teams in action. That probably means all the players in Scotland that can follow suit. Les Steele does not follow suit these days and Victor is probably retired to the Over 50s Telscher bash and some other good Scots players emigrated to USA and England. No sign of Derek Saunders this year. I guess Biff does not play bridge anymore and maybe Liz has retired. I think SBU team will outrun Scotland. Have not seen Jim Hay togging out for a while so maybe match fitness could be a problem.

I have not noticed much movement of the Northern Ireland team since they completed the trials but with Peter Pigot teaching regularly up there in one of the clubs maybe they took the opportunity to get some coaching. The NIBU team is backboned by Ciara Burns and John Murchan along with Grier McKenzie and Hastings Campbell.  NIBU also include honorary players Greenwood and Anderson.
Anderson is quite a good player having gathered about 110 caps for Northern Ireland. He also made a recent appearance in the Seniors Bermuda Bowl in India reaching the quarter final.

The CBAI team of Carroll Garvey Moran Boland Hanlon and McGann will have a shot and I saw them in the bridge gym recently. However Boland has a pulled hamstring in his left arm so could have trouble front loading. Thomas Hanlon has developed into a fine player these days so if he is on form there could be a CBAI win.

Wales have put out an intelligent team this year but no sign of the monster pair of Tedd and Salisbury. He is a nice man that Salisbury chap. I saw that pair do a 3.14 imp set and then some captain sat them out ... I don't understand captains that sitout pairs who are on a hot run.

1/2 England Ireland
4 Wales
5 Scotland
and distant 6th will be Northern Ireland ...

However maybe those NIBU folk will prove me wrong ..

Friday, December 09, 2016

One hundredth of a VP can be costly in ACBL land

Last weekend in one of the Major competitions of the American Contract Bridge World Thomas Hanlon and his team missed out on qualifying for the FINAL 10 teams.
They missed out by 0.01 of a victory point or board a match point.

Plenty of decent players in that field if one does not like me saying so but our boy missed out by 1/100th of a BAM point or Victory point.

Here we have Hanlon discussing the 100th of a point he left behind with Thomas Bessis.
Both of the above attended the 90th anniversary of the Regent Bridge Club Congress a couple of years ago.
As mentioned last week Hanlon was 2nd in Life Masters Pairs ..a 4 session event as far as I remember.
The Masters Pairs takes place this weekend in Templogue and Hanlon Carroll usually make an appearance at this event. Some other good players like Thomas Gilligan Eileen McCann Nicky Fitzgibbon and Trish Stack will also take part.
In fact all participants must be good players as only Master Players are allowed enter.
By Sunday evening we will know who is the best Master Pairs for 2016.
For the lesser players there is always

  a fine site if one wants to play bridge without a partner.

Another site which allows a single player to play 16 hands per day

The grand daddy of all the bridge playing sites

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thomas Hanlon places 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Well known Rochfortbridge Donplayer Thomas Hanlon placed 2nd in the Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs yesterday in Orlando Florida. Along with regular US National partner Leslie Amoils ...Hanlon finished in 2nd place to well known bridge player  Marion Michelson originally from Holland. Zia Mahmood was the only man ahead of Hanlon.

Hanlon Amoils 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Meanwhile down in Kilkenny Congress well known Wexford players Sexton and Doyle emerged from their slumber to be leading Irish players at Kilkenny international bridge festival.

No sign of the incredible BJ O'Brien at this event. Its not like BJ to miss a chance to get some cash in
Colleens coffee jar. BJs partnership had some slam troubles at the recent Dundalk Congress.

4 softer players dominated the teams in Kilkenny putting all men and juniors and Shillelagh Club
teams to the sword. Jill Joan Petra and Teresa did that.

A large man wielding a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has been spotted in the greater Dublin area.

A Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a decent piece of kit apparently.

For a deeper understanding of Thomas Hanlons 2nd place mentioned above

Plenty of well known bridge players even near the end of the field ..

Eamon Galligan

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bridge Interprovincials 2016

This post only refers to the Open Interprovincials as I know very little about the intermediates.

I became aware on Friday that the interprovincials of bridge were taking place this weekend. My first thought was would Ulster be competing. On my first look at running scores whatever way I had my screen it showed Connacht Leinster and Munster but then it slowly dawned on me that totals did not add up and I scrolled downwards and found a struggling Ulster Team.

Connacht as a rule go strong in this event and this year is no exception and at a quick glance there are 10 full internationals on their squad of 12. Some years ago in Connacht the tail wagged the dog and the dog never showed up for some interpro qualifiers. I cannot find many historical results on the CBAI website so I cannot check how the tail end of Connacht performed.

Leinster generally go medium in this event fielding a Mens Team and Ladies Team and the best Kelbourne. Its generally enough to push Connacht for the title but some years the Mens Team is extra strong and Leinster win. Leinster this year have a Mens Teams backboned by monster Irish pair Mesbur and Fitzgibbon. The ladies team is a collection of experienced females. The Kelbourne Team
is the long time  Delaney O'Lubaigh partnership teamed with the two Polish Rudzinski Gorchyca.
These Poles are touted as being top players but I remain to be convinced that either of them is better than James Heneghan.

Munster run a qualifier as far as I know and it usually lands a capable Munster team who can push for the title on a good year. This year might be a good year. Currently they are playing round 8 of 9 and this round is the VP collection round against Ulster. A large total out of the available 60 should set Phelan and his Munster compatriots up for the overall victory.

I think Ulster should be replaced by a Bankers-Regent selection or maybe some international selection made up of Lady Milne Camrose and Juniors. Ulster seem to be struggling to field their
better known players for both Interpros and Sonya Britian at the moment. This years event is just an Ulster bashing event. At this moment in the 8th round Ulster have gathered in 131 VPs out of a possible 480. In the Sonya Brittan their two top end teams struggled also.

Running scores at

When I looked last night Ulster intermediates  in contrast to their Open team were leading the
Intermediate event.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Some hands from Lady Milne Trials,Bridgez & Declan the Donplayer goes to Malahide Regional

Good morning all

I spotted this hand that was played in the Lady Milne trials ... Clearly some of the tables had the wrong board as it is hardly correct that some allowed a declaration of 2S while cold for 9-12 tricks themselves in a minor suit.

Now I have no idea how one is allowed to play 4S on this hand let alone 2S+1 and 2S+2.
I think one of the 2S defending pairs actually made the team. Further down the scoresheet
one spots the a pair winning 8 imps for missing a cold slam. Bizarre or as another man might say Mousey or my granny. However I can only presume that boards  1 and 2 were swopped in the dealing or something. Like even the North South players on their own would want to lash into 4S.

Then working backwards I spotted a 15 imper and wandered in for a look.
Someone landed in 6C and it comes home and the poor unfortunate opposition lose
15 imps because some other pairs in the room are a little gentle.
One pair gains 8 imps the other way because their esteemed opponents choose the 7-1 spade fit at the 5 level over the 5-5club fit.
Another pair defends 4H despite holding 12 black cards and an outside Ace in one hand
A couple defend 5H and fail to either double or collect the maximum tricks ... 1 of each
and finally one pair gathers in 9 imps for missing a slam but at least they gathered in +650 so we
won't grill them too much.

Clearly I have just talked myself out of any NPC positions at Lady Milne for several years but
I am sure the other 154 boards were things of beauty.
Meanwhile I continue to notice and enjoy the much improved Bridgez website..
I have not decided to release my hard earned 15 euro which is a voluntary donation to the Council of this website to go towards the costs of keeping it up and running. Even if all the regulars tossed in 15 euro the person running this now fine place to play bridge might only get 2 dinners a day out of Lidl.
That's not saying the food in Lidl is bad ... I go there twice a week ... but he won't be getting rich.
So if you are a regular user and enjoy the site by all means give him enough for a dinner.
I see many of the people I introduced to this site many years ago are still using it for their daily bridge warmup. Even the dour Dublin Northsider Elvis ... The King is alive and living in Dublin North.
I see rashers and sausages are still playing most days ...they even partner up sometimes in live competition. So Allez Bridgez

The link above to the free Bridgez website

Last Friday Declan the Donplayer finally made his long awaited appearance in a live Bridge Club.
Now I have played lots of bridge in my time in many places but I have never seen a man enjoy a game of bridge so much. He was getting beaten up and down the room ...but every 3rd board he managed a strike against the head with his brand of Crazy Declan bridge ...
If a bad score arrived and there were many was .. "Eamon you did not teach me the No Trumps thing yet" This lad produced a 2D cuebid holding a 7 card Heart Suit .. KJT9xxx ..."Eamon you told me if I bid their suit it means I have a good hand " ...
So that was Declan the Donplayer debuting in Malahide Regional Bridge Club

Open Games in this Club ... Monday morning 10 am Friday evening 730pm
and Sunday afternoon 3pm.

Otherwise you need to partner a member ..or get a special permission.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I had a go on Bridgez today

Early this morning I played 8 hands on Bridgez and then after sleeping I woke up and played the final
8 hands.

Add caption
I tried a few hands using Google Chrome and now I can see how many tricks are won as the play goes on. Big improvement on the old Bridgez and the interface is much smoother.
Also today my play was a little smoother on the early boards but I still blew a few boards in the late
stages to drop down to 73% or so ..
Its worth the 30 minutes or so in the morning if one has the time ...
I notice Elvis from out the North Side of Dublin is still battling away on Bridgez ... must be his morning coffee effort .... but he is a 56% merchant ..

However for other people the Bridge-Now site might be more suitable
Same WBridge5 robots but you can play many more hands and also get a weekly rating

Eamon Galligan

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wbridge5 and Bridgez website

This morning while searching thru my email folders I found an email from saying I had not played on the site for a long time. This is a site that allows one play 0-16 hands per day and I think at least hand 1 is a technical effort. I had used and advertised the site in the past. However it often crashed back then and sometimes one was frustrated with the non responding message.
People even used to ring me up and say ..Eamon the Wbridge5 is broken and I cannot play my 16 hands. Well that was then.

So the email said new website and new features and new lots of things ... So off I went ..
I was quite surprised to see many of the same usernames playing away and all looking good.
However the old slow site was now lightning fast and sometimes played quicker than my mouse clicked and I nearly lost tricks by accident ..

The only thing was I could not see how many tricks I had in the bag at any point ... Now maybe that's because of Microsoft Edge as I saw some mention on the start up screen about Edge but failed to read it.

I messed up a few deals and did not extract the maximum so only got about 61% average for the 16 boards today .. Still it was 1.5% more than my great bridge enemy Elvis who only got about 59% and he is an expert but I am only a tournament director.

Hmmm now I see something about 15 euros a year which is only a small amount but I won't be paying it for the moment as I have not been on this site for about 2 years but maybe I might in the future. However the site has certainly improved enormously but has a long way to go to compete with the likes of BBO or even okbridge if same still exists.

You can also get the free bridge program WBridge5 at the above website ..

Eamon Galligan

Lady Milne Pairs Trials 2016

Betty Cotter, Jean Kelly.................................................1
Marian Croke, Catherine Lonergan..........................2
Carol-Anne Cummins, Sandra Newell.......................3
Jeannie Fitzgerald, Emer Joyce  .................................4
Dolores Gilliland, Brid Kemple...................................5
Cathy Bearpark, LizAnne O’Reilly.............................6

Joan Kenny, Teresa Rigney.........................................7
Brid Kirby, Maureen Pattinson  ...............................8
Jill Kulchycky, Petra O’Neill.......................................9
Antoinette McGee, Aoife McHale...........................10
Louise Mitchell, Lucy Phelan....................................11
Eileen O’Donovan, Maria Whelan...........................12
Liz Taaffe, Kathleen Vaughan...................................13

This year we have 13 pairs hitting the floor for the Lady Milne Pairs. I doubt if there is any vugraph
as the ladies would be wary about being spotted on vugraph. Still though we ran the Camrose Open Trials on vugraph so one never knows. However its Bank Holiday weekend and only a masochist would want to watch bridge all weekend or a selector or maybe an international committee.

Hopefully we will have the live show from Ferghal O'Boyle Enterprises ..

So who will win on the weekend

I think Pair 27 and Pair 29 and Pair 32 will make the team .. but only I know my code I hope.