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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Ireland Open Team battle to Spring 4s final

The Ireland Open Team backboned  by Mark Moran and Rory Boland sneaked past a powerful Bulgarian squad in Round 7 ....I guess the quarter finals ...

6 once defeated Teams done battle there ..for 3 semi final spots

The undefeated Sinclair Team took a break as per the rules

The Gidman and  Alfrey teams joined Moran and Sinclair in the semi finals this morning

Alfrey being the original number 1 seeds and Moran the 9th seeds out of a starting field of 55 teams

So they had 14 direct matches and 9 triangles ... reducing the field to 32 teams ..

Its double knockout so you got to lose twice to be gone so they ended up with

6 once defeated teams and 1 undefeated. The once defeated 6 all took part in 3 quarter finals

and then there were FOUR ...

Undefeated Sinclair picked the Moran Team and got beaten by 10 imps over 32 boards

Alfrey the number 1 seeded OUTED Gidman and currently we have

Moran versus Alfrey for the CUP

All results and bulletins can be found at

Look for Spring Foursomes

The Final is currently LIVE on Bridge Base Online

I just spotted a couple of Irish lads declaring a 3-2 HEART fit doubled and vulnerable.
They paid out 15 imps for that one

Then they followed up with a trick reducing lead against a doomed 3NT .. the old 4th highest works wonders ... and they paid 13 imps for that one

And finally on Board 8 it looks like Robson has them in his grippers again .. but it won't be as much to pay this time ..probably ....might even gain as a soft lead left them drop a loser ..

However score after 7 boards is ..Moran 11 Alfrey 39 ...

Eamon Galligan

Monday, May 02, 2016

Team Moran in Round 7 of Spring 4s on vugraph now

Team Moran are currently on vugraph. Monday May 02 430pm playing in Round 7 of Spring 4s.

I went to the funeral of Malahide and Regent bridge player Maurice Quinn on Saturday. It was only in late February he made his way over to his computer and played 10 hands of bridge-now while I played same program on my laptop behind him ..A full blog on Maurice later

I still plan to write my blog on the final 20 boards of the IBU trials but I have to play the 20 boards
first ... They were exciting and the chase was on with Moran trialing by 52 and losing about 15 imps on the early board 20

Eamon Galligan

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Slow and the Stopped

As a bridge tournament director one of my duties is to keep the game moving. Sometimes one can pick up the 3 boards before the slow players realize they have only played 2 of the 3 boards. In this case one keeps going and nobody is any the wiser except me. Some players will call me and request an average if they are behind. Some  players who are caught slow just accept it and take an average.

However I have 3 examples

1. I approached a player last month who had been half of North South at say table A4 in a 3 sections competiton and indicated to her that it was great that her table had finally completed the boards.

She was very happy to point out to me that all the slow players in the room were in her section and they were all moving as East West and she had to play against them all. No mention of 20 seconds pause before every card played by her side.... Nope it was all the fault of the moving pairs who were dreadfully slow in her view.

2. One night I spotted a slow declarer starting to play a 4S contract and the table was already slow.

I asked them to speed up and went over to the computer which had on the screen. I managed to bid and play 3 full hands while this lady (a different lady than Item 1) played the 13 tricks or made a claim
So 3 hands played in the 4 minutes ..Does not often happen due to internet lags in that club as the computer is connected to the net by an extender thing. However it shows the speed of play.

3. Last month another pair indicated with anger "WERE NOT SLOW .." I pointed out they had travelled through tables 6 7 and 8 all who were in the last 3 tables finishing each round .. so they
were not fast. 28 tables in play and no gain made on time. So must be slow.

4. Everytime I indicate a slow table they look around to check how next door tables are doing ..
"They  are still playing .." they pipe up ... I say .. Yeah that's true they are on 2nd board of the next round .. or they are on last 3 cards of the equivalent board to the one you are playing ..

5. Its never the slow players fault .. some of them are just permanently in 1st gear .. always travelling up hill

6. In another club where I direct there are two slow players .. Fergal and Tommy ... Now these two
lads just think slow and then when the thinking is done the fingers slowly pick out the calculated card and place it slowly on the table ...Then they repeat all the same for the next 12 tricks

7. Then we have the 1.5 minute dummy putter downer... This man or woman will place each card down in dummy individually and give each card a little pat as it goes on the table.. and maybe look for a little encouragement from partner for a large honor card.

8. And we have not got near a POST MORTEM yet ..

Jimmy the Donplayer converts to Bridge

Last weekend I went to Belfast to broadcast the Lady Milne Trophy on Bridgebase Online. All good and most people had a good time. Scotland had a better time and pretty much dominated the event posting an 87% score.... over the full event

In 2001 when the Coen Trophy was limited to above intermediate level my team managed to post
148 VPS out 150 in a single session of 30 boards and 6 matches of 5 boards.

However these Scots posted 87% over 160 boards and 5 long matches of 32 boards.

So I returned from the Lady Milne on Monday and recalled that I had promised to run a DON competition in my local pub that same night. DON is a game often referred to as poor mans bridge as it was often played by tradesmen whereas bridge was played in the big houses.

Anyway only 4 pairs showed up and we ran like a Two table Howell and all played 6 hands against the other pairs. So we got that over by about 1125pm. Eamon did not win.

1st place was Jimmy Donplayer and Liam Carrick.
So I was thinking ...great I can go home and have a good sleep.

Next thing Jimmy pipes up ... " Eamon give us a quick run through that bridge stuff ....and we will give it a spin for a while"

So Galligan deals out 4 hands and gets the lads to put them face up and quickly explain about winning the first 6 tricks to reach the book and thus bidding starts at 1 level but that means you need 7 tricks. They got that.
Then I explained .. bonus's kick in at 9 tricks for NT 10 tricks for Hearts Spades and 11 tricks for Clubs Diamonds. I have not told them about Small Slam and Big Slam yet.

I did a second hand face up with me explaining the bidding but they picked up the cards and declared the hand. They know the cardplay and what a trick is from DON..

Then Jimmy Donplayer says ... "This is an interesting game .. You could not play this and be drinking at the same time as you would lose count of the suits .. "

Then he says .. Can we play a few hands without showing them on the table ..

So first hand went 1H 2D 2N and Jimmy says "What did you say about a bonus for 9 tricks ..
and I explained and he said ... ok 3NT so ..

Then I made my lead and told Jimmy put his hand on the table ... Jimmy said " but Eamon we are not teaching anymore ..we are keeping our cards held up "

This is where I had to explain the dummy hand ........

Anyway Liam made 10 tricks for plus 1 in 3NT and 430 as Nil all on board 1
Next hand they played 3NT again and Jimmy declared for 9 tricks with a struggle..
I wrote down 600 ...

Then Jimmy piped up does this scoring work .... and I said ... I will look after the scoring for
tonight and Jimmy says .." How will we know you are being honest "

The next 6 hands were part scores and undertricks and then it was time to go home.

Result .. Jimmy 1030 .... Eamon 780 ..

We were playing Chicago ... Nil All on hand 1  Dealer Vul on hand 2 and 3 .. Game all on hand 4

And Jimmy ..goes " What a game !! ... DON is like SNAP  compared to this bridge "
We will give it a spin again soon .. "

Then it took 20 minutes to get down the normal 7 minute walk home as Jimmy questioned me on
various bridge stuff and how it works in the club and scoring and stuff ...

I went in the next night and Jimmy comes over ...Eamon whats this T on that paper you gave me last night. ... I explained T = 10 ..

Meanwhile during that game Declan the Donplayer from previous articles was finally having his first game of bridge with real cards in his hands. For the last 18 months or so he has played only online on the computer. Lurking with intent  in the background was Shane the barman who I also taught bridge but he also has never played with real cards as he only plays on

Seamus Costello delivers beginner lessons in my local community centre and Declan Donplayer called in there once or twice and indicated ...these people are learning what a trick is and what a trump is ... I already know those things.

Eamon Galligan

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Team Dee Charity Saturday 2pm April 16

Good afternoon

There is a charity event in Malahide Regional Bridge Club on Saturday at 2pm.
Click the link above for details ..

This event was supposed to be on last weekend but there was some confusion with the Moylan being in Malahide or not being in Malahide so the organiser's cancelled the Charity  by a week.
I was all set to help out with Tournament Directing or as a float but now the event moved by a week.
So unfortunately I will be working the vugraph at the Lady Milne ..

So if you get bored watching Lady Milne then there is always the bridge game in Malahide.

(Regarding the Moylan not being in Malahide this year .. I think someone forgot to book the venue and I have no idea who that person might be)

I know that over the last few years I have run the Schools Bridge Pairs in Malahide with Thomas MacCormac and we always have to write to the Secretary to book the venue.


So our man in the West chooses to open a weak 2 with the 7 card suit .. and North declares 3NT.
HEART JACK lead and NORTH pops the Queen thinking 6-2 HEART break and that it does not
matter. However there was no cost to duck the HEART JACK and roll home 3NT via the working
club duck and maybe a DIAMOND 10 play or ACE and a small diamond .. but making
due to the lack of communication in HEARTS.

Now if WEST is a player who often opens WEAK 2 with 7 card suit then he needs to advise his
partner who when explaining will then mention the 7 card possibility.

However I don't think there is any cost to duck the HEART JACK ...

I have come across some international Ireland lady players who open a weak 2 with a 7 carder.
I think Eamon Galligan has tried the effect of the 4 card weak 2 opener...
Eamon also has operated the 5 card weak 3 opener
However these are dangerous moves which should only be used with caution .. and against counting
A man with grey hair and glasses just motored up the road outside my house at speed and he was not driving a car. FAST WALKING..
The TV is talking about migrating from Excel to Access ..
If one wanted to have some FREE practice at bridge one could use

Play a hand and you get a percentage score after each hand
Each week it will give you a rating which moves up or down each week.

If you want to watch FREE bridge lessons go to and type in what you want
Example .. someone asked me last night and I showed them and typed in WEAK 2 bid into youtube.
About 20 videos popped up

Eamon Galligan

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

First Ireland invitational Pairs complete

Last Friday in the Regent we held the Inaugural (think it means first) Ireland Invitational Pairs event. This event requires a severe amount of organisation. We were limited to 7 tables of Pairs so that's 14 pairs in action.

So how are the pairs selected ... Well the first 7 pairs might be easy so lets have a go

1. Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon ...
2. Thomas Hanlon and someone this case John Carroll was easy as he would be making any list himself
3. BJ O'Brien ..well its probably 35 years since any event started without BJ.. and his current partner
David Jackson is also a very active player still
4. The O'Briain brothers ..
5. Karel de Raeymaker and Anna Onishuk
6. Gay Keaveney is a solid citizen and as it happens one of his current partners is regular Welsh international player Peter Goodman
7. Terry Walsh and Michael McGloughlin have been in the top ranking of Irish bridge players from
the early 80s and before ..and having recently made a partnership in Senior Trials cannot be ignore
8. 9. 10.  Current trials form should not be ignored so all 6 players on the recent losing finalist team in the IBU trials are included
Wojciech Marcin Ranald Thomas and Ronan with the  very capable James Heneghan added as BJ O'Brien was already selected.

11. Donal MacAonghusa and Ciaran Coyne are a shoe in ...
12. Cian Holland has been showing well in various partnerships over the last 10 years so is included with partner Dermot Cotter
13. A Northern Ireland pair should be included .. David Greenwood and Rex Anderson would be the
expected choice but Ian Hamilton and Hastings Campbell showed up. Both are multiple capped
Camrose players for Northern Ireland
14. CBAI CEO and Regent President Paul Porteus and Fred Barry made up the 14. To the best of my
knowledge this pair are present as a flexible pair who might be present or not in Weeks 2 and 3 ..

The problem for the organisors is if a pair is asked to play in Week 1 then how can you kick them out for Week 2 and 3 you need some wriggle room.

Well known names who come to mind and are missing are

1. Peter Pigot
2. Tommy Garvey
3. Hugh McGann
4. Rory Timlin
5. Pat Barry
6. Pat McDevitt
7. David Scannell
8, Paul Scannell
9 Enda Glynn
10. John Phelan
11 Diarmuid Reddan
12. Karl Cashen
13. Donal Garvey
14. Pat Quinn
15. Michael McDonagh
16. Eddie Fitzgerald
17. Paul Barrett
18. David Walsh
19. Alan Johnson
20. John Murchan
21. Grier McKenzie
22. Ian Lindsay
23. Bob Pattinson
24. David Greenwood
25. Rex Anderson
26. Aidan Cleary
27. PC Kiely
28 Rory Boland
29 Mark Moran

Names listed at the top as pairs ... in no particular order apart from First 2 pairs
Names 1-22 in no particular order either and maybe I have forgotten some

Next ...The women are going to wonder why no mention of them ...

Hilary Dowling Long
Gilda Pender
Louise Mitchel
Lucy Phelan
Valerie Hand
Aileen O'Keefe
Joan Kenny
Teresa Rigney
Jill Kulchycky
Maureen Pattinson
Brid Kirby
Valerie and Kathleen
The 2 Pats
Patsy Meehan Petra O'Neill
Jeannie Fitzgerald Emer Joyce
Diane Greenwood
Ciara Burns
Mary Finn
Rebecca Brown
Ena Cleary
Maria Whelan
Dolores Gilliland
Barbara Seligman
Grainne Barton
Maria Barry
Miriam McConville

I have not concentrated very hard on the Woman's list but listed out names that
came to mind from recent trials /Lady Milnes so if I left you out don't take offence

For the 29 men listed above probably half them were unavailable for some of the 3 sessions
The other half probably did not make their way into the Final 14 pairs as not enough

So no Lady Pairs in the Final 14 ... Well what pair could a lady pair legitimately replace
A measure of Legitimately is you would beat the pair you are replacing 7 out of 10 times
in a direct match. There are lots of capable players in the 29 who the ladies also have to displace
before making consideration for the top 14 pairs.

A thought just struck me ... Maybe a non invited  pair could be allowed play but must pay a hefty entrance fee which would be returned on finished above average otherwise it goes into the prizes

Anyway .........   has all the boards and results of the 1st Invitational Pairs

So if you did not receive your invitation to play .. consider who would you displace
from the Top 14 competing pairs

You also need to be a more capable player than Eamon Galligan (who would not expect to get anywhere close to playing in this event) However I am stronger than lots of names mentioned on this
blog post ... (Its ok Thomas MacCormac you are not behind me)

Last weekend on BBO ...Declan the Donplayer partnered James Heneghan on BBO while I had a few
Guinness in my local pub. Declan the Donplayer is intrigued by bridge but has never ventured into a bridge club as it would interfere with his betting and drinking time.

Tonight in Malahide we have the inaugural Danny Doona Captains prize as far as I know ..

1H 2H X P
P 3C P P
3D P P

coming back to Adam Mesbur with opposition wanting to declare in 3D after his partner had
made a bid at all vulnerable
Adam knew what to do ... and Carroll went minus 1100 ..

Friday, April 01, 2016

Friday April 08 at 2pm Invitational Pairs Regent Bridge club

Next Friday we will have the Irish Invitational Pairs Championship. 14 of Irelands top pairs will do battle in a 52 board all play all barometer event scored by matchpoints.

We will run a vugraph theatre on site at the Regent Bridge Club and folk can also
watch live on Bridgebase Online. We will probably show 2 tables.

The event is organised by Jim Cahill and Ann Tuite.

Declan Byrne will manage the hosting club facilities.

The event starts at 1400 hours and runs until around 1030pm

More information later

Eamon Galligan

Monday, March 21, 2016

Top 14 Invitational Pairs at Regent


I have been informed that a new event will be hosted at the Regent Bridge Club in the near future.
Unfortunately most of ye will not be allowed to play. I don't know the exact qualifying details but two of the constraints are something like being a grandmaster and having an active regular partner who is also a grandmaster or good enough to not drag you down from your own high level.

The event will take place over 3 days in the Regent Bridge Club.


I’m writing to tell you about an exciting new sponsored match pointed pairs competition for Ireland’s Premier Pairs Partnerships. 

Three competitions will take place before the end of June, the first event to take place in Dublin in the Regent Bridge Club on Friday, 8th April, commencing at 14.00 (on the eve of the Moylan) The dates for the remaining events are 27th May (eve of the Egan) and 10th June.   

-         Prize Money for each event will be €1,000 with 1st, 2nd and 3rd Prizes being awarded.

-         In addition, the leading pair of the three events (provided they are eligible) will receive a generous subsidy towards the World National Open Pairs Competition which takes place in Wroclaw, Poland from 11th September. This pair must have played together on at least two occasions.

-         The number of entries will be limited to 14 pairs   

-         All pairs will play each other with a minimum of 52 boards at each event.

-         Visiting International Pairs of required standard may be invited to play in any of the competitions.

-         Pairs to be invited have been selected by a committee of some of Ireland’s leading players.

-         I have been appointed organiser of the competition

I hope you agree that this Competition will provide a marvellous opportunity for Ireland’s best pairs to meet in a challenging environment and I look forward to your participation.

Full details of competition rules, etc. will be provided on receipt of your confirmation.

Kind regards,
Ann Tuite

There is a plan being formed to show this event on BBO vugraph so those not near to Regent can watch this tough pairs event. Scoring is by matchpoints at the moment but I personally don't know if that is the best system with only 7 tables in operation.
My understanding is the event is being organised by Jim Cahill and Ann Tuite.
I suspect Declan Byrne will not be too far away as he has been a mainstay of the Regent Bridge Club for a good few 10s of years.
I don't know exactly who will take part at the moment but more details later as they come to hand.

Eamon Galligan