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Friday, June 24, 2016

Euro Bridge championships 2016 Round 31

After a disappointing day yesterday when Ireland Open lost to Belgium and Serbia when wins were required and lost against a strong Bulgarian team and won small against the very strong Monaco team it looked like the game was up regarding qualification for the Bermuda Bowl.
First match this morning was against a Welsh team with familiar faces from the Camrose. However when Rory Boland went down in 4S to lose 13 imps it looked like more of the same. However Ireland rallied to lose no more imps over the next 13 boards.. not one solitary imp .. 68 imps in the IN column for a 19.61 victory.
Given Rory Boland is a capable declarer one needed to examine Board 4 a little further. So here it is

10 tricks is not straight forward. However most of the tables led Club Ace and now we have 5 spades and 2 diamonds and 1 club...for 8 tricks and most heart plays will get 2 tricks or you can setup the club and make a Heart ruff.
However Boland in South got the SPADE 4 lead ...and now things are not so clear.
8 tricks on top and many ways to look for 10 ... several of them not working.

The full hand can be found on the European Bridge League website at the link below

For the Irish Open Team despite being 22 VPS out of Bermuda with 120 VPS to play for it is not gone yet. Some big teams have to battle each other and if the TOP 4 crush the chasers and Ireland get a large run of Irish luck or maybe play well things could happen ..Playing well helps luck though.

Just like in the soccer against Italy .. you cannot win the match if you play the game in your own half.

Meanwhile the Irish Ladies team continue to struggle and this was expected as despite being at the top of the Irish ladies game more is required. A fair share of good luck would also be required.
The Irish Ladies have  4 matches left TURKEY SPAIN ESTONIA BULGARIA AND 12 points for the BYE. Maybe they could score 64 out of 100 finish well. Its raining in Swords.

Recently I prepared some hands for one of the English Ladies pairs and one of them came back to me after bidding the 63 hands and gushed that those hands were magic .. I presumed she was just hoping for more so I went ahead and made another set.
Last night I saw two Irish ladies who have both played in European championships in the past bid these hands and issues in the bidding arose on about every 2nd hand. One could estimate 6 imps for each issue and 10 of these is 60 imps out the door. Things like Grand Slam is cold as the cards lie but our two decent players languish in 3NT "because it might be the right spot"
If GRAND is cold then one should be making a small slam try at the minimum.
Arguably Irelands premier bridge partnership Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon are in the partnership bidding room at least 2 nights a week so if its good for the gander its good for the goose and any other ganders who want.

 A friend of mine Paul Delaney used to say "Training and Dedication " beats "Well done partner "
This is not exactly the quote but I don't recall the exact context but the gist was I don't need congrats on every average contract I make .
Two many pairs get into the habit of "Well Done partner " ...for making a normal game or making 10 tricks when there are 11 there.

Meanwhile the Irish Senior Team have closed to within 12 VPs of qualification for the Seniors Bermuda Bowl .. d'ORSI Cup I think it is called. I am hoping they will close the gap and qualify.
It is very possible but very tough.

Now Mesbur and Fitzgibbon is not all about good bidding and good play and good defence ..
They have those things in spades ..

6 Clubs bid by our intrepid duo ... Mesbur and Fitzgibbon ...

Now to be outdone Boland and Moran also dipped into the pot of Irish luck..
6 Clubs bid and made also ..

Hanlon and McGann decided to sacrifice in 5H and that got doubled and gone for 800.
So we needed the slam to cancel that out. I doubt it bidding 5H is a winner in the long run but
these boys seem to like living dangerously.

So lets go watch some bridge .. Some big battles are taking place on BBO ..
Poland versus Sweden in the OPEN might be worth a look ..

Thursday, June 23, 2016

European Bridge Championships 2016 Day 8

On Bridgebase Online .. 3pm Ireland Norway .. 540pm Ireland Bulgaria

Today Ireland Open start the day with a match against 19th place Belgium .. followed by a match against 17th place Serbia . One would hope to start the day with 2 good performances. However it is important to note that mid table teams in this event are well capable of defeating teams 10 places above them. In this event that powerful bridge nation the Faroe Islands defeated Norway yesterday and already have a win against Germany. Now I could be doing the Faroe Islands a disfavour as I have no knowledge of their bridge community. I had a look and there seems to be about 56 names in the EBL listings for Faroe Islands.
Later in the day live on one can find Ireland Open Team in action in two crunch matches (at this time) versus Norway and Bulgaria. Failing to deliver in the opening 2 matches will deem these 2 later matches less important. However we will see how the first 2 matches go. Hopefully the celebrating Hungarian football supporters did not keep our lads awake all night.

Hungary drew 3-3 with Portugal allowing both teams to enter the knockout stages of some football tournament taking place in France. Lesser teams like Wales Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland also secured their places in the last 16.

In this bridge event the top 7 qualify for the Bermuda Bowl. That's presuming France continue to hold down a top 6 place as they qualify automatically as hosts .. Ireland would like to achieve a top 7 placing but are currently in 10th place about 16 VPs out of 7th. Powerful bridge nations currently hold the top 6 places .. FRANCE SWEDEN GERMANY MONACO NETHERLANDS ENGLAND
with other bridge dynasties like World champion POLAND ITALY BULGARIA NORWAY and even HUNGARY + ISRAEL not out of it yet. The current IRELAND team might be considered just around the end of the above mentioned teams.. However a few more Irish slams ...those are ones were the cashing AK in a side suit are not both in opening leaders hand.

Hanlon McGann had rotten luck when they bid a grand slam yesterday against France which only required a 3-2 break in a side suit .... 68% odds or the side suit 4-1 break reversed giving a restricted choice position when a diamond honor falls .... probably another 12% an 80% grand slam had no play . I have not done the maths on the 4-1 making position but made a guess but you cannot have a 4-1 without a singleton honor.

A grand slam we would all be happy and proud to bid ... but the Great Shuffler or some other fecker
deemed that the Great Bidders in the European Bridge Championships would be penalized for their skill. Now don't get me wrong Ireland players have received their fair share of luck over the championships but that hand is just too random ... 30 imps swing on this hand .. probably a difference of 4.5 VPs .... lose by 17 imps instead of 47 ..
Even a French commentator was gracious enough to say .. tres tres malheareux ... whatever that means.... sounds like very very unlucky ...
However an examination of Irelands large win against Italy will find two similar boards going the Ireland way so we have no complaints ..


I notice Scotland got a 20-0 victory against some team yesterday. The Scots have not been having much luck in these championships but they crushed Ireland early on.
The Ireland Senior Team are not finished yet after gathering a 50 imp win in the final match yesterday evening against Scotland I think. A look at the cross table results indicates if they play well and in luck they have several VP gathering opportunities.. However it will be a hard task to push into the top 6 but it is achievable with some luck and good solid bridge. This is 4 of the team that reached World Seniors quarter final ..with World Seniors champion Pat McDevitt assisted by Irelands possibly best natural bridge player Gay Keavney replacing Pat Barry Rex Anderson.. so a decent squad. A couple of dominating performances from the O'Briain brothers might clinch it ..

The Irish ladies are struggling but they are only 18 VPS behind the Scottish squad which crushed all in the recent Lady Milne in Belfast so that shows the strength of the field or maybe Scotland are having some bad hair days. The Irish ladies did have some luck when a Dutch declarer somehow went down in 6S on the hand featured above .. our girls gaining 17 imps to add to 2 other imps gained over the 16 boards to lose 19-23 to the Netherlands.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

European Bridge Championships Day 6

Note .. 1220 Ireland France 1500 Ireland Monaco will be live on Bridgebase Online.

Today June 22nd 2016 at the European Bridge Championships Ireland Open face a big day. In the first of 4 matches they face Belarus. Many years ago some Belarus players attended the 1991 European Bridge championships in Killarney. They were not in the main event but we recall these foreigners playing in the Open Pairs side events. 1991 Ireland was not the multi cultured Ireland that we have today. There was still a Yugoslavia as a full country in those days. That war broke out around the end of those European Bridge championships.

One would hope for a good start to the day against Belarus but those folk have had 25 years to learn their bridge since then.

Match 2 will be against France the current leaders. Back in the early 90s there was a feared junior called Quantin ..A boy mountain they said but our juniors could not defeat him .. He is here now as fully grown middle aged man. In Xmas 2014 the Regent Bridge Club had its 90th birthday and another of this current French team fetched up in the Regent Bridge Club and played in the 90th Birthday Regent Congress. Thomas Bessis ..
I recall the Regent Club manager approaching Thomas Hanlon and wondering if he might play in the Regent 90th anniversary congress. Hanlon walked over to the entry list and wrote down 4 names.

Thomas Hanlon Thomas Bessis Justin Lall and Somebody Delmonte ..

Regent Club manager asked me ...Is Hanlon having a laugh ..
I said "I don't think so as I saw something on Facebook about Lall being in Dublin around Xmas.

Anyway the first 3 showed up along with another lady visitor .. Well done them.

So Match 2 is France ..........

Match 3 will be against the Monaco team including Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness two legends of the bridge game. Despite losing one of the top pairs in the bridge world due to rule changes or maybe the application of LAW 16B or as Declan the Donplayer calls it BILLYING.. Monaco remain a team of considerable force and are placed in 4th place.
The Irish Open team had the experience of some coaching from Krystoff Martens who is the Monaco coach and has now been added to the team as a player due to circumstances. Martens is a bridge animal and any serious player would not be going far wrong to have a look at

I bought 3 declarer play books back in 2007 and all I can say is WOW.. a new life

Match 4 will be against the Ukraine ... Like Match 1 one would hope for a decent amount of VPs

By the end of the day we will know whether a 2nd attendance is possible at the Bermuda Bowl or a repeat of that never to be forgotten Saturday morning when Ireland played Scotland needing a good victory to reach the Bermuda Bowl. Scotland did not play ball for a while and went into a 20 imp lead but slowly Ireland overcame and passed out and even moved into medal contention. Eventually Ireland collected a SILVER medal that morning and Team Silver was born.

I notice there is no Lithuanian team in this years event. I know they played in 2012 in Ireland as Thomas Hanlon introduced me to some of them .. White with a blue stripe type shirts. Some of them smokers. I know there is a bridge invitational  event run every year in Lithuania .. Maybe something happened that I missed ..

Anyway I think the bridge has started so better get in there and watch ....

Just in case anyone thinks this European bridge is easy or mistakes they see are bad .. I played Round 17 using the 6 BBO tables as comparisons and JACK ( as a partner and opponents.

I messed up one 4H contract and went down in a 3NT both makeable but otherwise thought
I played ok. That brought me 21st place out of 24 Euro Team pairs. So that's why I cannot play for Ireland. Too sloppy ...If my avoided those two bad boards I am still only in the middle of the field despite my opponents being two Jack computer programs ..

We also have Ladies and Senior teams competing in these Euro championships. The ladies are finding the going tough but that's to be expected with most of the opponents being proffessionals and our ladies having 9-5 jobs at home.
Our Seniors backboned by the powerful Mesbur Fitzgibbon partnership. 40 years plus and they still do bidding practice at least twice a week. There is a lesson there. The Seniors also feature former World Senior Pairs  champion Pat McDevitt in tandem with Gay Keavney along with the feared O'Briain brothers... The Senior Team can beat any other Senior Team on their day as long as they don't rest Mesbur Fitzgibbon too often. It is not possible to waltz into European Senior Teams after feeding on a diet of Irish Nationals and Senior Camroses. A man at the recent Ireland Invitational Pairs indicated that Ireland Seniors would be a favourite in Euro Seniors ..
"Favourite to do what I asked " .. The reply was ." Well win the thing " ... "Dream on I said .. players who play all their Under 60 life as average at best for Euro level don't suddenly become world beaters at 60" ....All the medal winners of the 70s 80s 90s will be waiting in the Euro Seniors and not planning to roll over..... Now Mesbur Fitzgibbon the reigning Cavendish Pairs holders will put fear/respect  into any European Pair when they are sitting out the opposite happens ..

I read in a book ..think it was about Great Irish Bridge plays ...something about Mr Nobody ..
Mr Nobody made a great play against a multi world champion and the guy searched the opponents white shirt for his name ... Ah ok Mr Nobody but you are a damn good declarer .. Nowadays nobody needs to look for Nick Fitzgibbons name .. No doubt Keavney McDevitt and the O'Briain brothers will prove me wrong .... Currently they are playing England and after 5 boards its 6-5 to England.
O'Briains and Mesbur Fitzgibbon at the tables. A good win would boost the confidence.

In the womans event the Russians are 18-0 up on Ireland at the moment. Some of those Russia lady names look kind of Belarus to me but I could be wrong.

And in the Open with Hanlon McGann gone to the gym for the morning we trial 2-7 after 5 boards ..

Looks like Carroll and Garvey need to work on their cuebidding as they just bid 6H missing the cashing Ace King of clubs .. Thomas MacCormac and Eamon did that against two English internationals back in the day .. They still holding the Ace and King ..

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Euro Bridge Championships 2016 Round 14 15

In Round 14 Ireland defeated Croatia 51-23 ..I think this was the match where Hanlon bid a 7NT based on Spade King being a working finesse. Unfortunately at this moment my computer or someones computer won't allow me access the match boards and results

In round 15

Ireland defeated Russia 40-30 to record another victory

In both the above matches click on the table number to find further information on the match.

Monday, June 20, 2016

European Championships 2016 Round 12 13

Sunday June 19th and we await with trepidation Cavan versus Tyrone in the Ulster GAA semi final.
Tyrone are damn good with many All Ireland winners still in their squad having won the All Ireland in 2003 2005 and 2008. Where were the Dubs those years .. Anyway all was well with Cavan putting up a good effort and scoring a goal in the 73rd miute to equalize the match and we have to do it all again. Now I am from Cavan but I support the Dubs.

So Round 12 saw Ireland take on the mis-firing Scotland although the Scots are fresh from knocking off a deflated Portugal by 13-7 .. starting on Board 17

Board 17 Ireland make the " easy 4S " the quote is from another match .. and Scotland have a problem and languish in 3H going down 11 imps to Ireland

Board 18 Ireland bid the normal 6D and unfortunately fail to make the double dummy 13 tricks so 13 imps out ..Scotland in 4S

Board 20 sees the Scots down in 4S doubled while Hanlon McGann roll it home.
"Lots of easy 4S around this set says the commentator in the Italy match ..maybe its a joke ..
14 imp to Ireland ..

Board 21 Boland leads off a 4th highest HEART against 3NT and the the Scotsman is away for slates. 10 tricks and 11 imps in a 3NT that needs quiet defence. Scotland gained 6 on 22 ..

Board 23 .. Scotland land in 6H .. some work is required but they guide it home ..
In the other room Hanlon McGann languish in 4H making 11 .. Grand slam in Clubs was on
good guesses ..    13 imps to Scotland.. now a comfortable 48-25 ahead .. 

Board 27 sees Boland Moran make a comfortable 4H on sub minimum values while the Scots languish in 2NT against Hanlon McGann. 48-45 Scotland with 5 boards left

Finally board 31 sees the Scots bid 6S on 30 hcp and a 9 card trump fit. Few tables bid this slam.
However after a diamond finesse winning and the run of the trumps West gets squeezed out of AQJ of hearts and the 4 card diamonds .. 6S bid and made .. 13 imps to Scotland who win by 66 imps to 51. The Intelligent Man was playing in the Closed Room for Scotland. He is Danny Kane.
So Scotland got their 2nd 14 VP haul in a row but unfortunately went back to old habits in the next 4 matches to remain firmly on the bottom.. Hopefully things will improve for them.
66 imps in the bag for Scotland ..a team who have been lucky to get past 30 most matches so far.
Round 13 ..saw Ireland take on Israel

First 7 boards went 6-5 to Ireland.

Board 8 saw Israel draw some blood by finding a good 5C sacrifice versus the no-vul 4S game.
Hanlon McGann unwisely pushed on to 5S and paid a further 7 imps by going down.

Board 9 saw Israel and Ireland  bid a small slam .. In the Open Room McGann led a small diamond and when the Jack won Israel were home in a beatable 6H .. KQ diamond lead is good ..
In  the Closed Room .. 6H down on DK .. 14 imps to Israel.

Board 12 sees Hanlon McGann swiftly into 3C contract EW despite the opps owning 4S cold.
3C goes 2 off while Carroll and Garvey muster up 620 in 4S. Ireland lost 9 imps on Board 13 going down in 4H while Israel went plus in 3H .. 200 in each room .
The score now 44-22 for Israel

Board 16 saw Ireland gain 13 on 4S making by Hanlon McGann for 620 while Carroll Garvey found the 5C sacrifice for 4 imps but Israel pushed on to 5S going down.

So Israel 44 Ireland 35 ...


European Bridge Championships 2016 Rounds 9 10 11

Saturday 18th of June dawns. Loads of sport on the TV. Some think Ireland are going to get something out of Belgium in the soccer. The more practical among us see Free Money at almost evens. However we lost it back when Galway done Mayo.

Round 9 versus Spain

Board 2 Hanlon McGann weore able to gather 11 imps for 3NT via 5 club tricks and enough in the other suits to make.
Board 8 saw a slip on defence or else too active defence and 4S slipped past for 10 imps out at the Hanlon McGann table
Board 9 saw Carroll Garvey make a good 3NT via 6 club tricks and a trick in each other suit for 10 imps back. Ireland by 24-12
Board 13 saw Hanlon McGann attempt 6H missing AK of trumps .. Now it is possible to make these kind of things but you need to be able to persuade the opps into some ruffs. In this case the Spanish lad had both AK in the one hand and chose to double. 800 out when 4H can hardly make but Carroll Garvey failed to find the defence not that it mattered. So 800 and 620 .. for 16 imps .. At least the 2 poor scores were on the same board. I do recall one time down in Clontarf at some intermediate competition I persuaded my opps to do some underruffing and then felled the trump AK of trumps in one to make 4H+2 but that was 30 years ago.
So 36-25 to Spain and a poor day at the office for Hanlon McGann on the boards we examined.

Round 10 v Switzerland starting on Board 17

Board 17 saw the Swiss making 11 tricks in 4H while Boland Moran failed. Trumps were 4-0 with KQ92 in one hand so nobody is saying it is easy .. 11 imps to Swiss

Board 20 saw the Swiss over reach or maybe get pushed too high in both rooms and Boland Moran collected 500 while Hanlon McGann added another 200 so 12 imps to Ireland

Board 25 saw both EWs in 6D .. Trumps were 4-0 .. KT9x .. Hanlon took a swing and 500 in against the 100 lost by Boland Moran .. 9 imps to Ireland

Board 27 saw 11 more imps to Ireland when the Swiss failed in 6H against 4H+1 in the other room

Board 29 saw Ireland lose 12 imps when someone led their singleton spade but with Left Hand Leads now illegal the defence went awry and 12 imps to Switzerland . Score about 41-32 with 3 boards to go.
Boland Moran gathered in 3 plus scores on boards 30-32 which translated into 18 imps and a 59-32 win.

Round 11 which is the final round of the day

Board 1 and the Club Ace lead against 3NT lets Carroll have Club King and Queen separately for 10 imps against 3N down in Hanlon McGann room

Board 4 saw Hanlon slip away in 4H when only 2H was book ... Ireland up by 25

Board 5 saw Hanlon down in a makeable 6D ..well unfortunately Hanlon knows the odds and a finesse beats a 3-3 break most days .. Today the finesse lost  As they saw in Fitzwilliam tennis club PLUS in game beats DOWN in slam. .. 11 imps Sweden

Board 11 saw Carroll Garvey down in 3NT off first 5 tricks ..while Sweden eased home in 10 tricks cold 4H .. 10 imps Sweden

Board 12 saw Carroll Garvey take the low road in allowing Sweden play and make 3S when 5C is cold for them as EW. 10 cautious imps to Sweden and the score 34-34 ..

Board 15 is worth a mention and shows how the Irish continue to luck in .. God help them when the
luck runs out .. 7C can be made double dummy but is an esoteric line .. Our man Hanlon who is one of the great natural declarers in the world tackled 6C and emerged with 11 tricks ..
How can this be ... The Swedes roared into the decent 7C .. and they also emerged with 11 tricks
So an interesting 3 imps to Ireland who take the match by 1 imps

There ye go .. 7C .fancy your chances of outplaying Thomas Hanlon in 6C .. or the Swedish  declarer in 7C. Otherwise maybe the Irish Congress Teams contract of 5C.
Most tables in the Open Teams declared slams .. Half made and Half went down ..
Only the Dutch North bid and made 7C .. Over to you

Friday, June 17, 2016

European Bridge Championships 2016 Round 7/8

Ireland took on Portugal in Round 7. Portugal were struggling in 30th place of 37 teams. So hopefully some VPs coming. Again we look at the double digit boards

Board 3 saw the Portuguese attempt a 3H contract unfortunately when their opponents were capable of making 9 tricks in the same contract. Moran had some double cards in his box and done the needful. Down 5 was worth 1100 versus the vul game in other room ... Ireland up by 17-1

Board 7 saw Boland Moran stay low with 10 opposite 15 and two 4333 shapes. Unfortunately the spades lay safely and Lauria guided 3NT home in comfort in another match. 3NT also made in the closed room of Ireland match so 10 imps out ... Ireland by 22-18.

Board 13 saw the Portuguese attempt 3NT despite Hanlon holding 3 bullets and McGann owning 7 high card points. .....Someone probably McGann put the double card out and that became 800. and 12 imps. ...... Ireland win by 41-21 and about 15 VPS in the bag.

Round 8 saw Ireland take on a capable German side.

A dribble of small imps out until board 23

In the Open Room Rehder after passing as dealer found a 3C bid and East got into the making 3NT.
Hanlon McGann pushed onto the making 4S as North South but the Germans took insurance in 5C.
A double followed as "We have bid a vul game " and 11 tricks to Germany.

Meanwhile in the Closed Room Carroll was still caressing his 11 minor suit cards as the Germans rolled into the making 4S unmolested. That made and that was 16 imps out for 2 vulnerable games.
Another 8 imps drifted away in small portion and starting board 29 it looked grim for Ireland. 31 imps to 1 down and nothing much looking swingy in the coming 4 boards.

Board 29 ..In the Open Room the Germans took the 4S sacrifice against the making 4H.
Hanlon McGann got the available 500 from this. In the Closed Room Carroll Garvey quickly reached 5D as the sacrifice before NS got fully going 5D doubled and booked for down 2 on double dummy defence. However it is not so easy to find this defence and a trick got dropped. Then anorher trick slipped away and suddenly Ireland had 15 imps in their basket. Some hope in the tunnel

Board 30 .. The Germans attempted a long minor based 3NT and Hanlon McGann were able to cash 5 spade tricks and 2 aces .. In the closed room Garvey Carroll tried the same ..
The German defender South played off AK spades and it looked like a flat one ...
Then the German South switched to Hearts and Garvey was heading for 9 tricks and 11 imps
Two flat like boards and suddenly 26 imps got Ireland back in the game ..

Germany 34 Ireland 26 and a lot more VPS then 20 minutes ago
A hardly deserved 8 VPS but they all count towards the winning total

About 39 VPs for the day ..slightly below average but no damage done

Ireland have 2 targets in this event ... To make the top 6 and qualify for the Bermuda Bowl.
With France hosting they are excluded so 7th place will do if France are in top 6.

A secondary target is a top 10 placing which allows Irelands club champions to participate in the European Club championship.

France Norway Italy England Poland Holland Sweden  might be the chosen 7.
Monaco are there too but shown of their imp machines and short on players might
struggle to make top bunch. However Martens is togging out and he is a good Guinness

However Poland are without the shamed  Baliki Zmudinski
Monaco are struggling to field a team of 6 but it appears Coach Martens is togging out.
Italy are also weakened with no sign of Duboin Sementa Bocchi Madala.
Finland have started with 8 victories including wins against Poland Monaco Ireland and France.
So the Finns are showing well and must be considered as a competitive team.

Ireland will need to start upping their game severely to approach the top 7 places ... So far we seem to be having some good luck and good luck evens out ...

However if luck gets Ireland into the top 7 its all good with me

Em I notice this morning Ireland bid 6H on board 13 .. The opps decided to double it to keep them honest. Nobody else bid 6H so nobody else went 3 down vulnerable.

European Bridge Championships Day 2 Match 1 and 2

Ireland Open Team started the day with a match against Finland. Finland with no great bridge pedigree might be beatable. However Finland is geographically located close to Norway and Sweden both bridge powerhouses. Also Finland had won their first 4 matches including victories over France and current world champions Poland.  So into battle.

I will look at the double digit swings.

Board 1 .. Ireland got 12 imps when the Finns overstretched to 4S and someone was able to put the double on it.

Board 2 .. 6S on 29 hcp and 5-4 fit was not a thing of beauty but was unbeatable. Finland bid it so 11 imps to them

Board 4 saw the Irish EW attempt 3NT on a combined 24 count. Helness in another match guided it home but our declarer managed 8 tricks.

Board 5 saw our NS get a double on 5C for down 3 and 12 imps .. so 23-29 after 5 boards.

Board 8 4S makes EW but our lads allowed their NS opps declare 3H making losing 11

Board 12 saw the Finns home for 11 tricks in 3NT when a different lead with see the result as
3NT-7 ... You got to read those lead books .. 11 imps out instead of 14 in the bag .. 25 imps swing.

Board 16 saw Ireland miss a game and declare 3H for 10 tricks .. Vulnerable game so 11 imps gone.

Ireland 29 Finland 67 ... Not a good morning in the office for Boland Moran.
Match 2 v Austria was live on Bridgebase so we could see all the hands and bidding. The whole match can be downloaded from Bridgebase if required.

Board 22 saw Hanlon McGann down 3NT while Garvey Carroll got a favourable lead in 4S and that was 12 imps. Garvey played the clubs well given the chance. Ireland by 20

Board 29 saw Hanlon McGann bid the skinny but making 4S while the Austrians languished in 3D on a 5-1 fit. 3D minus 1 gave Ireland 12 imps .. Ireland lead by 33-6 ..

Board 32 saw Hanlon on lead against 3NT after an auction showing a decent club suit about to appear in dummy. Hanlon failed to pick the killing diamond lead and that was 10 imps out ..

Final score .. Ireland 33 Austria 16 ... Its still more VPS in the bag

Thursday, June 16, 2016

European Bridge Championship 2016 Day 1

At the European Bridge championships today Ireland had a fine day. 59.84 VPs collected out of a possible 80. Ireland started this morning with a 19.25 score against Czech Republic. ..a 51 imps victory. The team for Match 1 was Rory Boland Mark Moran Hugh McGann and Thomas Hanlon.

In Round 2 Ireland faced England with what might be termed their front 4 in action. England always have a powerful team in this level of competition. They have several podium finishes. With 4 boards to play of the 20 the score stood at 5 imps to 1 for England. Boards 29 and 30 saw Ireland miss a couple of tough chances and England stretched it out to 24-1. Ireland got 5 imps back on board 31 and that was a 24-6 in imps loss. 14.6 to  5.4 ..

Round 3 saw Boland Moran back into the fray partnered by Carroll Garvey against Cyprus ..
One would expect a decent haul against a Cyprus team which was struggling so far. A haul of 18.77 VPs was achieved despite a couple of hiccups at board 9 and 10. 3 scores of 11 12 and 13 imps on boards 11-13 got the team back on course.

Round 4 brought up the multiple champions Italy although with a slightly changed team.
Italy had started the morning in Round 1 cold and trailed Croatia by 45 imps to 0 after 9 boards.
However they recovered 31 imps in the last 7 boards to lose 13.75 to 6.25. A 47 imps pounding of a slow starting Scotland team followed and Italy were up and running. Italy then put 62 imps past an outclassed Portugal team and were into 3rd place.
It looked like Ireland were in for a tough match and maybe a hiding was on the cards.
Ireland got out of the blocks first and led 18-0 after 4. Italy got 10 back to 1 for Ireland so after 10 boards Ireland led by 19-10 in imps. Italy bid a good 7 Spade contract but 2 4-1 breaks in the black suits doomed that contract and 14 imps to Ireland. Italy over reached again in a failing 3NT and another 5 imps to Ireland now 38-10 ahead. Italy bid another good slam this one making and 13 imps to them. On board 31 both teams bid 4S and Italy got doubled. Hanlon McGann doubled 4S and cashed 4 red suit tricks while in the other room Carroll Garvey avoided the 4 top losers.

So Ireland gain a 28 imp win for 16.42 VPS but one suspects Italy will be bemoaning the luck of the Irish. At a quick glance Ireland had the rub of the green and blue and red in this match. 7S down is a 27 imp swing. Italy not being able to cash out was another 12 imps swing. So swings and roundabouts but all going Irelands way.

More tomorrow

Lots of games are broadcast on

Hopefully my email on some boards from the England match will be forgiven.

Eamon Galligan