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Monday, February 05, 2018

IBU Trials Final Sets 5 6 7

Down in the Clayton Leopardstown on Saturday 27th early the IBU Trials Final between a hard working COYNE panel and a kind of lack lustre Barton team continued.

Set 5 was action packed with 82 imps shared between the two teams ..

Saturday continued with Barton gaining 15 imps early but Coyne responded with a  33-7 imp finish  to  to tighten the match closer. Part of these imps saw 4H redoubled making at one table followed by a quick game swing added to that.

So now after 96 of the 160 boards it was a 3 imp game Coyne 190 plays Barton 193.

Meanwhile back on Galligans laptop Galligan and Jack computer took up the challenge using 1set of Jack comparisons plus my table plus the live trials comparisons.For the moment Galligan is doing well on paper but Galligan received a large gift of Jack flooring 7 spades when cold and gifting Galligan 57 imps when making the contract was probably 20 imps the other way so near 80 cross imps on 1 board of a gift. However that's what happened. Even Hanlon nods the odd time.

The final 16 boards on Saturday came up so lets see.

On the 2nd board Glynn rolled home 4HX while 5C  went down at the other table.
On the 9th board Garvey pulled one of his back catalog 8 card 2C openings and that ended in 3N down 4 for minus 400 ...added to the cold 5C for 600 made 1000 … and 14 imps
Team Barton went on a little rumble for the last 7 boards racking up 25-2 imps trim the lead.
Overall Score on Saturday night left both sides sleeping on 223 imps each ..a draw.

The final board on Saturday saw the first wind of Storm Hanlon on the horizon finding a good berth in 4H on a Moysian fit ...the old 4-3.

Monday, January 29, 2018

IBU Trials Final 2018 first 64 boards and Declan the Donplayer.

Meanwhile over in the Power Suite in the Clayton Hotel in Leopardstown Team Coyne and Team Barton went into battle. Team Coyne after playing Team Barton to a 64-61 match in the recent Camrose Trophy in Belfast felt capable of doing an upset. They had added the formidable partnership of Terry Walsh and Derek O'Gorman and disassembled two other partnerships to make Keaveney Glynn into a working relationship.

Set 1 .. saw Barton take a 7 imp lead. Board 9 had a club slam EW but both North Souths declared in 3S and 4S respectively both doubled and 9 imps to Coyne. Hanlon McGann gained 12 imps for 4DX later on. Otherwise a few small imps in and out.

Set 2 saw Coyne win by 8 imps mainly due to a Grand Slam bid by Walsh O'Gorman. Barton team got a couple of 9 imps swings in return.

Set 3 was the final 16 boards of Friday evening and lets see

Hanlon McGann got into 1NT light 3 non-vul while team mates rolled home 3NT EW.
Barton also gained 13 on 5D made against 5D down 1

So Barton by 23 overnight..

Top of Set 4 Coyne would blow away that lead with a 36-6 start.
but Barton came back with a slam v game  swing and a game swing.

So it was Barton leading by 13 after 64 boards ...Nothing in it.

Meanwhile back in Swords … Eamon has mistakenly given Declan the Donplayer a 10% handicap on Bridge-Now. Declan Donplayer beat me in December and I had to buy him a pint.
Now its January and its 2-2 with the final score due on January 31st.
Last night Declan advised me that he has posted 68% after 23 boards so I need an impossible 78% to win. However I don't believe him as he has never broken 60%. 
However he was touting that he would be looking down on BJ O'Brien next week and maybe even beating that Karl Cashin.

Friday, January 26, 2018

IBU Trials Final 2018 COYNE v MORAN

In about 1 hour the Final of the IBU Trials 2018 will be begin.

Venue : Clayton Hotel Leopardstown ... I think

Friday 3 sets of 16 boards starting at 330pm

Saturday 4 sets of 16 boards starting at 10am

Sunday  3 sets of 16 boards starting at 10am

Vugraph on BBO will run throughout along with live running scores on FOB

I presume visitors are welcome but I have not been to the site yet.

Heading off shortly ..

Had to cancel my arranged bridge game with a visibly disappointed Conor O;Hara tonight.


Last night in Malahide Conor O'Hara rolled back the years and anchored Dave Terry to success in the 2018 renewal of the Maurice Quinn Memorial Stakes. Did not need to use the whip at all,

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Declan the Donplayer ACHIEVES

Late each Wednesday night up to about midnight the dunce with the laptop can be seen beavering away in the local community centre bar attempting to get his 70 hands played by the weekly closing time for Bridge Now.

About 4 years ago one of the local reprobates took an interest in this bizarre game of bridge as the locals call it. "That's an old dears game Eamon " they say ..
I reply .. "Lads we are old dears .. " ... as we are mostly past 50 and heading for 60 .. and beyond.

Anyway one of the major reprobates took a large interest in this game and this was Declan the Donplayer ...real name Declan McKenna .. painter decorator drinker gambler dancer singer .. you name it he does it ... father carer fisherman card cheat  and ,,,,,,,,,,,,,now bridge player.

Problem is Declan is different than most other bridge players ... He loves the game even though he has only set foot  in  a bridge club once. Everytime I meet him ... "Eamon I love this game and thanks for showing me" ...Now I am going to beat you ..

Of course I never believed him as I am a National champion several times ..and he is a 1 time visitor to a bridge club. It could not happen or could it ..

Early last week maybe around Monday or Tuesday ...I met Declan the Donplayer and he was indicating the time might be here .... He asks .. "How is your Bridge Now going this week"
As I was having a bad week and was chasing hard to reach 60% average ...I told him "Not too good but not bad enough that you will get near me .. " ... "We will see about that Eamon ... Declan is thinking about 62% this week ..... I thought he was messing but I had a doubt in my mind as   Declan the Donplayer loves this game and has progressed to scoring over 55% the odd week.

So to cut a long story short ...

Above is a screenshot from

It shows several Irish players I have flagged as friends or people I know in real life who are all regular bridge players some good and some international and some lesser players.
Karl Cashen and BJ O'Brien are well known at the top of the Irish game.
Most of the rest are above average Malahide players .. The number on the left is placing out of just over 700 players this 56% got you into the top 200.
Sitting in 40th place for the week is a very proud Declan the Donplayer ...and even prouder Eamon Galligan who educated this player by answering his questions.

I met Declan the Donplayer last night and he was engrossed in the weekly game of DON but as soon as he lost a game and was sat out he was over to me .... "Eamon did you look at the ranking for last week .. Eamon did you look upwards and see Declan the Donplayer looking down on you"

So we agreed that each week for the foreseeable future I would spot him 10% and the winner gets a pint. Anyone who does not post a score loses that week. The secret is Declan only goes past 19 boards when he has a good head of steam up.
Meanwhile we also have Shane Maxwell another bridge learner. Shane has visited Malahide Regional Bridge Club twice and does not believe in playing in the novice game .. or inter B game ..
Its straight in there with anything from 50 years experience downwards.
A few weeks ago Shane came to Malahide and got a bad trimming ...
I asked him .."Well how do you feel now " ... "I feel embarrassed " replies Shane ..

On the way home .. I asked him .. "Is there anything I can do for you from a bridge point of view"
Shane said nothing ... .

Nearing his home I asked again ..
Shane replies .. "There is actually .. Could you write out what my upbids mean ... "
Upbids says I ????

Turned out that in his world an upbid was a single raise or a double raise ...
like 1H P 2H .. or 1H P 3H ...

So next morning I duly emailed Shane a pdf of a bidding system ...

Going back a little ... I taught Shane bridge in 15 minutes one night when he had a few beers on and now he has progressed to being able to play in some kind of way.
Last year I ran into Shane in the local beer club and we were discussing bridge and I was very confused by what he was saying.
Eventually I figured it out.

Way back on the night I taught Shane I told him about GAME bid bonuses ...but I only got as far as the 3NT or else he missed the 4H 4S ..5C 5D part ...
Shane was playing bridge for 2 years online thinking the 3 Level was game bid in every suit ..
ala 3NT is game ... It was quite a revelation for both of us ..

Last week I met Shane again ... and he was talking about handicap points in bridge ...
I was totally lost again ...... A few days later I worked it out ...

HCP..... he understood it as HANDICAP POINTS ...he is a golfer ...
He knew it was 4321 for Ace King Queen Jack ...but nobody ever mentioned


Shane scores regularly on   in the 39% to 49% range
He is not up with Declan the Donplayer yet but he also loves the game.
So there you have it ... part of my life on the bridge periphery .. .

Shortly I am off to Malahide to demonstrate the dealing machine .... 10 people claim it does not work.  Last night I dealt two sets of 30 deals in 10 minutes each. The black clouds hovered over me but gradually they softened and turned white..

Dealing machine 1100 from
is going like a bullet train ... sometimes the cards come out so fast they fly out the end of the machine. Several folk are doubtful if the machine is fit for purpose.
Galligan sits down and the motors start whirring and the cards fly into the card holders ...

The dark  clouds slowly turn a white shade of pale.

We also have a brand new Mark 5 machine and it also deals like a dream in Galligans hands but sometimes it pulls through 2 cards. However I think it needs some deeper thought.
Maybe there is more to this issue. Could someone be licking the cards or putting shaving cream on them.

Strangely enough Eamon Galligan and Tom Gilligan can work it fine ..

Anyway my robin is outside looking for some crumbs .... soon the squirrel will appear on the window looking for fruit or nuts

Its all go in Swords ..

UPDATE on Dealing machines ...

Mark 5 machine would only deal 1 card if any at all so it needed some tender care and attention.
Eventually it was persuaded to deal a few boards in a row. However it is now in the washing machine on a spin cycle. I need to learn how to clean it. I will get it back to the way it was when I took it out of the box brand new. However Andrew is not sure about the design.

I think it just needs a good cleaning and some daily maintenance.

Machine 1100 is still going like a rocket ..
Andrew dealt some boards this morning for Friday night .. He remains to be convinced though.
Andrew works on the statistics ..10 people cannot be wrong and 1 person right. The saga continues but the boards keep getting dealt.

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Bridgez is a good practice website


Ye could do worse than playing the 16 board daily Bridgez tournament. Several well known Irish players partake from time to time. you get a monthly rating and various reports.

I got some good boards today. 

Meanwhile up in Donegal former Donegal bridge star almost won the Donegal Congress Teams.
Results on 

Monday, October 30, 2017


The 6 man Coyne squad of Gay Keaveney Pat McDevitt Ciaran Coyne Peter Goodman Enda Glynn and David Walsh took the first and only prize in the Camrose Trials this weekend.

I think the prizes are a weekend in Belfast and another weekend in Gormanstown.

I might be playing the hands later in the year against my Jack robots to see if I can beat the Coyne team. However first I have to finish winning the Lady Milne trials. I am only in 7th place after 30 boards of the 150.

Congratulations to the Coyne team on their victory. We did tip them or Fitzgibbon as the winners
and we did indicate the 4 man team might struggle with stamina. A 6 man team gives the pairs a chance for a break and a chance to mentally refresh.

The Coyne weekend looked like a well planned operation. Play 2 sets and sitout. Then play 2 more and sitout and so on for all 3 pairs. The Keavney McDevitt pairing contributed 2.2 imps a board for the final 24 board match ...a decent run rate.

I notice the Phelan yacht went backwards fast as they moved into rougher waters after a fair  weather start. The bigger boats of the top end of the draw caused larger wash on Lake Templogue surface.

As a player who managed to gain entry to his first trials on a holding of 9 B points when Derek Stokes was retired from directing the trials. He offered me a chance to play and had enough B points for the 2 of us to gain entry. We placed 2nd last of a field of about 22 pairs. However the experience moved  me forward in bridge very quickly. I expect the same to happen for several of the newer Camrose trialists if they put in the work. You cannot pretend to be a bridge player.

An Inter B player from Malahide recently posed me a question

"Is Adam Mesbur any good at bridge "

He indicated that their paths crossed in a work related environment many years ago.

I indicated "good" would hardly describe it ... some other word several levels above ...

Camrose Trials 2017 Match 8.5

Meanwhile out in Templogue a shocked Fitgibbon quartet have started well in the 2nd stanza. Eamon sits here in Swords playing the daily Wbridge5 tournament.

Boards 4 and 5 yielded me a 95% and a 96% scores. This can also happen any pair in the Camrose Trials if the boards contain the imps and the pair contains the skills and knowledge.

Anyone want to take up the Daily Challenge on the above website. You can challenge legendary Army bridge player Elvis or top Northern Ireland star MrT2000 or the more ordinary eamongall.

Anyway back to for the end of Match 8.

Fitzgibbon is on the move but running out of boards and still trailing by 2 imps to the SouthEast Warriors. However they have climbed back into 2nd place. However Coyne is still holding Onishuk at bay.
With 2 boards to go on Match 8 Coyne has reeled Onishuk in and its a draw. This means Coyne has also probably seen off all challengers. Mind you I think Coyne has still to play the rampaging O'Gorman squad who have as expected and mentioned in a previous issue of this blog come on strong.
Nah I got that wrong ....

The final round is Coyne v Ekman .. Fitzgibbon v Elvin .. Onishuk v O'Gorman
MacCormac plays Doyle and Phelan plays Donnelly in dead rubber matches.
An unlikely loss for Coyne and a large win for O'Gornan ..could see the rankings change.
Fitzgibbon also needs a large win after getting ambushed for a winning draw by Doyle.

However the Ekman team does not have the killer instinct required to trouble the vastly experienced Coyne team. The mainly Connacht based squad has recently signed up honorary Leitrim man Peter Goodman to the squad. They also managed to distract David Walsh from one of his other loves

He repairs and sells technology for Galway area geeks and ordinary folk who still use laptops like me in between the odd game of bridge.

Camrose Trials 2017 after Match 7 of 9

The final day of the Camrose Trials 2017 has just started. The main matches of Round 8 are Coyne versus Onishuk and a side order of Fitzgibbon versus Doyle. Fitzgibbon and Onishuk both need to score heavy in this match to reel in Coyne. However Coyne is a 6 player squad and their lowest scoring pair upped their run rate considerably yesterday. Strangely Onishuk have started the bumbling KK pair. Kelan volunteered a full VP of slow play on his partner in Match 7 allied to a 2 VP penalty for his phone going off during play. Phone are meant to be visible and turned off while bridge is in play. This is currently the biggest rule in trials bridge at the moment. Boland and McAulliffe have been playing very well for Team Onishuk but Kelan Karel have put in lots of work over the last few years. However they failed to fire in the recent Jim Cahill Premier Pairs held in October.
Meanwhile the unheralded and struggling South East team of Jim Doyle has jumped out to an unexpected  22-1 lead after 4 boards against the powerful Fitzgibbon team. All this points to Team Coyne placing first and being selected for the party in Gormanston in March.
However the Onishuk Clifford pair have a good scoring rate of 0.6 imps a board if they appear in the 2nd half.
Update after about  8 boards of Match 8

The South East Warriors have increased their lead against Fitgibbon to 30-3. This is a strange position for Team Doyle who have averaged less than 2.5 VPs per match so far. However its going to require a large turnaround for Fitzzgibbon to get back in contention. However there is no better pair in Ireland then Fitzgibbon Mesbur to grind down the opponents. These two players have enormous bridge skills and experience. Allied to the incredible ability of BJ O'Brien to find rabbits in hats and the solid if boring bridge of Ranald Milne one expects a comeback but we are now down to 16 boards to save the trials. After 9 boards Doyle has stretched the lead to 35-3. The outlier is here to sing it seems. Eventually Fitzgibbon runs out of boards. Only 16 boards left and 32 imps in the bin.

Meanwhile Onishuk is doing the business against Coyne and is within 5 VPS at this stage in the direct match.

A further but unlikely scenario is that Fearghal or someone unwittingly swopped the bridgemate.

Running scores at
On a another item completely I took delivery of a new Mark V dealing machine for Malahide Regional Bridge Club, It looks like a cross between a Dealer4 and a Duplimate machine.
Declan Murray will love this one. We were using an early model of Duplimate for the last few weeks and it started to come into its own in the last week or so once we learned its strange ways.
I think the Mark V has a camera instead of a barcode reader but I only had a cursory glance.
Meanwhile I spotted a nice piece of software from Poland ..   a fine piece of kit for a nerd bridge player.

The programmer Piotr Beling even responded positively to my suggestion that his software could do with some PBN output script. After examining his output I guess I can make a script myself to create PBN files but Piotr indicated the next release might have PBN.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Camrose Trials 2017 Half-time review

In the 2017 renewal of the Camrose Trials Onishuk powered by winning performances by Boland McAuliffe and Onishuk Clifford lead at the half-way point. Their 3rd pair Kelan/Karel have found the boards unsuitable so far.
Meanwhile Team Phelan is going well due to a powerful 0.69 imps per board from the Phelan household. One might note the presence of 6NT-1 on a hand that looks cold especially on the Club to Ace lead versus the Elvin team. However this is only 0.1 of the score. There is still 0.59 per board on
the rest of the boards. I better not play that pair for money. However they are going to need some pick up from their team mates to win the event. However the Phelan squad have been here before.

Team Coyne is also powering along with their top 2 pairs near 0.5 imps a board and their 3rd pair of Keaveney McDevitt is average so far.

Team Fitzgibbon powered by a surprising  0.55 imps per board collection from Ranald Milne and BJ O'Brien allied to the expected steady 0.3 imps per board of Nick and Adam are sitting comfortably in 3rd place. A small worry is what appears to be 2 time penalties of 0.5 VPs against presumably the more thoughtful side of the team. They shared the penalty with their opponents.

The Donnelly team made up of what appears to be most of the probably Junior Camrose team are motoring along in 5th place and well in contention. Synnott is past Junior Camrose age I think and I don't know about Gormally.

Team O'Gorman is strolling along at average pace in 6th place and that level of performance is not going to win the event. Still having to play 1st 3rd and 4th places so a decent pick up in performance could see them compete for the prize.

Further down Gilliland Whelan are finding the going tough but with team mates Connor and Doyle also below average nothing is being lost and good experience is being gained by all.

The Elvin team backboned by the elegant bridge player that is Peter Pigot and the "Art of Declarer Play" author Justin Corfield has struggled thru the first half. The arrival of Holland Cotter might help but that means either of the aforementioned elegant players are on the bench.

Ekman has suffered 2 heavy losses and two small wins don't make up for that. Both pairs are leaking 0,5 imps a board so are not going to win many matches.

The final team of MacCormac are struggling despite a Friday cameo by the well known chess player Paul Delaney. Delaney also owns some National Bridge titles. The 2 MacCormac pairs are underperforming compared to their normal level. I might challenge MacCormac mcMaugh to a money game at this rate.

All information is published on the Fearghal O'Boyle website. Last year while directing in Ballinasloe someone asked me if I was ..

The Trials continue in Templeogue Bridge Centre on Sunday and Monday.
Spectators are welcome.
has all the information and running scores ..