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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Mixed Weekend 2016

This weekend sees the two National Mixed events take place in Templogue County Dublin Ireland.
One notes the presence of one Grainne Barton in the field partnered by that capable bridge player Thomas Hanlon. The pair also team up with Fiona Brown and Hugh McGann in the Mixed Teams. However it is hard to win a pairs event of 104 pairs when you only play about 26 of the pairs in direct opposition. Hopefully some good seeding is done before the event.
I also note the looming presence of Barbara Seligman and Nick Fitzgibbon.
Barbara showed up earlier this year at the Jim Cahill Irish invitational pairs for the 3 sessions
and did the vugraph commentary with Grainne Barton. Don't be surprised if Barbara and Nick are on the podium. The Kenny Glynn partnership have also played many boards on BBO in the past so will be well practiced. Any pairs competing mentioned on any of the below teams would also expect to be competitive.

I see Sean and Brid Galligan are listed to play in the Mixed Pairs. Sean attempted to teach me bridge
when I was 15 but I failed to grasp it. So I had to wait until college in Limerick when Miles Podmore finished the job.

In the Teams the above mentioned quartet should prevail but there are some capable teams in the field which catch the eye. Casting an eye over the field in the order on the CBAI website.
I will list the teams which catch my eye

7. Newell
8. O'Hara
9. Hand
18, O'Connor
23. Taaffe
33. Lillis
38. Barton
48. Rigney
53. Phelan

Teams 10 and 24 could also feature as they have plenty of experience

The teams listed above are generally made up of very regular partnerships or established international players. Its unlikely that an unlisted team could get past all of the above teams to win in a Swiss event. However we will see.

However one little known record will hardly be broken. Back in 2001 Eamon played on a Mixed Team in the Coen Trophy in Mullingar. At the time this was confined  to above intermediate level.
19 teams entered and after session 1 of 30 boards Team Galligan was placed 19th. In the 2nd session we got some wins and progressed to 13th place overnight.
On Sunday morning we started with a 25 and a 23 (25 max score at this time) .. Two more 25s followed and we were up around 3rd place. We finished with another pair of 25s for a session total
of 148 VPs out of 150 VPs. That was Dario Filjar Iva Lancar and Diane Greenwood. We arrived in 1st place at the end.

Moran team prevails in Camrose Trials eventually

Last weekend in Limerick 4 teams competed in the Camrose Final trials.
Myself and Nathan Doyle attended in order to operate the vugraph so the event could be witnessed by many people live around Ireland and anywhere else in the world who wished. We hoped to spread the BBO around all the teams but on our first effort of non-Moran BBO we found Johnny Phelan playing poker against Ciaran Coyne and Donal MacAonghusa so we reverted back to Moran versus the field.
In hindsight this allowed us witness what looks like at first glance a dominant performance by Hanlon McGann. However on closer inspection of just one board so far one finds Hanlon McGann gathering in 39 cross imps when luckier play and bidding at 3 other tables would see them concede 50 cross imps. One guy in front of me just did not draw 2 rounds of trumps before pitching his loser and was no longer able to make when diamonds broke 6-2 and an opponent could ruff. Another pair bid 6NT for some reason with a 9 card spade holding and the final declarer also went down in the makeable 6S contract.
I know of at least one other board where Hanlon McGann rolled home a 7S contract that the declarer at the other table declared in 7NT for a long time before realising the contract was spades. Eventually he went down and that was 28 more cross imps in the bag instead of a more modest 10 imps for 7S making. One pair declared 6NT making. Following this 7S disaster Hanlon McGanns opps chose to declare a 9 card heart fit in 3NT for some reason and there was only 8 tricks available. Another 29 cross imps for sitting there smiling. And that's only 3 boards I have examined.
Still 10 sets of 12 boards producing plus imps on every set is a dominant position.
I show below the results
With 30 boards to go the Moran team was on the ropes as O'Gorman had eased into a 20 imp lead in the direct match and moved to the top of the table and would just require a small win against MacCormac in the final match. However Moran rallied and 3 game swings materialized and Moran took the match by 9 imps and more importantly a lead of about 6 VPs into the final match. This all meant that 14 VPS would guarantee Team Moran success. However they beat Phelan by 16-4 and the deflated O'Gorman team could only managed a losing draw against MacCormac. So the favourites took the win but not without a good shaking from O'Gorman.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

CBAI Camrose Trials Final 2016

This weekend October 14th to 16th we head down to Limerick to broadcast the Camrose Trials Final on BBO. I was down in Limerick last weekend helping out with the Intermediate Pairs.

Now I am going back to Limerick to do vugraph operating .. Its all go ..

4 Teams will take part

  1. Mark Moran, Rory Boland, Tom Hanlon, Hugh McGann, John Carroll, Tommy Garvey
  2. Derek O’Gorman, Terry Walsh, Michael MacDonagh, James Heneghan, Ciaran Coyne, Donal MacAonghusa
  3. Thomas MacCormac, Ronan McMaugh, Marcin Rudzinski, Wojiech Gorcycza, Peter Goodman, B.J. O’Brien
  4. Peter Clifford, Anna Onishuk, Louise Mitchell, Lucy Phelan, John Phelan, Diarmuid Reddan
The numbers used above are from the Fearghal O'Boyle website and were drawn somehow by him or Mairead or the Lotto.

An hour ago Donal Garvey reminded me that this time last year Donal was knocking his son out of the 2015 Camrose Trials. Donal was part of the team which won the Congress Teams in Limerick last weekend with Pat John and Tom.

And there was me thinking BJ got knocked out of the trials last weekend but somehow he has emerged on a different team.

Team 3 led Team 1 by about 63 imps at one stage of last years IBU trials before going under to an 80 imp rush of imps from Team 1 in the last 13 boards ..

Team 2 are the current Camrose Trials holders

Team 4 include two local favourites Diarmuid Reddan and Louise Mitchel although they are not partnering each other.

Team 1 have the experience and knowledge but every player has to play 50% of the hands if they are to be selected for the Camrose Trophy ..
I am supporting Team 1 ... but Teams 2 3 4 will be looking for a scalp ...
I am surprised it is double round robin as a format but makes no difference to me

1600 hours I think the vugraph starts from Limerick tomorrow Friday Oct 14th ... one more sleep to go..

Zia Mahmood wins Gold Cup for Hanlon.

Zia Mahmood well known bridge superstar partnered Thomas Hanlon last weekend to win the Gold Cup which is Britain's premier annual bridge event. Also on the GILLIS team were Simon Gillis and 3 Norwegians Broyland Linquist and Erichsen. I don't think I would pass the Norwegian surname spelling test. I think Hanlon was happy to succeed at this event as its another notch on his bucket.

I asked him during the week if it was a good event and he replied "What do you think " ??

I have a book by Hugh Kelsey called "The Needle Match " and the hands are from a load of Gold Cup matches ... I am still trying to make some of them 30 years on ..

From the English Bridge Union website

The Gold Cup has been won by the team of Simon Gillis, Zia Mahmood (both London), Espen Erichsen (Kent), Boye Brogeland, Espen Lindqvist & Tom Hanlon.
The semi-finals and finals of the competition, which is organised by Bridge Great Britain, took place at the Young Chelsea Bridge Club on 8th & 9th October. In the semi-finals the Gillis team beat the De Botton team, and the Brock team defeated the Allfrey team.
The Gillis team went on to win the final against the Brock team - Sally Brock, Barry Myers (both Berks & Bucks) Neil Rosen & Martin Jones (both Middlesex) (plus Robert Sheehan (London) who did not play in the final stages) (see picture here) - by 95 IMPs.
This was a second victory in the competition for Simon and Zia - they won together in 2010 - and a first success for the rest of the team.
The results are available via the BGB website.

The event was shown on vugraph so the hands can be found on BBO archives and downloaded for perusal.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Camrose Trials Weekend 1 CBAI Final Round

After 8 rounds (of  9)  of the CBAI Camrose Trials Weekend 1 we have 2 teams qualified Thomas MacCormac and Derek O'Gorman. The final place for Weekend 2 goes to Clifford or Elvin. Elvin sits out and earns 12 VPS and now has to hope the floundering COYNE can dispose of CLIFFORD.
COYNE was in contention this morning with a decent win over the youthful BARR team but suffered a painful loss to the McAulliffe team powered by more juniors SYNNOTT GORMALLY and BOLAND along with their captain the ageless Michael McAuliffe.
McAuliffe was playing bridge with Mamie MacCormac when I was a boy..

So BJ O'Brien tramps the sidelines as he hopes for some COYNE magic to enable his team to head for Limerick for next stage of trials.

Live running scores are at above link

All information is at top of

Eamon Galligan

Friday, September 30, 2016

NIBU CBAI Camrose Trials.

The NIBU Camrose Trials take place this weekend in Kelvin and Malone. The strange thing is that the winners might not be on the Team according to the conditions of contest.

Quoting the NIBU website

"The Selection Committee will meet immediately after the final results are available but there will be no team announcement until the following day. The selectors reserve the right to select the strongest possible team – in their opinion - regardless of final placings. "

This is like if Mayo defeat Dublin on Saturday in the GAA Final the GAA will give the trophy to Dublin as they are deemed the best team by the media.

Meanwhile Down South we are getting near Camrose Trials for CBAI. I don't know the full details of who is playing but I believe one junior team at least will be allowed enter. Entry for Camrose Trials are regulated by "B" points. This means juniors who are locked into Degrees and Masters and so on won't be allowed enter until they get older and have time to build an attendance record at "B" point earning events.

I don't play much bridge these days but I can play in Camrose Trials due to my "B" point earnings in the past but the current crop of very keen junior bridge players might not be able to play due to not having enough attendance record.


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Teams Qualifiers World Bridge Games conclude

The qualifiers for the round of 16 of the various teams events in the World Bridge games has concluded. The great card playing nation of Ireland has no teams left standing.

The Open Team has plenty of missed chances and several unforced errors all of which added up
to a hopeful performance which in the end missed out by 6.3 VPs. Those VPs were available with a
little more bridge knowledge.

So with Ireland gone I will support USA .. whose Justin Lall showed up to win at The Regent Bridge Clubs 90th anniversary a few years ago .. and England Ladies as they have Fiona Brown from Fermoy playing.

Yesterday morning I was 2 strange actions on the first 2 boards against Hungary by our esteemed front pairing....Now maybe its a weakness in their bidding system ..

They open 1C which is 10-13 or 17 plus in normal peoples high card points.
The opponent overcalls 3H and its passed back to the 1C chap whe o owns the 17+ hand.
Somehow they contrive to launch into 3NT with a combined 23 count ...
Now out in Malahide the folk play penalty against 3 level it goes double and everyone passes.
Not for our two heroes who declare 3NT and go down 2 ... should be plus at both tables for 5 imps
but instead is flat board ... if they get it doubled its 300 + 100 = 9 imps

Then on the 2nd board we had our 2 heroes attempting 4H with a combined 18 count .. The Hungarian was not happy so he doubled and gathered in 800 and 14 imps
Now this won't total up to the 6.3 VPs required but it puts a large hole in it ..
Maybe the 3NT-4 two times in the other room would get us over the line
Of course there were another 20-30 hands over the week to gain VPS.

Meanwhile out in Malahide last night I saw a declarer holding Kx opposite Jxx and on receiving a heart switch declarer rose with KING and thus losr the whole HEART SUIT.
playing low establishes a HEART trick by force ..

Other players in Malahide failed to push the lads up a level ... example 1D 1H 2C all pass..
I am pretty sure I am going to bid 2S without even seeing my hand unless I have lots of clubs.

Another pair sailed into 4S vulnerable with my partner making a DIAMOND noise in the auction and holding 5 diamonds and being non vulnerable I tried the effect of 5D... I was quite surprised to find it
went PASS PASS PASS ... This is daylight robbery

Then we had

This one went Pass 1C X 1H ...I ventured 1NT
Then 2C Pass Pass back to me

I tried 2D with the 3 card suit ... with better agreements I could double but did not want the
Big Man to be huffing and puffing and blowing..
Anyway 2D got home ... Of Course I was only hoping to push the opponents up a level
but they left me alone in 2D ..
Finally I must mention Declan the Donplayer ...who scored 56.62% on

Despite never having played a physical game of bridge .. but he keeps threatening to visit
Malahide. ....says I work for myself ..I am allowed play bridge on a Monday morning.

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

World Bridge Championships

The World Bridge Championships are taking place at the moment in Wroclaw. It is pronounced somewhat different but such is the Polish language. Now most of us will never play in the World Bridge championships but thanks to Bridgebase Online run by Fred Gitelman we can all watch if we choose.. Now lets be clear ... the average player in the World Bridge Championships would destroy the best player in 99% of our local Ireland Clubs .. The best players in the cities would be ok as in Mesbut Fitzgibbon ... but the local stars like Toomy or Johnny or Rory or Mickey or Jimmy would have no hope.

We can watch at the above website for free ..

There is also live video watching bridge is like watching paint dry or a kettle boil ..
so only for the diehards .. and yes they do pick their nose ....just the odd time ..

The other day I saw two Irish lads bidding ...

1S P 2C P
2S  P P P

Amazingly the 1S 2S chappy owned only 4S ... Not even in my local club ..
However no doubt there is an explanation both these players are very well educated and successful in their chosen fields outside of bridge. They are also both damn good bridge players..
So what are we missing,

Maybe the 2C bid is 3+ spades invitational or GAME FORCE ... all might be revealed ..

The next day we noted a fine pair of players declaring 5C with a 5-1 fit I think ...

and to cap it all we found 2 World Champions declaring in 7D with 2 trumps each ...

However don't even think of getting brave ... on the other 95% of the boards they are bidding slams that make and doing squeezes and other stuff never heard of in Dublin Bridge Cluibs ..

Now today the Irish ladies went into battle against the USA ladies ...
4 bridge legends versus 4 of Irelands best female bridge players and I think 3 of the Irish have playerd full Camrose Trophy .. and own multiple Irish Ladies championships ..

After 3 boards the score is 34-0 USA .. with a final score of 94-30 to USA ...
so average it out to 9-3 in goals in a soccer match or whatever ...

Manchester City versus Dundalk (arguably England /Irelands top soccer teams)
If they play 12 matches ...its will be without doubt 12-0 to Manchester City ..
So to gather in 30 imps versus the US professionals is a good earner ...

I don't really have any point to make here except that it is tough at the World Championships
so lets knock those who are trying ..

Big Boy Murchan is out there too ... and its not easy for him either matter what he says ..
Ciara Burns well known player from Northern Ireland is also fighting hard .. but the opposition is
serious ..Michael McGloughlin one of the greatest players in Dublin is battling hard on the same team. The remainder of the Moxed Team is Harold Curran Ann Fitzpatrick and Heidi Lillis..
One expects to see them make the last 16 at the end of the round robin and bow out after getting chosen by a top team ......but if they want to prove me wrong least make the final 16 first ..

I am glad Team Open are not on vugraph tomorrow as I did 20 situps yesterday every time Boland Moran made a contract ... and they made quite a few against somebody ...

I should be ready for more situps by Friday ...

Expecting a poor return on
this week ... should still be around 62% ....but losing ELO points

Its that bad that Declan the Donplayer is touting 57.5% and indicating if I have a bad week
I will be looking up at the Donplayer ..

Eamon Galligan

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Dunne Kelly Trayor O'Leary of Bankers on Vugraph now from Pula (Sunday 1530)

Amazingly I was watching the World Bridge championships on vugraph a few minutes ago and up pops Dunne on the screen .. Hmmm could it be David Dunne (former Irish chess champion) and old partner of mine.. Then the other side of the table fills up with Kelly .. could that be Sheila Kelly regular cross table opponent of David Dunne ..

So if you are bored with World Championship Bridge ... Ireland Open front 4 ran into a warmed up Dutch quartet this morning and got beaten by about 70 imps .. They won next match small against New Zealand ..
You can kibitz Sheila Kelly on vugraph NOW ...Its an 8 board match so hurry up ..
Even with Dunnes thoughtful  play it won't be lasting too long ..

Looks like some Trayer and O'Leary in the other room .. 5 imps up after one
Maybe its John Comyns partner Blanaid and maybe its Morris O'Leary.
I don't play much these days so I don't know all the new kids on the block.
I think O'Leary does some directing

Irish women got beat by France in round 1 and after rising the Templogue Terrors from the bench defeated Iceland by a small margin in round 2 ..

The Mixed Team had a good win in Round 1 .. got a hiding in Round 2 and eased past China in Round 3 with Lillis and Burns in top form ..

Team Dunne got beaten small .. 15-9 in Pula ..
Looks like they now use WBF scoring so Team Dunne back to 10th place in Pula Mixed Teams.