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Saturday, August 20, 2016

CBAI International Committee might be guilty of Agism

Rumours are emerging that the International Committee has developed a policy of ageism in the recent weeks. Apparently this committee which is charged with the control and direction of Irish international bridge has decided that a persons age affects their bridge skills.
I understand that some post teens expressed an interest in attempting to qualify to play in the Camrose Trophy and that it was indicated they were too young. Two years ago in Belfast a teenager was representing Scotland in the Camrose Trophy. Our experienced  committee would deem him ineligible.
The current suggested entry point for the Camrose Trials is 100 B points. I personally own around 200 B points but I stopped collecting about 2006 when I started focussing on learning the LAWS and becoming a TD and bridge facilitator. However since 2006 or so I have attended most of the Open Team training sessions so I see stuff and hear stuff and learn stuff indirectly.
I am quite confident I would defeat comfortably most  CBAI players holding 100-200 B points.
I know I am stronger than or at least the equal of  several of the CBAI grandmasters. The 100 B points entry point means I will qualify for trials for the foreseeable future despite hardly ever playing.
Strong players mainly collect B points by thrashing lesser players. You get 0.25 B point for thrashing intermediates/area masters  at the Holmes Wilson and other National Teams events. Thus everytime BJ plus 3 meets 4xSligos or 4xCavans its 1 B point added to BJs Team Total. 0.25 each player.

B points are an attendance record and are nothing to do with Bridge Skill. Bridge Skill is attained through training and dedication. There are no B points awarded for training and dedication.

The above link shows the results of the August issue of the Regent Summer Bonanza

42 pairs participated and 52 of the 84 players are eligible for Camrose Trials.
However the 3rd placers and 9th placers are deemed not good enough. The winners on 61.82% are both members of the International Committee and they feel they have the right to deem their 3rd place opponents not good bridge players.... just 1.4% behind them on the same hands.
2nd 3rd and 4th all played in the same Howell .. Possibly the winners were lucky to play in Howell A where the opposition starts at 11th 12th 13th 15th 16th places ..

I personally know these juniors are serious as they ask me for bidding practice hands.

Maybe CBAI could upgrade promising juniors to 100 B points so they can play only in the top Irish events. Most likely the players from the Confined Grade or Area Master Grade don't want to be meeting juniors who have been hardened from toughing it out in Peggy Bayer and Junior Camrose.
Juniors need to focus on School and College rather than chasing B points. A grade A in a Leaving Cert exam is worth far more than the  100 B points required to play in Camrose Trials.

These lads have been working on bridge since getting an impromptu lesson in the 4 Seasons B&B
in Galway about 3 years ago from Eddie Fitzgerald. 4 Juniors are not going to get B points when they have to beat Grandmasters and internationals at the top of the field.

I also hear David Synnott is also deemed not good enough for Camrose Trials ... however he was allowed play in 2012 when it suited the movement or the politics. I understood that once you played in a trials you could not be refused in the future. You were meant to be upgraded to the B point level.
Same applies for Hugh Gormally...

One night about 4 years ago I was co opted onto a team to play a Regent Bridge League event.
David Synnott Hugh Gormally and CBAI Treasurer Mullally were my team mates..
The BJOBrien team rolled in fielding BJ himself Michael O'Briain and David Jackson ...Their 4th player was held up in traffic but eventually Nick Fitzgibbon arrived in the Regent.
4 legends of the Irish game ..

After 12 boards it was Synnott by 30 imps but the BJ team got going
After 24 boards Synnott prevailed by 10 imps ...

but deemed not good enough or too young to play in a qualifier for a 3rd division Bridge event ..
Maybe its Ageism ... Why should a 60 something year old brain be allowed deem itself more powerful than a 20 year old brain.

The prosecution rests or maybe I am the defence ..

Monday, August 15, 2016

Some Blur chap plays bridge

I saw a post on Facebook recently where a music chap from a band called Blur got a small hook on bridge.

Now I have to go on youtube to see if Blur are any good at music or I could ask my musical brother Paul

Alex James was born in 1968 and rose to fame as the bassist in Blur. His autobiography, ’Bit of a Blur‘, is possibly the best book ever written by a pop star. He lives in the Cotswolds.
Alex James de Blur
Alex James de Blur
 These are a few of his thoughts about bridge…
Bridge is utterly compulsive once it has got hold of you. It isn’t too hard to learn and the joy is that you can play it and actually start enjoying it before you get very good. You can take it on at any level that you want. The big problem is that very soon after you start you want to be brilliant.  Alex James
Take It To The Bridge
Alex James on the many pleasure of the king of card games
Aren’t casinos rotten? I mean, great to visit with good company, but there, where isn’t? Woolies is potentially a scream. Take Caesar’s Palace. You think you’re going to feel like James Bond and then you end up being surrounded by ghastly lizards and tough nuts in a neon lit Ancient Greece. Fuckin’ losers. It is absolutely certain, that is absolutely certain, that the more you play, the more you will lose. It must be the playing that people are willing to pay for and it’s a pity because there are far better games than blackjack. Blackjack is a arsehole’s game for people who drive cars with personalised number plates. 
Although the origins of most are obscure, all card games tend to fall into two categories – those where you have to win tricks (whist, black maria, belote) and those where you try to make runs and groups of the same value (gin, rummy, canasta, poker). People really started playing cards after gas lighting was invented and before telly. Various games enjoyed enormous popularity at different times, and the national British card game is in fact cribbage, which seems to work well in December.
The ace of all card games, though, is bridge. It was invented in 1925 by Harold Vanderbilt while he was on a cruise. It is played by two opposing teams of two players using all 52 cards of a standard deck and is a whist-type game. It is the most sophisticated, subtle and posh game in the world. I have the same compulsion to play bridge today as I did to play football when I was twelve. I could happily go on all day and think of nothing else. The formality of the game, slightly annoying to begin with, soon becomes a source of comfort, a place, even. The strictly observed etiquette is all for the purpose of conviviality and making the game flow smoothly. You have a lot of common ground with other people who play. You can look your partner in the eye and tell them the truth in a secret language on an island of calm and it’s you against them and nothing else matters.
Dave Rowntree en Bridge-Celebrity-Grand-slam
Dave Rowntree in Bridge-Celebrity-Grand-slam

Cards are a delicate but profound pleasure. Going to a bridge evening is like attending the AA , in that you get a total cross section of all kinds of dudes. The amount of laser thinking that has been applied to the game is stupefying. Foyles is jammed. A good bridge book would be a guide to bridge books. 
It takes about as long to learn the rules of bridge as it does to learn the rules of chess and I’m not going to explain them here,but for how to play and for willing partners try msn/bridge or yahoo/games/bridge. Pretty soon you’ll start saying things like this: “The club bi was artificial, asking for partners major. North’s jump shift to four spades was conventional. Stayman showing opening control and Blackwood’s five diamonds confirmed they had slam potential,” or: “Making seven no trumps redoubled is better than a nosh in the bog.” 
There really is no better pension plan for our dotage.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sonya Britian Trophy 2016 .. CBAI regain trophy decisively

In The Sonya Britian Trophy at the weekend the CBAI decisively regained the trophy from the NIBU. A disappointing NIBU team failed to win any of the 8 rounds. However next year on home territory the big guns could be fielded although said Big Guns are getting rusted these days.

Hands and Results can be gleaned from but you got to make your way to his Bridgewebs pages for that.

Bray Swiss Congress 2016

There will be a Bridge Congress out in Bray this September I think

Now Michelle hopefully that will be ok for you ... Hope some people read it

Then last night while I was in the pub this hand came up on
A hand like I never saw before but I grabbed the nettle and stung myself

Well I have seen hands like this before of course and I was thinking would I open 1H like a normal person but then I noticed my partner had opened 1H and the Right Hand Opponent had bid 2C.
So I tried 2S to be going on with and partner bid 3D ...
Still at a loss but going to bid 6H at worst I bid Blackwood and 5D showing 1 or 3 came back
I decided the Club overcall owned the Ace of Clubs and that as we had at least 11 trumps we mght be good for no trump loser and I bid 7H and myself and my Guinness awaited the dummy with trepidation

All Good 7H makes .. and the other lad doubled me as well ..
36 players played the hand and half bid 6H and half bid 5H
Nobody bid 7H and its not a bad punt ..I am fully aware I could have been off an ACE or a King of trumps but the odds were good ...Oops Now I see 2 more people bid 7H
However 5H is a joke

7XXX = A 2470
7XXX = A 2210
7XXX = A 2210
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
6XXX 1 A 1460
7XXX -6 A 1400
5XXX -4 A 800
5XXX -4 A 800
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
4XXX 3 2 710
5XXX 2 2 710
5XXX 2 4 710
5XXX 2 4 710
5XXX 1 4 680
5XXX 1 4 680
5XXX -3 A

There will not be any hands like this in Bray

Friday, July 29, 2016

Dublin Summer Bridge Congress further information

Some further information on Dublin Summer Congress which came in my email and all others on the mailing list. Double the playing area that's a serious move as it was a large playing area last year albeit with 119 tables approximately in play at peak playing time.
Some important information on Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress this weekend

Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress

A huge thank you to all participants in our congress this year and a final reminder to anyone who wants to put in a last minute entry.

This year we have doubled the size of the hall and have created the most experienced team of Tournament Directors in the country headed by Fearghal O’Boyle, Diarmuid Reddan, Brian Lalor and John Crimmins.

Friday the 29th

The event kicks off on Friday evening with a Mixed Pairs competition starting at 7.30pm. For those of you who would prefer not to play in the formal competition, there will be an Open Pairs competition also where pre-booking is not necessary.

Saturday the 30th

Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Area Master and Congress Pairs will start their two session events at 1.30 pm. There will be a break at approximately 5.15pm for dinner.
Novice Pairs only will play in a single session event which starts at

Sunday the 31st

Novice, Intermediate A, Intermediate B, Area Master and Congress Teams will start their two session events at with a short break for lunch as ordained by the Tournament Director.
On the Saturday, Citywest Hotel will be running a buffet at the Bistro with prices for salads, main courses and desserts starting at €15.50. On the Sunday, they will be running a carvery from the main restaurant. There will also be a Soup & Sandwich Combo available at the bar on both days for only €8.
Last minute entries may be entertained at the pleasure of the Tournament Committee and should be made by email to – or by text to 087 677 9406.

Finally, our sincere thanks to our sponsors, headed by our main sponsor Staffords Funeral Homes.

We would also like to thank Fáilte Ireland, IPB Insurance and South Dublin County Council for their continued support this year. Once again we have my own Oracle Communications, Home Instead, Irish Life and Dr Martha Mulcahy sponsoring and this year we would like to give a special welcome to Mary Gleeson and Gleesons of Booterstown. 

Please support them all throughout the year remembering how they have supported us.

Thank you all on behalf of the Staffords Dublin Summer Bridge Congress Committee
Rory Egan, Ann Burns and Stefan Ekman.

Copyright © 2016 Rory Egan, All rights reserved.
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Declan the Donplayer plans to make his bridge debut at Dublin Summer Congress this weekend on the Sunday Open Pairs. He has a plan and placing last is not part of it.
Team Amoils exited the Spingold Trophy early this morning despite my support of watching on vugraph.

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