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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Interprovincials weekend

This weekend is Interprovincial weekend. The Interprovincials are a strange event in almost every sport or game. In the GAA nobody wants them as it is just another chance to get injured. Back when I was a kid it was a big deal for a county player to make the Ulster team and the finals were held on Paddys Day and shown live on TV. This was in a time of no ESPN or SKYSPORTS.

Anyway back to the bridge.

Munster is the only team with anything close to their strongest active players.  They are fielding 3 teams of mostly Open Trials level.

Leinster historically always fields 2 Open and 1 lady team. I think a good performance in the Kelbourne Trophy gets you on the team along with something akin to an international team.

Connacht historically field 3 decent 4somes. This year they have 2 open trials level teams and one team that I know less about.

Ulster looks to be booked for last place as their team lacks most of the recent Camrose Trophy players. Lindsay and Hamilton might argue the point but Greenwood Anderson McKenzie Coffey Lavery Robin Burns John Murchan Ciara Burns Diane Greenwood Tranmer Hastings and probably a few I have forgotten as I don't play so much these days. Ah yes Ruth and Wayne might be worth a try. They could even import Tony from Clones. No doubt someone will tackle me on this as I forgot to mention him or her.

So I will pick Munster for the win ... but someone needs to keep BJ down and the O'Briains could have a good run. Maybe Malahide stars Conor O'Hara will roll back the years but not being a regular partnership trouble might rear its head.

So Munster is my pick and Ulster for the spoon ..

Leading team ... McDonagh of Connacht and O'Gorman of Munster followed by Team O'BJ of Leinster

Results and Running Scores are at

Shortly I will be replaying the 100 boards of the Cavendish qualifiers and the 42 boards of the Final.
I want to see how I will do against the champion Mesbur and Fitzgibbon. Watch this space.
Of Irish interest here is a bulletin from 2000
Maybe Ulster could have fielded Pat McDevitt of Donegal on their interpro team..
A World and NABC Senior champion ..

Friday, October 23, 2015

Adam and Nick win Cavendish Pairs apparently

Despite several messages to the contrary my information indicates Adam Mesbur and NickFitzgibbon are Cavandish Pairs champions for this year.
However I am not on site so I cannot guarantee this result. However I know a man who is on the site
and Rory says they placed first. However someone else has a picture of final scoreboard saying 2nd ..
Either way great result and the rama has been perfect all week I trust "The Proffessor"
So we go with that for now

More details including confirmation might be found here later

Here is the rama

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Adam and Nick going well so far in Cavandish Pairs

As stated yesterday ....

Today sees the main event ... The Cavandish Pairs ...
I note the presence of Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon here and don't be surprised if they
perform very well. I would think they even have a chance of making the Final A ..
There are many great players in this event but many are in unpracticed partnerships..
Adam and Nick have been practicing for many years and playing at top level for many years.
Now they won't beat Tor and Geir but could beat many others.

Adam and Nick lead Cavendish Pairs qualifying after 56 boards of 90 
At least I indicated yesterday before the event ..

Above link is for Cavendish event .. Hanlon Carroll doing ok also

Limerick Congress and Cavandish

Last weekend I was invited down to Limerick Bridge Congress to do some directing. Directing is a handy job when Diarmuid Reddan is in charge. Diarmuid and his Congress Committee seem to have everything under control.
I don't know all the names of the Congress Committee so I best not mention any in case I leave the most important one out or include someone who is not on the Committee.
Last weekend I encountered a new movement .. The Web Mitchel ..
There were 23 tables in the Intermediate Pairs and it went .. 9 tables 7 tables 7 tables all in a row of 1 to 23 .. Boards were put out .. 1-27 then 1-21 with 2 relays at table 7 and 3rd set of boards were played in reverse order again with 2 relays .. East West pairs moved up a table each round and could cross sections during the sessions .. So you reached table 9 and carried onto table 1 (10) of next section. I will have to examine this one
Anyway Maura  Lane and Moira Coughlan won the intermediate pairs with a massive 68.1% score.

So on arriving at Limerick I was handed a pile of papers to sort out .. Turned out these were the paperwork required for Gerry Fulham to run his weekend of Open Pairs .. Open Pairs A to F and Table Numbers which he decided not to use ..

Then there was table numbers 1-24 for the intermediate pairs. Meanwhile Diarmuid and Gordon were dealing boards constantly before sessions. There were also many sets of boards already dealt and someone seemed to know exactly what was in each box.

Gordons quiz was also running but it was kind of complex this year and I only got as far as first clue.
Rhymes with Treacle .... I presume it was Feakle ...
Then the next answers were from counties that bordered the first answer or something like that.
Oh what a twisted mind that Gordon chap has ...

As for Diarmuid ..he knows the nuances of every bridge player in the room .. I mentioned some intermediate and gloating and he knew without seeing the person who it was and indicated a lecture was in order.

Meanwhile in Monte Carlo Team Moran placed 3rd in the Patton de Monaco
One might be able to figure out some results from the link below

in the Cavandish Teams Ireland got smashed in the final qualifying match and followed up with two
small wins to finish in mid table in the Swiss.

Today sees the main event ... The Cavandish Pairs ...
I note the presence of Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon here and don't be surprised if they
perform very well. I would think they even have a chance of making the Final A ..
There are many great players in this event but many are in unpracticed partnerships..
Adam and Nick have been practicing for many years and playing at top level for many years.
Now they won't beat Tor and Geir but could beat many others.

John Carroll partners Thomas Hanlon in the same event
Rory Boland and Mark Moran also take part .. Lets see if the Boland can front load this field.

Eamon Galligan

Recent News Items

In my last post Ireland Seniors backboned by Pat Barry and Rex Anderson had cruised into the D'Orsi Bowl Senior quarter finals. Choosing USA2 as the least of evils ..I think Poland was the other option.

However a USA Senior Team of any shape is going to be no pushover as USA Senior Trials often start with up to 20 teams of hardened bridge veterans. All of whom who would play at least 1 if not all 3 of US Nationals every year. 

So the expected result happened and USA2 slowly ground Ireland to a loss. 

The match was fairly close but Irelands final chance disappeared when a 3NT slipped through swinging about 14 imps. 
Meanwhile here in Ireland we had the Mixed Pairs/Teams  Weekend. 

The Spiro Cup Mixed Pairs was topped by Rita O'Neill and Brendan Martin from Wicklow
followed by Seamus Costello and Deirdre Tuckey from the far North of Dublin 
with perennial contenders Carol Ann Cummins and John Noonan also from Wicklow in 3rd

Sean O'Lubaigh had a tough day but got through it 

In the Duais 2015(Thats the Presidents Prize)  Cian Holland and Mary Finn held off 133 other pairs to emerge victorious after 3 gruelling sessions .. The emerging intermediate pair of Jeannie Fitzgerald and Emer Joyce languished in 50th place 1122 matchpoints behind the winners. The well known tennis player Malcolm Swan finished in 9th place. Not bad for a chap with goofy glasses and partnered Stephen Barr. 
Meanwhile Drogheda Congress presumably ran its annual bridge extravaganza superbly as normal 
MacCormac and McMaugh led early on before losing strength and being passed out by Marcin and Wojech.
McMaugh and MacCormac bounced back to take the Congress Teams on the Sunday carried by the incredible BJ O'Brien. and the well known Dublin bridge teacher Ranald Milne 

If you want to improve your game .. Google Ranald Milne and surely something will pop up.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Ireland Senior Bridge Team cruise into QF

Irelands Senior Bridge team after receiving a late invitation to the World Bridge Finals cruised through the round robin and finished in 3rd place out of 22 runners in the d'Orsi Trophy.
The d'Orsi Trophy is an over 60s version of the Bermuda Bowl. Ireland had failed to qualify out of European championships when fading to 7th place late on. However there was a good chance of getting into the main draw as first reserve. However thru early September there was no white smoke.
Finally Sri Lanka withdrew and Ireland were on their way.
The Irish team of Padraig O'Briain Michael O'Brian Pat Barry Rex Anderson Adam Mesbur and Nick Fitzgibbon certainly had some pedigree but would lack match practice at this level of bridge.
Mesbur and Fitzgibbon had kept up their ferocious training regime since leaving the Irish Open setup and would still retain match fitness even two years later from their Open battles. Mesbur and Fitzgibbon had even outran the cheating German  doctors to win a recent European Senior pairs event.
Barry and Anderson upon hearing of their pending trip to Chennai set about some bidding practice session with Eamon Galligan. We got through 6 or 8 training sessions of 2 hours a piece. One day we even started at 10am as Eamon had to run vugraph for Camrose trials.
Meanwhile the O'Briain brothers powered to victory in the Telscher Trophy in City North in May but there was no mention of Chennai back then. However they continued with their own preparations just in case. As I understand it the O'Briains were not even part of this prospective team back in May.
However they are definitely present and contributing right now.
So in round 20 of 21 this morning Ireland dismantled USA2 and guaranteed Quarter Final status with a full match to spare. Ireland broke Austria in Round 15 with a heavy defeat of the erstwhile 3rd place Austrians. Round 16 saw Norway defeated. Round 17 saw Mesbur Fitzgibbon take a rest as the other 4 dispatched Chile. Round 18 saw Ireland post 24 imps in the last 3 boards. The late boards historically had been Irish bridge teams weak points.
We awoke early on Saturday morning to watch proceeding on the internet .. Ireland held a 15 point lead on 9th place but wanted more. A top 3 placing would give some leverage in determining knockout opponents. Round 19 saw Ireland paste New Zealand 20-0 and climb into 3rd place.
The New Zealand bridge players are not on a par with their rugby players. Round 20 saw a possible banana skin as Ireland faced USA2 possibly one of the pre tournament favourites. However 20 imps in the last 3 boards posted a 22 imp victory and guaranteed Quarter Final status.
Ireland sat out Mesbur Fitzgibbon on round 21 and built a 44-2 lead by board 10.

Tomorrow morning at presumably 0630 Ireland time Ireland will take on the USA2 team in a 96 board quarter final. The USA2 team is made up of Denis Clerkin Jerry Clerkin Jeff Aker Doug Simson Mark Tollivar and Marc Zwerling. Clerkin would be a good Cavan Monaghan name.
Some Clerkins emigrated to USA from Cavan and Monaghan in early 1900s.

So roll on tomorrow but a 96 board match against 6 top players is not as straight forward as a 16 board match. However I have every confidence in the Irish lads. Not many come out the right side of Mesbur Fitzgibbon. The O'Briain brothers have been mainstays of Irish bridge for many years. Michael O'Briain the silent asassion. Says little but knows lots. Finally the elder statemen Pat Barry and Rex Anderson. Rex Anderson celebrated 100 caps for Northern Ireland in 2013 and was introduced for an award by Tony Forrester. for Ireland v USA2 at 0630 Irish time. Your only chance
to see Ireland playing live all day. Otherwise you can watch the scores coming in on
the live scoring thru the day.

Good luck to Ireland tomorrow.

Currently England are mounting the comeback against Australia in the rugby but I have already cashed out my winnings so can watch in peace.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Conversation with a Cheater

Last night in my local den of Guinness Declan the Donplayer commiserated with me on the recent cheating scandals in top level bridge. He started by reissuing his challenge that Himself and Shane would destroy me at bridge if they had a month to prepare their methods. 4 months ago when he made this statement I had laughed at him indicating his very basic knowledge of bridge would not be enough added to the most sophisticated cheating system to beat Eamon and another reasonable player. Shane and Declan are both very knowledgeable in card games and both picked up enough basics of bridge to manage to play online in under an hour. Shane's first hand on Bridge-Now involved finding a defensive unblock from a suit headed by KQJT to allow his partner win with the 9.
So there was something there.

Last night Declan the Donplayer indicated "Eamon I have played DON since I was 10 and I am from Sheriff Street and in every game over those 40 years I have cheated. It was a way of life in painter decorators lives. You cheated at lunchtime and got the good jobs in the afternoons. "Declan you win the game for me at lunchtime and I will teach you paper hanging this afternoon"

"Eamon the one game I hate is Texas Holdem you only get two cards and you have no partner and someone else deals the cards and they do this burning thing so there is no way for me to cheat"

"Eamon but this bridge stuff giving me 13 cards and a cheating partner... Nobody would have a hope against us once I learn a little bidding. 13 cards to play = 13 chances to cheat." "Ye even play these transfers so my partner can let me play every hand. I open the No trump and he pitches his suit so I can bid it. Trained monkey stuff. I don't even need a partner who knows bridge.

"So Declan all the games of DON we played over last 3 years been cheating me ?
"Afraid so Eamon but remember sometimes you were my partner so you did not get cheated"
"But Declan I won more games against you than I lost. "
"Eamon that's because you count and remember the cards so I  cannot renege or pick up the last 2
tricks into my pile as you will remember all the tricks ..I have lost more euros since you started playing but I don't mind as you have produced more victims for me. You taught all those 20 something lads how to play and now I get their euros.

"Eamon I told you months ago ... "Where there are humans and money there will be cheating and don't think for a minute there are only 4 dunces at the top of the game cheating. There are probably about 10 pairs in the top 100 pairs of bridge. There are also a few shifty characters in all those clubs where you referee. However they won't be cheaters like me as they don't come from a tradesmans background where we played DON every lunchtime and if you lost at lunchtime you fetched and carried paint cans and washed brushes all afternoon"

DON is a bridge like game where you win points by winning tricks contraining 9s an 5s
The 9 is the big DON and the 5 is the little DON.
AKQJ of trumps are worth 4321 points
DONs in trump are worth double so trump dons are 18 and 10
So 80 points in every deal and 2 deals and first past 80 wins.

Cheating in DON is called BILLYING and involves stuff like

1, Drawing partners attention to a suit illegally
2. Leading out of turn
3. Speechplay
4. Reneging (called revoke in bridge)
5. Peeking in an opponents hand
6. Claiming more points than you scored
7. Picking up an opponents trick and putting on your pile
8. Reusing cards from quitted tricks
9. Marking a high scoring card with a nick
10 Putting an Ace on the bottom of deck for yourself when dealing

As DON is played in less serene surroundings than bridge getting caught BILLYING
might involve some physical violence and little evidence.

DON in our drinking place is played for 1 euro a corner and a game lasts about 30 minutes and involves up to 6 hands of 13 tricks. In my last 12 games I am leading Declan the Donplayer by 10-2 in games so I have 8 of his euros in my pocket.

I don't think Declan bothers cheating anymore as its too much work for a euro.

However he told me ..Eamon there are loads of lads out there like me who are "good" at cards.

One night I brought Declan to the bridge club and within 10 minutes he found some ex-DON players and was chatting away. He also spotted Maurice and his can of Guinness and his hand of cards and his toothy smile.

"Eamon you showed me a new life .. That's me over there when I am 70 ..Guinness cards and victims"

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bridgewinners reveals the Queen of Spades

Good afternoon folks

Things are hotting up. Two blogs from Galligan in one day.

Well I just thought I might breeze over to
 for a little read.

I was not shocked by what I saw there as I already knew about the subject matter since early September. There are allegations or evidence which indicate that the TWO highest ranked bridge players in the world have not been fully disclosing their signalling methods to their opponents.

In full disclosure one is supposed to supply all knowledge to the opponents.

The top ranked players did not advise their opponents of the means of the placement of their
cards on the table ..

Some of us play UDCA .. upside down count and attitude ... well it sounds good..
Some of us play Italian discards
Some of us play just Upside down count

These lads play Horizontal and Vertical leads ... When grafted onto Slavinski leads this becomes
the Harrier jet propelled leading system ...

As far as I remember the Harrier could do Horizontal and Vertical take-offs..

At the Camrose Trials Final last weekend there was a chap doing the vugraph operating and he was
intrigued by the fact that the players in the Trials did not always play their lowest card.
He is a former chess player who now plays bridge.

He said "Eamon up to now if I was not winning the trick I always played my lowest card.. Now a whole new world has opened up for me in bridge. I am going to telling my partner now how many cards I have in the suits .. Its going to be great "

Wait until Vincent finds out about Italian discards or UDCA..or God forbid Smith Peters.


The Camrose appeal ..Final Session 5

Here is a deal from the Camrose Trials Final Session 5.
Donal MacAonghusa opened 1 offbeat No Trump. Terry Walsh up North doubled to show a CLUB suit according to the vugraph record. So for the moment we will presume its a CLUB single suiter.

So our man in the EAST Ciaran Coyne makes a Helvic type REDOUBLE meaning I got a long suit so bid 2C and I will let you know. Walsh/Coyne are screenmates as are MacAonghusa/O'Gorman.
Coyne tells Walsh its for rescue .. MacAonghusa tells O'Gorman its to play..

So 1NT redoubled is declared by MaqAonghusa and he duly makes his book and a bonus trick.
This adds up to +760 for the lad for a swing of 12 imps to his team.

So enter Brian Lawlor the Tournament Director. He rolled his dice and came up with a 2 so
result stands. The deeper explanation is he went to Law 12 of his faithful RED book and it told him

The objective of score adjustment is to redress damage to a non-offending side and to take away any advantage gained by an offending side through its infraction. Damage exists when, because of an infraction, an innocent side obtains a table result less favourable than would have been the expectation had the infraction not occurred – but see C1(b).

Now in my world no advantage was gained here through the infraction.

O'Gorman was told this is to play so he is happy and expressed his view of same by passing. He probably suspects that the redouble is for rescue but that does not make any difference.
The bids are pushed through to the other side and Walsh Coyne see the passes and Walsh shrugs his shoulders probably and passes. If MacAongusa has balls of steel then I have the equipment we used to use for bull calves at home for sorting that out. So maybe they roll the dice.

If correct info was given both sides of the screen as redouble for rescue without MacAongusa knowing then the bidding might proceed the same way.. so I don't get where the damage happened.

So I agree with Brian Lawlor ..result stands

For some reason 3 well educated gentlemen on the appeals committee managed to find damage and wiped out the 12 imps and took 6 more off him for the 3D contract he might have played going one
off. So 18 imps in total ..... thats alot of money when its 100 euro per imp.

I mean I am trying to become a good tournament director like Diarmuid Reddan but these appeals committees seem to have the upper hand everytime.

Its like the GAA ... Yer man Connolly from Dublin .. He got sent off 2 times in the last few years but he still turned up playing in the next more important match. on each occasion. The most recent time the TV replay confirms that Connolly punched his opponent. The GAA law says Connolly gets at least one game suspension but 15 hours before the match the red card is removed and the guy togs out and does the business against Mayo.
Now this lad is a fantastic footballer so Mayo should feel hard done by that he was allowed to play.

Now all the above is only my view and I might have the information somewhat incorrect but I believe its close enough to the story.

The Coyne Team of David Walsh Enda Glynn Ciaran Coyne and Donal MacAonghusa won the trials to represent Ireland in the Camrose Trophy 2016 in Dublin and Wales.
They might add another pair for each weekend or if not another pair from the Final Weekend will
be imposed on them. I won't be able to be their NPC as I will probably be looking after the vugraph
in City North on the first weekend. However I am available for the 2nd weekend...and the party afterwards.

That David Walsh chap is a fine player ... I saw him make a slam on Saturday I think.

Of course if they want a few spins in Galligans Bidding gym it only costs 4 guinness an hour for the pair. An hour of bidding practice is worth 9 10 board online matches as in the gym you get to bid
all the hands.

Eamon Galligan

PS Apologies to anyone who feels offended by any of the above. I only give my view. I am not an international bridge player even if I play better than some internationals. Ha Ha.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Ireland Camrose Trials on vugraph (today Friday), The Bridge World magazine..

Good morning folks

Today at 1230pm the Camrose Trials semi finals to qualify a team for Camrose Trophy 2016 will start. The Contract Bridge Association of Ireland are displaying same on vugraph for anyone to watch.

Above is the link to Bridgebase vugraph schedule. You will see 10 times 2 hour sessions.

Friday 12.30-2.40
Friday 3.20-5.30
Friday 5.50-8
Saturday 10-12.10
Saturday 12.50-3
Saturday 3.20-5.30
Saturday 5.50-8
Sunday 10-12.10
Sunday 12.30-2.40
Sunday 3.20-5.30

Ciaran Coyne, Enda Glynn, Donal MacAonghusa, David Walsh
Derek O'Gorman, Terry Walsh, Donal Garvey, Pat Quinn 
Cian Holland, Dermot Cotter, Tom McCarthy, John Russell

Mark Moran, Rory Boland, John Carroll, Tommy Garvey, Tom Hanlon, Hugh McGann

In the semi finals its Coyne v Holland and O'Gorman v Moran

For those who want to make a deeper understanding of bridge there has always been The Bridge World magazine. This is a serious magazine whixh drops thru my letterbox every month. I have learned when to expect it and have to rush out to rescue same before McDuff gets his teeth on it.
However the Bridge World is made of sterner stuff and would survive the dogs teeth or else McDuff
recognizes that it belongs to me and is not a bill or a one of the multiple flyers that get posted into his
space these days. McDuff has an issue with bulletin delivery dudes and the postman.
So far my Bridge World magazine has only got a few teeth marks ..

A fantastic magazine and good for a gift subscription for your bridge fanatic ..
One time I counted the hand content of one magazine and got 82 hands.
That's plenty of knowledge.


Jack is my program of choice these days for computer bridge

Last week I was Tournament Directing and was hurrying along the slowest table as is my normal mode of operation. The opponents knew the small elderly person was distracted and slow.
They both indicated that I should bid for her. So I made a few bids and she was very happy
with this development.
Her hand on this occasion was .. xx xx AQxxxx xxx ... so a 6 count with 6 card diamonds.
I responded 1NT to her partners 1H opening and passed the 3H advance.

Later on in the night her partner collared me and said .."I would have made 10 tricks in Hearts
only for you ...blah blah blah...

Later that night at home I checked the score .. +140 and 3H made ....

A few days later I asked him about it ...and he said "Several tables make 10 and 11 tricks in
Hearts so if you raised me to 4H I would have make 10 or 11 like the others ..

Never mentioned the 4 quick tricks available to for the defenders to cash.

Sometimes one cannot win ...even a helpful Tournament Director.