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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Thomas Hanlon places 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Well known Rochfortbridge Donplayer Thomas Hanlon placed 2nd in the Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs yesterday in Orlando Florida. Along with regular US National partner Leslie Amoils ...Hanlon finished in 2nd place to well known bridge player  Marion Michelson originally from Holland. Zia Mahmood was the only man ahead of Hanlon.

Hanlon Amoils 2nd in Life Master Pairs

Meanwhile down in Kilkenny Congress well known Wexford players Sexton and Doyle emerged from their slumber to be leading Irish players at Kilkenny international bridge festival.

No sign of the incredible BJ O'Brien at this event. Its not like BJ to miss a chance to get some cash in
Colleens coffee jar. BJs partnership had some slam troubles at the recent Dundalk Congress.

4 softer players dominated the teams in Kilkenny putting all men and juniors and Shillelagh Club
teams to the sword. Jill Joan Petra and Teresa did that.

A large man wielding a Microsoft Surface Pro 4 has been spotted in the greater Dublin area.

A Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is a decent piece of kit apparently.

For a deeper understanding of Thomas Hanlons 2nd place mentioned above

Plenty of well known bridge players even near the end of the field ..

Eamon Galligan

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Bridge Interprovincials 2016

This post only refers to the Open Interprovincials as I know very little about the intermediates.

I became aware on Friday that the interprovincials of bridge were taking place this weekend. My first thought was would Ulster be competing. On my first look at running scores whatever way I had my screen it showed Connacht Leinster and Munster but then it slowly dawned on me that totals did not add up and I scrolled downwards and found a struggling Ulster Team.

Connacht as a rule go strong in this event and this year is no exception and at a quick glance there are 10 full internationals on their squad of 12. Some years ago in Connacht the tail wagged the dog and the dog never showed up for some interpro qualifiers. I cannot find many historical results on the CBAI website so I cannot check how the tail end of Connacht performed.

Leinster generally go medium in this event fielding a Mens Team and Ladies Team and the best Kelbourne. Its generally enough to push Connacht for the title but some years the Mens Team is extra strong and Leinster win. Leinster this year have a Mens Teams backboned by monster Irish pair Mesbur and Fitzgibbon. The ladies team is a collection of experienced females. The Kelbourne Team
is the long time  Delaney O'Lubaigh partnership teamed with the two Polish Rudzinski Gorchyca.
These Poles are touted as being top players but I remain to be convinced that either of them is better than James Heneghan.

Munster run a qualifier as far as I know and it usually lands a capable Munster team who can push for the title on a good year. This year might be a good year. Currently they are playing round 8 of 9 and this round is the VP collection round against Ulster. A large total out of the available 60 should set Phelan and his Munster compatriots up for the overall victory.

I think Ulster should be replaced by a Bankers-Regent selection or maybe some international selection made up of Lady Milne Camrose and Juniors. Ulster seem to be struggling to field their
better known players for both Interpros and Sonya Britian at the moment. This years event is just an Ulster bashing event. At this moment in the 8th round Ulster have gathered in 131 VPs out of a possible 480. In the Sonya Brittan their two top end teams struggled also.

Running scores at

When I looked last night Ulster intermediates  in contrast to their Open team were leading the
Intermediate event.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Some hands from Lady Milne Trials,Bridgez & Declan the Donplayer goes to Malahide Regional

Good morning all

I spotted this hand that was played in the Lady Milne trials ... Clearly some of the tables had the wrong board as it is hardly correct that some allowed a declaration of 2S while cold for 9-12 tricks themselves in a minor suit.

Now I have no idea how one is allowed to play 4S on this hand let alone 2S+1 and 2S+2.
I think one of the 2S defending pairs actually made the team. Further down the scoresheet
one spots the a pair winning 8 imps for missing a cold slam. Bizarre or as another man might say Mousey or my granny. However I can only presume that boards  1 and 2 were swopped in the dealing or something. Like even the North South players on their own would want to lash into 4S.

Then working backwards I spotted a 15 imper and wandered in for a look.
Someone landed in 6C and it comes home and the poor unfortunate opposition lose
15 imps because some other pairs in the room are a little gentle.
One pair gains 8 imps the other way because their esteemed opponents choose the 7-1 spade fit at the 5 level over the 5-5club fit.
Another pair defends 4H despite holding 12 black cards and an outside Ace in one hand
A couple defend 5H and fail to either double or collect the maximum tricks ... 1 of each
and finally one pair gathers in 9 imps for missing a slam but at least they gathered in +650 so we
won't grill them too much.

Clearly I have just talked myself out of any NPC positions at Lady Milne for several years but
I am sure the other 154 boards were things of beauty.
Meanwhile I continue to notice and enjoy the much improved Bridgez website..
I have not decided to release my hard earned 15 euro which is a voluntary donation to the Council of this website to go towards the costs of keeping it up and running. Even if all the regulars tossed in 15 euro the person running this now fine place to play bridge might only get 2 dinners a day out of Lidl.
That's not saying the food in Lidl is bad ... I go there twice a week ... but he won't be getting rich.
So if you are a regular user and enjoy the site by all means give him enough for a dinner.
I see many of the people I introduced to this site many years ago are still using it for their daily bridge warmup. Even the dour Dublin Northsider Elvis ... The King is alive and living in Dublin North.
I see rashers and sausages are still playing most days ...they even partner up sometimes in live competition. So Allez Bridgez

The link above to the free Bridgez website

Last Friday Declan the Donplayer finally made his long awaited appearance in a live Bridge Club.
Now I have played lots of bridge in my time in many places but I have never seen a man enjoy a game of bridge so much. He was getting beaten up and down the room ...but every 3rd board he managed a strike against the head with his brand of Crazy Declan bridge ...
If a bad score arrived and there were many was .. "Eamon you did not teach me the No Trumps thing yet" This lad produced a 2D cuebid holding a 7 card Heart Suit .. KJT9xxx ..."Eamon you told me if I bid their suit it means I have a good hand " ...
So that was Declan the Donplayer debuting in Malahide Regional Bridge Club

Open Games in this Club ... Monday morning 10 am Friday evening 730pm
and Sunday afternoon 3pm.

Otherwise you need to partner a member ..or get a special permission.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

I had a go on Bridgez today

Early this morning I played 8 hands on Bridgez and then after sleeping I woke up and played the final
8 hands.

Add caption
I tried a few hands using Google Chrome and now I can see how many tricks are won as the play goes on. Big improvement on the old Bridgez and the interface is much smoother.
Also today my play was a little smoother on the early boards but I still blew a few boards in the late
stages to drop down to 73% or so ..
Its worth the 30 minutes or so in the morning if one has the time ...
I notice Elvis from out the North Side of Dublin is still battling away on Bridgez ... must be his morning coffee effort .... but he is a 56% merchant ..

However for other people the Bridge-Now site might be more suitable
Same WBridge5 robots but you can play many more hands and also get a weekly rating

Eamon Galligan

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Wbridge5 and Bridgez website

This morning while searching thru my email folders I found an email from saying I had not played on the site for a long time. This is a site that allows one play 0-16 hands per day and I think at least hand 1 is a technical effort. I had used and advertised the site in the past. However it often crashed back then and sometimes one was frustrated with the non responding message.
People even used to ring me up and say ..Eamon the Wbridge5 is broken and I cannot play my 16 hands. Well that was then.

So the email said new website and new features and new lots of things ... So off I went ..
I was quite surprised to see many of the same usernames playing away and all looking good.
However the old slow site was now lightning fast and sometimes played quicker than my mouse clicked and I nearly lost tricks by accident ..

The only thing was I could not see how many tricks I had in the bag at any point ... Now maybe that's because of Microsoft Edge as I saw some mention on the start up screen about Edge but failed to read it.

I messed up a few deals and did not extract the maximum so only got about 61% average for the 16 boards today .. Still it was 1.5% more than my great bridge enemy Elvis who only got about 59% and he is an expert but I am only a tournament director.

Hmmm now I see something about 15 euros a year which is only a small amount but I won't be paying it for the moment as I have not been on this site for about 2 years but maybe I might in the future. However the site has certainly improved enormously but has a long way to go to compete with the likes of BBO or even okbridge if same still exists.

You can also get the free bridge program WBridge5 at the above website ..

Eamon Galligan

Lady Milne Pairs Trials 2016

Betty Cotter, Jean Kelly.................................................1
Marian Croke, Catherine Lonergan..........................2
Carol-Anne Cummins, Sandra Newell.......................3
Jeannie Fitzgerald, Emer Joyce  .................................4
Dolores Gilliland, Brid Kemple...................................5
Cathy Bearpark, LizAnne O’Reilly.............................6

Joan Kenny, Teresa Rigney.........................................7
Brid Kirby, Maureen Pattinson  ...............................8
Jill Kulchycky, Petra O’Neill.......................................9
Antoinette McGee, Aoife McHale...........................10
Louise Mitchell, Lucy Phelan....................................11
Eileen O’Donovan, Maria Whelan...........................12
Liz Taaffe, Kathleen Vaughan...................................13

This year we have 13 pairs hitting the floor for the Lady Milne Pairs. I doubt if there is any vugraph
as the ladies would be wary about being spotted on vugraph. Still though we ran the Camrose Open Trials on vugraph so one never knows. However its Bank Holiday weekend and only a masochist would want to watch bridge all weekend or a selector or maybe an international committee.

Hopefully we will have the live show from Ferghal O'Boyle Enterprises ..

So who will win on the weekend

I think Pair 27 and Pair 29 and Pair 32 will make the team .. but only I know my code I hope.

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.