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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.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Camrose Preliminary Trials 2015 and the cheating sago

Last weekend the preliminary trials for the Ireland Camrose team took place in Templeogue.

Results can be found on

The favourites MacAonghusa Walsh Coyne and Glynn romped home winning all their
matches in comfort.
2nd place Derek O'Gorman revovered from a round 6 trimming on Sunday morning from
the Cian Holland team to demolish the struggling Elvin team who were outclassed all weekend.
3rd place Cian Holland after a slow start and a Martin Brady hiccup finished well in the last 3 matches including dispatching the hapless BJ'OBrien team.

One would have expected the Chenoi bound O'Briain brothers to power their team into one of the
top 3 places but it was not to be.

So the weekend after next we have 4 teams doing battle for 1 Camrose place.
I think the winners of Prelim Camrose trials have choice of opponents so I don't see MacAongusa
picking Moran as opps. I have just spotted it is Coyne versus Holland and O'Gorman versus Moran in the semi finals.

As indicated indirectly above an Irish Senior team has been granted a place in the D'Orsi Bowl.
This is the Seniors Bermuda Bowl.
Adam Mesbur Nick Fitzgibbon Michael O'Briain Padraig O'Briain Pat Barry and Rex Anderson are
the team members. I have offered free bidding practice sessions to the latter 4. Adam and Nick have been doing their own partnership bidding for years.

Having studied the recent articles on and there
seems some evidence that two top international bridge players have made some strange moves prior
to making some fine defensive and offensive plays in some recent high profile bridge events.
Any one who wishes to examine this saga for themselves can go to

One thing that gnaws at my mind is ..., Are the two accused so stupid that when video appeared in BALI in 2013 (and the doctors with the sore throats were apparently caught) that they continued using the same methods knowing everything was on video and audio. The evidence on Bridgewinners is damning but it just seems absurd to continue on despite being on video. The evidence has been analysed by non video experts (albeit bridge experts) and seems damning.

My understanding is that there is a much higher level of video/audio expert who can perform analysis on these videos and these two players had to know this so they are either STUPID , ARROGANT or

Monday, August 31, 2015

Could be wrong

Currently most of the online players in the world know something about the recent "news" on



There is indication that two top international players are "at it "
However I remain to be convinced. I have gathered lots of hands from the pairs recent successful events and less than successful events. When I say lots of hands I mean I am taking all the hands from the matches/events  referenced by Bridgecheaters.

In the local den of iniqity close to where I live I have sourced a large number of cardplayers.
They all play a game called DON which is a follow suit game like bridge. The difference is that in DON the scoring cards are ...

Trump 9 .. Big DON is 18 points
Trump 5 .. Little DON is 10 points
Other 9 and 5 cards score as face value
AKQJ of trumps score as 4,3,2,1 points

One night about 2 months ago while playing DON with these lads I noticed the CLUB 9
had a nick in it. However it seems to have been marked on a previous night by some player.
I figured being a bridge player this information is worth far more to me then anyone else so
I said nothing. We play for 1 euro a corner and it takes most of 30 minutes to win that euro or lose it.
So after 2 hours I had 3 euro in my pocket. I threw the deck of cards in the bin.

In DON they term anything non kosher as BILLYING..and they don't have signals like we have in bridge. Anyway 2 nights later I mentioned the nicked card and my partner knew there was a marked card but did not know or recall which one it was.

Now I learned this DON game 2.5 years ago from scratch. Some of the other players have
been playing for 40 years. Its a kind of working mans bridge played by painters and decorators.
It apparently was very popular in the Dublin Airport canteen.

I showed some of them BRIDGE and told them it is 100 times more complex than DON.
They laughed at me. One guy came to the bridge club one night I was directing and was intrigued.
He saw an 85 year old man playing his bridge and sucking on a can of guinness.

Declan the Donplayer said to me .."Eamon thats me in 20 years time .. Can of guinness and a hand of cards and a big smile"... You have given me a new sense of life..

So Declan learned bridge and came back to me and told me if he was allowed to cheat himself and another DON player would destroy me at bridge. Now I can play a bit at bridge. I won an 8 board match once against Boye Erik Simon and Espen. 14-6 VPs .. a few over tricks and a partscore.
The VPs are painful in England.
So back to business... I looked at hand 1 of Holland v Israel in Euro 2014...
So the lad after lots of thought cashed an ACE against 6D ... What was the "much thought" about.
Is it different if he cashed an ace nonchalantly.

Now its written in my bridge bible that if one cashes an ace against a slam one has hopes of another trick. So many years ago ...maybe in Galway when I was ramping up my game..BJ O'Brien layed down an Ace against my slam ...(I was 10% of the player I am today back in 1996 but I was moving)
I had read in a book that when an ace is cashed and you need to find the trump queen look in the hand that cashed the ace. So slam makes.. BJ asked why did you play that way..
I said .."Its written in the book I have at home " .. So whats the difference about finding a JACK..

I continued onto Hand 2 ...I see Holland defending 2 doubled contracts and losing 14 imps ..
How can one persuade 4 world class players into 2 contracts by being "AT IT"

I continued on and looked at the next 6 hands ...

Now I have to make marmalade on brown toast

Video Link to Holland Israel hand 1

Link to BBO record

Eamon Galligan

Monday, June 29, 2015

Dublin Summer Congress


Dublin Summer Congress will be taking place this weekend coming at CityWest.

All details should be found at the link above

Unfortunately former tournament director Paul O'Reilly passed away yesterday.
Details on CBAI website or

European Open Bridge championships are taking place for next 2 weeks in Tromso Norway
Click on link below to find some information
European Open Bridge championships

Live coverage can be found on Bridge Base Online with running scores on
above website in Results section.

If there are any bridge partnerships out there who reckon they are the finished article Eamon Galligan would be happy to put them through the bidding gym for a small fee.
I have put several trials and Irish international pairs into the bidding gym and nobody has complained yet but every pair has found plenty of agreements to discuss.
Bidding is the most important part of bridge as you bid on every hand. I have plenty of sets of good hands used on the best players in the country and can make hands to practice any type of bidding.
A steady pair would bid 40 hands in an hour. A fast pair would bid up to 70 hands in an hour. or 087 9032505 if any interest.