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Friday, June 27, 2014

European Seniors don't need to worry

The players in the European Final A don't need to worry as Galligan won't be threatening them anytime soon at bridge. I played 31 boards of yesterdays 48 this morning and I am placed 29th out of 30 pairs. My opponents .. 2 Jack programs are in 2nd place so either I am dreadful or they battered me.
Heck I am -53 imps on the same boards as the incredible BJ O'Brien. has gained 18 imps. However his opponents are older than mine and must be more generous. I could not be 71 imps worse than BJ OBrien.
Mind you he has a good partner in Michael McDonagh. Thats it .. Michael McDonagh is better than Jack.
It must be because I am certain I can take BJ O'Brien.
However they could have bid a grand slam on the last board this morning and won the match. Everybody loves Grand Slam bidders except when its on a finesse. Unfortunately their Austrian opponents bid Grand and that was some 9 imps gone.
The only pair in the whole field of yesterdays Seniors I can beat is Pat Barry and Rex Anderson.
However they will probably overtake me in the final 16 boards. 
It just puts it into perspective that watching vugraph and thinking I can beat these guys is not the same when one only seeing 13 and 26 cards. So go easy on the players in the vugraph. They are very good players almost all the time and 90% of the time they are stronger than vugraph commentaters . 
Meamwhile in the Open Teams Group A Austria just bid a GRAND to beat Slovenia and push Ireland into 10th place with 9 qualifying. Ireland won their first match today 15-5 approx and some good news is that Germany fired 22 imps in the last 2 boards to push the 8th place Iceland closer. 

Mna na hEireann are going fairly well but the Bulgarian women bid a good 7C to take the victory at the end and stomp the Irish comeback from down 20 or so at the half. Ireland finished with 4 pluses in the North South side but the grand on the 16th boards ended the comeback. Still Mna na hEireann lie in 8th place a couple of good results out of making the World Finals for which 6 Europeans qualify. 
Its quite a good performance so far by the Irish women led by EBL election candidate Paul Porteus.
If he gets elected does it mean he will never be in the CBAI office to answer masterpoint queries.
Finally the incredible BJ O'Brien is still planning to get to the Seniors Bermuda Bowl. However he still refuses point blank to do bidding practice as it would mean he has to read further than page 1 of his bidding notes. However he plays in luck so maybe that is better. 
BJ and Michael are in the running for the best dressed pair on youtube thanks to Liz and Colleen for that. 
For the Open Team we need some more flashes of Tommy Garvey leads from the opening match and we need Rory Boland to roll back the years and produce the bridge that placed him across the table from the legendary Pat Walshe (RIP) who left us too soon. Rorys partner is Mark Moran who is no mean player either. Like all those from the Seniors event mentioned above Mark is better than me and has been working hard on his partnership with Boland as far back as 2011-12 before the normal punter knew anything about playing for Ireland. Hopefully a few good results in the last 5 matches will cement a place in the A Final. 
However even if they make the A Final ...a place in the top 6 might be too much to expect this time as the matches against the qualifiers continue to count in the next Round Robin. 
However bridge is a funny game and large people often sing near the end of parties. 
Oh I forgot about McGann and Hanlon who seemed to deliver a monster 4 boards at the end of the Norway match. This is the same Norway that continue to go well in 2nd place. More of the same please lads. Its not as if ye have not bid enough boards. 
Tough matches against Monaco and Sweden loom on Saturday. However Ireland have put it up to those Teams in the past and this team only lost the Cavandish Final by carry over ... to a powerful Polish Team
That was no mean achievement ... 
So go IRELAND .. 
I am off for a feed of rashers before the next round ... 
Round 13 Ireland versus Scotland 
Round 14 Ireland versus Finland 
Then tomorrow 
Round 15 Ireland versus Sweden 
Round 16 Ireland versus Monaco..

I finished my match of the 48 boards on Senior Vugraph yesterday.
Despite a positive match 3 I still floundered far behind most of the players including all
the 3 Irish seniors pairs. Seem BJ is miles (imps) better than Galligan.

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