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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dundalk Teams

Last month the Australian Fiona Brown turned up at Drogheda Congress and during the lunch break uttered the unforgettable words " This Dundalk place is pretty busy" as she walked thru the streets of Drogheda. 

Much to my surprise she showed up again at Dundalk teams with 3 men in tow. Despite getting a good trimming from Big Dog Murchan,McMaugh ,Burns and MacCormac the Brown team proved too strong for the field of 25 teams who turned up for battle in Dundalk Crowne Plaza Hotel. I am sure its a fine venue but my only experience is on non-bridge trips. 

So MacCormac hit the front after beating McGann handily on every board of the 6 involved. Then MacCormac got ambushed by his mentees ... some of the Irish Junior international squad who were showing well around the halfway mark .. The juniors also knobbled BJO'Briens powerful squad by a large score. 

Meanwhile McGann dusted off the MacCormac dust and after getting beaten down the table they pounded some team for 19.5 VPs to climb back to 2nd place behind the rampaging Juniors. 

Unfortunately for the Juniors they shipped 53 imps against McGann and scored nothing so McGann hit the front with two matches to go and having played all the contenders bar BJ O'Brien who was buried in mid table and not high enough to be drawn against McGann. 

So McGann in 1st place followed by the recovering MacCormac in 2nd place ...McCormac pounded on Jereon Lodewijks team for 20-0. Jeroens team included Justin Corfield who recently published a book on heavy declarer play. ... I might get it for Xmas but I already got loads of declarer play books and programs. However I hear its a pretty good book and it won some book of the year award. 

I notice Team Jeroen managed to bid 7D off a cashing  ACE so maybe Justin needs to write a book on The Art of Grand Slam Bidding .... Chapter 1 ... No Cashing Aces in Opening Leaders hand..

Meanwhile the banished BJ O'Brien found some hay down in the depths and hoovered up 55.36 VPS in the last 3 matches against outranked opponents ... BJs Team was made up of about 4 grandmasters of bridge. However Grandmaster of Bridge does not compare to chess grandmaster. 

So 1st McGann 2nd MacCormac and 3rd BJ ..

Those are the 3 one might have picked at the start ... 

Meanwhile down at the Lady Milne trials the mutiny of the lesser players was staved off by the threat of 4 years suspension or maybe the mutineers decided another weekend of getting trounced was a waste of time ..

The two antepost favourites Mitchel and Rigney qualified in 1st 2nd .. Bearpark held off Croke for a qualifying place. The final table does not tell the whole story ..the 6th place Kemple needed to gain another 5 VPS against Rigney in the final match to qualify... If they managed a 9.2 VP result Rigney then Rigney was probably gone out of the event .. although they might have held onto 4th place.
So two knockout matches in the final match of Lady Milne trials. 
All of this left the Meehan team slipping through in 4th place with Ann Fitzgerald in as sub in place of Helen Carroll .. 

Next weekend the FINAL lady milne trial takes place .. 
Last night in Malahide I spotted former lady  internationals Nuala Lynch,Margo English and Miriam McConville in action in the Yvette McCabe Trophy. Yvette was a major force in bridge clubs in Malahide in the past as she ran the Grand Hotel many years ago and this was a bridge venue over the years. Former Regent stalwarts Conor O'Hara Maurice Quinn Ray McConville Dave Terry Billy Ronan and Pat Cassidy were also battling away ...along with the well known director Long John Murray and the Great Pat Kelly maybe Malahide is a leading Dublin Club. The ageless Maurice Quinn came out on top after session 1... mind you he seemed to be drinking a clear liquid last night like water as opposed to his normal upside down can of guinness. ....

I see Rory Egan was playing bridge in Hungry ....thats a long way to travel for a bridge game. 

Finally if you think you are better than Declan the Don player or Shane "who learned bridge in 15 minutes" Maxwell ............
The new place is

The Bridge Now website took a while to grow on me but now I am hooked.. You get a weekly ELO type rating and its very hard to maintain it past 1600 ... Last week I averaged 60% over 80 boards and dropped 15 rating points...  down to 1585 from a starting point of 1500 about 3 months ago. 

The Lady Milne and Dundalk Congress stuff can all be found at

A member of Malahide club recently promoted to Inter A level went to Congress Teams in Dundalk and found the going extremely tough .. Not surprising as Inter A does not compare well beside Grandmasters. 

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