At the European Bridge championships today Ireland had a fine day. 59.84 VPs collected out of a possible 80. Ireland started this morning with a 19.25 score against Czech Republic. ..a 51 imps victory. The team for Match 1 was Rory Boland Mark Moran Hugh McGann and Thomas Hanlon.
In Round 2 Ireland faced England with what might be termed their front 4 in action. England always have a powerful team in this level of competition. They have several podium finishes. With 4 boards to play of the 20 the score stood at 5 imps to 1 for England. Boards 29 and 30 saw Ireland miss a couple of tough chances and England stretched it out to 24-1. Ireland got 5 imps back on board 31 and that was a 24-6 in imps loss. 14.6 to 5.4 ..
Round 3 saw Boland Moran back into the fray partnered by Carroll Garvey against Cyprus ..
One would expect a decent haul against a Cyprus team which was struggling so far. A haul of 18.77 VPs was achieved despite a couple of hiccups at board 9 and 10. 3 scores of 11 12 and 13 imps on boards 11-13 got the team back on course.
Round 4 brought up the multiple champions Italy although with a slightly changed team.
Italy had started the morning in Round 1 cold and trailed Croatia by 45 imps to 0 after 9 boards.
However they recovered 31 imps in the last 7 boards to lose 13.75 to 6.25. A 47 imps pounding of a slow starting Scotland team followed and Italy were up and running. Italy then put 62 imps past an outclassed Portugal team and were into 3rd place.
It looked like Ireland were in for a tough match and maybe a hiding was on the cards.
Ireland got out of the blocks first and led 18-0 after 4. Italy got 10 back to 1 for Ireland so after 10 boards Ireland led by 19-10 in imps. Italy bid a good 7 Spade contract but 2 4-1 breaks in the black suits doomed that contract and 14 imps to Ireland. Italy over reached again in a failing 3NT and another 5 imps to Ireland now 38-10 ahead. Italy bid another good slam this one making and 13 imps to them. On board 31 both teams bid 4S and Italy got doubled. Hanlon McGann doubled 4S and cashed 4 red suit tricks while in the other room Carroll Garvey avoided the 4 top losers.
So Ireland gain a 28 imp win for 16.42 VPS but one suspects Italy will be bemoaning the luck of the Irish. At a quick glance Ireland had the rub of the green and blue and red in this match. 7S down is a 27 imp swing. Italy not being able to cash out was another 12 imps swing. So swings and roundabouts but all going Irelands way.
Lots of games are broadcast on www.bridgebase.com
Hopefully my email on some boards from the England match will be forgiven.