Last Friday June 10th we had the third and final session of the inaugural Ireland Invitational Pairs. The venue was the Regent Bridge Club and we displayed 2 tables throughout on the Bridge Base Online internet display facility. The event was sponsored and organised by Jim Cahill and Ann Tuite.
The players and staff and spectators were fed and watered on all 3 days of the event. I am not certain of the prize money each day but 1800 euro divided over the 1st 2nd and 3rd on each of the 3 sessions is a good guess. A token entry fee was taken on the day. Again I don't even know what that fee was.
At every session several large baskets of goodies and healthy foods were provided for anyone who was present. Director of the first 2 sessions in April and May Fearghal O'Boyle while not finding his favourite Mars Bars found other chocolate items to suit his palate. The healthy items included Grapes Nuts Apples and Oranges. Writing implements with www.audico.ie were supplies.
Looking on the website it appears to be a hearing solution provider out near Hermitage Golf place near Lucan. People who walk from Lucan to Leixlip for exercise probably pass it as far as I remember.
So back to the bridge .. The conditions of contest were you added your 2 best percentage scores to get your overall result and it had to be the same partnership. So going into the final day about 5 pairs were in the running for the Overall Prize of "A trip to the World Pairs in Poland in September".
Early on Michael McGloughlin and Terry Walsh approached the podium of one overall prize.
Later BJ O'Brien and David Jackson stepped up towards the podium but suffered a 20% set of 8 boards and moved away. Gorchyca and Rudzinski were the leaders entering the 3rd session with a score of 56.59% posted from the first 2 sessions. So that was the target as these 2 lads were having a poor day and were unlikely to improve the target score. Hanlon Carroll were lurking but from early in the day after collecting about 35% on the first 16 boards of 72 they were unlikely to threaten the spreadsheet. Finally from a slow start Mesbur and Fitzgibbon began to gain traction and were threatening the spreadsheet. Entering the final 8 boards and due to play the two long time Irish based Poles it was decided that we would oust the misfiring Hanlon Carroll off the vugraph.
In short we had Gorchyca and Rudzinski facing reigning Cavandish Pairs and legendary Irish pair Mesbur and Fitzgibbon for the overall. The only problem was Mesbur Fitzgibbon needed to win the 8 board match by a small margin. After 2 boards Marcin ordered a bottle of wine. Board 27 was a ruling but I left the score stand. The final board saw Marcin doubled in 3 clubs and it got home.
This meant the previous ruling was irrelevant.
All sessions scores and boards can be found on www.fob.ie or his bridge webs page.
Declan Byrne of the Regent Bridge Club was on hand to make sure all venue organisation went well.
Eamon Galligan Fearghal O'Boyle and Martin Brady handled the vugraph and directing operations over the 3 days. Grainne Barton and Barbara Seligman covered the vugraph room commentary.
As indicated above Jim Cahill and Ann Tuite were overall organisers of this fantastic event.
I don't have any direct quote from any player but over the 3 sessions over 3 Fridays I did not meet any player with a complaint about the event. Several players wondered why they did not get their invitations. One Northern Ireland lad pointed out about his 2 second placings in the Holmes Wilson out of 4 runs. I pointed out about BJ O'Brien .. 6 National 1st places and 3 podium finishes out of 9 National events entered in 1 season .. So you need more than a Northern Ireland Pairs win or a Lady Milne cap to gain an invitation. Eamon got an invitation as the event was being planned but he knew "being involved " meant vugraph organiser not player.
All told I think it was a great event .. Final results are below as best as I can display them on this site.