Wednesday, March 08, 2017

The Hospice Charity fights back

Last week in Malahide Regional Bridge Club , my home club a charity bridge game was organised. It was connected to Maureen Meade who passed away earlier this year. Known on BBO as donabate which was also her most recent home she last appeared on Bridge Base Online around December 23rd 2016.. Maureen was a capable player and represented Ireland in the Lady Milne in 2004 or maybe it was 2005 in Manchester. Ireland finished 2nd that year which is as good as we have ever finished in the recent past. On the Friday night when the bridge started one Welsh pair was still enroute to the venue. Now Maureen and her partner Nuala were making their debut in this match and were placed in the closed room. As people who have attended Camrose or Lady Milne matches will know the Closed Room is off limits to all bar the players in the room and the directors and organisers.

So with the match being staged in England the officials were English and nobody thought of the 2 debutants sitting in the closed room awaiting their fate. As any bridge player will know stepping up a level above your grade is seriously nerve wracking and here 2 folk were making their international debut and there was no one to help them. Its possible they did not even know if they could go to the loo. You can but you need a director to escort you so you won't see or hear anything about hands on the way to or fro. These days it is easier as bridge matches are often held in hotel business centres or converted hotel rooms so most rooms have their own loo. However back in the day it could be 2 tables in the closed room and no loo. Myself and BJ O'Brien were with the team but we had no access to the closed room or any knowledge that the Welsh team were even missing for quite a while.
Anyway all got worked out but the ladies survived that ordeal.

Next morning saw Ireland play Scotland and our intrepid duo sat down to face the well known Liz McGowan a monumental Scottish bridge institution.

Liz McGowan    I played my first Lady Milne in 1977, and this will be my 31st appearance, with my 9th partner. I have won 8 times, and would like to reach double figures, but I'm running out of time.…. Prior to 2000 Liz, I was a member of the British Women‟s team, picked up silver medals at the 1988 and ‟92 Olympiads and gold at the Europeans in ‟97 and „99.  I also won the 1996 World Mixed Teams with Heather Dhondy when the two were eliminated from the Venice Cup and, while drowning their sorrows in the bar, “chatted up” the Icelandic men who had suffered the same fate in the Bermuda Bowl.  My daily column in „The Scotsman‟ has recently been axed, so I'm looking for something else to do. I live in Edinburgh with husband Ian, and two daughters, and much loved grand-daughter. 

So Liz is pretty good at the bridge can be seen above.

Anyway the first hand saw our intrepid pair wheel out the Gerber much to the amusement of our NPC BJ O'Brien and they end up in what seems to be a no play small slam.

However as BJ congratulated Brian Short on a good start for Scotland , Galligan watched as Liz cashed an ace and then played the card that tightened the squeeze. Galligan tugged on BJs suit sleeve and excitedly said SQUEEZE is coming .. but BJ brushed me aside and continued the congratulations.
Meanwhile Maureen continued playing cards from the top and a 3-3 break in clubs happened and the final club exerted the pressure and the Scottish NPC and his friend BJ suddenly realised the squeeze was materializing and Ireland were getting 12 imps or so ..

The old Clyde Love works again ..

After the match was over I asked about the slam and Maureen said .." I guess they threw away the wrong cards" .. Anyway the match progressed and Ireland won by about 10 imps all because of that slam.

Meanwhile back at Malahide last Friday ..we had 3 sections of bridge and several people offering help and no great communication between them.

Section 1 was an 11 table Mitchel but somehow after the section started the 2 pairs at table 6 ejected and went off to another section.
Section 2 was a 13 table Mitchel and the cards were layed out and play had commenced and then suddenly a previously empty table (it was empty when I gave out the boards) grew 4 occupants waving their hands in the air saying we have no boards ..
Section 3 was a 12 table with Novice and Inter Bs and that section rolled along fine.

In Section 2 I rolled back the boards and added in a 14th table and all seemed well except some bridgemates were saying sitout. Someone or maybe me had started up the section on the computer but neglected to say add 20 to the table number for EAST WEST so some bridgemates complained about SITOUT round 2 ..and so on .. Eventually I figured out what had happened and reset the movement.
However some scores were already in and I did not notice it was 1 versus 15 instead of 1 versus 21
and 2 versus 16 instead of 2 versus 22 and much later I saw some pairs had the wrong total as the pair numbers were wrong in the bridge scoring program. Anyway I solved that by editing the BWS file and all was eventually well...

Meanwhile in Section 1 an organiser found a pair to play at table 6 and all was well you would think.
Well the pair sitting out decided they would be North South instead of the normal EW and it was a while before that knowledge made its way back to me ... However knowledge is power and I was soon able to sort out the movement and the SITOUT merrily made its way around the room.
Meanwhile I spotted the missing  pair was performing well in the event being placed as high as 2nd at one stage after 6 rounds ...Hmmmm ...Whats wrecking my head now ..

Finally I recalled some mention of entering Round 1 scores as PASSES .. and of course at that stage
the famous MISSING PAIR were presumed present and correct so the passes entered on the bridgemate in as real scores .. and the Missing pair was heading for a prize...according to the TV.
However Galligan got in there and sorted it and the MISSING PAIR became a sitout.

So be careful with those bridgemates and the moving players ..

Maureen as a bridge director never crossed over into bridgemate territory as far as I know.

The final news of the night announced 4300 euros for Hospice and more coming ...

Hospice looked after Maureen Meade and she paid them back in spades ..

Thanks to all who supported and played in the event ..


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