Last night or early this morning Irish time Irelands apparently finest bridge player reached the last 16 of the Spingold Vase. The Spingold is arguably one of the strongest events of the bridge calendar.
This year 102 teams hit the dance floor and at least 90 of those teams would win or go very close in the Holmes Wilson.
The multi championship winning Monaco team with Helness and Helgemo and Christy Martens on board got ambushed before the main event even took off. Seeded 14 they ran into a JOLLY team seeded 93rd. However JOLLY was kind of decent featuring 4 of the best American juniors including some Rosenberg prodigy. So it was goodbye Team Monaco probably the heaviest funded bridge team in the world.
Anyway back to Hanlon .... and a bid I found disagreeable.
I had pointed out to Declan about Hanlon up top being the best player in Ireland and I headed off to the loo. On my return for the final board of the set Declan greeted me .."Eamon are you sure this is the best bridge player in Ireland" .. I said "Oh yeah " .. Declan the Donplayer replied .." Well if I painted like he is bidding on this hand then I would not get many decorating gigs"
I had a look and I said ... "That's not too good .. Passing 4DX seems normal.
"Yes " says The Donplayer ...and he might even turn vulnerable by the end of the hand ..
"Eamon how does that vulnerable work anyway ?? Is it like the power play in cricket ? "
Anyway there goes Hanlon bidding 5 Clubs and going down for a flat board ..
The Donplayer who has only twice attended a bridge club recommends PASSING..
Partner is a passed as dealer hand and we have a 13 count. Well 15 but if our Diamond Queen is not eaten up then even more reason for passing as we get some uncounted TRUMP tricks.
However no doubt yer man will ask some of his expert buddies and they will all pat him on the back for lulling the other team into a false sense of security. However it beats me .. One down is normally good bridge.
Mind you one also notes the loss of 23 imps for not bidding on ...both doubled in other room but its 2 missed games and some imps could have been saved. Several ways to save some imps on boards 26 and 27 for Hanlon table.
However TONIGHT from 5pm we might get the chance to watch again .. 5pm 7pm and later midnight and 2am approx.
"Eamon I am from Sherriff Street .. I got baptised 9 times ..3 times as a girl .."
Anyway later on in the small hours Irish time when the pub was long closed Team Mittelman backboned by Thomas Hanlon won the final 2 sessions and qualified for the last 16.
I expect Nickel versus Mittelman to be on vugraph this evening but depends on the voting for the matches. Also if not on vugraph at the start then it depends on the players as North American vugraph folk put on the closest matches for sessions 2 3 4 ..
Anyway no matter who is on vugraph ... www.bridgebase.com and make an account and watch some great live bridge with 96 of the best players in the world in action ...including Westmeaths own Thomas Hanlon.
https://bridgewinners.com/ plenty of information on this and many other events on the site to the left.
Now its time to bring the dog for my 10000 steps
Might get to see a little Irish Open Tennis tonight in Fitzwilliam .. I direct the bridge in Fitzwilliam most Thursday nights and normally the bridge room opens up to the GODS seats in the stand.
Last year I saw Tommy Carrs son Simon play a match.