Tuesday 17 October 2017

Just four teams have entered for the Open trials for the European championships. I remember when 12 to 16 teams was the normal entry. So what is happening, especially when I mention that only half our Grand Masters have entered?

NORTH

♠ Q874

♥ A1087

♦ K4

♣ Q65

WESTEAST

♠ AJ♠ -

♥ QJ62♥ K9543

♦ QJ9 ♦A1076532

♣ K982 ♣ A

SOUTH

♠ K1096532

♥ -

♦ 8

♣ J10743

Just four teams have entered for the Open trials for the European championships. I remember when 12 to 16 teams was the normal entry. So what is happening, especially when I mention that only half our Grand Masters have entered?

I asked a few players for their views and, unsurprisingly, 'money' was the answer. Are the IBU serious in asking six player to pay €900 to enter an event in which they have practically no chance of winning?

Let us suppose you have to travel twice from Galway or Cork to Dublin and stay for two or three days. Are we supposed to be made of money? I know one team which told me they would have entered if it cost €600 for a team of six.

I would also ask if the IBU are aware there is an Olympiad this year. It is scheduled for Wroclaw in Poland in September. Are we to have another expensive weekend or two?

First championships of the new year will be played at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Stillorgan this coming weekend. Men's and ladies pairs on Saturday and teams on Sunday. Entries as usual to Headquarters.

A very interesting hand from Bray Open teams.

Bidding (EW vul)

W N E S 1C P 2D 3S 4D 4S P P P

Dreadful bidding, of course. And don't tell me S won't lead a S against the slam.

Yes, I know a club beats it, but that will never happen. 6H is also on, but that 4-0 break is awkward. Anyway in my view W should have opened 1NT.

Sunday Independent

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