An interesting list of players with most European Master points appears in this month's Irish Bridge Journal.
Not surprisingly, Tom Hanlon heads the Irish list, with 961pts, followed by Adam Me-bur, Nick FitzGibbon, Hugh McGann, John Carroll and Tommy Garvey.
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The ladies list is fascinating as it is headed by Aileen O'Keeffe, Barbara Seligman and Grainne Barton, none of whom are currently on the Irish team.
And speaking about the Irish ladies team, there are some critical words about the current internationals in a Journal article: "The standard of play needs to be improved if our players are to seriously challenge."
No player is named with regard to the following comment: "In contrast another Irish player showed either a lack of understanding of the very basics of bidding on another 'take a chance and to hell with the consequences' approach on the following deal.
Bidding (N dealer) N E S W 1C P 1H P 1NT P 2S P 2NT P 4C P 5C P 5D P 6NT All Pass
"6NT is an awful contract at the end of a dreadful bidding sequence. It has no chance on a D lead whereas 6H cannot be defeated. North's bid of 2NT makes no sense."
♠ 64♠ J1052
♥ 9865♥ 10
♦ J53♦ K109874
♣ K653♣ J2