Bridge: European Team Championships


IRELAND LOST its two matches at the 51st European bridge team championships at City West yesterday, going down 11-21 to France before losing 14-16 to Poland. These results left the Irish in 13th place of the 18 finalists. The big match of the day, between championship leaders Monaco and title holders Italy, ended in a 22-8 victory for the Italians.

The team from Monaco has been the subject of controversy. A liberal interpretation of residency-qualification rules allows six former world champions from Italy, Norway and France to represent the principality. The Italians relished their victory with two former team mates, Fantoni and Nunes, on the opposing side. Monaco still leads the field by a comfortable margin but the manner of the Italian victory gives promise of exciting games to come. Ireland will play Monaco in the next round before facing Switzerland and England. The English, despite a 15-15 draw with Bulgaria and losing 13-17 to Norway, held on the second place on the leaderboard. Leaders after four of the final rounds: Monaco 221, England 204, Italy 201, Israel 194, Germany 192.5, Netherlands 192. Five rounds of matches remain.

Ireland lost 0-25 to Denmark in the women’s event and are last of the 19 competing nations. The Irish women have been consistently outclassed and have won only two of their 15 matches. They take on Poland and Scotland today. England leads on 286 points from France 281, Turkey 276, Poland 274.5, Sweden 270 and Israel 269.5. Ireland’s seniors (over 60s) lost 11-19 to Italy and 10-20 to Israel and are 13th of the 19 competing teams. The championships end tomorrow.