Bridge Notes: Ireland has been united in bridge since 1955

European championships open to both Northern Ireland and Republic unions

The annual general meeting of the Northern Ireland Bridge Union (NIBU) will be held on Sunday June 16th at La Mon Hotel and Country Club, Belfast.

The agm of the Contract Bridge Association of Ireland (CBAI), the governing body for bridge in the Republic, will be held at Westmanstown sports centre in Dublin 15 on Saturday July 6th. These two governing bodies together form the Irish Bridge Union, the body responsible for selecting Irish teams to compete in European and World championships and for organising all-Ireland championships. Ireland has been united for the purpose of international bridge competition since 1955.

The ninth European open bridge championships, which will be contested in Istanbul between June 15th and 29th, are open to all affiliated members of both the NIBU and the CBAI.

All competitions in Istanbul are transnational, that is, members of participating pairs and teams are not required to be from the same country. Some Irish competitors will partner players from other countries.


Down on numbers

Entries for all eight competitions – open, women's, mixed and senior pairs and team events – are down on the numbers that competed at the last European opens which were held in Montecatini, Italy two years ago.

Twenty-five Irish players will take part, reduced from 40 in 2017. There will be no Irish participation in the senior events, and the number of Irish competitors in the women pairs’ championship is significantly down when compared with recent years.

The CBAI will be organising promotions events throughout the country between August 16th and 25th, aimed at drawing the attention of the public to the game, ensuring a continuous entry of new members and increased participation. Membership currently exceeds 30,000 nationwide.


The Yeats Country congress will begin at the Radisson Blu hotel, Sligo on Friday evening next and will continue until Sunday. The programme of events will begin with mixed and gala open pairs competitions on Friday.

Separate congress, intermediate A and intermediate B and novice pairs events will begin at 1.30pm on Saturday while congress teams will commence play at 11am on Sunday.

Tournament director Fearghal O’Boyle (086-2652871) and Mairéad Basquille (087-9274448) will accept entries for the main contests and will offer help with accommodation. Open pairs competitions for which pre-entry is not required will be held throughout the weekend.