Irish unbeaten in mixed bridge event


IRELAND'S team in the mixed championship at the World Bridge Team Olympiad in Rhodes remains unbeaten after five rounds. Pat Walshe, Grainne Barton, Neil Kennedy, Anne Dillon and Niall Toibin were in ninth place after round 4, having beaten Yureklis (Turkey) 18-12 and Kaarstrand (Sweden) 19-11.

Despite beating Shugart (USA) 17-13 in round 5 they dropped to 17th as a result of eight additional teams, consisting of players who were eliminated at the quarter final stage of the open and women's championships, coming in at the top of the Swiss Movement. The Irish are just 10 points off second place. The top four of the 86 teams go through to the semi finals tomorrow.

The Galway pair Gay Keaveney and Rory Timlin won a session of the continuous pairs competition yesterday with an impressive 66 per cent score. Continuous pairs have been running parallel to the main team events.

The open and women's championships have reached the semifinal stages. The line up reflects a change in the balance of power in world bridge. Three teams from the Far East, two in the open and one in the women's event, point to an end of North American and European dominance.

In the open championship quarter finals the defending champions, France, led all the way to beat Russia 203-128. Indonesia beat the former world champions, Iceland, 180-115. Chinese Taipei beat Poland 132-122 in a match that could have gone either way until the final board. Denmark beat Italy 161-134.

In the women's quarter finals Canada surprised Germany, the 1995 world champions, to win 140-112. The defending Olympiad champion, Austria, beat Great Britain 134-108. China overpowered Israel 151-86. USA beat Netherlands 151-107.

The scores in the semi finals after 32 of the 96 boards are: open championship France 82, Chinese Taipei 36; Indonesia 77, Denmark 73. Women's championship: Austria 119, USA 108; China 94; Canada 45.