Page 0045

The Young Chelsea L team (pictured, from left)

Neil Rosen, James Thrower, Andrew McIntosh and

Ali Ahmed) won the National Inter-Club KnockOut final by

11 IMPs in a tight match against the

Young Chelsea A team.

In addition to the players pictured, Joe Fawcett

and Szczepan Smoczynski played for the team in

earlier rounds of the competition.

The second-placed Young Chelsea A team

captained by Susanna Gross included Mike Bell,

Phil King, Paul Russell & Richard Bowdery.

The European Open trials have been won by

David Gold & Andrew Robson (pictured above).

They finished the final weekend with 133.69 IMPs,

with Alex Hydes & Ben Handley-Pritchard

(pictured below) in second place with 121.69 IMPs

- nearly twice the third-placed pair Mike Bell &

Ben Norton. The two top pairs automatically

qualify to represent England at the European

Championships in June, with one further pair to

be selected. The final four-day weekend was

played as a double round robin, and is expected to

produce the highest strength of field (average

NGS) of any event played in England.

The European Championships will be played in

Madeira at the end of June. It is one of the most

important events in the calendar. Only the top

eight countries qualify to play in the Bermuda

Bowl - the World Championships. The Europeans

produce some of the strongest teams in the world,

making it very tough to qualify.

For some of the players, including Alex & Ben

and Mike & Ben, the trials took place over three

long weekends starting in early November. Some

22 pairs competed to reach the top 12 to return for

three more days of trials at the end of November,

joined by a further four pairs who were eligible by

virtue of their standing. The 16 fought for the top

seven spots to join three more pairs (including

Gold/Robson) who were exempt until the final

round. Alex and Ben came third, second and

second over the three weekends - fully earning

their place at the top table.

www.ebu.co.uk 45

February 2020 English Bridge

E/W Game. Dealer East.

West North East South

Pass 2NT1

Pass 3´2 Pass 3NT

Pass 5® Pass 5t

Pass 6® Pass 7t

Dble 7™ Dble 7NT

Dble All Pass

1 Neither 20-22 nor balanced, but . . . 2 Clubs

or both minors

Not good enough, though, for at the other table:

North was just trying to play in his eight-card

suit, but South viewed matters differently and an

inelegant contract was the upshot. The defenders

cashed six black-suit tricks for a penalty of 1400,

and another 14 IMP swing was recorded. r

CHELSEA V CHELSEA NICKO FINAL

EUROPEAN OPEN TRIALS

We apologise that a technical problem meant that

Landmark Promotions achieved in October were

not included in the December issue of English

Bridge. They will be added to the later promotions

and included in the April issue.

MISSING PROMOTIONS

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