Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Junior Europeans - U25s & U20s - Tuesday recap

Michael Byrne, NPC of the Under 20s

Today we played one match against the Czech Republic and whilst we gained several imps in the plus column we gave out far too many in the minus column and lost heavily.

Tomorrow we face Germany and Latvia and we are trying new partnership combinations to shake the team up and give them some momentum. 

We shall see how our new strategy goes.


Alan Shillitoe, NPC of the Under 25s

A quiet day today - just the one match against the Welsh which, after a few sweaty moments, we pulled away to take a near maximum. We lie 16 or so clear of second with Israel and second placed Norway to play tomorrow. It's about to get real. The schedule though has meant that apart from Poland vs Germany, none of the current top six have played each other yet. The final half of the event is going to be a ding-dong slug fest. So starting from the position of power feels like the place to be.

One of the joys of the game is how it can bring the generations together. It is something that seems sadly undervalued in this day and age. So tonight after dinner, a few of us were just hanging around in the lobby area chatting with Swedish legend PO Sundelin who is present at the championships as a technical adviser. There were a few games of backgammon (see twitter - #EBUTromso - for the photos) and then PO played a few hands with Isaac Barden against his dad (U15 NPC) and Jon Cooke (U25 Coach). Jon related a story of how PO was in some some way influential in him taking up the game in the first place. When he was a child of about Isaac's age, he saw the BBC TV program 'International Bridge Club' ( with PO, Zia (now a friend of Jon's), Sami Kehela and England's own Tony Forrester playing on the Canberra as it (coincidentally) was cruising up the Norwegian coast. Jon was inspired by the program to learn the game and is here in the picture playing against one of those very people. Will this meeting with PO have inspired another young English player? 

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