Last stop! A look back on the “Bridge Express” tournament from 28 December

Bridge Express

Let’s take a look back on “Bridge Express”, a knockout tournament of rare intensity held on 28 December: 30 minutes per match for a total duration of 6 hours and 30 minutes only! A busy night for European players, especially the finalists, who finished playing at half past midnight and all earned a good night’s sleep. 😴

The tournament was also more international than ever with 12 different nationalities represented among the final 16 contenders. A first for a knockout tournament on Funbridge! 🌍

A first-class champion!

As is often the case, French players were the largest nationality represented at the station. But they don’t necessarily grab the title!

After German and British victories in the first two editions of Bridge Clash, this time the winner comes from Sweden: beardowell.


Interview with the Champion

What were your impressions of the ”Bridge Express” knockout tournament?

Bridge Express suits me well. I usually play fast, 2 minutes per deal.

I won, so of course I like it very much 🙂

What is your background with bridge?

I have played bridge for about 55 years. I started when I was 14. My parents were players too.

I have played in some clubs through the years, but nowadays I almost only play on Funbridge. 

How did you come across Funbridge? Since when have you been a member?

I discovered Funbridge by searching on the internet. I have been a member since March 2008. After that, I introduced the platform to my bridge friends, maybe I brought you 50 new players!

What do you particularly enjoy about Funbridge? What are your favourite game modes?

I play a lot of different types of games, but I think that the team tournaments are the most interesting. Then I like to challenge friends and Argine! The best thing about Funbridge is that it is always available and Argine is a very good player!

Would you like to share a brief analysis of one of the hands from this tournament that you found particularly interesting?

I had a tough game against my compatriot in the quarter-final. The score was 0-0 before the 5th and last deal.

This was the full deal:

We both played in 3NT. Lead: King of Hearts. 

My analysis was that West had the rest of the big cards, so I took the Ace of Hearts and played 7 of Clubs to the King, 2 of Diamonds to the Queen, Ace of Diamonds and one more Diamond. West was stuck and had to help me. He returned a low club and I won with the 10 of Clubs. I took my big cards and finished with the Ace of Spades and a spade to the Jack for +2. My opponent played 3NT just made. 2 IMPs for me.

Tense matches and crazy play onboard

And the Palme of the most tense match goes to… Béru 99 and PM2792 in the round of 16, with a final score of 0-0. 😐 Same contracts, same leads and same results on all deals. But 66 seconds ahead, PM2792 advanced to the next round. That was cruel for Béru 99 but rules are rules. 🤓

For the first time, a Funbridge staff member finished ahead of our ambassadors. 🚀 The excitement reached its climax at the office where everyone was following his remarkable journey. But within touching distance of a place in the semi-finals, Vincent Galesh” Gallais got eliminated. Those who know him won’t be astonished by his desperate attempt to reverse the situation on the last deal with an unlikely overcall which eventually cost him the match.

Yet, his bold strategy had paid off in his round of 64 match against R.R. Back to the wall, Vincent had opened game-forcing 2♣️ with 12 points only in his hand, hoping to then pass his partner’s 2♦️ relay as he held 6 cards in the suit. Scared, East-West stopped in 2♠️ whereas the 4♠️ contract was a lay-down. Diabolical! Since Partner had passed initially, no game was possible! 🧠

(*) Game-forcing 2♣️

Who was The Controller?

The Controller was… Jérome Rombaut! A clever controller knows how to cover his tracks. He played with a bidding system for beginners, but a great champion was hiding behind the mask. Jérôme also participated using his personal account, which made it tricky for investigators to guess who he was.

Unfortunately, the hectic pace of the tournament cost him dearly as he was knocked out in the round of 64 without having time to play his deals…

Our apologies for the incidents encountered on your way

Many players missed the train and some technical incidents occurred during the journey. This first express knockout tournament surprised many, several first-round matches being won by forfeit as players didn’t show up… It is a shame but the Bridge Express doesn’t wait for latecomers. 🚅 Rounds 2 and 3 were also marked by some incidents, and we take the opportunity of this article to apologise to the players affected.

This express format was a first for us too and obviously, things didn’t go as smoothly as expected. Several players encountered difficulties playing their matches, despite that it was decided to allocate more time to Round 2 to remedy the situation. Rest assured that we learned a lot from what happened and it won’t happen again. Of course, those who got eliminated as a result of these incidents will be compensated. Once again, our apologies.

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