The 10th European Open Transnational Bridge Championships have just come to an end in Strasbourg! An event studded with plenty of adventures, both bridge-wise and on a human level. Among those, the incredible epic of two members of Team Funbridge, Jérôme et Léo Rombaut, up to the heights of the competition.
Jérôme revisits their highlights from this fierce competition in detail, where father and son had to stand fast when up against adversity. Sit back, make some popcorn and marvel at Jérôme and Léo’s side!
Colourful high-level play-offs
The European Teams Championship began with 3 days of play-offs, with 15 matches to play to decide between a hundred teams and only keep 32 to qualify for the sixteenth final.
After a rather average start (two defeats), we followed up with victories to take first place three matches from the end!
We finished up against two of the favourites (Brink-Drijver and Brogeland-Bakke), with two big losses, and we dropped to 7th place. Fortunately, a good win in the last match meant we climbed to 4th place in the end.
A big advantage as the top 8 could choose their opponents for the following round from among those who qualified (but only from those in 17th to 32nd place).
The choice was not easy; shame that the Street team finished in 16th place, or we would happily have gone for them…
1/16, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2… The rounds kept coming and were not at all alike!
In the end, our choice landed on a team of young Germans.
A good choice, as their team played very nicely but not enough to worry us; a 132-80 victory.
In the round of 16, we played the Breno team, a 100% Italian team. After a bad start, where we were losing 35-12, the second set was exceptional, with a 72-18 victory.
Unfortunately, they came back in the 3rd segment: 43-11 to pass us by 3 points. Squeezing a victory of 19-16 in the last set was enough to draw the match and our win against them in the play-offs served to settle the matter; there we were in the quarter final.
This would be against an international team: Danes, Americans, a German and a Swede but above all, very good players; yet our match would be solid and we beat them quite comfortably with 136-81.
The semifinal would again be against an Italian team; we took off with 68-16 in the first set and the others would all be very tight, so we kept our lead in a very well-played match for a victory of 158-104.
We had got into our stride: Alain and Erick played the 1st and 3rd sets, Nicolas and Julien the 2nd, 3rd and 4th and with Léo, we started with the first two sets, then a break for the third and we finished with the last.
A 100% French final
It was time for the Franco-French final against the team of Cédric Lorenzini and Thomas Bessis.
We led throughout the final to attack the final set with a comfortable lead of 90-73; we had great hopes. Unfortunately, our teammates were tired and the final half was not good; we lost the set 38-14 to lose the title by a few points (104-111).
The quality of the bridge produced in the final served to alleviate some of the disappointment, even if a few tears were shed.
Full of memories and ambition!
For a first European Championship, the result remains very positive and, above all, Léo and I were in perfect sync during these cutthroat matches; our level of play never failed to increase along with the level of the competition and we went away full of ambition for the tests to come!
What a pleasure to play with one’s son at this level… Can’t wait for next time (Chicago, Marrakech…)!
What did you think of this article by Jérôme Rombaut?
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