Jérôme Rombaut – François Combescure – Jean-Christophe Quantin – Thomas Bessis – Frédéric Volcker – Lionel Sebbane (C) – Cédric Lorenzini
The European Bridge Team Championships held in Budapest from 16th to 25th June 2016 are now over.
3 series have been played
- Open: the most prestigious event with 37 registered teams,
- Women: 23 teams,
- Senior: 24 teams.
To have a chance to secure a ticket to the next World Team Championships in Lyon in 2017, teams had to do everything they could to rank in the top 6 (in the top 7 when France was in the top 6).
Jérôme Rombaut, member of France Open Team and GOTO Games* Deputy CEO tells us about this bridge marathon:
The agenda was quite heavy because in the Open Series, we had to play 36 matches in 10 days, so nearly 4 matches of 2 hours and 20 minutes every day, i.e. more than 9 hours of play!
Hopefully, our team was quite young, which helped us keep up the pace.
Just for clarification, at the end of a match, both teams facing each other share 20 points. Therefore a draw gets 10/10 and the biggest possible win is 20/0.
We started this first day with difficulty: 2 losses and 2 wins. We will particularly remember the emphatic 20/0 win over Monaco, one of the tournament favourites. Following this win, our captain said repeatedly that victory could no longer elude us. After day 1, we ranked 14th, though. (8 – 14 – 5 – 20)
Our 4 overwhelming consecutive wins (beyond 15 points) led us to second place. (16 – 17 – 16 – 15)
Once again, we won all our matches with an average of 18 points, which took us to the top of the table! (bye 12 – 19 – 19)
We moved forward with 4 nice wins including one over the Netherlands and held sway in the Open. (20 – 16 – 19 – 14)
Day 5 was a bit difficult because we lost against a surprise team, Spain. Indeed, they defeated us and that was our lowest score! Hopefully, at that time, we had already consolidated our position. (2 – 18 – 6 – 18)
We had only 3 matches to play that day but we had the impression that every match became more and more difficult to win. Besides, we briefly lost the lead after our loss in Round 2. (11 – 6 – 11)
That day gave us a breather, whereas a weakening had clearly been felt for 2 days. These 3 overwhelming wins helped us get our confidence back. (15 – 19 – 16 – 7)
On paper, things seemed quite easy and we had the opportunity to keep opponents at bay once and for all. Instead, we struggled to win every match and at the end of day 8, we led by a very narrow margin as we had 396.99 points vs 396.94 for Monaco! It promised to be tough… (14 – 13 – 7 – 6)
We managed to stay one step ahead of opponents, especially thanks to a stunning win over Norway. With 3 matches to go, we were 10 points ahead of the team ranked second. (20 – 14 – 5 – 12)
DAY 10 – LAST DAY
Our first 2 matches were nearly perfect and helped us secure the title with a round to spare (we were 24 points ahead). (16 – 20 – 5)
With an average of 13.3 points, we finish first (we had been told before the championships that the title is won with an average of 13).
That is quite an achievement since the last time France won the title dates back to 1983! Our objective is to continue together on this great adventure in September at the World Bridge Games that will be staged in Wrocław, Poland, but above all at the World Teams Championships that will be held in Lyon in August 2017.
Many thanks to the team that have been almost perfect from beginning to end, especially for the excellent atmosphere within the team for those 10 days and above all for the bridge level they have shown.
Of course, we have to take our hat off to our captain who has brilliantly supported us and played an important part in the team atmosphere and dynamics. Knowing that the oldest player of the team is not 50 yet, it bodes well for this team… See you in Poland from 4th September!
Warm congratulations to the Women Team that are used to first-place finishes and had to settle for second place this time.
The Senior Team, which had their first international experience there, have managed to make a comeback after an early setback to take a very honourable 6th place. They will be among the favourites at the next World Championships…
*GOTO Games is the software company behind Funbridge and GOTO bridge.