Team Funbridge in Strasbourg: A more than positive experience! (News of 18 June)

Team Funbridge

Team Funbridge members are taking part in their very first bridge event: the 10th European Transnational Open organised in Strasbourg! Their coach, Jérôme Rombaut, is regularly updating this page to share with you their latest adventures as if you were there…

Day 8: A more than positive experience!

Sunday 18 June

Last day of competition for Team Funbridge!

Finn and Christian managed to take fifteenth place in Final A among the world top 15 pairs (only a few American pairs were missing).

That’s an astounding success for such young players! 👏👏

This adventure will remain a positive experience with a qualification for the Teams KO phase, but playing teams matches against formidable opponents was not an easy task.

The next step to qualify for the World Youth Bridge Championships that will be held in Veldhoven next July should be right up their street…

Captain is pleased with his troops and their good frame of mind! 😃

Congrats Team Funbridge !

Day 7: “We’ve made it to the final!

Friday 16 June

Exceptional Duo: Christian and Finn have qualified for the pairs’ open final!

A remarkable performance by our two young prodigies! They have secured their spot in the final among the top 28 pairs. Tomorrow, they will fearlessly and determinedly challenge the greatest champions, dreaming of achieving a feat.

Despite the fatigue accumulated since the beginning of the competition, our brave players, at their young age, will quickly recover to face this ultimate challenge. They will need all your support! 💪

Let’s not forget to congratulate Nicolai and Andreas as well for their impressive journey, which unfortunately ends just shy of the final. Well done, gentlemen! 👏

Day 6: Nothing is going to be easy…

Thursday 15 June

It was hard to get into this semi-final!

That was not a great day but all is not lost. The troops are still smiling and confident

They need to finish in the top 20 to reach the final (depending on the number of pairs from Teams semi-finals, the qualifier threshold may be raised to 26 pairs).

Andreas Abragi:

“Today was the first day of semi-finals. None of our pairs did very well and both will need to play very well to qualify for the final tomorrow.” 

Finn Kolesnik:

“Today in the pairs we had a rocky start. The first two sessions we were ok but the last one was a combination of bad luck and bad play. Tomorrow we need to average about 57% to qualify for the finals. Christian and I have been getting along well but having some challenges from our lack of performance. If we can make it to the finals, we will have a fresh start to compete for a medal at least.”

Go Team Funbridge! 💪

Christian Lahrmann with Léo Rombaut

Day 5: Team Funbridge makes it to the semi-finals!

Wednesday 14 June

Unfortunately, the step was too high against the Dutch champions. Never mind, Team Funbridge still has many resources to shine in pairs sessions this time.

Andreas Abragi goes back over the event:

“Today we played the qualifiers for the pairs semis. Both pairs made the cut and will tomorrow play semi-final A from where 26/60 qualify to final A. Wish us luck!”

Well done Team Funbridge! 👏👏 The adventure goes on…

Day 4: Fearsome opponents

Tuesday 13 June

First knockout day for the youths today. After brilliantly qualifying for the round of 32, there was no good draw, only very big teams left! The Dutch world champions were on their way and unfortunately, the step was too high. Four segments closely fought but all lost. Never mind, they gained a lot of experience and their outfits made an impression. The boys were hard to miss!

It’s now time for the pairs event! It’s going to be a great event, with two days of qualifying, and our Funbridge team will be taking part on the first day. We then hope to reach the semi-final and finally the Holy Grail, the final.

No worries for the youths. They will go out tonight, cheer themselves up and be on form tomorrow. They’ll have a day off soon to take a breather and get back on track!

Andreas goes back over their first disillusion:

“Today We were eliminated from the teams, losing to the dutch open team. We were never really close. Tomorrow it is pairs and we aim at at least one medal. But We will have to play well.”

Andreas playing

Day 3: Last day of qualification!

Monday 12 June

Team Funbridge gave us a bit of a scare today, qualifying on the last segment 😱 with an amazing coup!

  • Christian and Andreas bid 4❤.
  • Christian, thinking his opponent was about to pass, passed before it was his turn to do so. His opponent retorted that he could not do that.
  • Christian replied “Go ahead, speak if that’s what you want!”. Irritated, his opponent doubled him and Christian redoubled! He took the hit but they qualified by the skin of their teeth. They finished 30th thanks to this deal!

On 13 June Team Funbridge will be playing against a Dutch team made up of world champions in the round of 32. Tough… 🥵

Relaxing and food break ahead of the last deciding match 💪

But why so much adversity?

The explanation lies in how tables are made in the round of 32:

  • 32 teams qualified for that round.
  • The top 8 teams picked their opponents for the next round among the 16 bottom qualifiers. Team Funbridge, ranked 30th after the qualifying phase, was not chosen.
  • 16 teams including Team Funbridge were then left aside. Seed numbers were assigned to the remaining teams according to their members’ EBL ranking. The top-seeded team faces the lowest-seeded one. The team seeded No. 2 plays against the second lowest-seeded team. And so on.
The die is cast… Go Team Funbridge!

The very strong Dutch team ranked poorly in the qualifying phase but is top-seeded in the EBL rankings. And that’s how the very young Team Funbridge ends up playing against Goliath!

Day 2: The hard work begins today

Sunday 11 June

After a first dream day, Day 2 was much harder

Some personalities emerged from the first losing streak: the two most experienced players, Christian and Finn.

Christian to his partner:

“How can you open 1NT with only 13 points when you are playing with the King?” 🤴

Pairs will be switched for the last match: Finn and Christian will respectively partner Nicolai and Andreas. Fingers crossed! 🤞

Team Funbridge recovering in the hall of the Exhibition Centre

Day 1: Team Funbridge comes into contention!

Saturday 10 June

First day of competition in the history of Team Funbridge! 🥳

These young players are talented, they won’t need a coach. Well, except for organising things!


“Where are our kits? After the first match, at which table shall we sit?”

Nicolai put the wrong polo shirt on. He wore the one made for his partner Andreas Abragi. But he didn’t want to change after performing so well today.


“I feel like him. We understand each other even better!”

Team Funbridge members don’t go unnoticed in Strasbourg Exhibition Centre! 📸
Andreas Abragi
Christian Lahrmann
Finn Kolesnik
Nicolai Hieberg-Evenstad
History will remember that Team Funbridge (temporarily) topped the table…

In terms of bridge play, today was almost a perfect day! Team Funbridge soon climbed onto the podium, even topping the table from their 3rd match.

They are barely 20 years old and already playing against top world players in the Open category. But they aren’t afraid of anything, they are in their element.

Phone call from my father:

“I followed them on BBO Vugraph. These youths are amazing. They’re impressive!

Yes, yes, I know, dad!” 😎🥳

You want to support Team Funbridge young players?

Drop a friendly comment of encouragement below this article! 🙂

And follow this link to find out more about Team Funbridge.


Leave a Reply