Adam Mesbur & Nicholas Fitzgibbon
winners of the open pairs
Valerie Labaere & Renata Saporta
winners of the ladies pairs
Open: Winners Adam Mesbur & Nicholas Fitzgibbon
It was a neck to neck battle between Vytas Vainikonis - Wojtech Olanski, from Lithuania, and Adam Mesbur - Nick Fitzgibbon from Ireland.
On board 97 (out of 100) the pair from Lithunia missed a slam called at 5 tables): Irishmen were on lead, but not for long. Bohbot and Vandervost from Belgium gave some trouble to Fitzgibbon and Mesbur when they sacrified at the five level for just one down against a vulnerable game. But, finally, the fighting spirit of Ireland grabbed the victory on board 99 with a last and rewarding sacrifice.
They were partners in 1974 when Ireland was second in European championship. They were partners in 1979 and 2006 when Ireland was on the podium of the open European Championship. And they were again partners in 2013, winning the European pairs championship in 2013.
Note that the first three pairs were sold for the minimum bid 5000 euros. So the winners’ return is a huge 23 to one...
Ladies: Winners Valerie Labaere & Renata Saporta
It was a very close affair too.
For a long time, it was thought that Diana Rakhmani and Maria Yakovleva, from Russia, newcomers on the international scene, would win.
Unfortunately for them, tense, they misplayed a game three boards before the end and that was, by the smallest margin, a victory for the French-Belgian pair.