Izmir, Turkey • 11-14 November 2010


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  The Netherlands' OPSTEIN team
  2010 European Champions' Cup winners: ONSTEIN (The Netherlands)

The champion team OPSTEIN of The Netherlands suc­ceed­ed in capturing the prestigious European Cham­pi­ons' Cup, at the 9th edition of the competition, held in Izmir, Turkey, 11-14 November 2010.

The Dutch team met the defending Cup holders, Italy's ANGELINI team, in the final and beat them 93-72 after an exciting match which was close almost until the end.

This was not only the first time that The Netherlands has won the European Champions' Cup, but also only the second one not won by Italy! Indeed, since the in­tro­duc­tion of the competition in its present form in 2002, Italy had won all events, except the 2006 edition where the Cup was captured by Germany.

The new European Champions' Cup holders are Bauke Muller, Bas Drijver, Simon de Wijs and Sjoert Brink. The silver medal went to Italy's ANGELINI team, com­pris­ing Francesco Angelini, Boye Brogeland, Fulvio Fantoni, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes and Ercole Bove (npc). The bronze medal went to the Russian national champion team MATUSHKO, consisting of Sergey Drachev, Andrey Gromov, Yury Khiuppenen, Jouri Khokhlov, Vadim Kholomeev and Georgi Matushko (playing captain). MATUSHKO had an easy run against Turkey's IZMIR in the playoff for third place.

Runners up ITALY  
Runners up: ANGELINI (Italy)
Third-placed RUSSIA  
Third-placed MATUSHKO (Russia)  

The European Champions' Cup is open to the champion teams of the ten coun­tries which finish at the top of the classification at the previous Euro­pean Team Championships. The Cup holders are invited to defend their title, while the host country is also invited to field their champion team. No country is allowed to participate with more than two teams.

The top 10 countries in the open classification of the European Team Cham­pion­ships in Ostend '10 were: Italy, Poland, Israel, Iceland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany and Turkey. All took part in this year's edition of the European Champions' Cup, with Italy (Cup holders) and Turkey (host country) fielding two teams each.

The format of the event was a qualifying round robin, followed by a knockout phase. Teams were divided in two groups of six and the round robin de­ter­mined the top four who con­tested the title in the knock­out phase. The re­main­ing teams also pro­ceed­ed to a knockout phase to determine the final rank.

The end of the round robin saw ONSTEIN, ANGELINI, Sweden's ST ERIK and Bulgaria's VITO qualifying from one group (Iceland's THORNTON and Turkey's CERKEZKOY following), while IZMIR, MATUSHKO, Poland's AUGURI and Italy's VILLA FABBRICHE advanced from the other (Germany's BAMBERGER and Israel's BAREKET following).

All semifinal matches ended with easy victories for the winners. ONSTEIN beat MATUSHKO 137-22, ANGELINI prevailed over IZMIR 160-54, ST ERIK over VILLA FABBRICHE 144-43 and AUGURI over VITO 88-42.

Participants and guests at the 9th European Champions' Cup enjoyed a splendid organization provided by the Turkish Bridge Federation, under the button of President Serhan Antalyali and his team of officials and volunteers. Ege Palas, the venue, and the maritime historic city of Izmir, from the Mayor down to ordinary people, offered a warm hospitality to be remembered and serve as an example.