The Norwegian Schools Team
Espen Lindqvist (18) is the youngest player on our team and we
hope that this explains why he has such a bad sense of humour. He
lives in Arendal, in the southern part of Norway. He has just finished
high school and is heading for college, studying economics. He played
in Antalya two years ago with his partner:
Erik Eide (20), the oldest player on the team. He is from Hamar
(winter Olympic city), but this year has been doing military duty
in the Norwegian Airforce. Next year, he is going to study at the
University of Trondheim. Though he has just coloured his hair, it
otherwise doesn't look as though he has done anything with it since
the last Junior European Championships.
Petter Eide (19) is Erik's brother. Petter has just finished high
school and next month will be leaving home for military duty in
the cold dark north of Norway. He is the tallest member of the team,
and probably has the biggest pair of feet in Torquay. He also played
Allan Livgard (19) is Petter's partner. A 'fancy boy' from Askim.
He never eats breakfast and enjoys sleeping instead. This is his
recipe for success. He has a large bed at the Villa Marina and is
still waiting for some action. This is his first European Championship.
Next year he is going to Bali, not for the Bermuda Bowl, but to
Our npc is called Olav Lillebuen. In English that would be something
like 'O' low the little bow'. He has a fancy cell-phone but don't
call him because he wouldn't know how to operate it!
The French Junior Team
Five of the players representing France in the Junior event here
were in the team that won the bronze medal in the Schools Championship
two years ago in Antalya, while the sixth one finished fourth in
France has perhaps one of the younger teams in the Junior Championship.
Allow me to present them:
Thomas Bessis (18): He is a second year student in physics and
chemistry. He dreams of playing bridge with Israel's Dana Tal. Thomas
is also crazy about tattoos, piercings and tanning. For five years
he has played with:
Julien Gaviard (21): He is a third year student in maths and chemistry
and has to return to France on Sunday to pass an exam in order to
enter an engineering school. He is the funny boy of the team and
would like to visit Croatia. His favourite hobby is the English
Olivier Bessis (20): He is a second year student in maths and physics.
Olivier is keen on karaoke and dance music. Last year he tried to
take part in the French edition of Big Brother, but he was too stupid.
For two and a half years he has partnered:
Godefroy de Tessieres (21): He has been in an engineering school
for two years and also has a part-time job working as security at
the Moulin Rouge. He always has something to say and people know
him by the nickname 'Poussin' on Okbridge. Godefroy is from Martinique
and had represented Martique in international Championships before
playing for France.
Jerome Grenthe (21): He is in his last year at business school
and is always singing and dancing but, alas, nobody likes it. However,
this doesn't discourage him from trying to become a famous singer.
Before playing bridge he was a wrestling champion but after 108
defeats he gave up. He plays with:
Guillaume Grenthe (22): He has just finished his studies in business
school. Guillaume has, surprise, surprise, known his partner for
a very long time. He is the 'Iron Man' of the team (we call him
that because he is ironing our socks). He is the best bidder in
France for slams.
NPC - Herve Mouiel (24): One of the most famous players of the
French Riviera (he lives in Cannes), so that junior players listen
to his advice on bridge but not the rest of the time! He is the
king of the jokers
England Junior Team
I have the pleasure of introducing you to an extremely weird group
of young men who have the most unusual eating habits I've ever seen.
We are all single but I'm sure I can do enough in this profile to
put all the female readers off us for life.
Richard Probst (23): a typical English eccentric who works as a
trader in the city of London. Our champion of strange eating, his
specialities include whole eggs with the shell on and pints of lager
with the contents of an ashtray mixed in.
Alex 'Shambles' Hydes (20): Trades in the same office as Richard.
Those of you who had the pleasure of dining with him last night
will have marvelled at the way he demolished two main courses and
five desserts and was ready for more. His diet consists of meat,
more meat, and a little carbohydrate. Salad is only allowed in the
presence of a kebab. Organising himself is not his strong point.
David Gold (22): Runs the St. Johns Wood Bridge Club in north London.
Take one look at how well built he is and you can imagine his appetite.
After a visit to the curry house, a further trip out to the kebab
shop was neccesary.
Oliver Burgess (18): The youngest member of the team, who has just
finished school. Usually has cola sweets for his appetiser, wine
gums for the main course and sometimes meat for dessert.
Ben Handley-Pritchard (20): Will soon start work with Richard and
Alex. A Surprisingly normal eater, but doesnt like to be disturbed
Gareth Birdsall (25): Seemingly a perpetual student at Cambridge,
a normal guy and a normal eater, therefore I'm at a loss to understand
why he's on this team.
Jason Hackett (31): Bridge professional and ex-junior, used to
eat as much as them but cannot compete now. My job as captain includes
driving to kebab shops and Indian restaurants after play finishes,
taking them back to my room at the Toorak to discuss anything but
bridge and getting the drinks in. Of course, since they have to
play the next day, these parties involve me drinking most of their
share for them.
BELGIAN TEAM PROFILE
Hello, the Belgian team is back and is be pleased to be presented
We start with Tom Cornelis (25), the best known Belgian player,
living in Ghent, fluently speaking five languages and with a degree
in informatics. He is really an old timer, since he has attended
three European Championships, and as many University events, without
speaking about bridge camps in Nymburk and Stargard. Since his last
appearance he has let his hair and beard grow significantly, in
order to make opponents afraid of him. This tactical hint sadly
enough did not succeed too well up to now, but he also tries to
make the life of his opponents difficult by inventing a new system
every year. His victim this time is:
Kevin Peeters (23) (say Pay-thurs), who lives in the southern part
of the country (he is the only one in the team) and went to a French
speaking university to get a Masters in management, but speaks Dutch
at home. Due to his extensive use of gel, nobody knows if he has
a hair problem. This is his first international appearance, but
he is not at all impressed by this, as he tried to get the award
for the best played hand when playing in a 4-2 mini-Moysian fit
As always in the Belgian team, we seem obliged to bring three brothers
together. After the Louveaux and the De Roos we have now the Vanparijs
family. The oldest, Wim (Hans-Willem on his passport, but I agree
Wim is better as a first name) will turn 25 this summer. He was
considered as a very promising player, already playing in Cardiff
1996, but three years ago he suddenly stopped playing bridge and
started to make children. The result was a heavy hair loss and two
charming daughters, Floor (2.5) and Nico (1). He works in a bank
in Leuven under the orders of the Belgian NJO Eric Debus, but this
is NOT the reason why he was selected to come here. His two younger
brothers Pieter (20) and Jef (19) are really too young to suffer
hair problems. A couple of years ago they tried to play together
but they stopped before as there was a danger of a murder being
commited. Nevertheless, they were first in Nymburk 1999 after the
first eight deals, causing a wave of shock in the room. They learned
bridge six years ago and look quite like each other, but the beautiful
girls in the neighbourhood can easily recognize them. Pieter is
studying in Leuven for industrial engineering, and Jef is about
to start to do so in September. Jef got here a new nickname, T-Rex,
since he is eating twice as much as his fellows, without getting
fat. Pieter arrived in Torquay with some delay, due to the fact
that he forgot his passport and could not embark in Brussels on
the Eurostar. Ten days before, he was planning holidays elsewhere
but due to the very late withdrawal of Tom Venesoen, he was solicited
to replace opposite:
Henri Van de Velde (24). There is a lot to be written about Henri.
Nobody knew him when he suddenly popped up in the trials for Torquay
during the Easter holidays, getting a third place and qualifying.
He had never played any competition before and must join the federation
afterwards in order to be allowed to play! After that, his hair
became more and more grey and he is asking himself if he will return
to soccer, where he is an official referee, or try to gain money
by finishing his law degree in Louvain-la-Neuve. Henri speaks four
languages fluently and will soon be engaged to a French girl who
lives in Spain, Sandrine. This, of course, will make his hair more
and more grey. By the way, he is doing very well at this tournament,
getting at this moment the best Butler-score of the team.
NPC Jean-Francois Jourdain (40), nicknamed Pitch,
learned in his youth how not to play bridge at Budapest (1986) and
Valkenburg (1987) when representing Belgium. Now he tries to teach
that to the team, who have no difficulty to understand his message
and put it into practice. He started to work with the youth three
years ago and immediately suffered a severe hair loss. He tried
to recover, but his hair is falling again since the opening game
against Norway which turned out to be a disaster after a promising
start (see Daily Bulletin 2 if you are not afraid to have nightmares).
In his everyday life he is a journalist, working for the Brussels
daily newspaper, La Libre Belgique, and is a member of the IBPA.
Before he started playing bridge 17 years ago, he played chess in
the Belgian 1st league, and is still remembering with regret about
those years. He is consoling himself by buying a drink for the team
every time they win, which threatens to send him to the public charity