Ray Lee

Calling the shots

The Lees (me, Linda, Colin and Luise) are all online gamers, the game du jour being Everquest II, a MMORPG.  One of the features we take advantage of in playing EQ2 is a Verntrilo server, which allows multi-way Internet voice communication. I mention this because it explains how I have been chatting to Colin for an hour or so every morning here (evening his time).  This morning, we were talking about my strategic options for the 3 matches left. 

I just realized I haven’t said anything about yesterday –  we got more VPs than I had expected or hoped, and find ourselves starting today in 5th.  This might actually be a high-water mark for Canadian Venice Cup teams — I’m going on memory here, but I believe the three WBF women’s medals in our history all came in Olympiads; the last two certainly did.  We hung tough against China to come away with a creditable 10 VPs, then went to work on Japan.  Sylvia and Isabelle had a decent set while Linda retired to bed, and we picked up a useful 23 VPs.  With Linda and Pamela back in, and Francine and Julie still in, we put together a near-perfect session in the final match to add 24 more against India.  So a great day, everyone played well, nuff said.


So back to strategy.  I won’t go through all the permutations, which are very complex, since several of the top group are playing one another.  My issues are basically these:  we play first the Netherlands, who are 15 VPs behind us and are almost in a must-win situation.  They are good team that started badly and are coming on strongly.  Then we face the powerful German squad, and finish against Argentina, who are well down the field.  I have two pairs who are performing well, and a third who have not been able to produce their best bridge this week with any consistency.  However, one of my top pairs tells me they don’t think they can handle three sessions today, and one member of the other top pair is sick, and also doubtful for three sets.


It was while Colin and I were kicking some of these ideas around (he’s an excellent strategic gamer, and good to bounce things off since he often approaches problems from a different angle than I do) that Luise said she thought the discussion was very interesting and I should write about it on the blog.  So here we are.  Colin’s view was that the key match was Germany, and that whatever else I did I should play our best lineup in that one, to set ourselves up as best as possible for any quarterfinal matchup.  My own view is that the Netherlands is the critical round.  If we win that, we’re in great shape; if we don’t, we can still see what we can get out of Germany and then go for a blitz in the last round against Argentina.


My reckoning from the start, and Colin agrees, is that 340 VPs will Q.  That means we need 42 today, so if we can beat Argentina big, we only need 10 or so out of each of the other matches.  But I’d rather not have to blitz in the last round!  So I’m playing my two best pairs against Netherlands, and hoping we can beat them.  If we do, then both of them can get a match off later in the day.


Wish us luck again!


ColinOctober 6th, 2007 at 1:28 am

Just to quickly add my own two cents here – the real question in my mind was to look at what exactly you are trying to accomplish. For a lot of teams making the playoffs is a great accomplishment and their goal in the tournament is to make it to the quarter finals. For some teams (let’s say Nickell), their goal is clearly to win the tournament. They are thinking from day 1 of what’s to their advantage for the end goal – a gold medal.

I completely agree that if your goal is to make the quarter finals – play your best pair against netherlands; however, if your goal is to win the tournament (or to get as far as possible in the playoffs) – I think you have to play as strong as possible against Germany as they are the most important team when you have made the playoffs (carryover, whether they pick you or not are all factors to consider – but this assumes you are making the playoffs and are planning for the quarters).

With the start Canada got off to, I think everyone is pleasantly surprised how well they have done since then that we all think that they can keep going strong – so maybe it’s my optimism speaking but I would have gone with the top pairs for the 2nd match because it would help more once you have made the playoffs.

Go Canada!

RayOctober 6th, 2007 at 2:34 am

If we had lost big to Netherlands I would have done that. Since we got 14 VPs, which was more than I budgeted for, I had some slack. Also one pair clearly needed the rest. Now depending on what happens in this round to us and other teams, I may be able to rest the other pair too.

nick krnjevicOctober 6th, 2007 at 10:23 am


Congratulations to all-fantastic showing. Equalling (or surpassing)the best Canadian Venice Cup showing (Bronze in ’89) seems well within reach.

Best of luck.



Fred and MargaretOctober 6th, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Congratulations! on making the playoffs. Remember, the longest journey begins with the 1st step — first the 1/4’s, then the semis, then the finals. One at a time. I know you can do it 🙂 Best of luck…we’ll be watching. Fred & Margaret

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