Ray Lee

World Mind Sports Games — women’s event Day 3

The data feed from Beijing is improving on the WBF site, although we still have no detailed play records.  Still, remote journalism is becoming a little easier!

The Women’s event is now just over half way through the round robin, with 9 of 17 rounds complete.  Time to see how the groups are shaping up.  Remember, the top 5 from each group qualify for the KO stages, along with the best 6th place team.

Group E sees England, USA and Italy looking comfortable in the top three spots, with Poland, Hong Kong, Japan and Brazil fighting for the fourth and fifth qualifying places.  These seven are half a match or more clear of the rest.  No real surprises — I even warned readers that Hong Kong might prove to be a contender…

Spain, China and Finland continue to lead Group F; France and the surprising Philippines are a little back, essentially tied for fourth, while you could throw a blanket over Russia, Denmark, Venezuela, Australia and Scotland half a match further back.  Canada made some progress up the table, but yesterday’s haul of 54 VPs was in my estimation at least 10 short of what they needed from a day against relatively weak opposition.   There are a lot of teams ahead of them, and with Spain and Venezuela on the menu for today, it’s time to come up big if they’re going to.  My team last year recovered from a slow start by beating good teams — the turning point was when we blitzed England and then beat Germany.  Now this year’s model is going to have to do much the same thing, but I’ll be surprised if they can do so.

Germany racked up 74 VPs out of 75 to take a firm group on Group G yesterday.   Sweden, Hungary, Singapore (!) and the Netherlands occupy the next 4 spots, and again, about a one-half match gap has opened up ahead of the next few teams.  New Zealand, who played so well in Shanghai last year and were one of my picks to make it through, continue to struggle, and are third last.

So the universe is (mostly) unfolding as it should, or at least as I predicted it to do.  Tonight (our time) will the fourth full day, and tomorrow night there are only 2 matches.  After that the WMSG takes a 1-day break for Yom Kippur, and resumes Thursday for the last 3 rounds, and the final scramble for playoff spots.  Stay tuned.

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