Ray Lee

World Mind Sports Games — Women’s Bridge Day 4

I was hoping to bring you a write-up of yesterday’s USA-Egypt contest this morning, but unfortunately BBO lost the feed from one of the tables, so that’s not possible.  So this blog will just be a round-up of the standings after 4 days, with 12 out of 17 rounds complete.

Group E finds England well on top with 254 VPs to date, and USA a comfortable second at 236.  Italy, Poland and Japan currently occupy the other three Q-spots, with scores ranging from 209 to 205.  The chase pack is headed by Brazil (196) , and includes Norway (191), Belarus (184) and Hong Kong (180).  I don’t give any team lower than that any realistic chance of getting past this stage of the contest.  Remember that as always, the VP scale starts at 15-15, and maxes at 25 for the winning team, while the loser can get as few as 0.  However, it’s a tough scale to score big on, over 16 boards, so if you get too far behind in the VP table it’s hard to catch up.  This is especially true since most teams will pick up 10-15 VP’s even in a losing cause. My original picks from this group were USA, England, Italy along with Brazil and Egypt, with Japan and HK mentioned as possibles.  So far so good, other than Egypt who are clearly going to finish somewhere in the middle.

Group F is more competitive.  China leads with 243, as I expected.  They have done consistently well in WBF events over the last 6-8 years, and are always in contention at the late stages.  After that, Finland (221), Spain (220),  Denmark(219) and France (215) are scrambling for position, with Russia (208) just behind, and Scotland (197), Australia (192) and Indonesia (191.5) not completely out of it.   Canada picked up another 52 VPs yesterday and currently sit 11th, with 182 VPs.  With only 5 matches left, and a lot of teams to climb over, it looks as though a mid-table finish is the best they will do.  That was more or less what I expected — I guess I should have taken up Mike Yuen on his bet offer (see earlier comment)!  My picks out of this group were France, China, Spain, Denmark and Russia, so again not bad — I did give Finland a call, but honestly did not expect them to do this well.  The French team, although not the one we’re used to seeing, is clearly competitive although probably not really a medal shot, and Russia looks good to Q as the best 6th as of now.

Group F is also pretty close, once you get past the leaders (Germany 262 and Netherlands 223).  Third place Sweden have 205, and they are followed by Hungary (203), Morocco (!) 201, Singapore (198) and Turkey (195).  South Africa (189) are still in touch also, but there is a half-match gap after that, and the rest of the field is probably essentially playing for pride now.  This was a harder group to call, but I had predicted Germany, Netherlands and Sweden for the top 3 spots, with Turkey and New Zealand rounding out the qualifiers.  Certainly didn’t see Hungary doing this well, not to mention Morocco and Singapore, but this Olympiad-type event has so many teams, including some very weak ones, that there is always a surprise or two.  I have to say I thought NZ would do better.  They started very well in Shanghai, and then ran into a very bad patch which included getting blitzed by Canada (Pamela Nesbit was really quite pleased to be part of that, I remember!).  This was the same squad, and I thought they would be particularly suited to the ‘kill the pooches’ bridge which is so important in the round robin here — especially with the experience of Shanghai to build on.  What can I say? I was wrong.

There are two matches on Day 5 (tonight for North Americans), then the tournament goes into a one-day break for Yom Kippur, resuming Thursday night our time for the last 3 matches and the final push to the finish.  Tonight’s BBO feeds are supposed to include Spain-Russia and Poland England, so if all goes well I’ll bring you one of those tomorrow.  For night owls, the Canadian Senior team is due to be featured in the second BBO match at about 2.30 am.  Stay tuned.

1 Comment

LindaOctober 7th, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I still think Canada can qualify. They have a lot of easy matches left. They should be singing this song.

“hi hi, hi ho, it’s off to blitz we go.”

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