Ray Lee

world mind sports games — women’s bridge — the final push

As we come to the end of the Yom Kippur pause in the competition, I thought I’d try to analyze the Women’s event as it stands after 14 rounds.  Tonight (Eastern time) the teams wll play the final 3 rounds of the Round Robin, and the 16 qualifiers wil be determined.  Let’s take a look at who those are likely to be.

In Group E we can concede the top two spots to England and USA, while Italy have no-one left to play who is currently in the top half of the table.  They should have no trouble picking up the 50-odd VPs that it will take to make the next round.  The remaining two spots will go to two out of Brazil, Poland and Japan, none of which has a straightforward last day.  All play tailenders, with the following exceptions:  Brazil has to play England, Japan faces off against USA, and Poland and Japan play one another.  So Poland has the easiest time and Japan the hardest.  Their current scores are Poland 243, Japan 242 and Brazil 232.  You would have to rate Poland as favourites to make it, but Japan will have to get some points out of two tough matches; if they get beaten badly by Poland, for example, they may find themselves finishing 6th.  Sixth place in this group is unlikely to be much above 290, and may be as low as 280 (this will be significant later).

Group F is much less clear, partly because China has come back to the pack somewhat (although still leading) and partly because some of the top teams spend the next three rounds playing one another.  China, for example, faces Denmark(4), France (3) and finally Finland (2).   However, I can’t see them getting fewer than 40 VPs, which at worst will see them finish with 308.  Finland have Australia (10) and Serbia (14) as well as China, and should end up with a similar total in the 305 range, say.  France have got steadily better in the last week, but they have a tough finish against Australia, China and Denmark; 300 may be their limit.  Denmark face China, France and Scotland (7), and will do well to finish much above 292.   Defending champions Russia are currently tied for 5th, but have a really easy schedule against Kenya, Serbia and Philippines.   I would expect them to pick up somewhere around 60 VPs and finish close to China and Finland in the 305-310 range.   Spain similarly should be on cruise control against India, Bermuda, and Estonia, and 60+ VPs there will see them joining the leaders in the 305-310 bracket.   Scotland play Denmark, Venezuela and Estonia, so will do well to finish much above 290 VPs.  Likewise Australia have to play France, Finland and Canada, and probably will not break 275.  Venezuela get Indonesia, Estonia and Scotland potentially 60 VPs, and about 288 total.  So let’s look at where that leaves us, and how Canada might fare as a result:

China 308, Russia 308, Finland 305, France 300, Denmark 292,  Scotland 290, Venezuela 288, Australia 275

Canada starts Round 15 at 227 and finishes against Philippines, Serbia and Australia.  Clearly, they need some big scores to have any chance, but they’re not out of it.  Averaging 21VPs per match takes them to 290, which in some scenarios might just grab 5th (but isn’t likely to).  So let’s give them an optimistic 291 and see where that leaves us.

Germany is far ahead of Group F that they could actually default their last three matches and still be in the top five.  What they will certainly do is rest their anchor pair of Auken and von Arnim before the playoffs, although with today off that’s less important than usual.  It would take a cataclysm to knock the Netherlands out of a Q spot too, so the two places are spoken for in this group already.  Turkey get to play the Netherlands, as well as Greece and Korea, so 290 is a reasonable prediction for their finish.  Sweden face the German juggernaut plus Jamaica and Morocco; we’ll give them 55 VPs for a 288 finish.  Hungary have Ireland, Barbados and Netherlands — another 60 VP prediction, and a 288 total.  Morocco have been sliding down the table, and with Sweden, Mexico and Singapore today will drop further.  I would think 265-270 would be their limit.  South Africa have Greece, Taipei and Germany, so are another team unlikely to get more than about 45 more — that will give them 266.

So here’s how that all shakes out:  Germany (1), Netherlands (2), Turkey 290, Sweden 288, Hungary 288, and the rest don’t count.  Sixth place in this group will be well below the scores in the other two.

I’ve thought form the beginning that 290 was the Q-score in any group, and it looks as though that will turn out to be true.  It’s going to be very tight for 5th and 6th in both groups E and F, and who gets through, both within the group and as best 6th, will be a matter of very few VPs.  Canada has done well to pull themselves back into at least having a chance with two good wins yesterday.  Now they need three more to make it interesting — if they can get to my 291 score, they well squeak through to the last 16.  Should be exciting tonight — wish I could stay up to watch


[…] world mind sports games — women’s bridge — the final pushFinland have Australia (10) and Serbia (14) as well as China, and should end up with a similar total in the 305 range, say. France have got steadily better in the last week, but they have a tough finish against Australia, … […]

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