Well, we qualified for the round of 16, albeit with a quiet finish, losing narrowly to Brazil and Japan. We ended 6th in our qualifying group and will play Poland in the round of 16. They chose us (when they could have chosen Hungary) so our task is to show them they made the wrong decision! We start playing earlier than usual tomorrow — at 10 o’clock — and it is the longest day of the whole event because we have to play 56 boards. If we get through that, later rounds will be 96 boards spread over two days.
In a sense, the main tournament starts tomorrow, and we are certainly treating the match as the first in a new event. The weakest teams have dropped out so the bridge will now be less random and we will have to play well. We are looking forward to the challenge.
Yesterday’s rest day was welcome (although it would have been better after the end of the round-robin) and, despite what you may have heard elsewhere, some of the Senior Team (David and Peter) did visit the Great Wall, including a walk to the highest watch tower!