Since my last report we have played 5 matches. Yesterday we scored 25, 17, and 12 against Hong Kong, Pakistan and South Africa, and today (Wednesday) we got 23 and 16 against Denmark and Estonia.
With two matches to go we are third equal in our group and almost certain of qualifying, but we have very little chance of catching either USA in first place or Japan in second. We are in a battle for third place with France (equal third with us) and Taipei (3 VPs behind in 5th). Third place is important because we would still have some choice, albeit limited, of knock-out opponents.
A feature of our matches seems to have been to fall behind early on and recover in the last few boards. That was certainly the case in our matches against Pakistan and Estonia, which we won 17-13 and 16-14 respectively after trailing a long way behind after the first 10 boards. Our team's slam bidding seems to have improved since Pau. David and Colin picked up two big swings to overtake Pakistan in the last 4 boards by bidding a good small slam and a good grand slam, both missed by Pakistan.
Tomorrow is a rest day. David and I are visiting the Great Wall, and the other team members all have plans of their own. It will be the first day that we do not have dinner together as a team.
We have our last two matches on Friday — the last day of the round robins. Our opponents are Brazil and Japan.