First of all an answer to the bidding question. At the table McIntosh bid 4 (normal in my view) and that went all pass and down 4. In the other room South bid 4 and it went pass pass and North went to put the bidding cards away but Justin was having none of that and doubled. The contract was not a success and went for 800. If you bid 3NT hoping to escape you might get lucky and have it passed out but probably not and that will result in a big penalty when you eventually come to rest. The advantage of bidding 4 is that you have a chance to move it to 4 if the double seems swift and confident.
Yesterday started with a narrow loss against Romania but then a chunky win against San Marino revived spirits. San Marino have been a bit hit and miss with some good wins and some big losses.
In the final match against Sweden the pairs in one room sat the wrong way. This could have been spotted by either pair concerned, either coach, either captain or the BBO operators but wasn't. Naturally the regulations don't cover this and the decision was a replay today which has just started and England are down after 10 boards of it. It maybe that a replay happened just because there is the time for this as today is only a one match day but also because it was on BBO. At all tables not on BBO there are large signs showing how the players sit and they are hard to miss. On BBO these are not visible from the table and the operators are also supposed to check.
It's not the only event for which the regulations are deficient. In an early match between Netherlands and Russia, two strong teams there were some fines meted out for slow play and there is now discussion as to whether this fine is carried forward to the second stage if either or both teams qualify.
Tomorrow sees England have a tough match vs Netherlands followed by an eaiser one and the bye then the last two days of qualifying have what looks like a relatively easy day but on the final day we end by playing Israle and Poland which is a tough finish.