So. It didn't quite go as hoped. A feature of the tournament has been the extraordinarily dull deals. Bizarrely enough, this has caused problems for a few of the better sides (I'm including us in there!). Most of the better players in world bridge tend to be quite active and able to generate things out of thin air. On a flat set of deals, this active style can actually be counterproductive. Reigning world champions, the Netherlands, conspired to generate a loss to India on a set of deals that were a guaranteed cure for insomnia in the Vugraph theatre. The Dutch managed to top that though, with a 25-4VP loss to mighty Guadeloupe, possibly the most extraordinary result seen in world championship bridge.
They are in a qualifying spot though. Something we are not. These dull deals combined with a couple of costly errors gave us a narrow loss to Bosnia. A recovery of sorts against perennial whipping boys Bye was followed by the must thrash encounter against the table propping Koreans. It was the same tale for 12 boards. Nothing in the set provided you could open a no-trump and lead 4th highest, but then finally the dam burst for the first time in the event. Dog lovers everywhere were cheering as three game swings materialised and gave us a 22-8 win.
It was at dinner that captain Pat provided some analytical uplift to the team. While everyone was busy guarding their desserts from the marauding spoon of Forrester (a cornered Peter Crouch desperately guarding his chocolate concoction), he pointed out that of the teams who might still have hopes of qualification, we do have comfortably the easiest run-in. We still need to start scoring big and quickly (duffing up India tomorrow morning would be a great start), but maybe the late change of fortune (it was a particularly sick 3N that Andrew Robson was allowed to make - and doubled) in the last match is a signal of better things to come.