England have three teams at the World Championships for the first time (the Senior event only started in 2001). There are 22 Open, Women’s and Senior teams, made up of qualifiers from each of the world bridge zones. At one end of the scale Europe provides six teams in each event; at the other end the Central American & Caribbean Bridge Federation provides one team in each event. Can you guess which country is providing all three CACB teams?
The England Senior team is the one that won the European Championships in June 2014 in Opatija, Croatia: Paul Hackett & David Mossop, Gunnar Hallberg & John Holland, David Price & Colin Simpson. Five of the team (with Ross Harper instead of David Mossop) won the World Champioships (for the d'Orsi Bowl) in Sao Paulo in 2009. I have the honour of being their non-playing captain.
Chennai was founded in 1639 and is the capital of Tamil Nadu State. It has (depending on which web-site you read) an urban population of 4.8 million and it is the fourth largest city in India after Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. (Or it is the sixth largest, and Hyderabad and Ahmedabad have pushed it down the table.)
The question on everybody’s lips as we set off for Chennai: are the Indians showing any of the Rugby World Cup matches on television?