Thursday, 1 October 2015

More than bumps … potholes ~ Seniors Day 5

The first match, against Norway, was a disappointing defeat, 12-35 in IMPs, and that meant we dropped to seventh in the table. The match against Ireland, who had overtaken us and moved into sixth, was a little better. We were in the lead at half-time, but five scores in the out-column (and only 1 IMP in) gave the Irish a 44-37 IMPs victory. 

We were still in seventh place and now played Sweden, who had had a 20-0 victory in the previous round, and had leapt up to ninth place. (Remember, it is the top eight when the music stops that qualify for the quarter finals.) There were only two flat boards and the lead swung to and fro. At various stages of the match we were in 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th positions. 11 IMPs in on the last board meant we finished with a 45-42 win in IMPs and got 10.91 Vps, known as a Floris (after Floris II of Vitte, who became Earl of Holland in 1091; but you knew that already, didn't you?). The Floris put us into eighth place.

So, a tough day, but at least we had halted our run of losses and we can now look to tomorrow. Or, as Lyndon B. Johnson put it:

"Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." 

Friday is the penultimate day of the Round Robin. We have got New Zealand (bridge playing membership: 14,400), USA 2 (167,000) and China (61,000 … who are they kidding, I am sure they have more bridge players than that). New Zealand are lying 19th at the moment (out of 22); USA 2 are 4th, and China are 17th. I remember the 10-team Round Robin in Croatia where we lost the first of our nine matches and, after a couple of boards in the second match, we were in last place. We won that match, and the next seven, and won the event. Our situation is not as serious as it was then; we still have six matches to go and plenty of time to ensure we make the cut.

Mahatma Gandhi's birthday is celebrated on October 2. (He was born in 1869). It is known in India as Gandhi Jayanti and is a national holiday. No alcohol can be sold for 24 hours, even in hotel restaurants. To judge by the rolling gait of a couple of the French team, they had stocked up with double consumption this evening. The day is also known as the International Day of Non-Violence, but the WBF has said that penalty doubles do not contravene the spirit of the holiday.

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