Monday, 13 August 2018

U16s Diary - Day 6

By NPC, Giorgio Provenza

The miracle did not happen. We did our part, collecting over 16 VPs against Norway, but that wasn’t enough. 9th place is probably the most bitter place to finish, but that’s it.

A few days ago I reported a 40% slam bid and made against us – a slam that was bid only by two pairs in the entire field. Had that gone down, we would be through instead of China 1.

I am well aware that this is not meaningful, you can’t judge a tournament from one hand when 204 were played. Surely in the past few matches, when we were taking a lot of chances trying to score big at every match, we had quite a dose of good fortune. But still we have a lot of regrets.

Especially for the slow start. This is how many VPs the qualifier have scored compared to us in the matches 11 to 17:

Israel               107
England           102
China 1            94
France             88
Norway           88
USA                83
Canada            81
Sweden           79
China 3            70

Even if you discount 10 VPs because we played Botswana and India during the stretch (but so did China 1 among others), it shows that we were there with the others.

This is no time for moaning though, we can only blame ourselves for the first two days and a half and try to learn for the future. Now it’s time to go back at the table, keep playing with the  current form and try and win the consolation event.


  1. A brave effort; ninth is indeed a terrible place to finish (but better than 10th).
    Did jet-lag play any part in the slow start? Do you know if the other European teams arrived a day earlier? Or are there some acclimatisation tips that could have been followed?

  2. Did they really under-perform on the 1st 2 days, or was it that we just played better teams? At risk of starting a statistical battle...:

    The mean VPs per match of the first 8 (or 10) teams we played was 11.2 (or 11.4), as measured across all 17 matches. Our average score in the first 8 (or 10) matches was 9.0 (or 8.4). This is pretty consistent with us performing at 10 VPs per match against the whole field, but we actually played against top-table oppos. (We could get technical and form a null hypothesis and get our stats table out, but maybe another day).

    The mean VPs per match of the last 9 (or 7) teams we played was 8.8 (or 7.9). Our average score in these matches was 12.6 (or 14.5). This is consistent with performing around 2VPs per match better than average in the 2nd half, which if replicated on the first two days matches (another 16-20 VPs) would have been enough to qualify in about 6th position.

    So there was a slight improvement, but it is more explained by playing stronger opposition at the start. Did this have a demoralising effect? Maybe not as the kids bounced back well, and showed great resilience.

    Best of luck carrying that forward into the plate after a great start. But most of all, enjoy the experience.

    A Dad.