Thursday, 9 August 2018

U16s Diary - part 2

From NPC Giorgio Provenza
Day 2

Yesterday I entertained you with the perks of being an NPC; today I will show you the other side.

After breakfast I am informed that one of the players has lost the accreditation badge. Without it, no one enters the playing area. I had told them that those badges were irreplaceable, just to make sure they wouldn’t lose it. So the young man had sheer terror in his face when he asked me “is that a problem?” after delivering the feral news.

Of course it’s not a problem, take your passport and let’s run to the playing site to get a replacement.

Once we get back to the hotel, I am informed that actually another player has found out his badge is missing and he and Laura have gone to the playing site for a replacement. However, I have the young man’s passport (a picture of it, to be precise), how is Laura going to get a replacement?

Luckily most of the people running the event are Italian and Laura knows them all! They came back with the replacement badge.

Before the second match one pair – who had sat out in the first match – informs me that between the two of them they have a grand total of one convention card!! In one of my last emails before we left I had recommended them to bring plenty, of course…

Having a fifteen year old son myself, I wasn’t caught by surprise. I have six spare convention cards per pair. At this rate though, sooner rather than later David Burn’s printer will come handy (if you missed the reference, shame on you! His blogs are much more entertaining than mine).

The third match went smoothly without anyone missing anything. That was just to get ready for the gran finale, when a pair decided to show up for the fourth match – having sat out in the third – leaving the convention cards at the hotel.

Luckily Dawn (the lady who looks after us at the EBU, for those who do not know her) booked us in the closest hotel to the playing venue so one of the two players (the one with longer legs) ran back to the hotel to get the CCs and made it back just seconds before the play started.

Oh, there’s been also some bridge today. Actually, a lot of bridge. We played four matches, winning two and losing two. After beating Chinese Tapei we lost to China 3 and Denmark, before beating France.

Three out four matches were played very well by our guys. One loss basically due to an unlucky board that could have easily gone the other way round. The match with Denmark was below par, with a few mistakes too many. We bounced back though, with a convincing win against France.

One hand for you. You hold:

Kx – Void – AKJx – KQ98xxx
Parter opens a game forcing 2C. Can you stay out of a grand slam? If you did, you win 17 IMPs and the match! (see the deal here)

Tomorrow is another tough day, with USA, Israel, China 2 and Sweden awaiting us. Then the draw will ease up a little. We are not going to look at the table until the end of day three, so don’t ask me where we stand, because I don’t know (OK, I might have had a very quick peep, but you get the idea).

Stay tuned for more.

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