Monday, 13 October 2008

Watching the Final, Two

06.00 I cannot believe that I’m sitting here waiting to see some more scores from halfway round the world an hour before dawn. There are three sets to go and roughly six hours of Bridge left. Let’s hope it’s very boring and England build up a big lead.

I’ve found some scores from the first set of 16 boards. While I’m sure that being in Beijing with all that’s going on in the World Mind Sports Games is fantastic, many supporters of Youth Bridge are disappointed that access to information is swamped by everything else that’s going on in the six different Bridge championships. I’ve found some scores from the U21 match, but unfortunately the hand records that go with them are not available yet so it’s hard to tell exactly what’s been going on, but England made a fantstic start to the final scoring 32 unanswered IMPs on Boards 1-3.

On Board 1 Ben Paske, playing with Rob Myers made 3NT, while Adam and Dan defeated 4S. +10. On Board 2 Ben lost 150, going 3 off in 4H, but Adam succeeded in 4SX for +790 in the other room. The French playing against Rob and Ben then seem to have imploded on Board 3 when they conceeded 1070 in 4HX+2, while Adam and Dan made no such mistake and lost a more normal 620 against 4H. Apart from that there appears to have been a game swing and a part-score swing each way, but the rest of the boards were flat or just one or two IMPs either way.

I’ve also been able to find some information about the Round Robin and the Butler scores. In major competitions, Butler scores for each pair provide a guide to who has played well. All three of our pairs has Butler scores of greater than +1 IMP, which means that they scored an IMP a board better than the field. It may not seem much, but it’s a fantastic performance and reflects a consistency and superiority which is very marked. They were all in the top six, which means that it was a real team performance with all three pairs involved in the tournament and playing a big part in the team success.

It’s 1pm in Beijing and Session 2 is about to start. Watching Bridge scores on the internet is a bit like watching cricket on Teletext. Every now and then the score changes, hopefully in the desired direction. I can see the hands and the contracts too so hopefully I’ll be able to make some sense of the team’s progress.