The colourful flagsThere was no play on Monday morning with the teams scheduled to start at 15:00. I decided to have a very easy day catching up on personal emails and lots of other online matters before taking a leisurely walk in the sun. Many of the bridge players were around the venue, now moved into the grand ballroom of the adjoining but related hotel, as well as walking around the town.

The new venue is exceptionally grand with massive crystal chandeliers and plenty of wide open spaces. However I have never seen a room with more mirrors, walls and ceiling. I think I could have made some money being the supplier of brown paper which had to be used to cover all of it up and I can’t imagine how they managed to do the ceilings.

Anyway the good news for the domestic and overseas followers is that there are eight tables (4 matches) of BBO being broadcast from the venue.

The bad news is that the Israeli/Turkish team had to withdraw as some of them didn’t have enough money to pay the entry fee. It’s sad because had I known then I am sure all the staff would have contributed a few Euros each to make it happen – I know I would have for sure.

A little bit about how I work when writing articles while watching BBO. I set up a template with the cards and bidding diagrams (empty of course) and write the article as I watch both tables, one on my iPad and one on my computer. Invariably, and subject to proofreading I have the article finished within a few minutes after the match.

The bulletin team

All of that worked really well for the first match – six pages of good hands. And then I hit the second match, board after board of boring non-reportable bridge. I manage to create just two pages and am entitled in what my friend Brent Manley, editor of the World Championship Bulletins calls the Silk Purse Award (English expression to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse).

With enough material for Tuesday’s Bulletin I watch the last match without doing any reporting. There are three Co-editors (Micke Melander (SWE), Ram Sofer (ISR), one Editor Phillip Alder (USA) and a layout and photo editor the beautiful Francesca Canali. Things are working very well with an excellent division of the work and no shortage of printable material.

Play finishes at 20:05 and I take the opportunity to feel young again by going for a late dinner with one Australian player, two captains (Australia and New Zealand) in their twenties and the lovely Carlotta who is the daughter of the WBF President and with whom I am quite friendly. Quite a nice dinner actually at a local Italian eatery. Didn’t get home till close to midnight and a good night’s sleep.

The results after 3 matches were:

Juniors

1

ZLATAN

46.39

 

2

NORWAY

43.26

 

3

FINLAND

36.67

Youngsters

1

CHINA

49.66

 

2

GERMANY

40.47

 

3

ITALIA

35.10

Girls

1

SX XNWY

45.35

 

2

ITALIA

44.47

 

3

SX XHLD

33.33

Kids

1

SX XNWY

55.67

 

2

CHINESE TAIPEI BLUE

42.73

 

3

SX XHEST

39.97

For my countrypersons reading this blog I am happy to report that Australian Juniors are running 5th after 5 of the 8 qualifying rounds looking for a position in the Quarterfinals.

The Aussie kids aren’t doing well but I should say that I have never met a group of kids as enthusiastic, well-mannered and enjoying playing the game as much as the five kids which Justin Howard has been coaching, raised funds for and arranged to come to this tournament.

Well there isn’t much more I can report for now so I’ll catch you tomorrow from the beautiful town of Opatija in Croatia.

Keep well chat soon