Welcome to the big leagues. The “World Bridge Series” in Philadelphia moved to the team championships phase with the Rosenblum Cup (Open Teams) and McConnell Cup (Women’s Teams) events starting today. The buzz around the tournament is that a substantial number of players have had visas denied (I have heard numbers as high as 130). This is starting discussion that this may be the last world championship event to be held in the US for some time due to these problems. Apparently, the head of the Pakistani Bridge Federation had significant issues getting his visa renewed even though he has travelled to the US on many occasions.
As for our team, we are part of a nine-team group. We will play a round robin in the group (including one bye round) with the top four teams qualifying for the round of 64. We started the day facing “Columbia Bogota”. They turned out to not be a very good team and we eased to a 69-14 victory, which translates to 25-3 in victory points. (The WBF uses an odd 30 point victory point scale. There are 30 VP to be divided among the teams, but the maximum the winning team can get is 25, while the losing team can go down to zero. Thus, in our match there were “only” 28 VPs.)
I sat out the second match against Guangdong from China. There were some interesting boards in that match, but the result turned out to be a 24-20 loss for us, which still netted us 14 VP. We fell to second in our group as a result.
The third match of the day was our bye round (we get 18 VPs). So, we end the day with 57 VPs. If we keep that pace for all three days of the qualifying, we should do very well.
Tomorrow is a big day as we play the Cayne, Auken and Siwic teams, which are all favorites to advance. Need to hold our own against them to give us a good shot on the third day. Watch here for more.