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LobowolfXXX
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The 40th World Bridge Team Championship ("Bermuda Bowl") kicked off this morning in the Netherlands. The USA has two teams entered, and USA2 is the youngest team we've sent in recent memory - the oldest player is in his 30s, and Justin Lall, probably the best player on the team, is 21. The 22 teams will go through a round-robin of 21 16-board matches. After two matches, USA 2 has 35 points out of a possible 60, and they've already played two of the top five teams. They're about even against Japan, 75% of the way through their third match, with Lall sitting this match out (6-player teams, mostly, playing 4 at a time). At this point, they're sitting 7th out of the 22 teams; the top 8 out of the round-robin will qualify for 3 rounds of knockout matches to determine the champion. If these guys are supposed to be nervous or awed playing in their first Bermuda Bowl, someone apparently forgot to tell them.



Current standings, including round 3 mid-match results:

1 ITALY 72
2 NETHERLANDS 63
3 BRAZIL 55
4 ISRAEL 54
5 BULGARIA 52
SWEDEN 52
7 USA 2 49
8 POLAND 48
9 NEW ZEALAND 46
SINGAPORE 46
11 AUSTRALIA 45
CANADA 45
ICELAND 45
14 USA 1 43
15 CHINA 40
EGYPT 40
17 INDIA 36
JAPAN 36
19 GUADELOUPE 35
20 PAKISTAN 32
21 SOUTH AFRICA 29
22 CHILE 20
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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The USA2 team continues to do very well through its first six matches, including a win over Israel today. With 6 of 21 matches complete, USA2, so far, is well within the top 8, who will qualify for the knockouts. Tomorrow, they take on Italy, who is a big favorite to win the whole thing. Today, though, China and Iceland proved that the Italians are human - Iceland held them to a 15-15 tie, and China beat them. Hopefully, these other teams' successes will give the young USA2 squad a little extra confidence...not that they're lacking any. Standings through 6:

1 ITALY 126
2 NETHERLANDS 116
3 ISRAEL 112
4 USA 2 111
5 BRAZIL 105
6 POLAND 103
7 SWEDEN 102
8 USA 1 101.5
9 BULGARIA 96.5
10 AUSTRALIA 95
11 CHINA 94
12 NEW ZEALAND 88
13 EGYPT 87
14 ICELAND 85
15 JAPAN 83
16 CANADA 79
17 SOUTH AFRICA 68
18 GUADELOUPE 66
INDIA 66
20 SINGAPORE 61
21 PAKISTAN 57
22 CHILE 51
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Anchored by Joe Grue and 21 year old Justin Lall, who played all 3 matches, USA2 went 2-1 today, with 19-11 wins over two of the top teams in the event, including #1 seed Italy. They're even more firmly entrenched among the qualifiers, and they've played several of the top teams. I expect them to vault even higher as they get a chance to take on more of the weaker teams. Through 9 of 22 qualifying matches:

Final Rankings

Rank Team VPs
1 ITALY 175
2 NETHERLANDS 173
3 ISRAEL 169.34
4 USA 2 157
5 USA 1 153.5
6 ICELAND 147.5
7 POLAND 147
8 BRAZIL 145
9 BULGARIA 140.5
10 CHINA 139.5
11 JAPAN 137
12 EGYPT 135.67
13 SWEDEN 135
14 NEW ZEALAND 130
15 CANADA 125
15 AUSTRALIA 122
17 INDIA 114
  SOUTH AFRICA 114
19 PAKISTAN 109
19 GUADELOUPE 106
21 CHILE 83
22 SINGAPORE 77
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
Magnus Eisengrim
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Thanks for the updates, Lobo. I'm a complete crap bridge player and I have no idea who the top players are, but I look forward to your reports anyways.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
LobowolfXXX
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USA2 continues to play with amazing poise and consistency from such a young team. They moved into third place after today's play, and for a while, they were in second. The day started off with a 18-12 loss to India, with their anchor pair, Lall & Grue, sitting out. That loss temporarily dropped them from 4th to 5th, as Iceland beat Singapore to edge 1/2-point ahead of USA2. They rebounded with the field's best result in round 11, a 24-6 win over Canada, which put them back in 4th, well ahead of Iceland. They followed that up with another big win, 25-4 over Guadeloupe, which propelled them past Israel and leaves them just 2 points out of the 2nd place Israelis. Moreover, over the course of the day, they narrowed the gap on the 1st-place Italians, as they're now 15, not 18, points off of the lead. The round robins are now more than 1/2 over (12 matches of 21 completed), and having played a good number of the top teams, it seems extremely likely that USA2 will be among the 8 competing in the head-to-head matches. Tomorrow's matches include a couple of decent teams (Brazil and Australia) that are just outside the top 8 and fighting for a qualifying spot, and also Singapore, currently sitting in dead last. Israel and Italy both have tougher schedules tomorrow than USA2 (though Italy will also get a chance to pad its score against Singapore).
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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It's getting better and better. Today, they started by shutting down Brazil with a 19-11 win. Brazil was held to 5 IMPs (International Match Points), the lowest total of any of the 22 teams in round 13. While Grue and Lall rested, the team actually dropped an 18-12 match to last-place Singapore; however, they rallied strongly with a 22-8 win over Australia. The day's matches vaulted them past Netherlands, who lost their round 15 match to India. So after 15 of 21 round-robin matches, USA2 sits in second place, and one commentator during the Brazil match (when they were still in 4th place) said that he expected a silver medal for USA2. Losing a final to Italy would be a tremendous accomplishment for this team - none of its members has ever played in the Bermuda Bowl before - but I suspect that if their choices were to play it out or take the silver, they'd role the dice. They're in it to win it, and they ain't afraid of the Italians. With just 6 round-robin matches left, they're 39 points ahead of 8th-place Brazil, currently sitting in the last qualifying spot, and it's all but assured that they'll be in the knockouts. Order of finish is important, because the top finishers (in order) get to select their quarterfinal opponents, and the quarterfinal matches include a carryover from the round-robin. So far, they've won 9 matches, lost 4, and drawn 2. Tomorrow's opponents are China, Bulgaria, and Egypt, all of which are currently fighting for a qualifying spot, but just outside the top 8 thus far. I expect that Lall and Grue will play all three matches; they'd love to qualify ahead of the Italians, and tomorrow, they should officially clinch a qualifying spot. Standings through 15 matches:

1 ITALY 287
2 USA 2 271
3 NETHERLANDS 267
4 ICELAND 264.5
5 ISRAEL 261.34
6 USA 1 259.5
7 SWEDEN 237
8 BRAZIL 232
9 EGYPT 230.67
10 CHINA 228.5
11 AUSTRALIA 227
12 NEW ZEALAND 225
13 BULGARIA 223.5
14 POLAND 219
15 JAPAN 218
16 SOUTH AFRICA 204
17 INDIA 197
18 CANADA 181
19 GUADELOUPE 174
20 PAKISTAN 171
21 CHILE 167
22 SINGAPORE 153
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Talked with Justin Lall today, and apparently the plan is that not only will he and Grue play all three matches today, but so will the team's #2 pair, Joel Wooldridge and John Hurd. This sort of confirms what I suspected...despite the fact that they're apparently easily locked into a qualifying spot, they're going for the throat. Italy has three tough matches scheduled today (Egypt, Sweden, and Poland - not only good teams, but teams still fighting hard for a playoff spot). I think USA2 has decent chances to really make a push to narrow the gap between 1st and 2nd.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Italy actually pulled away just a little bit further today; they're just about a lock for the top qualifying spot, as they have a pretty easy final day scheduled tomorrow. Netherlands moved up into a tie for second with USA2, and those two got some separation from Israel, Iceland, and the rest of the pack. Iceland took the worst of it - they started today in 4th, but they're spot among the qualifiers isn't assured (though it's pretty likely). That last qualifying spot is getting REALLY interesting, and should make for some exciting last-day matches. If it ended today, it would go to China, with 281.5, but look at the spots right below them - Sweden (280), New Zealand (279), and Japan (277) are all RIGHT behind them. One amazing thing about USA2 has been their consistency; after their first match, they were in 6th, and at the conclusion of each of the 18 matches since then, they've been somewhere between 2nd and 6th. They did well today - they beat China, 17-13; tied Bulgaria 15-15, then crushed Egypt 23-7, all but ending the Egyptians chances for a qualifying spot. But Italy (and the Netherlands) did a little better.

USA2 finishes the round-robin tomorrow with matches against Sweden, Chile, and Iceland. Italy's final opponents are India, Canada, and Guadaloupe. Netherlands takes on China, Pakistan, and USA1.


1 ITALY 344
2 NETHERLANDS 326
USA 2 326
4 ISRAEL 302.3
5 USA 1 298.5
6 ICELAND 292.5
7 AUSTRALIA 286
8 CHINA 281.5
9 SWEDEN 280
10 NEW ZEALAND 279
11 JAPAN 277
12 POLAND 265
13 EGYPT 261.7
14 BRAZIL 261
15 SOUTH AFRICA 256
16 BULGARIA 252.5
17 INDIA 252
18 CHILE 220
19 CANADA 217
20 GUADELOUPE 208
21 PAKISTAN 204
22 SINGAPORE 197
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
critter
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Bridges scare me.
Image
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
S2000magician
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For those of you unfamiliar with international bridge history, from 1957 through 1975 the Italians (the Blue Team) dominated the world of bridge, winning 16 world championships, including 13 Bermuda Bowls. (The US professional team The Dallas Aces was formed with the specific goal of bringing the Bermuda Bowl championship back to the US, which they did in 1970 and 1971; however, the Blue Team had retired, so the Aces didn't get to defeat the theretofore best team in the world. The Blue Team then re-formed and won the Bermuda Bowl in 1973 and 1974, defeating the US both times.) The US and Italy are nothing short of archrivals in the Bermuda Bowl.
critter
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Am I to understand that they play this game in bermuda shorts?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
Magnus Eisengrim
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And it's in the Netherlands....this is just weird Smile
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2011-10-21 23:57, critter wrote:
Am I to understand that they play this game in bermuda shorts?

You are not.
critter
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So it is a game played with the bermuda shorts? Are they the goal nets?
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2011-10-22 17:02, critter wrote:
So it is a game played with the bermuda shorts? Are they the goal nets?

No. And no.
critter
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I just saw this bridge stuff on a commercial for the retirement home down the street. If it is played at retirement homes then I think we all know what that means. They do wear bermuda shorts!
Image


:)
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
~Will Rogers
LobowolfXXX
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USA2 had a fair day, and the Netherlands had a great one, so USA2 finished the round-robin in 3rd place. USA1 finished in 5th. The other qualifiers are Italy (1st), Israel (4th), Sweden (6th), China (7th), and Iceland (8th).

As the round-robin winner, Italy got first pick of opponents in the quarterfinal, and selected China. The Netherlands picked Iceland; USA2 took Sweden, and that leaves Israel & USA1.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Lall's bio & notes on the Bermuda Bowl thus far:

http://justinlall.com/about/

http://justinlall.com/

I misspoke...he's 24, not 21. Still the youngest player on the team.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Halftime in the quarterfinal matches, and both USA teams are doing well. USA2 got off to a slightly slow start, but had a huge 3rd set to take over the lead and open up some distance. The matches consist of two 3-round segments. The first three were played today, and the final three will be played tomorrow. Unfortunately, they're morning-early afternoon Netherlands time (as were the round-robin matches), so those of us following from the USA have to stay up late or wake up early. Oh well! There is also a slight carry-over added to the score to one team in each match, from the earlier round-robin match.

Italy 75 28 19: 122
China 20 34 31: 85

USA2 12 36 48: 96
Sweden 31 28 16: 75

Iceland 26 8 10: 44
Netherlands 59 47 34: 140

USA1 35 51 48: 134
Israel 31 11 32: 74

Carryover: China gets an extra 0.33; Sweden gets 3.33; Netherlands gets 14; and Israel gets 2.

Netherlands has been extremely impressive throughout this event, and having the home field can't hurt. Giving up only 44 IMPs over 1/2 a match against a team like Iceland is very impressive (Notice second-best 'defensive' performance is USA1, which gave up 74). Hard to bet against the Italians, but a Netherlands win over Italy in the semifinals wouldn't surprise me at all. USA2's big third-set comeback was without Lall-Grue, by the way. I would expect that they'll play all three sets tomorrow.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
S2000magician
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Quote:
On 2011-10-23 13:32, LobowolfXXX wrote:
Unfortunately, they're morning-early afternoon Netherlands time (as were the round-robin matches), so those of us following from the USA have to stay up late or wake up early. Oh well!

I look forward to the coverage in The Bridge World.
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