Monday morning and everything is a go. So we have two days of pairs finals followed by knockout teams and then Board-a-Match teams.

I haven’t had much of a chance to see Atlanta but it has a nice feel to it with a lot of greenery EVERYWHERE and some lovely old Southern style buildings amidst the modern concrete jungle. I’m not sure I will get much of a chance to see very much but will certainly try.

Today I have decided to interview Mr Qiu Wei Chang about the state of bridge in China as well as the 40+ contingent of Chinese players at this Championship. A lot of what I found out is quite interesting and should appear in tomorrow’s Bulletin.

Mr Chang and our translator Mr Xun

I even managed to do some BBO operating for a session and watched quite an interesting group of boards so off to do some writing.

Well not a lot of writing but various bits and pieces. I really have to get my A into G to find some interesting hands.

Well it’s Monday evening and the B Consolation has been decided:

  1. CABRERA Ruben Dario -  GRANDA Moises VEN - VEN 68.11
  2. HENBEST Maxim - HOWARD Nathan AUS - AUS 64.53
  3. OYAMA Ryoko -  SESHIMO Takumi JPN - JPN 63.48

Obviously disappointed with my countrymen missing out on winning the event but it was 3.6% so the Venezuelans were worthy winners. Interesting to note the mix of countries at the top of the B Consolation - a nice pointer to the future of youth bridge.

Get back to the hotel around 18:00 where dinner is provided and guess what it is – Southern Fried Chicken Mashed Potatoes and Salad – pretty yummy actually. Then off to Georgia Aquarium the world’s largest. I must say I was pretty impressed as were most of the youth players.

Dimitri Ballas reports that a young 11 year old Chinese boy came to him and said the score of 2NT making had been entered in the wrong direction. On examination of the hand record it seemed that the score claimed was impossible. Dimitri, expecting a very limited answer kindly asked do you remember the play and was shocked to find that the player could recount the play card by card and did in fact, through a very weird defence AND PLAY, make 2NT – problem solved.

Director Jacek Marciniak comes to the CTD and asks “they don’t have time to complete the board should I cancel the board or award 60%/50% to avoid tears”!! A sensitive director indeed

Tuesday Morning and the weather is warm very humid but overcast. It is the final two stanzas of the pairs and I am hoping for a good showing from the Australians still seeking glory in the finals. Hollands-Howard may find it tough to catch up 5.5% with just 20 boards to go but Ellena and Lauren have some chance with only 1.5% to catch up. Go Aussies go.

Tuesday morning went smoothly and the end of the first stanza saw first versus second in the Girl’s division.

But by the end of the tournament the Italians were victorious in both the Juniors and Girls, a rare double considering there are only four Italians competing at the tournament:

JUNIORS
  1. DI FRANCO Massimiliano -  ZANASI Gabriele ITA - ITA 57.81 (left)
  2. AYDOGDU Erkmen -  KOCLAR Akin TUR - TUR 57.48
  3. PRAIRIE Alex - SHI Sylvia USA - USA 57.31Zanasi-Di Franco
GIRLS
  1. BOTTA Giorgia - CHAVARRIA Margherita ITA - ITA 60.49
  2. DE JESUS Karla - SUAREZ Adriana VEN - VEN 59.96
  3. ARBIT Julie - THAPA IshaUSA - USA 57.76
YOUNGSTERS
  1. HUNT Allison - LADYZHENSKY Asya USA - USA 62.28
  2. ENG Andrew - JENG Richard USA - USA 60.14
  3. JIN Tianyi - JIN Kai CHN - CHN 56.43
     

Off to the provided lunch – Burritos – hmmm no!! I just spent 12 days in Mexico so opted for a BBLT. No I know what you are thinking an extra B but in fact it was with a double serve of delicious very well done bacon – it certainly hit the spot.

Back to the venue to catch up on bits and pieces before the knockout teams starting at 16:00.

How sweet is this? Studying the opponents systems. (Hanching Li)

So the teams kick off with two ten board matches the second of which I operate on BBO but nobody told me they use a different system here did they. Anyway that got fixed and, with the new WBF Victory Point Scale the standings are:

Juniors
  1. WAR OF ROSES 38.30
  2. CALIFORNIAN ACES 33.96
  3. TURKIYE 25.65

Not really sure why but Paolo Clair decides to collect the explanation of the bidding sheets at the table after play and finds a slip of paper with the following:

“Are you enjoying your time here? I enjoy playing bridge very much but I don’t like the food here. The food makes a lot of Americans overweight so I don’t eat much/many (I don’t know which of them is right)”

At another table “Do the people from China like the food here?” “No I love it is the reply”

So mixed reviews of the food.
    
You’ll notice Italian, Maurizio di Sacco eating the pasta so my view is the food is OK. Anyway I’ve been enjoying it.

So there ends Day 4 of the Championships and Day 3 of the play. More tomorrow when the Knock-Out Teams continue.