This year numbers seem to be down quite a lot, with only 186 teams in the event. Perhaps the credit crunch biting? Gordon points out this is not really true, it is similar to the last couple of years but numbers have been declining since 2001 (256 teams).
So, of course, the real aim is to get into one of the finals and not have to play with the
numpties unfortunates who remain in the Swiss.
This was our first event playing with Anne and Sheila, so our aim was to get into one of the finals and finish the weekend still talking to each other. Luckily we seem to have achieved both.
Things started slowly with a small win in the first match on Friday evening, then a 13 IMP loss to Brian Senior's team, and then a 20-0 VP blitz against a less experienced team. We had a reasonable Saturday afternoon scoring 53/80 VPs, including one 2 IMP loss, to leave ourselves a bit to do in the evening. However three wins and 45/60 VPs saw us finish in 9th place, just 2 VPs away from the A Final.
On Sunday, we did not play that well taking it in turns to gift a few IMPs to the opposition, who received them all graciously. There were signs that there was something strange happening in the final early on - we won our first match 18-2 VPs and were lying fourth (of eight); then we lost our second match 0-20 VPs, and were still lying fourth.
After more random play, our last match was against Willie Coyle and John Matheson's team, so naturally we were keen to finish on a winning note. As it happened we won the battle (16-4 VPs) but not the war as they finished in third place just one VP above us.
So fourth place and some prize money that seemed to disappear quickly in the hotel bar. We could all have played slightly better, but it was a good first outing for the team.
And a hand - spot Willie Whittaker's defensive error and how I could have responded:
The GIB button will not help you with this problem!
Other Scottish performances in the teams:
- Glyn Liggins, Willie Whittaker, Nick Sandqvist, Andrew McIntosh (Winners, B Final)
- Kitty Teltscher, Steve Eginton, Willie Coyle, John Matheson (3rd, B Final)
- David Gold & Bernard Teltscher, Tom Townsend & Mark Teltscher (Winners, Brighton Bowl)
- Sarah Dunn & Phil King, Stelio di Bello & David Ewart (14th)
- Myles Ellison & Tom Rainforth, Shivam Shah & Tom Copeland (23rd)
- Paula Leslie & Suzanne Sheasby, Solvi Remen & Kristine Breivik (42nd)
- Sam Punch & Alan Goodman, Liz McGowan & Mike Ash (55th)
- Janet Barnes & David Barnes, Martin Holcombe & Nigel Guthrie (62nd)
- Ross Harper & Paul Hackett, Jim Forsyth & Susan Aitchison (64th)
- Ian Howie & Mike McGinley, Paul Maiolani & Steve Male (69th)
- Apologies to anyone I've missed