Predicting matches in the seniors is very difficult. Sponsors are more prevalent, but the number of open 'stars' joining the fray are increasing so the standard of the teams can vary a lot between championships. It is certainly a lot more competitive nowadays. But the Scots have started very well with the expected defeat of the Irish and an excellent 20-10 VP win against Poland. Very early days but they are currently third. Tomorrow they play the Belgians, the joint leaders after day one but only a single victory point ahead.
Both pairs seemed to play well for the women as they defeated Bulgaria comfortably, helped by an excellent grand slam bid by Liz and Sam (although, in the name of balance, they missed an easier slam later on). They suffered a setback in the afternoon with an 12-18 VP defeat by Germany. However all three pairs seem to be in form at the moment and this will give npc Brian Short a selection headache as the toughest opponents loom, but perhaps one that he cannot really get wrong.
The women take on Netherlands tomorrow, favourites for a podium finish. A chance for revenge for their encounter in Ostend two years ago.
Meanwhile the open team could do little right against Hungary and Italy and fell to heavy defeats.
Tomorrow they take on Norway, winners in 2008. The Norwegian team has lost its best two pairs and the team is not performing well, despite featuring three partnerships (and professional players) that would waltz into any Scottish team. Another sign of how tough life is at these championships and proof that Scotland needs more than one good pair to make a significant move up the table.
The schedule for all the teams continues to defy belief. Two matches on Saturday and one on Sunday, a time when you could play six matches with everyone in Europe able to watch. But no, let's not play bridge when people can watch, we'll wait until everyone is back at work. And with a single match on Sunday, one pair from every team will sit out the entire day but still have to turn up in the middle of the day just in case a team member is unwell. Bizarre.