As I feared Canada proved too strong in the first match as the Open team slipped to a 6-24 VP defeat. You always worry when a team loses a lot of imps in the last few boards so we'll keep an eye on this. Scotland started well against Kenya but gave back twenty imps in the last five boards to hold their win to 18-12 VP; but on the board!
In the final match the young Singapore team did prove very strong (as I did express concern about to Shen) although it seems one of the Scottish pairs did have one of those nightmare sets where nothing went right. A 2-25 VP defeat will probably mean a quiet dinner but it is very early days in the event.
The Open team will face Trinidad and Tobago in their first match - an encounter they'll go into with confidence but sometimes the Caribbean countries have the odd wringer and there are few easy matches in international tournaments these days. However this match will probably be easier that their second when they face the might of Italy: even though it is not the strongest possible Italian team, it is one that expects to top the group. Finally, some sunshine as they play Bermuda in the last match.
The women started with an excellent 20-10 VP win against England. Aggressive bidding at both tables earned a double game swing midway through the match and these sixteen imps were most of the difference between the teams. The strong Turkish team a part-score swing on the final board made the 13-17 VP loss look worse than it probably was - tough match against a good team.
In the last match a 21-9 VP win propelled them above their Egyptian opponents in the table and they lie fifth overnight. A good first day but a long way to go.
The women play Spain, Canada and Taiwan tomorrow. They drew with Spain in the Europeans and will face a Canadian team that proved itself in a much tougher trial than our girls, although they have started slowly. Again the Asian team is unknown to me.
Losing three game swings in the last five boards held the Seniors to a 18-12 VP win against Hong Kong. The final boards did have scope for swings but disappointing to see both Open and Seniors teams on the wrong sides of them i this first match. Against Indonesia the match was fairly level until the last five boards but a game swing on the final hand only reduced the deficit in a 11-19 VP loss.
In the final match we had the second England vs Scotland clash of the day. England started well and although the Scots got ten imps back over the closing boards, it only reduced the size of the defeat as they fell to a 9-21 VP defeat. A slow start for the team but a long way to go.
Tomorrow the Seniors play Israel, Canada and India. There were a number of practice matches with Israel Seniors before the Europeans and Scotland were generally successful, so they will be confident going into this match despite the Israelis lying second. Canada always have a competitive team but India are unknown to me but lying fifth overnight.
All scores subject to change!