Despite Scotland getting on the right side of the notorious board 22, Sweden proved too strong as they cruised to a 23-7 VP win over the Open team. I would say that the team seems to play better against the stronger teams even though the results do not necessarily reflect this. This thought was reinforced when they eked out a three imp win (16-14 VP) against Romania, denting this team's hopes of qualification. Then they finished their best day with a 18-12 VP win against tenth-placed Morocco. Time for a small beer and focus on moving further up the table tomorrow.
Slovakia, Argentina and Russia will provide a stern test in the final day for the Open team.
Unfortunately the Women lost nineteen imps on board 22 in their encounter with Argentina without doing anything too extreme, but just choosing the wrong time for some action. They were not the only ones but hard to come back from this in a short match and they fell to a disappointing 12-18 VP defeat ("a mental set, I have to go and lie down!", was one comment). They recovered in the second match consistently putting on imps to beat Kenya by 23-7 VP.
In the match against group leaders Russia the women started badly and were 21 imps down after two boards. The match was fairly flat after this but the 9-21 VP loss sees them fall to third in the table.
The final qualifying match for the Women is against Australia tomorrow morning. The Aussies currently lie fourth in the table and, with Scotland only 13 VP clear of sixth place, a solid performance is required to guarantee qualification.
The Seniors finally turned up to play and got a superb maximum win against Turkey, changing the complexion of qualification for both teams. Even the lack of a big swing on board 22 left them undaunted. Unfortunately, in an important match against another team seeking qualification, three major adverse swings resulted in a 9-21 VP loss to Germany. Things did not improve against Singapore, where the score card only really shows game swings on both sides but resulted in a 13-17 VP defeat.
With five matches to play they remain 24 VPs from a qualifying place. Tomorrow is a huge day as they play the two bottom countries, South Africa and Morocco, before facing high-flying Australia.