This evening is the opening ceremony of the 14th World Bridge Games, formerly known as the Olympiad, in Lille and play starts tomorrow. Most of the Scottish players arrived yesterday and are now hopefully focusing on their systems rather than the Olympics.
The Open team (Charles & Vi Outred, David & Catherine Gerrard and Jim Hay & Jun Nakamaru-Pinder) will start with Canada, Kenya and Singapore. Although the Canadians are not my picks to qualify from the group, they are a strong and experienced team with a couple of top players and it will be a tough start. I don't know the Kenyans but they may provide the chance for a win, but I do know that the young Singapore team should not be underestimated as they have done very well in a couple of big events.
The Women team (Anne Symons & Sheila Adamson, Liz McGowan & Sam Punch, Maida Grant & Sheila Macdonald, NPC: Alex Wilkinson) start with traditional foes, England. Maida and Sheila are the only change from these teams that met in the Europeans a couple of months ago so Alex's task is to motivate the team to reverse the 14-16 VP result, although motivation rarely needed for this match! Second up is Turkey who, although they finished third in the Europeans, were demolished by Scotland 25-5VP - again the same players will be involved so they will hoping to repeat the win. Finally Egypt, an unknown quantity.
Update: Scotland vs England will be on BBO vugraph at 9.30 BST.
The Senior team (Iain Sime & John Murdoch, John Matheson & Willie Coyle, Brian Short & Alan Goodman) start with Hong Kong and then the powerful Indonesian team. In their final match they play England, hoping to repeat the 19-11 VP win from the Europeans.
All the information, daily bulletins, teams and schedule are available from the WBF site, but I'll try to provide daily updates focused on the Scottish teams. I have asked them for photographs too.
There will also be lots of vugraph action on Bridge Base Online: its vugraph schedule provides the timetable in your own timezone.