Tuesday, October 25, 2005

After fighting with the wireless Internet for several days, David Willis in Portugal was able to email this posting about the Canadian teams settling in:


The 2005 World Bridge Championships - A Canadian Adventure in Estoril
By David Willis, Coach of Seniors Team (also advising Open Team)


Canada has assembled a varied crew of bridge players including many familiar faces and a few new ones and has sent them off to the World Championships in Estoril Portugal.

This journal is intended to provide regular (hopefully daily - once connection problems are resolved) of the bridge (and some of the non-bridge) adventures that as they happen.

Expect more of an informal blog style then the normal journal format that you might regularly expect. No guarantees of accuracy in the bridge analysis will be provided but hopefully the selection of hands will allow you to share in the challenges and successes had by the Canadian teams.

Given my association with the Senior Team much of the bridge results will be from their matches. As possible additional views from the Open and Women's results will be provided.

Detailed match standings can be found at the WBF and the SWAN websites. With regular view graph available on BBO and SWAN and running scores available as they occur at the SWAN website.

Day 0 - Off to Portugal and Settling In

With the Championship to begin on Sunday, October 23; the Canadian team began their long journey to Portugal arriving throughout the week in Estoril. Estoril is a lovely oceanside resort town just South of Lisbon with one of the largest casinos in Europe (located very conveniently right beside the playing site). Day 0 extends from Thursday to Saturday as everyone arrives and gets used to their new surroundings.

Making the trip are:

Open Team: Boris Baran, Alan Graves, John Carruthers, Joey Silver, Arno Hobart, George Mittelman, and Michael Gamble

Senior Team: Bill Bowman, John Bowman, Mike Cummings, David Lindop, Steve Brown, Pierre Daigneault, David Willis, and Marc Lachapelle

Women's Team: Dianna Gordon, Linda Lee, Francine Cimon, Beverley Kraft, Joan Eaton, Barb Clinton, John Gowdy

Other familiar faces among our party include: Muriel, Nader Hanna, Terri Verret, Ray Lee, Denis, Michael Yuen and some others.

The Estoril Eden is to be the home base for most of the Canadian team for the duration and we are happy to learn that we have chosen right as a number of teams from the Atlantico attempt to join us.

We arrived to a significant downpour (which continues for 2 days) and hope that it is not a sign of things to come in an area that has only seen 3 days of rainfall since May.

The Eden is well situated about 10-20 minutes walk from the playing site (depending on your route) with good ocean views along either direction of the walkway that extends along the ocean front.

Second order of business after settling in is the reconnaissance for the local post-game review location, "Busby's" which is conveniently located 50m down hill from our hotel seems to fit the bill and the post session review location is now secure. Interestingly 200 mL of coke is 2.00 Euro and a pint of beer or bottle of water 1.50 Euro and glass of wine 1 Euro.

Cascais, a short walk, train, or cab West of Estoril is quickly identified as the shopping and eating district of choice. Just ask many of the participants about the Paela (seafood platter on jambalaya rice). The McDonald's located at the end of the tram serves beer with burgers leading to a new definition for B&B...

Unfortunately and unexpectedly it turns out that the available Wireless Internet access is both costly and only available to those with European cell phones. Fortunately (as we discover on Day 2 internet access has been made available to the players at the playing site).

As Saturday is winding down the World Championships are about to gear up...

The Captain's meeting is relatively non-eventful, while the start time for the opening reception is moved up by half an hour. The auditorium is packed with all of the teams for the opening ceremony and are all asked to stand and be recognized. The loudest applause is reserved for the Italian Senior Team who feature two of the all time bridge greats: Pietro Forquet and Benito Garozzo of the Italian Blue Team.

After the reception the players already chomping at the bit to get started retire to rest up for Sunday while the captain’s convene a meeting at "Busby's" to discuss strategy for the upcoming week…

Everyone is ready to go.


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