Thinking about my entry for the World Sports Mind Game contest
I am starting out by picking the 16 teams that will qualify for the Open WSMG knockout phase. The teams have already been divided into groups. Each group has 16 teams with the top 4 to qualify. While this may seem like a tough task a lot of the teams in each group are there mainly to compete. And it is glorious to compete in an Olympic year. In most groups there are not more than seven to eight (or less) serious contenders for a place in the top 4 in their group.
Conveniently (although this is not stated) it seems that the four groups are in seeding order. So you could start by just picking the top four in each group and you wouldn’t be too far wrong, I am pretty sure. The best place to look for information about the teams is www.ecatsbridge.com.
Follow this link to see the groups.
Based on this the Oracle (with some discussion with yours truly) picked the top four seeds in group A to qualify: Netherlands, England, Germany and Denmark. Group B was tough. The Oracle liked the first three seeds the USA, Poland and France but was insecure about who would make the final spot. In the end he suggested that since Ireland had a team with several players that had done well in the past he could see green as the last qualifier.
We picked a surprise qualifier in the fourth spot in Group C. We think the Canada team has some strong players and we think that Canada will make it. Italy, Sweden and Russia will be the other qualifiers.
Monaco won the Europeans this year and they have created a team that may become dominant in world bridge. This event will show us if that is so. So mark them down for the final 16 and quite likely at least the final four. We can also pick China as one of the four in Group D. Not all of the players on the Israeli team are familiar. The oracle wonders if they are strong enough to make it. After much debate we picked Israel and Norway. But perhaps Iceland, Turkey or Greece will actually qualify. It might be called the Group of Opportunity.
In the next blog, my entry. The Oracle refuses to help with that so I will be on my own.