Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Handicapping the Open

The groups has been announced for each division in the world mind sport games in Beijing.  I thought I would have some fun and see who I liked in each division.

I am starting by looking at each group in the open.  Today I am looking at Group A  which happens to contain the Canadian team.  The American team is one of the favourites in the event and I think Canada has a decent team this year and could do fairly well.

There are 4 sections in the open with 4 to qualify for the round of 16 in each section.  Group A has 17 teams.  Here is the list in alphabetical order




China Macau












South Africa


I think Italy is  the favourite to win this division.    The South Africa seems to be the same as the team that did so well in the Bermuda Bowl last year.  In fact, this is the only team from the top four in last year’s Bermuda Bowl that is in this division. 

Estonia, Trinidad and Kenya should be at the bottom of the table.  I don’t really know who China Macau is but I am going to assume they won’t be a contender.  I am not expecting  Albania, Finland and do  that well.

France, Brazil and Japan cannot be discounted based on their results in the Bermuda Bowl last . Pakistan and Ireland did quite well in Istanbul at the last Olympiad.  I think Denmark is likely to finish out of the money but has some chances.

So here are my picks for the top 4: South Africa, Italy, Brazil and Canada.

1. Italy

2.  South Africa

3. Brazil

4. Canada

Go Canada.  We have a good team this year and they can qualify.

5 Ireland

6. Japan

7. Denmark


Paul GipsonSeptember 19th, 2008 at 9:40 am

I think Denmark will be the second best European team followed by France. Ireland did poorly in the European Championships and have a weakened team for this event, so it would be a surprise if they get close to qualifying.

However the diverse quality of the field means that beating up the weaker teams is the key. Italy are just very good at that.

Linda LeeSeptember 19th, 2008 at 8:42 pm

So Paul who are your top 5?

Shyam SSeptember 30th, 2008 at 3:26 pm

My choice for this group:

1. Italy (who else?)

2. France (they are stronger than you have rated them)

Tier 3. Brazil or Canada

Tier 4. S Africa or Ireland or Denmark

I guess the Danes are quite unpredictable (they perform much above or much below par). The S Africans may be the same team, but this time they are not likely to succeed as well as before. Ireland may be weaker than before (one pair of three?) but they are still strong.

However, I would say the qualifiers would be Italy, France, Brazil & Canada with a decent chance that one of the Tier 3 teams may lose their qualification slots to one of the Tier 4 teams (likely S Africa)

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