REIMS - Thursday was the longest day of the championships, the only one with four matches. Of the top five,Poland 2 had the best day, with two 25’s, but all five teams kept more or less together in the front group. Three “poursuivants”, as they say in the Tour de France, have detached themselves from the peloton: Serbia, Belgium and Turkey.
Following the concept of the sponsors’ tournament on Tuesday, the French federation organised a tournament for the yougsters on Wednesday. All young players from the North of France were invited to come and watch their older colleagues, and play a tournament amongst themselves. There were 22 pairs of under-14s and 42 pairs of under-18s, so the future of youth bridge inFranceis certain for some years to come.
On Friday morning the competitors were given the morning off, and a visit to Reims cathedral was planned. During the visit, we learnt a number of things:it took 80 years for the ground floor to be finished, (1211-1290) and another 3 centuries to reach the final height, but then a fire meant the roof needed replacing, and there was no money left to build the spires. From the beginning however, the architect made certain the pillars could bear the load of the entire structure, which meant that for the first time ever, glass could cover the entire width between the pillars. Stained-glass windows from every conceivable age (the most recent ones only this year to commemorate 50 years of Franco-German friendship) complete the building.
Three matches have been played and the Czech Republic and both Polish teams are still in the lead. France and China are still in pursuit, but Belgium has taken the lead of the second group and caught up with fifth place. After this evening, there are five matches left and let’s see who the leaders still have to meet.
To start with, the Czechs still have to meetPoland1 and 2, and France 2 and 3. They haveBotswana as dessert. Both Polish teams still haveCroatia, a bye and Chinese Taipei. Poland 1 additionally has Serbia while Poland 2 still faces the Netherlands. France still has a bye, Belgium and all three Chinese teams, while China 1 seems to have the easier route with Thailand, Turkey and the three French teams.
(Herman De Wael, 2012 WUC Bridge Organising Committee)