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USA-2 Diary, Day 4-still moving up a bit

We had an OK day today. We won 18-2 against CHINESE TAIPEI, which was a particularly good result on a pretty flat set of boards. We then had a sad loss to JAPAN 13-7, but then a 12-8 win against the tough NETHERLANDS team. The loss to JAPAN was particularly bad since that is a team we hoped (and still hope) to catch, although they now stand 3rd, 35 VP ahead of us.

So this leaves us in 11th place, 11 VPs out of 8th. The good news is that we have played most of the leading teams, with only a tough match against MONACO (2) tomorrow (a team who I have played several times and never beaten), CANADA (12) which is contending for a qualifying spot (right behind us), and SOUTH AFRICA (16) which is a theoretically weaker team.

My views on the tournament haven't changed much. ITALY, MONACO, POLAND, and GERMANY look to be in good shape. JAPAN is in 3rd place right behind MONACO (ITALY is leading), but has a difficult schedule and I still think might fade. USA-1 is now 19 VP ahead of 9th and has played almost all of the good teams, so they seem like a lock to me.  That probably leaves 2 qualifying spots among NETHERLANDS (7), CHINA (8), ENGLAND (9), and CANADA (12) and us. INDONESIA is in 11th place but has a tough schedule so i expect them to fade. Interestingly, NETHERLANDS (7), CHINA (8), ENGLAND (9) also have tough schedules so it looks like we have a real chance. I still think  NETHERLANDS will end up qualifying -- that team is too good.

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