Wednesday 26 September 2007

Welcome to Shanghai

So - I have arrived in Shanghai for the 2007 World Championships - and wow is it an amazing place. We had a warm welcome at the airport from members of the Chinese Contract Bridge Association and were brought to our hotel - I am very fortunate to be staying at the Oriental Riverside Hotel right on the river, next to the famous Shanghai Telecoms Tower, and it is a gorgeous hotel let me tell you ! With, as you can guess because I am posting this, a broadband connection that I am making good use of.

I am going to try and post a blog on a regular basis, to try and give you some idea of what it is like "behind the scenes" at one of these events - so watch this space. I will take some pictures and post them as well, and hope you will find it interesting.

Today, we have had brief look round the Convention centre - which is enormous, and some initial plans are being made by the technical team for the exact layout of the rooms and offices. Tomorrow will be the major day for those decisions and for starting to get to work in readiness for the arrival of the various teams of people who will be working here - the Tournament Directors, the Scoring Team, the Bulletin Editors and of course the Secretariat (well, we are here already!) and later on the Press and Media.

I have seen an army of helpers already packing the hospitality bags - all the participants get one of those - and they will soon start filling the empty rooms with tables and screens, computers and technical equipment, bidding boxes, bidding trays and all the attendant paraphernalia needed for a World Championship

The WBF Executive are also arriving in readiness for their meetings and I have spotted the first of the participating teams coming to get acclimatised and over their jet lag before play starts on Sunday.

It is all quite quiet and empty at the moment, but it will soon start buzzing! And I will try and keep up with the atmosphere and the excitement for you ... hope you will find it interesting!

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