At the start of the match Serbia was leading the event and Italy was lying in second place. Nobody in the Italian camp was taking this match for granted.
Alfredo and Lorenzo were in the closed room, and Georgie and Anthony in the open, and this is the pair that I observed.
An unusual start to the proceedings when Serbia made 1NT in both rooms, and they had the better of the partials with some aggressive bidding, we had a small pickup where Serbia contrived to go down in a makeable 4S game where we stayed in 3.
By board 9 we were 1-25 down in this 20 round robin match, not the start we were looking for. Board 10 gave us the opportunity to recover quite a few imps in a very delicate 4S contract, Alfredo and Lorenzo defended accurately to defeat the contract by 2 tricks. Georgie guessed almost everything but at the last hurdle just failed to land the contract, holding our gain to 3 instead of 13.
After a few hands there was some some difficulty in defending against 1NT by Georgie and Antonio costing us a further 7 imps. The next board the Serbians landed in 3S just making when 5D was cold, and in the other room the Serbs lost 300 in a doubled partscore thus reducing the haemorrhaging.
Recovery continued in a somewhat curious manner when on board 18, Alfredo and Lorenzo played in the good but normal contract of 3D making, while the Serbs perhaps on a wave of enthusiasm and hubris, bid to an unmakeable 3NT that went down 4 narrowing the gap by 11 imps. On Board 19 the opponents in the closed room landed in 6C, the same as in the Open room, a contract that proved impossible since the trumps split 5-0, Alfredo played it slightly better gaining 2 imps.
The match left Georgie and Antonio somewhat subdued with a double digit loss, (20-10) In the long run I do not think that this result should affect the final outcome.
See you tomorrow.
Results confirmed: Serbia – Italy 49-23 (20 -10)
Gluckenval, the official commentator BBO Vugraph
Translated by Mr. John Wilmott