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2012 European Championships – The Silvio Sbarigia’s opinion

Posted on 25 June 2012

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Open. We are ill-accustomed: we have been winning the European Championship for eight times in a row and we now take the third place as a upset. The matter is more simple: not always it is possible to win. Italy didn’t play her best bridge, whereas the new Monaco Team played at the top and won deservedly, scoring an excellent average. But the Italian Team’s quality is out of discussion, as evidenced by the fact that in the direct match Italy largely beat Monaco.

What didn’t work in the Italian squad? A little amount of bad luck always weighs upon the game, but I think that the efficiency had been reduced moreover because two players were in bad psychic-physic state. The soundest pair appeared to be Bocchi – Madala, with a great Bocchi and Madala so good to being forgiven of some sins of youthful. They were the best pair in the event, and I think they are one step over all others: it is confirmed by the Butler too.

I don’t consider the Butler very much, but on so great number of deals I think it’s indicative enough. The Monaco Team’s strength, anyway, lays in Fantoni-Nunes and Helgemo-Helness, who play since long time and are both two well fit pairs. I think that at Dublin won the team with the closest knit and tuned pairs.

I’m sure that the today Italian open Team is the strongest one, and any trial would be absolutely useless, if not harming. The strength of these six players is over any other pair: what trials on the earth are we going to make? Against whom? These six are the best, period!

Women. The best that was to be expected by this team was the qualification to Venice Cup; but they not even entered within the first six places. They started off on the wrong foot and after tryed to recover, but unsuccessfully. But I’m not surprised. In Italy the female sector isn’t at professional level as the open one is. The Italian women aren’t professional players and do not devote their live to bridge utterly. Someone has a way to bidding a little obsolete. But when they go to the championships they must face professional players.

I think that the women are a category ill treated by the Federation, also about economics. It is not possible to make wedding with dried figs. If we want a competitive team, we have to invest upon it. What is to be done is make them followed by a mental coach: our athletes well know the bridge technique,, but need to be trained to face the high level professional opponents. Have been this team duly supported, and have been them brought in better psychic-physic state, I think they could have got the higher places.

Seniores. I would have bet any stake upon their victory. The Senior Team has players of very high professional and technical level; probable the best in Europe. Here I’m quite surprised to see they failed to qualify to World championships. But still again I have to say that the single players aren’t enough, that the problem again lays on the partnership’s soundness. I think that the Italian defaillance here comes from some pairs that was little run in. Besides, we have to pay the calamity of the playing sponsor.


Silvio Sbarigia

June 25, 2012

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SILVIO SBARIGIA is a pharmacist; he was born in Rome and lives there. He has won the European championship in 1975 with legendary Blue Team, runner up at 1974’s and at Olympic games of 1976.  Sbarigia is member of Neapolitan Club Technical Commettee. His bridge problems aren’t difficult; just we need to think on a plan and to avoid the instinctive playing. Bridge quizzes by Sbarigia »

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