Two leonine wavy haired heads are smiling from Memphis: this wonderful photo comes from the bulletin n° 4 (authors: Brent Manley, Paul Linxwiler, and Sue Munday). One of all times greatest champion guided the twenty-five aged partner to win the Norman Kay Platinum pairs, hence to become the all time youngest Grand Life Master. Bob Hamman and Justin Lall also will play the Vanderbilt Cup, but in different teams: Justin gets back to daddy, Hemant Lall, as any bravo ragazzo has to do after the happy day (n° 26 in the roster: Hemant and Justin Lall, Judith Bianco, Winthrop Allegaert, Lapt Chan, Jaggy Shivdasani).
Bob Hamman, instead, goes to his hold friends, i.e. the number two team of Nick Nickell, Zia Mahmood, Ralph Katz, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell. Since the summer, Hamman-Lall will play in the new team together with Hurd, Woolridge, Bob and Shane Blanchard.
The number one in the Vanderbilt Cup is the team Fleisher: Martin Fleisher, Michael Kamil, Chip Martel, Lew Stansby, Steve Weinstein, Robert Levin. It must be remembered that the seeding place is not casual but depends on the overall strength of the players, and the pairing will be according to the formula 1-64; 2-63, 3-62, and so on until 32-33. Thus, easier start for strongest teams.
There were registered seventy-seven teams; the first twenty-five had a bye, and the other fifty-two were divided in 13 groups, each of four teams. The best three went on, so finally reaching the power of 2 which allows to play a prefect KO format. Between the thirteen eliminated teams there is the one of Patricia Cayne, with the Italians Dano De Falco and Gabriella Olivieri.
In the number three of the roster there is Jimmy Cayne with the usual partner Michael Seamon and the Italians he often play with in his matches in BBO: Lauria, Versace, Duboin, Sementa.
Other Italians are in the number four team of Pierre Zimmermann: Franck Multon, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes, Fulvio Fantoni.
Before to follow, it must be said that winning the Vanderbilt Cup grants a bye to round of 8 in the Trials to the Bermuda Bowl, and also other good positions gives a byes (but depending on the number of registered teams). Last, the points earned here anyway give a better seeding position there. The points earned, however, are diminished if there are foreign players in the team: for example, because his four Italians, Cayne will have only two sixth of the points earned here.
Aubrey Strul has the number 5; Carolyn Lynch has 6. In seventh position, still there are Italians, Norberto Bocchi and Agustin Madala in the team of George Jacobs (also with Steve Beatty, Walid Elahmady, Tarek Sadek).
Paolo Enrico Garrisi
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