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2013 Fall NABC: News from Phoenix, Arizona

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phoenix logoAre running in Phoenix the 2013 Fall National American Bridge Championships. After three days are coming the first results:  Curtis Cheek and Ishmael Del’Monte won the Life Master Pairs; Barbara Nist and Patti Hartley won the Womens Life Master Pairs.

On Friday December 6th will start the most prestigious event: the Reisinger Board A Match (BAM) Teams.

Here are some abstracts of articles about the Reisinger Trophy already published in Neapolitan Club.

Norberto Bocchi (June 2012 Editorial) – For many years now I’ve been playing professional bridge in USA and 12 times I took part in the Reisinger BAM. It is considered a tournament of superb level. The format used is board-a-match and what it means is that every board is worth a point: one overtrick or a difference of 2000 aggregate points carry the same weight: 1 point won or lost. When I first started participating, there would be around 80-100 teams registered. As the years passed the numbers dropped significantly and today the situation seems really worrying. Why? The way I see it there are two reasons. First of all the tournament’s level is really high and lesser sponsors are simply discouraged by that: they prefer to enter the parallel swiss tournament, where the number of teams entering is massive these days. The second reason is that Reisinger lasts for three days but every day half the field is eliminated via all-play-all round robin. As one might expect, the lesser teams are often eliminated the very first day and there are no other interesting events for them to enter. I would suggest a couple of alternatives to the American organization to revive a tournament as prestigious as the Resinger. The first possibility would be to allow those who are eliminated on the first day to play  the swiss tournament of second day. The other possibility would be to devote two days to qualifying (and not just one day as happens now) where  all the participating teams could play, even if they are in the latest rankings after the first day: in this way, the sponsors, although small, would approach more willingly and without scaring this fascinating tourney.


Paolo Enrico Garrisi – Reisinger Trophy: the Reign of the Board a Match (BAM). The Reisinger Memorial Trophy was so called in 1966, in memory of the bridge philanthropist Curt H. Reisinger (1891-1964, breweries owner). In the 2011 bulletin there are the stories of the tourney and of the man. The format of the tourney is a knock-out Teams played in the Board A Match (BAM) scoring. As already written in the preceding article about the topic, the BAM is the simplest way to compare a result in a team of four match: any board is worth one point, and the best result wins it; a zero result gives half point to each team.

In many aspects it looks as a MP formula, where an overtrick could make the difference between the top and the zero (then safety playing is off as well), but there are more subtle implications that call for a brief description. For example, if in MP pair tourneys you bid a slam instead of a grand slam – then making 6+1 – you still could get a result not too bad: even in a good tourney always there are timids.

In BAM, on the contrary, rarely 6+1 is less than a disaster. Why? – you reasonably hope – Maybe at the other table the opponents stopped in six as well, so the point will be parted in 0,5 each team. And being this still bridge – you reasonably think – to bid a grand needs the certainty! This is a wrong guess: the odd is not 1430 to 2210 or to -100, but always zero to one; the ratio doesn’t takes care of how high is the result, just suffices that it’s higher.

Another example: playing Precision – that is, playing strong club from 16 points – your Partner opens 1♠; you have a balanced or semi-balanced eleven point hand with three card support. In MP or IMP, your response is any forcing one. In BAM, let’s first calculate the percentages: the Partner has 13-15 points (or the equivalent by distributional strength), so your line has 24 to 26 points. With 26 points the percentage to make a game is 50%, then the overall percentage to have game is much less because the partner have 13 or 14 points more often than 15. Then it could be erroneous going to game or even try for it: bid no more than 2♠.

Last BAM example, another board: your RHO (Right Hand Opponent) opens 1♠, you pass, LHO raises to 2♠, your Partner passes, the Opener passes. Do you balance?

Looking back: Sally Young, the slender tigress.

Sally was one of the four great American women of the first half of the past century; she is less known in Europe than Josephine Culbertson, Helen Sobel and Margaret Wagar, nevertheless Sally won four Reisinger Trophy, an open event! and three of which consecutively: 1937, 1938, 1939, and 1947. For comparison, Bob Hamman won sixth times.

On the same days of forty-one years ago – November 1970 – Sally Young passed away; so Charles Goren wrote in Sports Illustrated about her Partner.


The Fall 2013 North American Bridge Championships take place in Phoenix (Arizona, US) from November 28 to December 8.

Official site: click here >>




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