2013 Italian Mixed Team Championship: Did Ercole Bove read Skidelsky John Simon? Match Biagiotti-Failla in Eccellenza; ninth board of the fifth round. Dealer North, E-W vulnerable.
North: Ercole Bove for Biagiotti, Andrea Buratti for Failla. South: Catherine Saul D’Ovidio and Monica Aghemo
North: ♠AKQ10842 ♥10 ♦843 ♣A8
South: ♠J5 ♥9763 ♦AJ102 ♣953
123 out of the 130 north-south players bid 4♠ – most at once or by 1♠-1NT; 4♠ – and the latter was the auction of Buratti-Aghemo as well. Ercole Bove also opened 1♠, but over partner’s 1NT he only invited by 3♠, which Catherine passed: she hadn’t enough to go on.
“Clearly underbid”, sternly said the BBO commentator about Bove’s 3♠. The huge majority of players confirmed it by their auction; but Bridge is different than Democracy as the winners are always less than the losers; always they belong to the minority party. This hand deserves being watched nearer.
South borne the best which North could hope: her values are in his weakest suit. Now, let’s shift the fine diamond AJ10 to heart, or substitute it by KQJ in club instead (adding to it even QJx in diamond, if you think it could help), and the contract will be set since the lead. Let’s also say that the diamond ten is necessary, and the making chances, with the cards South actually had, are no more than 50 per cent; without the ♦10 the chances would have diminished to 25 per cent.
Admittedly, there are other reasons to bid 4♠ over Catherine’s 1NT: game calling puts opponents under pressure, and sometimes they don’t find the way to beat “unmakeable” contracts. The best argument for it, however, is found into a suggestion of the English Skidelsky John Simon, called Skid by the guys of Acol Road who in the thirties of the past century created with him the Acol System:
“If you like a contract, call it at once”.
Didn’t Ercole Bove know Skid? Or didn’t he like to be in 4♠? It must be made some guesses, the first one being that he verisimilarly knew that suggestion. It also must be known that his team at the moment of that board was in penultimate place, making for the retrocession, so he needed to take risks. Besides, it needs to know another suggestion of the same Simon (but it’s an axiom more than a suggestion): if you don’t want take risks, try to do what you think is doing your opponent sitting the same place in the other room.
Andrea Buratti, the other North, is an aggressive bidder, then Ercole, who verisimilarly knows Simon, and who wanted take risks, clearly decided to bid the contrary of what he thought that Buratti would have done.
The Italian Mixed Team Championship are underwy int Salsomaggiore Terme (next to Parma, Italy) from the 30th of May to the 2nd of June, 2013.
The Road to Bali: still black smoke for Blue Team. As early written by Neapolitan Club, on yesterday, 31st Friday, at Salsomaggiore took place a meeting between the president and vice-president of Italian Federation, Gianni Medugno and Giuseppe Failla, and the six champions of Italian Open Team to decide who should go to Bali for the Bermuda Bowl 2013 (World championship). The Angelini’s pair Lorenzo Lauria and Alfredo Versace confirmed being ready to go, but still must be resolved some problems of Lavazza’s champions, Norberto Bocchi, Agustin Madala, Giorgio Duboin, and Antonio Sementa. The final decision will be taken by the next Federal Council, which will take place in the next weekend (June 8-9, 2013).
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Paolo Enrico Garrisi