Congratulations to the Italian open team who conquered again the prestigious Bermuda Bowl. I have been very impressed by Bocchi-Madala, in virtue of their solidity and bidding technique. What is the secret behind this victory? The strength of the Italian pairs does not lie mostly in declarer’s play, but rather in the bidding systems, especially when overcalling. Declarer’s play does not make a crucial difference, at world class level: international champions are used to play very complicated hands. The more hands are played, the more likely it is that opponents will make a mistake. For this reason, Italian’s bidding superiority gives them an advantage in the long run.
I am disappointed that the Italian women and senior teams did not qualify to these World Championships. I believe at the moment in Italy there are only few who can play at international level in the senior category. For what concerns women, I would like to repeat what I always thought: Italian women are not all professional players, so they need a coach who not only helps them with the system, but also psychologically and physically. They need a strong technical guide.
Guessing the last trick since the first
Match Italia-Monaco, final. Round 5, Board 5.
The opening of North is unbalanced with the suit fifth or longer, and fourteen or more points. Nunes led ♦K, holding the lead.
Lauria can count nine tricks: one spade, five trumps plus two by diamond ruff, and the club ace. The tenth only can come from spade, but it also needs to keep the club stopper until the spade were established. Nunes at once understood the problem and switched to ♣J, but Lorenzo now had the complete picture of the hidden cards which he needed to know, and ducked; that is the coup. Still club from Nunes, Lorenzo this time puts the ace, ruffed diamond, heart to come in hand and another diamond ruff, eliminating the suit. Another heart, and now club, simply: Fantoni has to take and is endplayed. He returned ♠6, as club or diamond would allowed to save the spade loser by ruff and sluff, and Lorenzo put the queen. How could he be so sure about the position of the king? Because Nunes had showed four honour points, thus Fantoni must have the ♠K, otherwise he was short of the opening strength.
[The system Fantoni-Nunes have been published by the Australian Bill Jacobs. Here’s the review of the book: open >]