Antonio, you have already won many prestigious competitions, but Bali is your first Bermuda Bowl: how did you feel?
The Bermuda Bowl was missing from my career: I am happy and proud to have achieved this. I hope this will not be the only one: it took me many years to win it.
You are still very young!
I was very young when I started winning the Europeans, if I wait this long to win another World Championships, I will be very old!
Let’s talk about the future: there are many rumours that you will leave Lavazza and go back to Angelini
At the moment I am a player in Lavazza’s team, in life one never knows what could happen. My contract with Lavazza expires in December 2013, and I have not yet made a decision about what will happen after. I know many talk about it and it is a pleasure for any player to know that other teams want him, but I can assure you I have not signed a new contract yet.
The Italian Bridge Federation has announced that trials will be run to select the new Open team that will represent Italy in Europe. Your decision may be critical to determine the relationship of Italian two most important teams, Lavazza and Angelini.
Our federation has made this decision and I think that for the next Europeans trials will be inevitable. I do not think this is a good idea for the Open team: I am afraid that no matter who wins, the team will be weaker than the one who won in Bali. For what concerns the teams, I am not even sure that Lavazza will want to take part.
Are you saying that Lavazza will not take part in the European trials?
We are talking about it in these days, and it is likely that our team will not take part. But again, no final decision has been made about this either.
Apart from your commitment with Lavazza, will you play in the next Nationals in Phoenix?
Yes, sure. I will play with Giorgio Duboin in Mahaffey’s team. My contract with Mahaffey is still running and will expire in March 2014, then we will see what happens from next summer.
During your partnership with Giorgio you have won a lot, but it is known that you often quarrel and there are rumours of a break up. Why can you not get along?
Duboin and I have won a lot at national and international level, both as members of Lavazza’s team and as a pair. Certainly at the moment we are not getting along too well, from a personal point of view, but everything is fine bridge-wise. There is more to life than bridge, there are partnerships who are really friendly in life as well, but this is not our situation.
So Giorgio and you are not friends?
No, this is too strong a claim. Let’s only say that Giorgio and I have different personalities and opinions, we are different persons. How can I explain this? We are not on the same wavelength. We are a good bridge partnership, but maybe we quarrel too much.
People describe you as “genius and fantasy”, and as somebody capable of unexpected actions. My question is: is it true that your bridge is so irregular and not constrained by the system?
No, I am a very stable player, only occasionally when I feel there is a chance to act, I take views different from those of other players. Nonetheless, I do not do “strange” things, à la Zia Mahmood.
Let’s talk again about Bali, which was the scariest match?
On paper, the final is the scariest match in these competitions. Moreover, in Bali many were waiting for it, because of the known rivalry with Fantunes. Nonetheless, the match against Monaco went smoothly. After the Round Robin everything has been calm and the blue team’s easy wins have been surprising and unexpected: we sailed through this tournament without running into rough seas. I am sorry not to have played the final against Monaco: Giorgio was not feeling well and he preferred not to play.
You have played very well in the semi-final against Poland: did you expect such a strong win against such a solid team as Poland?
We were also fresh from losing against them in the Olympics…These World Championships have been amazing. In addition, in the quarter-finals China withdrew, while in Veldhoven we struggled to beat it.
What is your next commitment?
I am leaving to go to Monte Carlo to play in the Cavendish teams, but not in the pairs. I was supposed to play with my friend Mustafa Tokay, but serious family commitments force me to go home early.
Have a nice trip to Monaco!
Que sera, sera /Whatever will be, will be / The future’s not ours to see /Que sera, sera /What will be, will be
[English edition by Laura Cecilia Porro for Neapolitan Club & NewInBridge]