Veldhoven, The Netherlands, 2011, October 15th: the Romantic Challenge goes

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There are good reasons to so call the Bermuda Bowl, but first needs a nod to the other two events. In D’Orsi’s Seniors Bowl The Italians are Baroni-Mariani, Caviezel-Cedolin, and Mosca-Vivaldi, but it must be said that favourites speak Polish: Kowalski-Jacek, Klukowski-Markowicz, and Lasocki-Russyan. Best wishes to Italians and to the strongest team, Poland, Italy or whatsoever could be.

In Venice Cup any forecast has great chances to be completely wrong: there are many teams by the same strength, less or more: China, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and both the Americans; nothing saying about England and Sweden, which victory would be less probable but by no means surprising. Surprising, on the contrary, would be the Italian success, but the realism never kept an Italian heart from beating at Mameli’s Anthem cadence: go Gabriella and Gianna, go Cristina and Simonetta, go Marilina and Annalisa, go toward the peak!

Usa2, Germany, and France have the strongest pairs, respectively Levin-Meyers, Auken-Von Arnim, and Bessis-D’Ovidio. Catherine Saul D’Ovidio is today probably the strongest in the world. Between Germans plays Cristina Giampietro, a very young championess daughter of Italians living in Germany. Cristina’s partner is Beathe Nehmert, called Pony because her hairs.

The Romantic Challenge started in Bermuda Islands: there the Usa in 1950 defeated England, Sweden, and Iceland. The strongest player of that time missed the historical event: Oswald Jacoby had to play, but gave up the tourney to go volunteer to Korean War just burst. Jacoby already twice had left the cards on table to go volunteer: on December 7th 1940 (Pearl Harbour attack), and in 1915 (lying on age: he was only fifteen).

One year later the Usa went to Napoli, crashing in her home Italy and her new systems – still to be refined – based on two pretty American ideas: Vanderbilt’s Strong Club and Culbertson’s Approach Forcing. Italy avenged the humiliation In New York, 1957, starting an impressing string of successes and, what’s more, starting the tradition of the great matches Italia-Usa, always characterized by great fair play… well, “always” is maybe too much.

The two Countries won 30 of 39 editions, 16-14 for Usa. Many report 18-14, but two victories were of Canadian-US players teams called North America.

In the upcoming Bermuda Bowl there are three great teams: Italy (Lauria-Versace, Bocchi-Madala, Duboin-Sementa); Usa1 Fleisher (Fleisher-Kamil, Levin-Weinstein, Stansby-Martel), Usa2 Bathurst (Grue-Lall, Hurd-Wooldridge, Zagorin-Bathurst). Somebody underrates Usa2, but it’s understandable: they’re young players which names still don’t echo enough to impose the due respect.

Italy is a new team: there are two new players, Antonio Sementa and Agustin Madala, and there are two new pairs. One of the old pair broke up (Bocchi-Duboin); Norberto Bocchi now partners with Agustin Madala and Giorgio Duboin with Antonio Sementa; Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes were excluded. The first test for the new team was in 2010 April in Ostende’s European Championship; they won, as expected, but not with the usual pace, and Norwegian world champions weren’t there. In the past eighteen months, however, both the new partnerships grew up, and Agustin Madala revealed to be a great champion, so it’s not a so dicey foretelling to say that the pair Bocchi-Madala can become the strongest of all time.

Let’s see now how, knowing the format of the tourney, are possible some inferences on the winner. In Bermuda Bowl will be played play a round robin stage; the best eight will play the knockout stage. In the quarter final (round of 8), the leading four teams have the right to choice the opponents. Being Usa1, Usa2 and Italy the favourites, at least two should be in the leading foursome, and they will not select each other, of course. So, the outsiders to win the title have to beat at least two of the three favourites. If this happens, it means that the winner team wasn’t a lucky outsider but a strong one underrated by forecasters.

Now: how many chances of victory have the three favourites and the unknown outsider? The current odds are 2:1 for Italy (0,33), 4:1 for Usa1 and only 10:1 for Usa2 (exaggeratedly low). Some supporters says Italy on 80% (exaggeratedly high, but the realism never kept an Italian heart… et cetera). As there are three favourites – too many for outsiders’ hopes: cannot have fortune on their side for so many deals – it can be realistically said that the three top teams all together have 90% (say 40 to Italy and 25 to each Us Team), and all others together have no more than 10%, i.e. it exists the 10% of probability that a strong team was underrated.

by Paolo Enrico Garrisi



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