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In the last number of Bridge World, I have read that…

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Review of The Bridge World magazine by Paolo Enrico Garrisi

The editors Henry Copeland and Herbert De Bower a day knocked on Ely Culbertson’s door, in New York; they wanted him for a course, a few dollars business for an hack writer or next. Ely was on higher rank of thinking:

“Gentlemen – he said – how would you like to make a million dollars?” And he started to explain ideas and ideas.

“I spoke with such conviction” – wrote Culbertson in his biography – “that De Bower was impressed by my sheer earnestness, if not by my logic”.

“Mr. Culbertson” – the editor asked – “Let’s be practical about it: what would be your first step?”

“First”, I stated, “we must launch a bridge magazine”.

In October 1929 Bridge World was born; it weighted thirty-two pages. Since that day, millions and millions of bridge players have said or written: “In the last number of Bridge World, I have red that…”.

In the last number of Bridge World – now May 2010 – I go first to read the “Fifty years ago” column; I like story. In the match England-Usa of Olympiad 1960, Shenken opened 1, Shapiro overcalled 2♣; Ogust had these cards:

♠Void AQJ52 K9872 ♣Q82.

He bid 2NT, and the psychic buried the spade fit of the Englishmen. The interesting thing is that this psychic was “An hoary stratagem in the US”, but unfamiliar in England – wrote Alphonse Moyse, then director of the magazine.

Back to 2010, I’m now on Master Solvers’ Club column, reading the solutions of the problems published a month ago. Problem A: IMPs, both vuln. You, South, hold:

♠A107 K96543 8 ♣A97

South West North East

1♣ Pass
1 2 *Pass Pass



*In the Bridge World Standard (BWS), double would have shown three hearts.

My response, a month ago, had been 3: it takes only four votes. The Double wins sixteen. Despite the low score, I’m glad: Russell Eklebad explain the good reasons for 3, and also Jeff Rubens has bidden as me (Jeff Rubens is the today’s director of Bridge World; he should know what to do: please, don’t tell me that the Director hasn’t heard any tip-off about North’s cards!).

On page three there’s Bart Bramley on a long article about 2009 Bermuda Bowl. It’s in two parts: in this number until the semifinals; in June, in the second part, he’ll talk about the final Italia – Usa. In his article, Bramley makes a digression on the Victory-Point Scale that is used since twenty years by the WBF (World Bridge Federation): the transformation from imps to VP hasn’t the duly balance. He complaints that “…You’re better of winning one match by 25 and losing the next by 5 than winning both matches by 10. Can this be right?”

Moment, please: let me count. In the former case, +25 and -5 imps, the overall result will be 35-25 VP; in the latter (both +10), I have a worse result: 34-26. This cannot be right: two winnings by 10 say that my team is strong; one winning by 25 and one losing by -5 say that my team is only strong against weakies. I must immediately write to Mr. José Damiani, President of WBF, signalling the mistake…oh, he’s already here! At page two there’s a letter of Mr. Damiani: he’s a bit annoyed because, in a previous number of Bridge World, he has red that…


Paolo Enrico Garrisi

May 29, 2010

Nell’ultimo numero di Bridge World, ho letto che…

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 The Bridge World magazine raccontato da  Paolo Garrisi

Gli editori Henry Copeland e Herbert De Bower un giorno bussarono alla porta di Ely Culbertson, a New York; volevano proporgli una serie di articoli di base, un affare di pochi dollari per un lavoro da copista o poco più. Ely però era di parere differente:

“Signori – disse – come volete fare un milione di dollari?”, e iniziò ad esporre idee ed idee.

“Parlai con tanta convinzione” – scrisse Culbertson nella sua biografia – “che De Bower fu impressionato dalla mia assoluta determinazione, se non dalla mia logica”.

“Mr. Culbertson” – chiese l’editore – “Siamo pratici: quale sarebbe il suo primo passo?”

“Anzitutto”, stabilii, “dobbiamo lanciare una rivista di bridge”.


In ottobre del 1929 nacque Bridge World; pesava trentadue pagine. Da quel giorno, milioni e milioni di giocatori di bridge hanno detto o scritto: “Nell’ultimo numero di Bridge World, ho letto che…”.


Nell’ultimo numero di Bridge World – siamo a maggio 2010 – vado subito a leggere la rubrica “Cinquant’anni fa”; la storia mi piace. Nel match Inghilterra-Usa, alle Olimpiadi del 1960, Shenken aprì 1, l’inglese Shapiro intervenne con 2♣; Ogust aveva queste carte:

♠Vuoto AQJ52 K9872 ♣Q82.

Dichiarò 2NT, e la psichica seppellì il fit a picche degli inglesi. La cosa interessante è che questa psichica era “Uno stratagemma trito negli USA”, ma poco noto in Inghilterra – scrisse Alphonse Moyse, allora direttore della rivista.


Di ritorno nel 2010, ora sono sul Master Solvers’ Club, sulle soluzioni dei problemi pubblicati un mese fa.

Problema A: IMPs, tutti in zona. Noi, in Sud, abbiamo:

♠A107 K96543 8 ♣A97

South West North East

1♣ Pass
1 2 *Pass Pass




*Nel Bridge World Standard (BWS), il contro avrebbe mostrato tre carte di cuori.

La mia risposta, un mese fa, era stata 3: prende solo quattro voti. Il contro ne ha presi sedici. A dispetto del mediocre risultato, sono contento: Russell Eklebad spiega le buone ragioni di 3, e anche Jeff Rubens ha dichiarato come me (Jeff Rubens è l’attuale director of Bridge World; lui dovrebbe sapere bene come regolarsi: non venitemi a dire che il Direttore non ha avuto qualche soffiata sulle carte di Nord!).


A pagina tre c’è un lungo articolo di Bart Bramley sulla Bermuda Bowl del 2009. E’ in due parti: in questo numero fino alle semifinali; in giugno racconterà la finale Italia – Usa. Nel suo articolo, Bramley fa una digressione sulla scala dei Victory Points adottata vent’anni fa dalla WBF (World Bridge Federation): la trasformazione da imp a VP non è equilibrata. Lui contesta che “…Si ottiene un risultato migliore vincendo un match di venticinque imp e perdendone uno di cinque piuttosto che vincendone due di dieci. Come può questo essere giusto?”.


Un momento, prego: fatemi contare. Nel primo caso, +25 e -5, il risultato complessivo sarà 35-25 VP; nell’altro (due vittorie da dieci), il risultato sarà peggiore: 34-26. Questo non può essere giusto. Due vittorie da 10 dicono che la mia squadra è forte; una vittoria da 25 ed una sconfitta da -5 dicono che la mia squadra è forte solo con le schiappe.


Devo scrivere immediatamente a Josè Damiani, presidente della WBF, per segnalargli l’errore…oh, è gia qui! A pagina due c’è una lettera del Signor Damiani: è un pochino irritato perché, in un precedente numero di Bridge World, lui ha letto che…


Paolo Enrico Garrisi


The Thief and the Fire

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Original tale by Paolo Enrico Garrisi  (translated by Carol Sims )

One night a thief broke into a house, forced open the safe and stole money, jewels and share certificates. Unexpectedly he heard a noise at the door: the owner had returned home, the thief had to escape. Read the full story

The Neapolitan Club: Outline

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by esme 08The ideas of system – The Neapolitan Club comes mainly from H. S. Vanderbilt  s Strong Club (1926)  and from the Culbertson  System (1934).   It employs sound openings and overcalling, and fully protected 3NT contract. As logical corollary for such sound system, it obeys the principle “first double”: it’s better to punish opponents instead of looking for our own game contract.

 Contested auction – Middle strength jump overcall: 12-15 points with a good six or more card suit. Standard double, takeout up to 4. 2NT overcall: clubs and lower rank free suit, reverse strength. Direct cue-bid: game forcing.

When LHO overcalls at one level, the double is punitive. When LHO doubles, the redouble is forcing up to game or at least to level 4 in a minor.


1♣: 17+, but 21-22 balanced and full protected (2NT).

1, 1♠: 12-16. Natural 4+ card suit.

1: 12-16, sometime by 3 cards. It can happen when the opener has only clubs or when he has not a biddable suit. “Biddable” in the opening bidding is a four card suit headed at least by Q9 or J10, or any five card suit.

1NT: 13-16, balanced or semi-balanced one suited in clubs.

2♣: 5+ clubs, 12-16. One or two suited.

2, 2, 2♠: Weak one suited.


On 1♣: controls by steps up to 2 (six or more). Weak jump from 2to level three.

On 1, 1, 1♠: natural responses. Strong jump. 2NT and 3NT responses are very strong balanced (respectively: 17-18 or 16), without support in opening suit.

On 1NT (remember: it’s always one suited in clubs), all the responses are natural: 2♣ and 3♣ are support. Just 2, is a relais; the opener will bid 2 and the responder will explain his hand.


Neapolitan Club does not employs 5CM nor Long Suit First systems. It follows the  Principle of Preparedness, i.e. “The idea, originally called Anticipation, of looking forward to the next round of bidding when selecting a bid…(ACBL Official Encyclopedia , VI ed. Page 362). Because of this Principle, the length of the suits is undefined. The only exception is when the opener has a reverse two suited hand with less than 17 points (with 17+ the opening is 1♣). In this case the reverse will be made bidding the short suit first (Albarran’s Canapé ). Examples:

a) 1♠-1NT; 2…Rank order bidding, not strong. The suits are 4-4, 5-4, 4-5 or longer.

b) 1♠-1NT; 3…Strong jump: four spades and five or more diamonds.

c) 1-1NT; 2♠…Reverse rank bidding: four or more diamonds and five or more spades.

The responder employs the Preparedness Principle as well, and without limits, also in reverse.


Paolo Enrico Garrisi


Fiori Napoletano – Sommario

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  Le idee del sistema

Il Fiori Napoletano origina principalmente dal sistema di Culbertson; le aperture e gli interventi sono solidi, il contratto a 3NT si chiama dopo aver accertato il fermo in ogni seme. Come logico corollario di un sistema “solido”, esso segue il principio “first double”: preferisce punire gli avversari piuttosto che cercare un proprio contratto di manche. Read the full story

Giorgino Duboin’s column

Italian style 02The Neapolitan Club staff is honoured to welcome a new illustrious contributor: Giorgino Duboin. The great Italian champion will write a series of articles mostly dedicated to his international bridge activities. Duboin’s Column »

Norberto Bocchi’s column

MyWay-logoThe great Italian champion Norberto Bocchi contributes articles on a regular basis to Neapolitan Club. Norberto refers in his column ‘My Way’ to political issues which may arise in the bridge world and sometimes he describes interesting hands. Read Bocchi’s column»   Read Bocchi’s interviews»

Rhoda Walsh Notes

Rhoda_WalshWalsh No Trump Notes by Rhoda Walsh: a study on No Trump openings with their developments  in uncontested and contested auctions. Table of Contents »
Annotations by Rhoda Walsh on the 1 Notrump game forcing  response in the "2 over 1 game forcing system" (Walsh System).Table of Contents»

Simply the Best

Best articles by Paolo Enrico Garrisi: open »

Let’s talk to the Champions!

Best interviews run by Laura Camponeschi: open »

Momorizing at Bridge

Are there techniques to develop some specific memory? Could be possible to make a choice of what might be more useful to memorize? Read what the champions say: open »

Silvio Sbarigia


SILVIO SBARIGIA is a pharmacist; he was born in Rome and lives there. He has won the European championship in 1975 with legendary Blue Team, runner up at 1974’s and at Olympic games of 1976.  Sbarigia is member of Neapolitan Club Technical Commettee. His bridge problems aren’t difficult; just we need to think on a plan and to avoid the instinctive playing. Bridge quizzes by Sbarigia »

Laura Cecilia Porro

Laura-Cecilia-Porro 142
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