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My way – Norberto Bocchi’s Column (no. 1): Great Events

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World Mind Sport Games Bridge (in former days, The World Bridge Olympiad).This prestigious international event will be held next August and takes about ten days. My team (Lavazza) won the selection to represent Italy in this competition. I speak for myself but I think many share my worries. In August family life might be more more important than playing bridge. Therefore the timing causes problems for a lot of us. I think all bridge players, both professionals and amateurs, deserve to spend their summer holidays with their wives and children. Talking about timing. By now it is already end of February and still the organizing committee has not settled an exact date or place. Which makes it even harder to plan holidays. Bridge competitions involve a lot of people and money. A more efficient organization is required.

Slava Memorial Cup 2012. This tournament involved quite a few mediocre teams this year. Nothing wrong with the success of the winner (Monaco) though and I certainly want to mention Fantoni and Nunes, a pair which played very well. Apart from Zimmermann’s team, there were many champions such as Lauria, Versace, Gromov, Dubinin, and others, but most of them were playing with their sponsors, and almost all teams were four handed. The only real team was Zimmermann (Monaco), and the only other team which could have been competitive, at least on paper, was Israel. That team had one solid partnership Pachtman-Ginossar. However their teammates were Herbst and Barel, and they are not a regular partnership. In order to win in high-level competition it is important to have established partnerships. I think the Russians needs to change a few things such as invitations, prizes, and dates, if they want to organize a top-level competition.

Summer 2012 NABC—July 12-22 in Philadelphia, PA. In the USA the Summer Nationals is a crucial moment in the busy American calendar. In this event the main sponsors change their teams and renew contracts and line-ups. This year there will be many alterations. The most remarkable one is that Nick Nickell recruited Levin-Weinstein. The strength of this partnership is unquestionable as they always performed well. The technical competence of the Nickell team is not at stake, but it is still to be seen how the newcomers fit in the team. Cayne will continue with his group, which includes two Italian pairs: Lauria- Versace, Sementa-Duboin. Madala and me have found a new sponsor: we will play for Mahaffey. Our teammates will be Forrester, Lev, and Gawrys. Bertheau will play together with the young and promising French player Thomas Bessis, while Nyström has formed a regular partnership with a young Swede, Upmark. Quite surprisingly Stansby and Martel have split. Martel nowadays plays with this guy Zia Mahmood in Fleischer’s team, replacing Levin-Weinstein. Hamman will almost certainly play with Justin Lall. Two of the Dutch pairs who won the Bermuda Bowl in Veldhoven 2011 – Brink & Drijver, Verhees & van Prooijen- will play in Zagorin’s team. We will surely have fun in Philadelphia, but let’s first see what will happen in March in the Vanderbilt at the Spring Nationals, the last tourney of the present cycle.

Adios y hasta muy pronto,



My way – Norberto Bocchi’s Column for Neapolitan Club. Translated by Laura Cecilia Porro.

Picture: Bridgecat no. 11 (February 2011)

February 23, 2012


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One Reply to “My way – Norberto Bocchi’s Column (no. 1): Great Events”

  1. Very very interesting post and idea from your website. Congratulations… Two or three points in return :
    * concerning the date of the WMSG, I agree that August is not the best period (even if the approach may be different for professional players like Norberto and for amateur players in many teams, who have to take holidays in June for the European and generally work again in September or October),
    * I also agree when he says that we’re in February and it’s not normal not to know the location; but I don’t feel that it’s right to say that the approah is not professional, I believe that Jose Damiani, in charge of this, is certanly the most experimented bridge president…
    * this shows how difficult it is to organize big events now, because EBL, WBF or IMSA want the best for the players, but have no money and no sponsors, because we’re in a period of crisis and it’s difficult for cities to finance such events… EBL has faced successfully, with the support of the Irish Fed, the late withdraw of Greece, IMSA is facing difficulties, let’s hope they will be solved soon.
    * just a (partly humoristic) point : strange t read tha it’s a problem to have a Championship beginning of August, but that it’s enthusiastic to play in Philadelphia end of July!!!
    * no special comment concerning the Slava Cup : you imagine that I’m happy of the final result and, as Norberto says it, proud of the great bridge produced by Fulvio and Claudio…

    Jean-Charles Allavena
    Fed Bridge Monaco

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