We ended the Mitchell Open Board-A-Match teams with a 16th place and a little regret because at a certain point of the competition we were 2nd. Have patience! Congratulations to our friend Kiki: she played very well. Besides, playing in team with her is always a great pleasure, and in fact... Iolanda recruited Kiki in her shopping-team! Now I will take them to Scottsdale, an enormous American commercial center.
A board from the tournament:
Claudio plays 3NT and the lead is a small Club.
He plays a low card from dummy and East plays the 10. As in USA 6 cards preempts are not rare, Claudio decides to duck the first Club.
East returns a Club, Claudio takes the A and discards Hearts from dummy. Now he counts his tricks: 4 in Spades, 2 in Hearts, 2 in Diamonds and 1 in Clubs. Ok, 3NT are easily makeable, but playing BAM format it is always better to find some extra tricks.
Claudio cashes four Spades and now finds out more about the distribution. When West at the third round proves not to have any more Spades (and discards two Hearts because he is afraid that would he discard Diamonds he would set up declarer's fourth Diamond), he kows that East started with 6 Clubs and 4 Spades.
On the fourth round of Spades Claudio discarded a dummy's Diamonds.
Claudio cashes the A, plays Diamonds to the Ace - the Queen appears - and plays the K and Hearts back, so setting Hearts and endplaying West who is now forced to give Claudio a Diamond.
The golf field of Arizona Biltmore
Hi all :)
As we could imagine, last evening we spent a wonderful evening at dinner with our friend Kiki, Claudio and Franck Multon in Arizona Biltmore resort.
After dinner, as I feared, the Black Friday's time for shopping began.
Among the shops I was thinking about some boards to tell and I remembered about this bid, from the Final of the Italian Cup last week:
1 = 14+, at least 4 cards in Diamonds, unbalanced hand
1 = 0-9, at least 4 cards in Spades
1NT = 18+, any unbalanced hand
2 = 6-9, GF
3 = natural
4 = max
4 = Cue Bid
4 = Cue Bid
5 = odd number of Aces
Considering Claudio's 4 bid over 3, he must have a maximum hand, so K, A and some extra value. So we can with a certain serenity bid 7.
Let's go back to Phoenix. Today we are starting to play. On Sunday and Monday we are playing with Kiki Ward-Platt and Franck Multon the BAM tournament preceding the Reisinger.
After the Reisinger we are flying to China for the World Mind Games. We are one of the four Open teams invited to play in this event, which will be held in Beijing on December 11th-18th.
Then we will be back in France, for the Final of the French Cup.
After the Final, we are spending a couple of days in Rome to celebrate Christmas with our friends and relatives, but on December 26th we are leaving again to reach Spoleto and meet the friends that are participating at our "Fantoni Vacation".
In Spoleto we will celebrate with them the end of a very intense and rich in travels year.
By the way, the most adventurous travel was last summer. My son Luca, Iolanda and me, with our nephews Ruggiero, Federica and Greta, had a wonderful tour of North America, among parks and big towns. This is going to be one of my next tales and who wishes to visit the same destination will be able to find informations and ideas for his/her own travel basing on the suggestions of us "tourists by chance".
Hi all :) Happy Thanksgiving Day to all my American friends!
After winning the silver medal in Italian Cup 2013, yesterday we reached Phoenix for the NABC.
We spent a very nice last-European-evening at Marriott Hotel in Paris. The atmosphere of the Holidays is reaching the Capital, but for now it is just a hint. When we are coming back, after going to China, we will find an all dressed and ready for Christmas Paris.
For the first time we took the Airbus 380, the biggest passengers air in the world. Two of the 525 seats were ours in the air, a kind of flying cruise ship that took us to Los Angeles, where we took another air to Phoenix.
The National takes place at Sheraton Downtown and at Hyatt Regency Hotels.
The main competition, the Reisinger, will be preceded by some regional and national tournaments. We will participate some of them with our friend Kiki.
The Reisinger is an open teams tournament, BAM format.
Last year, in San Francisco, we won the trophy. Monaco will try to get it again with the usual team: Pierre Zimmermann, Franck Multon, Geir Helegmo, Tor Helness, Claudio Nunes, Fulvio Fantoni.
This evening we are celebrating the Thanksgiving Day just like real Americans do. According to the local traditions after the dinner, at 1 a.m. in the morning, we are participating at the Black Friday shopping.... Please save me! :)
This format basically is a Mitchell exasperation.
For every board the Open and Closed Room results are compared and every board weighs 1 point which is assigned to the team that gets more points, independently of the points difference.
6+1 and 6 assign 1 point to the team that made the overtrick, and 6+1 and 6-1 assign an only point to the team that did not go down.
Concentration, courage and an excellent bidding technique are the key elements of the tournament.
The most used bid is maybe the Double. In Europe this format is not very used, but we can find it in French Pattons as an hybrid Board-a-Match/IMP. In American tournaments this is used for whole competitions.
then, at the end, the match between Lavazza and K1 finished in favor of the Italian team.
We passed the last match for the assignment of the 5th and 6th place, so we were 5th.
I will tell you about a very interesting board.
Another three suits Squeeze by Claudio
Lately when I am dummy it happens that I assist at a three suits squeeze by Claudio. Could it be that he is becoming a specialist? :)
I already told you about the previous one in Bali ("Claudio's three suits squeeze"). Here is another one from the Champions' Cup:
4 = Splinter with Hearts void, 2-3 controls
4NT = even number of Key Cards (in this case the Key Cards are A and K, because the A does not count, as I declared not to have any Hearts)
5 = a Spade more than what was announced, extra values. If partner has for example AKxxx the fifth Spade is pratically worth just like the Q!
North leads the 10.
Claudio takes with dummy's Ace and counts his tricks.
If Spades are 2-1 he can make: 2 tricks in Spades (by eliminating trumps), 3 ruffs from the hand, 3 ruffs from the dummy, A, K, A: 11 tricks.
The twelfth trick can come from Clubs: if an opponent has Kx, dummy's J becomes good. If an opponent has Kxx, by ruffing two Clubs other two Clubs may become good. If an opponent has Kxxx, then an only Clubs trick can become good, but this is enough for Claudio's mission.
He starts by ruffing Clubs and immediately discovers that J is good and that Clubs are 5-2, so he can't rely on more Clubs tricks.
Now with Spades 2-1 he could claim, but...
He continues and cashes the A and the K in order to discard two Diamonds, he ruffs a Heart and tries to cash trumps by playing a small one to the Ace. North discards a Diamond.
Times get tough again. Now Claudio is forced to cash the three Spades and his tricks are still only 11:
3 tricks in Spades, 4 ruffs, 2 tricks in Clubs and 2 tricks in Hearts.
The twelfth trick can come from Hearts breaking 4-4 or from the good position of A. Or...
Trumps are 3-0. Claudio now cashes the K, North discarding the 9.
Now Claudio plays the 10, voilà this is that "or" moment:
- if North discards Hearts, Claudio can play a low Spade, then play Hearts from the hand (thus setting the other card in the suit), cash the J, ruff a Club, cash the good Hearts: 12 tricks;
- if North discards the A, Claudio's K becomes the twelfth trick;
- if North discards Clubs, Claudio can take is 10 with dummy's J, cash the J, ruff a Club, ruff a Heart and cash the last good Club.
What if North doesn't have the A? On the 10 he will discard a small Diamond. Now Claudio can ruff a Heart and hope for Hearts breaking 4-4 or for 5 Hearts in North's hand (because in that case North shows 5 Clubs, 5 Hearts and 3 Diamonds - he discarded them -, so the Ace would surely be well placed and 12 tricks would be on the table).
Well done Claudio, let's hope that next time your squeezes will take us to the podium... :)