NABC 2014 - Las Vegas


Toward North or toward South?

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Friday, 25 July 2014 21:16. Posted in NABC - Las Vegas 2014

Hi all :)
Spingold keeps going and today is the quarter final day. These are the scheduled matches:

Team Grue - Lavazza
Silverstein - Monaco
Hamman - Team Assael
Meltzer - Schwartz

Before joining the table, I will tell you about an interesting board from the last segment in the evening, yesterday:

FF 2014 07 25 m1

In both the rooms, West is declarer in 40picche.
Claudio and I are playing in defense. On my 0fioriK lead, Claudio plays the 0fiori4, showing attitude in the suit. I play the 0fioriA, which unequivocally means that Ace and King are stiff, and Claudio puts the 0fiori9 to show values in the highest suit between the two remaining ones (Hearts and Diamonds; besides, during the auction we bidded Hearts and found Hearts fit). Claudio sees the possibility to take with his 0cuoriK if I have the Ace.
I play the 0cuoriJ in order to let my partner know that I don't have the 0cuoriA (in that case I would play a low one in order to invite him to take with his 0cuoriK). So now Claudio knows that if declarer doesn't put the 0cuoriQ he has to play a low card.
And so it is, West calls a small one from dummy, Claudio puts a low one and declarer takes with the 0cuoriA. The 0picche9 goes to dummy's Ace, then West plays Hearts from dummy, ruffs, cashes the 0piccheK and comes back to dummy by playing a small Spades to the 0picche7.
He ruffs another Hearts and plays Clubs, so endplaying South.

FF 2014 07 25 m3

When Claudio plays a Diamond back, West decides to go for 0quadriQ and 0quadriJ in two differend hands and finishes down one.

In the other room the situation is completely different.

The start is the same (0fioriK, 0fioriA and 0cuoriJ taken by West's Ace), then Geir, the declarer, plays the 0piccheK, taken by dummy's Ace. Now he plays the 0cuoriQ, so forcing South's 0cuoriK. He ruffs, cashes the 0piccheQ, plays Spades to the 7 and... 0cuori7, throwing his Clubs' loser and endplaying North instead of South.

FF 2014 07 25 m4

Even if I don't know how the bidding went at their table, I suppose that after West's opening North has shown the Hearts suit, so revealing to hold some honors. Thus declarer can be pretty sure that North has at least a Diamonds' honor, so endplaying North seems a more effective strategy. Geir thus finds the only way to make the hand if North has both Diamonds' honors.
When North plays the 0quadriQ unfortunately Geir decides to go for breaking honors and takes with the Ace... So despite the completely different strategy and the fact that Geir had put himself in the best position, the result is the same, but this is not important (even because luckily the points were enough to pass the round!) ;)

See you soon for some updates




Updates from Las Vegas

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Thursday, 24 July 2014 21:46. Posted in Non categorizzato

Hi all :)
Despite a low performance yesterday, thanks to our great team-mates we could pass Spingold's Wednesday.
Now, with only 16 teams still in play, we are joining the core of the competition.

Today these matches are going to be played:

Pan China Red (Ze Jun Zhuang, Hoajun Shi, Chuan Cheng Ju, Zheng Jun Shi, seed n. 32)
Grue-Moss (Brad Moss, Leslie Amoils, Fred Gitelman, Tom Hanlon, Justin Lall, seed n. 16)

Zagorin (Daniel Zagorin, Kevin Bathurst, Sjoert Brink, Bas Drijver, seed n. 9)
Lavazza (Gorgio Duboin, Norberto Bocchi, Agustin Madala, Alejandro Bianchedi, Zia Mahmood, seed n. 8)

Allegaert (Winthrop Allegaert, Jack Zhao, Jill Levin, Jenny Wolpert, Judith Bianco, James Krekorian, seed n. 33)
Silverstein (Aaron Silverstein, Andrew Rosenthal, Bjorn Fallenius, Johan Upmark, Fredrik Nystrom, Peter Fredin, seed n. 12)

Gu (Rong Jie Gu, Hing Yan Chen, Peijie Zang, Yi Zhuo Zhang, Zhen Peng Li, seed n. 52)
Monaco (Pierre Zimmermann, Franck Multon, Claudio Nunes, Geir Helgemo, Tor Helness, Fulvio Fantoni, seed n. 4)

Nickell (Nick Nickell, Ralph Katz, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Robert Levin, Steve Weinstein, seed n. 2)
Hamman (Bob Hamman, Peter Weichsel, Ross Grabel, Howard Weinstein, Brian Glubok, Roger Lee, seed n. 18)

Assael (Antonio Sementa, Alexander Smirnov, Josef Piekarek, Mustafa Cem Tokay, seed n. 10)
McAllister (John McAllister, Startaj Hans, Peter Gill, Sam Lev, seed n. 35)

Coren (Richard Coren, Fred Stewart, Nikolay Demirev, Eldad Ginossar, Kit Woolsey, Jan Jansma, seed n. 27)
Meltzer (Rose Meltzer, John Mohan, Steve Robinson, Peter Boyd, Ron Smith, Steve Garner, seed n. 22)

Schwartz (Richard Schwartz, Allan Graves, Lotan Fisher, Ron Schwartz, Boye Brogeland, Espen Lindqvist, seed n. 19)
Harris (Martin Harris, Adam Wildavsky, Doug Doub, Jacob Morgan, seed n. 30)

We, Monaco team, are thus going to face the Chinese team Gu, about which I have little to say because I don't know any of the players. Nickell versus Hamman is surely going to be a very interesting match.
See you soon for some updates :)


Las Vegas

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 21:00. Posted in European Open Championships - Ostende 2013

Ciao a tutti :)
Dopo i Campionati Europei e la vacanza di Bridge che abbiamo organizzato a Taormina, ci siamo rimessi in viaggio verso Las Vegas, per i National Americani.
Da ieri fino a domenica giocheremo la Spingold, il torneo più importante della manifestazione.
E' una gara a squadre, con formula a KO. Ogni giorno si gioca un round, che consiste in quattro sessioni da 16 board ciascuna.
In passato, questa competizione ci è stata favorevole due volte, nel 2011 e nel 2012, quando abbiamo vinto nella nostra ormai consueta formazione, la squadra Zimmermann. Nel 2013 la vittoria è andata invece al team Gawel (Wojciech Gawel, Rafal Jagniewski, Jacek Kalita, Michal Nowosadzki). Parte di questa squadra compone ora il team Lall (Hemant Lall, reese Milner, Wojciech Gawel, Rafal Jagniewski, Jacek Kalita, Michal Nowosadzki), che è testa di serie numero 1 nell'edizione di quest'anno.
La testa di serie numero 2 è invece Nickell (Nick Nickell, Ralph Katz, Robert Levin, Jeff Meckstroth, Eric Rodwell, Steve Weinstein), mentre la numero 3 è Fleisher (Martin Fleisher, Roy Welland, Sabine Auken, Chris Willenken, Chip Martel, Michael Rosenberg). Noi, invece, siamo teste di serie numero 4.
Ieri è iniziata la gara. La nostra prima avversaria è stata la squadra Badiani (Tarun Badiani, Patrick Bocken, Marius Agica, Simon Stocken) una formazione competitiva. Superato il turno, oggi affronteremo il team Litvack (Irving Litvack, Ian Findlay, Vince Oddy, Roy Dalton).
A presto per qualche aggiornamento da Las Vegas :)


Back from Opatija

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Friday, 04 July 2014 01:55. Posted in European Championships - Opatija 2014

Monaco 2nd place European Championships 2014

Hi all :)
After many days of Championship, unfortunately we lived a bridge player's worst nightmare: losing the gold medal at the very last match, and for an only board! 
Before the start of the last match we had slipped in second position but between us and the first team, Israel, there was less than 1 VP. The last match between Israel and Norway was not going well for the first team so, during the match, we were leading again. Then, we would have just needed to avoid to make a mistake in a board in order to confirm our first place. Unfortunately, that mistake arrived...
Every supporter knows the feeling of seeing their favourite team losing at the last minute after a long match... We are deeply sorry that this time this happened to our supporters and friends, after many days of - we can say - a well played Championship.

Let's analyze the "famous" board:

Fulvio Fantoni Bridge Board

Fulvio Fantoni Bridge Board

After West's 30fiori, my 30cuori is standard. So, from my point of view:
40picche = Cue Bid, Hearts support
4NT = even number of Key Cards
50fiori = Cue Bid
50quadri = Cue Bid
XX = 0quadriA
50cuori = I have nothing to say
60fiori = I can have Clubs void
60quadri = I don't have the 0fioriA, so if you have the Clubs void we can go on...
60picche = ????!!!! maybe 40picche was natural for Claudio?

From Claudio's point of view, on the contrary, 30cuori was 5+0picche (transfer), so:
40picche = Spades support
4NT = even number of Key Cards (trump is Spades)
50fiori = Cue Bid
50quadri = Cue Bid
XX = 0quadriA
50cuori = Cue Bid
60fiori = first round control
60quadri = 0quadriK
60picche = 0piccheQ is missing

So this is how we reached the wrong slam.

Now you are probably wondering who was right between Claudio and me, that's to say: according to our system, is 30cuori standard or transfer?
Well, it is standard, because we play transfer on 10fiori opening, not on 10quadri opening.

Of course, this board matters just like all the other boards that caused a 14 IMPs loss in ten days, because according to the format of the Championship the points scored in every match are summed up for the calculation of the final ranking. Hadn't we lost 14 IMPs in one of the matches we had played before versus the qualified teams we would have won the gold... 

Unfortunately the girls of Italian National team had a sad ending, too. After a great Championships, always at the top positions of the ranking, before the last match they were leading, but they finished fourth, out of the podium for very very few points. I am deeply sorry for their disappointment, but I'd like to tell them that they proved their talent! Don't let the hundredth VPs of the final ranking cheat you, but let the 10 days of your top level race and the important victory versus England, one of the best women teams in the world, convince you. Congratulations to Margherita Chavarria, Caterina Ferlazzo, Gabriella Manara, Simonetta Paoluzi, Francesca Piscitelli and Ilaria Saccavini. Well done girls!

A strong hug and congratulations also to my friend Debora Campagnano, who represented France and won the bronze medal with her team. Well done!!

Finally, congratulations to all the winners of the Championships, starting from the Ladies:
the winners, Dutch National team of Carla Arnolds, Marion Michielsen, Jet Pasman, Anneke Simons, Wietske Van Zwol, Meike Wortel, Alex Van Reenen (npc) and Hans Kelder (coach);
the second placed team, English National team of Sally Brock, Fiona Brown, Heather Dhondy, Catherine Draper, Nevena Senior, Nicola Smith, Derek Patterson (npc) and David Burn (coach);
the third placed team, French National team of Debora Campagnano, Benedicte Cronier, Elisabeth Hugon, Vanessa Reess, Sylvie Willard, Joanna Zochowska and Jerome Rombaut (npc).

And the winners of the Open:
the winners, Israeli National team of Alon Birman, Lotan Fisher, Ilan Herbst, Ophir Herbst, Dror Padon, Ron Schwartz and Ron Pachtman (npc);
the third placed team, English National team of David Bakhshi, Tony Forrester, David Gold, Jason Hackett, Justin Hackett, Andrew Robson, Simon Cope (npc) and Ben Green (coach).

Then I would like to thank from my heart Goran and Branka Grguric, who collaborated with EBL as organizers of the Championship on site, for their hospitality, their amazing kindness and their great care. We had already known Goran and Branka during the European Champions' Cup, here in Opatija, and meeting them again and enjoying their terrific job was a great pleasure.

See you soon :)



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