NABC 2014 - Las Vegas


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 :)



The week-end in Opatija

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Sunday, 29 June 2014 22:10. Posted in European Championships - Opatija 2014


Hi all :)
in two days many things happened here in Opatija.
Let's see the news, that concern the competition but also the future of European Bridge.

Let's start by congratulating the new European Champions!! It is the English Senior National team of Paul HackettGunnar HallbergJohn HollandDavid MossopDavid PriceColin Simpson and Simon Cocheme (npc). On Saturday they conquered the first gold medal of the Championship. I am happy that the English team, which is also the team of the dear Paul, who my captain in the Buffett Cup, had this great success. Well done! Congratulations also to the winners of the silver and bronze medals: Sweden, represented by Sven-Ake Bjerregard, Andreas Konyves, Anders Morath, Borje Rudenstahl, Goran Sellden, Bjorn Wenneberg, Tommy Gullberg (npc), Carina Westlin (coach) and Poland, represented by Julian Klukowski, Apolinary Kowalski, Krzysztof Lasocki, Victor Markowicz, Jacek Romanski, Jerzy Russyan, Wlodzimierz Wala (cng) and Marian Wierszycki (coach). Here is a photo of the English Senior National team taken from EBL website:

European Championships 2014 - Senior serie - Winners England

Now let's talk about another kind of competition ;) On Sunday morning there were the elections for the EBL executive. Congratulations to Yves Aubry, who was confirmeded as President. During the same Assembly the twelve Council members have been elected too: Sevinç Atay, Jurica Caric, Marc De Pauw, David Harris, Josef Harsanyi, Jan Kamras, Radoslaw Kielbasinski, Eric Laurant, Eitan Levy, Jafet Olafsson, Filippo Palma and Paul Porteous. Congratulations and good luck with your work :)

About the Championships, after the qualification stage, the first nine teams from every group joined the Final stage. Now every team is playing versus the teams it didn't face before. The first matches were played and this is the ranking at the moment:

2014 06 30 rank

The goals for every team, in difficulty ascending order, now are:
- being among the first six teams, because they qualify for the World Championships;
- being among the first three teams and winning a medal;
- winning the competition !!

There are still 5 rounds to be played. About us, we know that now the most important thing is giving our best, we have to face strong teams and two days of competition.

In the Women serie, England is leading, followed by Netherlands and Italy:

2014 06 30 rank2

Now let's finish with some bridge :) During the match versus Ireland, Claudio did a nice play in defense. Here is the board:


West, Hugh McGann, was playing 30cuori. I lead the 0fiori6, the highest of my three small cards (from an odd number of small cards we lead the highest). Declarer played dummy's 10 and Claudio rapidly ducked. West played the 0cuori10, which went to my 0cuoriK. I played the 0fiori2 and declarer tried to play the 0fioriJ, as he was hoping to find the King in my hand in order to make 30cuori or at least to limit the damage. But this time Claudio put the King and played a small Diamonds. I took with the Ace and played the last trump in order to remove dummy's entries. So, the final result was down three.

See you soon for some updates :)





Fast updates

Written by Fulvio Fantoni on Friday, 27 June 2014 13:47. Posted in European Championships - Opatija 2014

Hi all :)
our first round versus Norway was not very good, we could only get 8.24 VPs while we were hoping for something more. Some bad luck, some mistakes, some good board... Maybe later I will tell you about one or two interesting hands from this match.

Before going back at the table to face Estonia, let's look at the situation in the two groups:

Now we are third in the ranking, 10 points apart from the first team, Sweden, and three points apart from our previous opponent, Norway.
England is leading group B, 3 points apart from Israel, and Denmark is third, but there are very few points between the two teams.

Anyway in both groups the true fight is between the 9th and 10th place, because at that level there is the cut: the first nine teams are reaching the Final.

2014 06 26 open1

About the Women serie, I am very happy for the recovery of Italian girls, who just got a very good result verus Turkey. Netherlands team is in great shape and is ahead for 11 points, but the championships is still very long (in the women serie they are playing an only round robin without qualifications), so as I said some days ago for Italy now it really is only a matter of being able to manage tension and concentration, because they already proved their talent.

2014 06 26 womsen1

See you soon



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