One of the hardest things for the coach or captain of a successful team to do is bench a veteran. It is a sure way to incur the wrath of the fans, and there is the ever-present possibility, should the team lose, that this was the decision that cost it a victory. But such concerns have never disturbed Carl'Alberto Perroux, the nonplaying captain of Italy's bridge team. The Italians have won five straight world championships since 1957, and throughout this period Perroux has shuffled and reshuffled his lineup. With another world championship only a month away—it begins June 15 in St. Vincent, Italy—Perroux has now indicated he may sideline one of the most famous Italians of all, Walter Avarelli. Co-founder of the Roman Club bidding system, Avarelli may be replaced by the much less experienced Camillo Pabis Ticci. But that's the bold Perroux.
Still, it is risky to sacrifice experience in world championship play, as can be seen from this hand, one that helped North America gain an early lead in the 1962 matches against Italy.
West trumped the second round of hearts and gave up two club tricks, establishing dummy's suit and going down only 300 points. Bobby Nail was East for North America, and his judgment in sacrificing at six spades proved correct, guided, as it was, by the Italians' choice of the five-heart bid with the North hand. When both sides are bidding at a high level, the expert will often chance a set by going still higher.