- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Here, the Italian North-South pair was using the Neapolitan Club, so that any bid other than a club indicated a hand of fewer than 17 high-card points. Distributional points are not counted in measuring for a club bid, so South's opening bid of one spade didn't begin to reveal the power of his hand nor, in my opinion, did his rebid of a mere two spades over East's double. Anyway, on this kind of auction there could be no question of North's making a bid. So both sides played at three spades and, with the heart finesse succeeding, both were able to make five.
Although the tourney finished very much in accordance with the experts' selections—Italy, France, Britain and Sweden, in that order—there were some upsets and several close calls before the final results were in. They added spice to a tournament which, despite its predictability, was never at any time dull.
Sweden was the only team to defeat Italy, but Egypt—the architect of last year's upsets when it walloped France—threw a healthy scare into the world champions when the half-time score showed them leading by 21 IMPs. Italy managed to recover, and the shock so unnerved the Egyptians it impaired their effectiveness for the rest of the tourney.
The French team had huge ups and downs, defeating Britain by a colossal 58 IMPs and then losing to Italy by an even wider margin, 84 to 17. The French match against Belgium, played on the Bridge-O-Rama was a most exciting one. After four-fifths of the deals had been played France led by a mere 2 IMPs, 38 to 36, when along came a hand on which France bid and made a small slam while Belgium stopped at a mere game contract.
What of the future?
I did not have much opportunity to observe the performance of the newcomers to Italy's team, since that wily campaigner, Carl'Alberto Perroux, Italy's nonplaying captain, kept his four seasoned veterans in operation before the Bridge-O-Rama but, on results, I should say that the Italian team is as strong as ever and again it will be the team to beat in the forthcoming World Bridge Olympiad.
Both France and Great Britain will probably change their lineups once more, and the U.S. will have no fewer than four teams in action. But whether any of these can beat the Italians is in the lap of the Olympic gods.