Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Aint It Great

It is so good to be back home again (thanks John Denver).  Every time I go away I just love coming home.  My house is the best.  Kind of a Wizard of Oz thing I guess.  (Too bad I had to take an eleven hour overnight plane flight instead of clinking my slippers).

Judy Kay Wolff chided me a bit for saying that Sao Paulo wasn’t that bad.  Okay I admit it.  It was pretty bad. The immediate vicinity of the hotel was far away from anything nice.  Also there probably is quite a bit of crime in Sao Paulo, although the tour guide told us not to worry, they would rob us but not kill us.  But I am a kind of glass half full sort although perhaps you don’t believe that when you hear my various rants.

Can you believe I would have been tied for the victory in the Bermuda Bowl Contest if only Italy had won instead of USA 2?  If you check out the results you will see that Todd Holes was the winner.  Sigh.  Well at least I didn’t lose by 3 imps (I mean points).   I noticed that Glen Ashton in his most recent blog Book Matters has picked the Jeff Meckstroth book, Win a Bermuda Bowl With Me as his prize for the Senior’s Competition.  How very appropriate.

Why didn’t I pick USA 2 for the Bermuda Bowl?  I thought that with the team disruption causing a last minute change in team personnel when Dick Freeman died and was quickly replaced by Ralph Katz that USA 2 would be at a disadvantage.  And to be honest I wasn’t completely sure if the Zia-Hamman partnership had totally matured.  I know that Meckwell would be great but would that be enough to beat the Italians.  The members of the Italian team were Maria Teresa Lavazza as NPC and players:



Giorgio DUBOIN
Lorenzo LAURIA
Claudio NUNES
There team includes a new partnership of Fantoni-Sementa

According to Games Forum

news from Italy – Fantoni-Nunes out of the Italian team

The online magazine of the Italian bridge federation published an interview with Maria Teresa Lavazza, manager of the Italian team. She is responsible for choosing the players that represent Italy in major international competitions.  I thought I would relay the main bits here for the non Italian-speaking. Two main items:
1. Fantoni-Nunes will not be part of the Italian team at the European Championship in Pau in June 2008; the pairs will be Lauria-Versace,Bocchi-Duboin and Sementa-Angelini;
2. Bocchi-Duboin are terminating their partnership after Pau.

So perhaps the Italian team had some inexperienced partnerships to overcome too.

But somehow I don’t really think that partnership changes were the major issue, there was something else at play.  It is discussed in the various interesting Blog, The Winner Take It All by Sartaj Hans, that in the end it is not only about skill, it is about delivery.  As he defines delivery it is

Delivery : Being able to demonstrate the concept at the table. Mental toughness. Honesty. Integrity.

Delivery is a practical entity.  Lauria mis-saw his partner’s bid, Sementa revoked as declarer, Versace made a zero percent play, Nunes failed to count his tricks, Duboin played a winner on a loser….

Thank you Imp Chimp for those very insightful comments.

In the end the Italians just didn’t ====> DELIVER.  I might put it this way they weren’t focused enough.  It is a matter of mental toughness.

Meckstroth and Rodwell characterize champions they have the mental toughness to win as well as fabulous technique and a well honed bidding system.  Bob Hamman is one of the truly great bridge players ever, a consistent winner over many decades and with many partners.  Everyone on the USA 2 seem to bring their best performance to the table almost all the time but especially Meckwell.

We all need to learn from this.  When I think about events I have lost mental toughness has been my problem.  If I have lost several events by 3 imps or so there is a lesson there for me.

Congratulations to the very worthy winners.  Congratulations to Eric Kokish who coached two of the teams on the podium at the world championships. 

Leave a comment

Your comment