Co-ordinator: Jean Paul Meyer • Editor: Brent Manley • Assistant Editors: Mark Horton & Brian Senior
Layout Editor: George Georgopoulos • Web Editor: Zafiris Kanaris • Photographer: Ron Tacchi


No. : 4 • Thursday, 6 November 2003



Anna Maria Torlontano is all smiles as she accepts the Gold Medal of the World Bridge Federation, presented to her by WBF President Jose Damiani at his dinner Tuesday night. Long the mistress of ceremonies at WBF events, Torlontano was honored for her long and distinguished service to the WBF. In Monte Carlo she is on the Hospitality Committee.
Table of Contents
Cruise Control: Italy Makes It Look Easy 1
Italian Power 2
Japan V Australia - Senior Bowl Round 5 3
Reversal of Fortune 4
Hand Stories 5

Halfway through the qualifying round-robin phase of the Bermuda Bowl, the powerful team from Italy seems to be on a mission to erase the disappointment of losing in the semifinal round of the contest two years ago in Paris.

Like a well-oiled machine, Italy is dismantling one opponent after another on their march to the top qualifying spot.
The picture is not as clear in the other two events as Chinese Taipei clings to a lead of 1Victory Point in the Venice Cup after eight qualifying rounds. Right behind them are USA I and China.

In the Senior Bowl, where the end of the round-robin will be the end of the event, France had the lead with 125 VPs, followed by Australia at 114.5 and USA I at 114. Several teams were within shouting distance of the title with 9 rounds to play.

The Italian team features four regulars – Norberto Bocchi, Giorgio Duboin, Lorenzo Lauria and Alfredo Versace – plus the World Open Pairs champions from Montreal last year – Claudio Nunes and Fulvio Fantoni.

The team started slowly, actually losing in the second round to Poland and barely getting by Egypt in round three, but they have been rolling since then, averaging nearly 50 IMPs per match.

After 11 rounds, Italy stood at the top of the qualifying standings with 222 VPs. USA II at 212.5 and USA I at 205.5 were right behind Italy.

While Italy’s success so far is not surprising, there have been some unexpected developments, including the lackluster showing by Sweden, a favorite to qualify for the knockout phase of the event. After 11 rounds, the Swedes were mired in 16th place after losing three in a row to end the day Wednesday. At this stage of the competition, however, virtually no team can be counted out.

The local team from Monaco enjoyed some early success in the round-robin but then fell on hard times dropping back in the standings. On Wednesday, however, the Monagasgue squad started a comeback with a convincing 36-6 win over the talented team from Norway, runnersup in the 2001 Bermuda Bowl.

In the Venice Cup, many observers are waiting for the defending champions from Germany to make their move. After eight rounds, the German ladies were tied with Canada for the final qualifying spot, having lost six of eight matches with nine to go.

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