50th Montegrotto Bridge Festival 2014

Simon Fellus CsbNews correspondent,  interviews A. Versace
Simon Fellus CsbNews.org correspondent,
interviews A. Versace

50th Montegrotto Bridge Festival 2014 by Simon Fellus

It’s not just bridge players who are getting older. One of the most important events in Europe celebrates its 50th birthday. The Montegrotto Bridge Festival is a classic event for Italian players and for those foreigners who usually participate in large numbers.

Despite the favorable climate, participation however, was below expectations mainly due to two factors: the congestion of the Italian agonistic calendar and the delay of the Festival from the usual date of the first week of March (due to work at the venue: Tergesteo Hotel ) .

Further information below:

– March 18/19 : Tournament 100 in Two (the sum of the age of the pair components must be at least 100 years) – 57 pairs participants, with a decrease of 17 % compared to 2013.

1 . Andrea Manno – Maria Rosa Sterza 61,21 %

2 . Franco Cedolin – Ida Jacona 60.12 %

3 . Aldo Gerli – Enrico La Ferla 57.02 %

– March 19/20 : Mixed Pairs Tournament – 80 pairs participants, with a decrease of 17 % compared to 2013.

1 . Paolo Clair – Carla Arslan 61.98 %

2 . Giovanni Benvissuto – Maria De Goetzen 61.83 %

3 . Pier Andrea Marinoni – Elisa Romano 61.44 %

– March 20/21 : Open Pairs Tournament – 98 pairs participants, with a decrease of 13 % compared to 2013.

1 . Andrea Manno – Massimo Lanzarotti 65,66 % ( in the second round totaled the stratospheric percentage of 80.61% !!!)

2 . Andrea Buratti – Carlo Mariani 63.44 %

3 . Fabio Lo Presti – Marco Monti 59.91 %

– March 21/23 : International Team Event – 58 teams, of which 11 were formed by foreign players, with a decrease of 28 % compared to 2013.

The low level of participation meant that the formula was modified by the organisers: 7 rounds of Swiss and 2 of Danish to decide the five groups at the end of Saturday.

Group A: 12 teams – 8 awards

Group B : 22 teams – 6 awards

Group C : 8 teams – 1 Award

Group D : 8 teams – 1 Award

Group E : 8 teams – 1 Award

In addition, special prizes not cumulative with ranking’s prizes.

Phase of game – Team event
Phase of game – Team event

On Sunday they played 2 rounds of Swiss and 2 of Danish that sanctioned the victory of the team Breno just for 0.6 V.P. Congratulations to the winners : Romain Zaleski , Maurizio Pattacini , Massimo Lanzarotti and Andrea Manno.

Second place for Austria (Fucik, Lindemann, Terraneo and Purkathofer) and the lowest step of the podium for Gorąco (Macior, Szenberg, Milaszewski and Michalek).

Breno Team
Breno Team

 Andea Manno: The talented Sicilian player won three events of the Festival, confirming even more his excellent form, which has led him in recent years to be at the top of Italian bridge and beyond (including second place at the European Championships in Ostend, always in the Team Breno ).

Andrea Manno
Andrea Manno

As always, impeccably directed by the Chief , the delicious «old man» Massimo Ortensi and excellent direction by the Referee Manager Carlo Galardini , assisted by a team of capable and experienced referees.

One board from the Team event:

  J x
A K 9 8
A K J x x
Q 8
K x x x
Q x x x x
9 x x
  A x x
10 x
Q 10 9 x x
K J x
  Q 10 9 x
J x
x x
A 10 x x x
Massimo Ortensi oversees the room:
Massimo Ortensi oversees the room

Both rooms reached 3NT contract.

West led a small heart, 8 from dummy, 10 by East and J by declarer who continued with the diamond finesse.

After winning the trick with the Q, East immersed himself in thought: then, after a careful analysis East played the K, apparently giving an extra trick to South, but as you can see, blocking the suit, disconnecting declarer-dummy and limiting South to 8 tricks.

South could have avoided this by unblocking the Q, after ducking with the A and then finesse the J , hoping for a favorable distribution of clubs 3-3, with K J x in the East’s hand.

One last thought for two players who prematurely disappeared and who I always had the pleasure to meet at the tables of Montegrotto.

Dario Tramonto
Dario Tramonto

Dario Tramonto, “The Wolf” : Whilst I didn’t know him personally, I played against him many times. I always appreciated his fairness towards opponents and kindness to point out to his partners and never raise his voice.

Guido Ferraro
Guido Ferraro

Guido Ferraro, Guido , I knew you well. I had the good luck to play with you at two team events in Montegrotto , when I was still a junior and I won’t forget it . You told me : «You play well but you’re slight at the table, pulls out ……. «. You taught me to » weigh » the cards , devaluing balanced and you taught me the concept that sometimes, even with fit in one major , the contract of 3NT is the easiest to make . Be careful not to piss everyone “overthere” with your comments and your irreverent humour.

Simon Fellus