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Crime and Punishment in the 2014 Italian Open Teams

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky was first published in 1866. In the novel, Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. As Raskólnikov there are players who justify their bridge crimes, many of them receive an immediate punishment …

In 1957, Alvin Roth presented the negative Double in his book Bridge is a Partnership Game. Originally called «Sputnik», this bid was an integral part of the Roth-Stone system. That term «negative» came into use in describing this double to distinguish it from the «positive» or penalty double of an overcall.

Roth begun the Negative Double explanation saying: In theory, at least, a negative double is a limited bid which, if made over a one-level overcall, promises at least 7 high card points (HCP) and usually four card support for an unbid major…some pages after he answered: Playing Negative Doubles how do we make penalty doubles? You pass twice! That is, you pass the overcall, and you pass when partner re-opens with a double. Note the  emphasis on «when». Partner in re-opening seat over a simple overcall, may decide he had a skimpy opener and pass. He must reopen either by rebidding his own suit, bidding a new suit or no trump, or doubling. The only excuse for passing is when holding substantial length in the opponent’s suit.

Saturday, April 26 2014

From April 24 to 27, 2014 in Salsomaggiore Terme, Italy the best Italian teams are playing the Italian Open Teams Championship in all its categories. Click Here to see the players of the excellence category.


Excellence Category: After the first five rounds the Lavazza Associato Allegra is leading the field with 78,4 VP. In the sixth round they played against the Pauncz Circolo del Bridge team, who at that moment was in the sixth position with 49,23 VP. Lavazza won the match 10,31 to 9,69 VP.

Lavazza lost 10 IMPs in Board 22, let us see why.

ItalOTC2014 B 22

 In N/S Bocchi – Madala were defending the Lavazza Associato Allegra colours and in W/E Nanev-Gunev represented Pauncz Circolo del Bridge.ItalOTC2014 B 22 1

Gunev opened his hand with a 1 bid, showing less than 16 points. They ended in a 3NT contract after realizing they didn’t have a spade fit. Declarer made 10 easy tricks after Bocchi’s small diamond for + 630.

 At the other table playing for Lavazza was one of the youngest and promising Italian partnerships: Zanasi Gabriele-Di Franco Massimiliano y a Pauncz they were playing against Mariani Carlo-Buratti Andrea.

Zanasi opened 1 and Mariani interfered with 2.

Di Franco chose to pass, he wanted to penalize, but his partner although he was short in hearts…also chose to pass, a very quick punishment for his crime… Declarer was 4 down…only -200…


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