"A Madala-N. Bocchi Del Monte-Bessis en Memphis 2012"

Source:  NABC, Memphis 2012 Bulletin Nº8

It’s not unusual for Ishmael Delmonte to sit down at his computer about midnight for a practice session with his partner, Thomas Bessis. For Bessis, the session starts at 1:30 p.m. You see, Delmonte lives in New South Wales, Australia, Bessis in Paris, France.

They are among several partnerships at the NABC whose home towns are literally almost a world away. For example, the distance between Delmonte’s home town and that of Bessis is 10,532 miles. The two met as members of the Les Amoils team, on which they were playing in the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams at this tournament. Delmonte says the time difference between Australia and France doesn’t matter to him. “I’m a night owl anyway,” he says.

Two others managing a long-distance partnership are Norberto Bocchi, an Italian who lives in Barcelona, Spain, and Agustin Madala, of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The two were members of the Lavazza Team, Italy’s top squad, playing with different partners – Bocchi with Giorgio Duboin and Madala with Antonio Sementa. When Bocchi and Duboin went their separate ways, Bocchi and Madala formed their partnership, about four years ago.

Despite the nearly 6500 miles separating them, practicing and formulating the bidding system, says Bocchi, “is not difficult. It doesn’t matter if you are 2000 kilometers away or 100, it’s the same.” Each is proficient in the other’s language. “My Spanish is good,” says Bocchi, “and Agustin’s Italian is good.” The partnership, he says, runs smoothly. “It’s like playing with Duboin,” Bocchi says.
Team sponsor George Jacobs is pleased with the two members of his team: “They’re unbelievable.”