When Precision and Delicacy are Required by Ana Roth

Agustin Madala en Bali 2013

Tuesday, December 10 2013

BAM, (Board A Match):  BAM is one of the Bridge formats, which thrives on the expert hand of bridge players. Playing the Reisinger BAM requires a high concentration, precise bidding techniques and a lot of courage to use them at the right time. All this only comes with hard work, with continued competition at the highest world level and a degree of genius and imagination.

Fulvio Fantoni, a Monaco’s team member, winner of the Reisinger BAM 2013, defined the BAM with these words:

This format basically is a Mitchell exasperation.

For every board the Open and Closed Room results are compared and every board weighs 1 point which is assigned to the team that gets more points, independently of the points difference. 6+1 and 6 assign 1 point to the team that made the overtrick, and 6+1 and 6-1 assign an only point to the team that did not go down. Concentration, courage and an excellent bidding technique are the key elements of the tournament. The most used bid is maybe the Double. In Europe this format is not very used, but we can find it in French Pattons as an hybrid Board-a-Match/IMP. In American tournaments this is used for whole competitions.

Working Madala

The Gromov team (Krzysztof Buras, Grzegorz Narkiewicz, Andrew Gromov, Aleksander Dubinin, Norberto Bocchi, Agustin Madala.) was this year the Reisinger runner up. Agustin Madala at the end of the competition wrote on his Facebook page:

We won the final!, but lost the trophy because of the carryover …

To compensate, not winning this year’s Reisinger, Agustin Madala, called » The Messi of Bridge», won the Goren Trophy. This is how the Phoenix daily Bulletin wrote the news: The Goren Trophy – goes to the player who wins the most masterpoints of any pigment. This year it belongs to Agustin Madala, whose 402.22 points (all platinum) led the field.

These are two boards from the Second session of the Final of the 2013 Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams, its protagonist was the newly World Bridge Champion: Agustin Madala.

Board 8:

Dubinin & Gromov

Ricco van Prooijen opened with 1= 16+ unbal, 17+ bal; Gromov interfered = bothered? with 1 and Verhess doubled showing a 5 to 7 points hand.

 Dubinin pass, and West showed his heart suit, after his partner’s spade bid, van Prooijen continued with 2 showing a two-coloured hand 5/4 o 4/5 in hearts and diamonds.

Finally they decided to land in the 3NT contract.

Gromov lead his 8 (second with no honor). Declarer played the 4 from dummy, Dubinin played the 2 and West won with the K to continue with the J, South covered with his K.

 South opened the diamond suit with the 9 (second with no honor), declarer played the J and Gromov won with his Q, to exit his hand with the 9. Declarer covered with the 10, and Dubinin played his J (West pitched the 2), to return another diamond: the 10.

Declarer decided to play a little diamond, and Gromov won the third diamond round with the A. The 5 return was covered by the 6, forcing the A…this was the sixth and last defense trick for two down.

At the other table in West was Agustin Madala, although he managed his hand in a different way the italian partnership ended playing the same 3NT contract.

Bocchi-Madala in Bali 2013

Agustin opened his hand with a 2NT call (in Bocchi-Madala system 2NT is a 20-22 points balanced hand) and soon he was declarer of a 3NT contract.

Drijver also lead the 8, declarer played dummy’s 4, Brink played a little club, the 2, and Madala won the trick with his K, to exit his hand with the J, Brink played his K.

South returned the 9, declarer played the J, North won the trick with his Q and exit with the 5.

Here came the play that gave Gromov’s team the board..

If Agustin plays the 10, Brink covers with the J and if he plays the Q Brink covers with the A, in both cases a diamond return to his partner’s A and a club return ends in two down…

But with Precision and Delicacy Agustin called for dummy’s 6…forcing the J. The 8 lead (second with no honor) and North’s club play, were the signs that he needed to read the club position to give himself a chance for only one down.

South played another diamond, the 2, again Agustin played the good one (when Brink switched to a diamond he played the 9), so Agustin played the 8 forcing the A…one down and a whole point for his team.

 Board 26

 After Zia’s 2 opening bid and the 2 response by Martel, Zia jumped to 3, Martel passed, it was a non 100% forcing bid for them.

 Lead: K

Zia played a little diamond over the lead and won the Q, second diamond round, with his A, he continued with three spade rounds: A, K y Q…but he couldnt avoid losing, two diamonds, one heart and two clubs, for one down.

 At the other table in Zia’s position was Agustin who handled the hand in a very different way.

Madala sitting in West after hearing his partner and South pass, opened his hand with a 1 bid, after two pass, and when the bidding was dying, Willenken reopened with 1NT.

Madala passed looking for blood and Rosenberg showed his hearts with a 2 transfer bid. Agustin said 2 over Willenken’s 2, North doubled but Willenken quickly changed to 3, now the ball = double was on the other side of the court.

Lead: A

Madala begun with A, K and continued with the Q, declarer missing 10 and J was forced to play dummy’s K, Bocchi pitched his 3.

Willenken played a heart to the A, watching Madala’s J and continued with a diamond. Agustin won with the A (he could not hold up, if declarer could reach dummy he was going to be able to finesse his partner’s hearts winning the contract) and played another spade…

Declarer ruffed with dummy’s 9, Bocchi pitched another diamond. Willenken continued with the 5, Bocchi covered with his 7 not only forcing the Q but also promoting his 10…for one down…Willenken commented: «Very nice»!!!

We call Agustin Madala to ask him what could he add to this last hand and this is what he told us:

With the bidding I learned that my partner was broke, I knew that our last and only chance to defeat the contract was that Bocchi had 10 7 x… and I played looking for that trump position…