Bye Antonio

Antonio was an eclectic person, with many interests, among which he favored bridge, the mountains and good food.

It was always a pleasure to meet him, you knew he would tell funny life stories that, thanks to his great oratory, managed to capture the attention of all bystanders.

If the Bisbino had seduced him as a young man, teaching him the love for the mountains, Bormio and its valleys were the holiday destinations most dear to him and of which he knew every corner and ravine.

You could tell from that light that came on when he spoke of Val Viola, Val Zebrù and the Cancano Lakes.

I remember it a few years ago when, having reached the Forni glacier refuge on foot, he said loudly “I’m back” in a tone of voice that clearly indicated a reconciliation with that enchanted corner of Valtellina.

During lunch, rigorously with polenta and eggs, he said that a few years earlier that climb had hurt him (to the heart) and reaching the refuge again had strengthened that long and old friendship that seemed lost.

His motto was “It’s all flat!” and he often used it to convince people less accustomed to alpine trails to reach challenging destinations. He rewarded the winners by telling historical anecdotes about the place while they tasted typical dishes of the upper Valtellina.

He was certainly a good fork, his stomach allowed him to digest any dish. He said that if he had a heart as strong as his stomach he could live for another 100 years.

Seeing him then choose dishes from the menu was a real pleasure. He opened the menu, read it carefully (even if he preferred the places where the menu was told) and as if he were already savoring the dishes, before communicating his command, he rubbed his hands asking for some confirmation on the preparation of the dishes.

He was also an authority on the choice of wines, he always knew what to combine with what he ordered, always favoring the cellar over the name of the wine.

Perhaps not everyone knows that Antonio was also a fruit specialist. He knew all types of pears, apples, black cherries … and his true passion was cherries. In years of work, he had discovered and mapped all the “free” plants of the upper Milanese area and often stopped to pick the delicious fruit during his return trips.

His humor was enhanced in situations that seemed complicated.

With the group he had chosen to spend a few days in Tuscia. We had the first dinner in the farmhouse where we were staying, which had meat as a specialty.

While not great, most of us ate our portion.

When the hostess asked for an opinion, one of us criticized the dish by correctly indicating its limits.

Antonio took the ball, got up and with the excuse of wanting to know better the type of wines, he started talking to the owner of the farm.

Arrived at a safe distance, he began an intense conversation of which we did not understand the meaning.

After a few minutes, he returned to the table while the again serene lady headed into the kitchen.

To the mischievous question about what he had promised to make the lady happy, Antonio replied: “I simply said that our diner is a very rich duchess accustomed to fine cuts of meat and who sometimes honors us with her presence”.

As long as we stayed in the farmhouse, the owner always asked Antonio for confirmation whether the Duchess liked breakfast or lunch and we, like restless students in the classroom, barely hid the laughter.

On Wednesday afternoon he had a fixed appointment: the Bridge tournament in Mendrisio.

He was particularly fond of that event and the people who frequented that club. He felt honored to be part of that group and grateful for his friendship with President Luciano. He also often won there and used the francs he won to organize and pay for dinners in the Swiss crotti for his playmates.

In bridge he was well known not only for being a winning player, but above all for his cordial manner.

To those who asked for advice on how he should bid or play a hand, he always gave a detailed answer precisely because he knew that in order not to make the bridge disappear it was necessary to share his knowledge.

He threw himself into every event with the ardor of a twenty year old. Always sitting strictly in the North or in the East.

With the group, we took short and long holidays around our beautiful country, which Antonio defined as extraordinary, beautiful, and wounded by an atavistic inability to make it even more receptive to tourism.

The evenings ended with a game of Burraco where he also played with his daughter Bibi and inexorably won those who at that moment had the luck in favor. The teasing of the next day was to tell the miraculous catch that had allowed that illogical game to be a winner (classic in burraco).

Raffaella has been her playmate for the last 11 years and if we have met this wonderful character we must say thanks to her who immediately made him join a heterogeneous group of people united by a passion for the bridge (among other things, before starting the partnership asked me, like a man of yesteryear, if I agreed).

After a few years, I asked Antonio a simple question: he, a great player, how did he manage certain “illogical” plays by Raffaella?

He replied with a maxim that will remain with me forever: “Gabriel, save your breath, you’ll need it.”

Bye Antonio, I know that you will find your old bridge friends at the table and that you will continue to delight them with your true self.

We will miss you.

Ecological Parable: Two Men in a Boat

by S. Invernizzi

Lying and half asleep on the edge of a cabin cruiser, Dr. S. sailed under a light afternoon breeze; suddenly a roar of thunder broke the rhythmic rustle of the wind and water, causing our man to jump as he scanned the sky in search of a low- flying military jet.

An unexpected wave caught him unprepared, the dip in the cool waters sealed the rude awakening ; from the surface of the water he could make out a floating monster swiftly roaring away in a black cloud caused by the exhaust gases.

From the bridge a sardonic grin and a sharp voice that seemed to come from the depths of the underworld: “Eh, eh, eh have you forgotten about the noise pollution ?”

A beautiful discharge of decibels repeated over time is the ideal viaticum for perceptive deafness; but also the constant noises of city traffic (the mopeds are at the top) can cause more subtle disturbances on attention, sleep, character, sometimes dizziness, extrasystole, and arterial hypertension ”.

Going back on the boat, astonished, Dr. S. recognized the perfidious individual companion of previous dialogues.

The devil hung up “Exhaust gas … Nimbus prophesied it ten years ago!” “Who is Nimbus?”. “It is a satellite launched by NASA used to select information on the biosphere , such as the ozone hole and the greenhouse effect.

Global warming, caused by carbon dioxide and other gases that man produces by burning oil , coal, forests, will bring catastrophic effects over thirty years ( desertification, rising oceans, climate change ).

To mend the ozone hole, what are you doing? “. Doctor S. immediately got involved “I changed the brand of the shaving lock !”. “A bit mundane … We need to intervene in the carbon cycle, change the industrial model, it is not enough to put an ecological cap on the most polluting industries; any combustion produces CO2: pressing the accelerator of the small car, going to Ischia on the motorboat or on the ferry, getting on a plane, turning on the television or the light in the house.

Halving the production of these greenhouse gases means a radical modification of the production systems of the ‘ well-being ‘ society; the alternative is the destruction of many ecosystems that would not be able to change quickly enough. Technology and evolution do not have the same pace , they are like the hare and the tortoise! In short, we need to come to our senses immediately, even if the beneficial effects will be felt very late ”.

Diabolically conceptual” retorts Dr. S.
“Do you prefer some numerical data? Here you are. In Italy, there are 26 million (1986 figure) cars in circulation and each year they increase by one million , even taking into account those in scrapping.

This means that our cars lined up form a column of 100,000 kilometers and grouped together cover an area of 160 million square meters or 16,000 hectares, corresponding to a large car park, a veritable technological totem made of sheet metal and plastic.

All this has very high purchase and management costs: 210 thousand billion (the old lire ) for the purchase to which 100 thousand billion a year must be added to guarantee individual mobility. In the face of savings and the fight against pollution ! “.

A sudden sense of heat seized Dr. S. in the throat, who reached out to the bottle of water in an attempt to gulp down a sip.
“I see you drink mineral water …”.

Stop! You already told me about it another time …. What ecologists call, honoring you , a hellish cycle.

Would you rather like a salmon tart or a smoked agone ? “.” Noble proteins for a small group of lucky people who eat more than necessary … If today the over-fed countries, touched by the utopia of human brotherhood, decided to share food equally among all 5 billion inhabitants of the earth (ref 1989 ), do you know what the result would be? “.

“A huge self-service boarding school,” the doctor exclaimed ironically. S.

“No, we would all fall into undernourishment conditions “; at the banquet of life, there is not enough to eat for everyone.

Eating habits should be radically changed, eating more vegetables and fewer animals, because going up the food chain, from grass to meat protein, there is an impressive loss of energy.

According to some ecologists, one thousand tons of grass are used to feed 27 million grasshoppers which in turn are sufficient to satisfy the appetite of 90,000 frogs ;

This array of amphibians allows a 300 salmon to become adults; 300 salmon proteins can feed for one year one man! If a lunch with the frogs the guests at the table would be already a few dozen ; even more, like i Arab cooks , if we prepared grasshopper skewers we could set up a real one cafeteria popular!”.

“And what need is there?” replied Doctor S. who was beginning to feel a burden in his stomach, nobly mistaken for remorse .
“In this hour of dialogue, the world population has increased by eight thousand individuals”.
“Then we will really be ten billion in 2050 !”.

“Exactly!”. “ And what do I have to do with it? The graduate shouted in amazement.
“Didn’t you read some of Bergson’s writings in high school?” “Bergson?” “Yes, Bergson, wrote that the errors of Venus often remedy them, Mars”.

Bridge: New ideas and bad habits

When I finish reading an article, I normally have two distinct impressions:

  • In the first case the article has detailed and well explained subject coming to a clear conclusion.
  • In the second the message is confused, does not reach the target, and becomes a generator of criticisms.

You also know that I love the bridge, which is the sport par excellence of mind and allows you to keep your brain trained through play. It has another big benefit: it is a perfect aggregation tool because it allows people of different ages And social classes to have a common subject conversation.

The last item published on the website of the Italian bridge game federation (FIGB) has left me perplexed.

I have reread the article signed by the president of the FIGB and the conclusions at which I arrived led me to write this article of mine.

I perceived a halo of negativity against the players who have chosen to NOT join the federation for the year 2021.

I quote verbatim: “ The provision would allow the approximately 10,000 bridge players who have not renewed, or in any case will not renew, the card in 2021 and for which the Federation could therefore close their doors.

The first request that I set myself was: what are the reasons for which some players have chosen to NOT pay the card annually?

Assuming that each of us is available to pay for receiving a good / service, what services have the federation made available to its members when the pandemic made it impossible to play tournaments and leagues in presence? What did he do to help us overcome such a difficult time?

Let’s focus on two main thematic areas:

  • Online tournaments

After about 12 months since the beginning of the pandemic, the federation has chosen to use the platform Real Bridge.

Some might tell me 12 months to develop one platform of the online bridge was a record time (and totally agree).

But Real Bridge is an English company and the federation’s activities have been only those of becoming the through between the clubs and the managers of the platform.

In summary, the value was to have named her unique tool to play federal tournaments.

What benefit do they have received the circles?

Surely an economic income derived from the registration paid by the players to participate in the tournaments but, as there is no national regulation, each club was able to decide the price of registration (putting in fact in competition with each other the various associations “stealing” the players).

Which were I parameters that caused a club to have tournaments with the greatest number of participants and therefore success?

The ability to attract players was the result of the ingenuity and availability of each individual local organization. The enormous organizational effort of a few then advised us to join forces by often grouping online clubs.

And what benefit has the Federation had?

For each full table, the club paid to the FIGB 1 € (for club tournament) e 2 € (per national simultaneous ) from January 2021.

Who paid for the platform RealBridge?

Directly the club, by paying a fee for each player participating in the tournament (immediately).

It could be done better? Yes, developing its own service at home bridge online is also useful for the next point.

  • Use of digital platforms to encourage the game of bridge

My attention Not it is just placed on the promotion of our game in order to increase the number of players (which would require a deepening on the development methodologies to be pursued).

I think of the possibility (Unfortunately lost now that the pandemic no longer forces everyone at home) to realize online courses to help players of all levels improve their rank competence in the game.

The factor would be created reciprocity which would have thus reduced the distance between Federation And Players.

I add, think of the huge advantage competitive that could have been createdby exploiting the image of the bridge as an online aggregation point.

Instead of leaving space to impromptu organizers, the federation could have become the enabling factor and the fulcrum for creating a single large cohesive group of friends of the bridge.

It would have been a job demanding? Yes and like every time new professionalism is created, study and verification would have been necessary.

But Lady Luck would have assisted us, as they are already among us figures professional they have started to deal with this again template business before the pandemic. Why not do them become an integral part of the project?

Obviously, all accompanied by marketing actions would have highlighted the solidarity that is able to create our wonderful game.

A further reflection: the average age of the bridge player is over 60. Think about the opportunity formative lost.

If there had been that point of aggregation online we could have helped a player to use the new technologies (I’m talking about tablets, PCs …).

I imagine the marketing campaign where the commercial ends with the ” elderly ” bridge player who as a grandfather calls his granddaughter via FaceTime, google duo, WhatsApp, teams, telegram… using the Tablet with whom you play bridge online. The subtitle appears: Communicate with the bridge

But, there wasn’t any central direction.

My personal thanks to solidarity and availability from some which allowed fewer technological players to enter this “ new world “.


Rereading my article, I hope it becomes clear that the real enemy is immobility, where we passively await the exit from the pandemic (hopefully in a definitive way) to return to a model that unfortunately Not alone is able to return our wonderful game to the glory it deserves.


Let’s go back now to item :

Massimo Cerati proposes a solution for search for to re-enter the world of bridge the players who have chosen to play online only using other platforms not chosen by the FIGB you hate to play in presence tournaments NOT federal.

It is not just damaging to the federation but also for the circles which are the main meeting point of our sport.

What I really did NOT appreciate is that when faced with the proposal of a regional president, who is waiting to be evaluated by a federal council, the president can anticipate his own personal “merit” judgment.

Let me explain myself by reporting the sentence of the article again for greater clarity:

The measure would promote the 2022 membership of those who “speculated” in 2021: understandable speculation, given that it has resulted in savings for those who have implemented it on average equivalent to the cost of about a coffee a week! ”

I translate it as: “ The federation he expected that everyone would re-enrolled

But why expected that players sign up when in nine months of pandemic ( March – December 2020) your federation did not give value/services to your clients? They should have made the card for:

  • Sympathy?
  • Friendship?
  • Divine Manzoniana Providence?

If as the writer you have purchased the card, you did it by buying a product/service based on the confidence that you place in the people you know and who have been very good sellers.

I believe that when a proposal (right or wrong as it is) comes to the table, it is essential to carry out an analysis with spirit entrepreneurial, taking advantage of all the tools that can help us achieve a business plan in order to understand its real effectiveness.

Like? Responding to requests costs / benefits of the type (I have reported only 4 for simplicity)

  • What does it entail?
  • What income can I achieve (short and long term)?
  • What action should be implemented for those who have already trusted?
  • How can I help the clubs?

The answers must be economically valued to understand, numbers in hand, which is the best way to our splendid game.

It is difficult for me to understand a judgment as a “sensation”.

Let me explain: in your opinion, dear readers, at the moment in which the president already makes public your own judgment is not already there influencing the judgment of those who will have to take one decision?

The answer is up to you.

I conclude this long article of mine with an appeal to everyone we bridge players :

We seek to be more proactive, we give away our ideas at Bridge in order to create that value for will allow our hobby to be played in the years to come.

Bridge – Safety Games

Article is taken from “ Encyclopedia of Bridge “By G. Barone.

AS IF. “As if” games are defined as those situations in which the requirements of the contract oblige the declarer to play in a certain way and only in that way because, despite having little chance of responding to the real position of the cards, it is still the only one that can allow the success.

The name derives from the fact that, when the deal is successful, the declarer gives the feeling of having played “ as if knew the cards of the opponents.

For example in the following color distribution:

If South must necessarily take all the tricks because the opponents have already taken those of their competence with respect to the contract, it is evident that South has no choice but to beat. Ace And King hoping that one of the opponents has Woman And Infantryman without other cards.

And so in the following situation:

If South absolutely needs to draw four tricks from the suit, he has only to play the Ace in the hope of capturing the King dry of East then twice overtaking the West Infantryman.

And of a similar type, a multiplicity of examples referring to different combinations could be listed but all characterized by the fact of admitting only one game solution, not because it is the most probable but exclusively because it is the only one that allows obtaining the number of indispensable tricks. to the declarant.

For example in the following situation:

self South play without trump e it has no return to the dead in seeds to the side, it is evident that to develop the color he has no other hope than to find theSingle ace with one of the opponents: in fact if the Ace is second or third the defender who owns it will not take the first round and places South in the impossibility of achieving more than a grip. On the other hand, if the Ace is single, the other opponent has F 10 9 in the suit; hence the need for an “as if” game, ie card from the hand and from the dummy for the single Ace; the King and the Woman of the dead will make Fante and Ten falls, releasing all the seed.

And this situation also deserves to be reported, which seems to allow no solution and is considered hopeless by most of the players. Instead, it is a case in which the game is imposed “ as if ”Not only because it is the only one capable of guaranteeing the desired number of tricks but also because it does not involve any risk of yielding more.

In the following distribution of a color:

The correct game is to leave the map on the side where the Ace is. Self East pass the Ten he covers himself with Fante for the honor of the west and, beating the Ace on the second lap, he drops the other honor by losing a single hold; self East pass his King or his Queen, South on the second round plays the An infantryman from the hand and, overtaking West’s honor, he frees all the other holds.

Another situation that is good to highlight , although easier to solve, is the following:

If a trick can be lost in the suit, the best game is to bat period but if South needs to make all the tricks he must play Queen or Jack and play “ as if ”The subdivision of the color was that indicated in the diagram.

Thanks -Grazie – Merci – Gracias

Thank you (different languages): Appstore per Android

Dopo 14 mesi di attività a supporto del bridge online e con il ritorno alle normali attività di gioco dei circoli, da lunedì 17 maggio il sito non ospiterà con regolarità i servizi di prenotazione e classifica dei tornei online.

Ringrazio tutti coloro che hanno collaborato e reso possibile continuare a praticare il nostro gioco di carte preferito, durante uno dei momenti più tristi e sfidanti della nostra vita.

Arrivederci al tavolo 🙂



After 14 months of activities in support of online bridge and with the return to face-to-face activities of the clubs, from Monday 17th May the site will not regularly host the booking and ranking services of online tournaments.

I thank all those who collaborated and made it possible to continue practicing our favorite card game, during one of the saddest and most challenging moments of our life.

See you at the table 🙂


13-05-21 Simultaneo Giovedì ASDM

Classifica Locale (evidenziate le coppie premiate)

Rank Pairs % RP
Johansson Jan Ove Bacci Luciana 65,00 30
De Martinis Carlo Severo Michelangelo 60,83 27
Bardin Antonio Greppi Raffaella 60,00 22
Federighi Antonio Masini Francesco 56,25 25
Romano’ Giovanna Groppali Susanna 55,00 10
Licini Roberto Pipola Giuseppe 52,08 9
Maggioni Luigia Tersch Federica 51,25 8
Marcelli Cristina Dalli Cardillo Alessandra 47,92 6
Trapasso Chiara Pagano Patrizia 46,25 6
10° Benigno Paolo Carletti Alessandro 45,00 6
11° Salomea Pawlina Bellusci Pasquale 44,17 6
12° Moscatelli Michele Tencati Paola 43,33 6
13° Baruchello Amos De Berardinis Annantonia 39,58 6
14° Giorgi Roberto Barlocco M.Antonia 33,33 6

Classifica Nazionale

Rank Pairs % RP
21° Johansson Jan Ove Bacci Luciana 63,03 30
31° De Martinis Carlo Severo Michelangelo 60,94 27
46° Federighi Antonio Masini Francesco 59,88 25
68° Bardin Antonio Greppi Raffaella 57,47 22
200° Licini Roberto Pipola Giuseppe 50,79 0
204° Trapasso Chiara Pagano Patrizia 50,72 0
222° Romano’ Giovanna Groppali Susanna 49,95 0
244° Maggioni Luigia Tersch Federica 48,90 0
292° Benigno Paolo Carletti Alessandro 46,70 0
320° Marcelli Cristina Dalli Cardillo Alessandra 45,20 0
333° Salomea Pawlina Bellusci Pasquale 44,73 0
386° Moscatelli Michele Tencati Paola 41,27 0
396° Baruchello Amos De Berardinis Annantonia 40,35 0
399° Giorgi Roberto Barlocco M.Antonia 40,08 0