The oldest teams tournament in the national calendar took place the last weekend in July 2018: the 38th Gambarie d'Aspromote Teams.

Gambarie is a lovely village perched at the top of a hill (Aspromonte means "sour mountain), reached by a narrow, winding road (it is a ski station in the winter). From Gambarie you can see Stretto di Messina, the  strait which separates mainland Italy from Sicily: it’s an amazing view, without a doubt one of the most beautiful I’ve seen in the world.

Getting there is a challenge, yet the attendance says a lot about how the event is loved, even in a period of financial crisis it attracted 48 teams from all over the country, including many top players. This year my team won the tournament. We were  a mixture of youth and experience: Caterina Burgio (bronze medalist in the World Girls (under 25) Teams four years ago), Sebastiano "Seby" Scatà (World Youngsters Teams Champion two years ago), my regular partner Enrico Castellani and myself.

We took the lead after two matches, never to relinquish it, thanks to a solid performance by Enrico and I, and moments of brilliance from the two youngsters.

Here is one hand that brought IMPs in.

In both rooms South opened One Club, and both EW pairs ended up in Four Spades. In the Open room I led a diamond. Declarer ducked my partner's queen, along with the two of diamonds continuation. The situation was clear: I won, switched to a club to the ace and Enrico cashed the ace of hearts.

In the Closed room North led a club, won by South's ace. She switched to the king of diamonds, North following with the nine. Here came the first problem: North meant to give reverse count, since, with the ten of diamonds visible in dummy, the position of the jack should have been known, but South took it as discouraging (NS played low encouraging) and continued with a club. Scatà ruffed, reached dummy playing the seven to the jack, taking good note of the fall of the nine, and played a small heart toward his queen, South ducking. Then, he played another spade, and a small heart away from the king!

South agonised for a couple of minutes, but eventually made the wrong decision, jumping up with her ace. North could have spared partner the struggle by throwing  the jack under West's queen of hearts (the ten's position was known: holding it West would have finessed).