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Doctors Strangelove or: How I Learned to Start Cheating and Love the Win

Donna Compton, Mike Passell, and Eddie Wold have documented a number of hands to show the sorts of things that Messrs. Wladow and Elinescu did. (What I'd like to see now is some detailed analysis of hands from the 2013 Cavendish, which was where they they finally appear to have been nailed).

So I've gone for as-yet undiscussed hands from the quarterfinals through finals at Bali 2013.

Some may say that when we 'look' for such things with prior knowledge of illicit signalling, we may be prejudiced in that we 'see' things that aren't necessarily indicative of cheating. Furthermore, I accept that perhaps my comments on some actions would not be universally agreed upon.

Let the readers decide for themselves.

 

SF3, Germany v France

Levy
K10832
K
Q4
KJ852
Elinescu
AJ
QJ853
A872
43
Leenhardt
Q9
97642
K63
1096
Wladow
7654
A10
J1095
AQ7
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
2
P
P
2
P
P
3
P
P
P
D
1
3 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: Pass of 2 by South

Comment: Passing 2 with 11 points is bizarre. I'm not sure if they were playing Precision when not vulnerable, but even so, passing is so easy if partner is known to be minimum.

 

SF 3, Germany v France

Levy
542
AK10863
J965
Elinescu
A973
Q5
KQ1087
104
Leenhardt
QJ
J974
J643
AK2
Wladow
K1086
2
A952
Q873
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
2
2
X
4
4
P
P
P
D
2
4 North
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: 2 by North

Comment: Overcalling 2 vulnerable vs not in a suit opened on your left in an unlimited auction? This could be 1100+ territory, but so easy to bid if partner is A) known to be short in hearts, and B) has overall outside length, with some fair  values.

 

SF 5, Germany v France

Lasserre
A4
1042
A652
AQ64
Elinescu
KJ73
K95
KQ
K985
Poizat
Q10652
QJ7
9
J1032
Wladow
98
A863
J108743
7
W
N
E
S
P
1
X
1
P
1NT
P
P
2
P
P
P
D
7
2 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: 2 by South

Comment: Trying to play in a weak 6 card suit which was opened on your left, when partner is known to be short? But a nice, easy bid if he is known to have at least 2 (admittedly, south has an escape hatch if doubled, but it's still suspicious).

 

 

SF 5, Germany v France

Lasserre
A9732
A10
KQ102
96
Elinescu
QJ105
63
A8
QJ1073
Poizat
K64
J84
J965
AK8
Wladow
8
KQ9752
743
542
W
N
E
S
1
P
1
P
1NT
2
X
P
2
P
3NT
P
P
P
D
10
3NT East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: 2 by South

Comment: Entering an auction where LHO is unlimited, on a 5-count with a 6-card suit, and vul to boot? Easy to do if partner is known not to be short anywhere, and has some modest values. From what I've seen now, it seems clear to me that besides the 'singleton' and 'lead directing' coughs, this pair had a method, most likely with the tray-movement, of showing weak hands (up to about 7 pts), in-between hands (about 8-11 pts) and stronger hands (opening values up). Perhaps they were able to further differentiate say normal openings and even stronger hands.

 

 

SF 6, Germany v France

Lasserre
Q3
KQ86432
Q763
Elinescu
A854
8765
7
J954
Poizat
KJ1097
AJ92
J10
108
Wladow
Q632
K104
A95
AK2
W
N
E
S
3
P
P
P
D
24
3 West
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: Pass by South

Comment: Another example of incredible and weird judgement. The BBO commentator from the other room said it all "South's decision to pass was well.....winning"  An easy action though, when facing a very weak hand.

 

 

F3, Germany v USA2

Passell
QJ962
J85
QJ1054
Elinescu
K87
Q
KQ10653
973
Wold
A105
AK1043
J874
A
Wladow
43
9762
A92
K862
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
P
2
P
4
P
4
P
P
P
D
4
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: 1 by North

Comment: What sort of 1-level opening bid is this, at any vulnerability? Maybe he couldn't open 2 systemically. Though not without risk, possibly a nice bid to make if partner is known not to be short in diamonds.

 

 

F3, Germany v USA2

Passell
Q1083
AK963
J9
Q5
Elinescu
AKJ76
84
A53
A82
Wold
92
J752
K872
763
Wladow
54
Q10
Q1064
KJ1094
W
N
E
S
P
1
1
2
3
P
P
P
D
7
3 South
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: 3 by South

Comment: Over 2, Double looks to be a stand-out. Who would bid 3 on a hand like this? Maybe this is simply a badly judged bid.

 

 

F5, Germany v USA2

Bates
A1073
K9732
10
1052
Elinescu
K6
10
AQ962
KQ864
Hayden
Q4
AQ864
J43
A73
Wladow
J9852
J5
K875
J9
W
N
E
S
1
1
1
4
P
P
P
D
5
4 East
NS: 0 EW: 0

Action taken: J opening lead

Comment: The only lead to beat the contract. BBO commentator  'club lead best, aint so easy to find.' You bet! Leading from an unbid J9 when pard has opened 1? North couldn't be sure which minor would be better, so it turned out to be a fortuitous cough.

 

 

F5, Germany v USA2

Bates
7
K854
843
AQ872
Elinescu
AJ9832
6
K10962
10
Hayden
K5
A10
AQJ75
J543
Wladow
Q1064
QJ9732
K96
W
N
E
S
 
1N
2
3
P
3N
P
P
X
P
P
4
P
P
4
X
P
P
P
D
10
4X South
NS: 0 EW: 0

2 = 1 major       3 = Puppet Stayman     3NT = no major

Action taken: 4 by South

Comment: What a magnificent 'hit' by South on a 4 card suit. BBO commentator 'never considered 4, shows what I know.'

This one is my favorite - a real insult to your opponents, your teammates, all the vugraph and BBO spectators and commentators, the WBF, and all bridge players everywhere.

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