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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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Dario ATTANASIO
Diego BRENNER
Arrigo FRANCHI
Massimo LANZAROTTI
Miguel VILLAS-BOAS
Romain ZALESKI


Mr Brenner is a cheerful chappie… from:
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/lanzarotti-readmitted-to-acbl/


AW:
Mr Brenner:

- Is it true or false that Lanzarotti lied when he was caught cheating in 2005?

- Is it true or false that Lanzarotti refused to admit his guilt until 2018?

- What is your opinion of Lanzarotti's ethics?



DB:
My reasons are none of your business, Bridge whinners and bullshitters…

And my opinions, but you can guess… C'mon, you're all so good on speculation and starting shit here, should be easy to get this one.

From now on I will leave you all with your empty lives. Bye bye, so long…
3 hours ago
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What will have quite an effect on what and how often I write is how, or if, the WBF responds to charges that it knowingly covered-up cheating and deprived worthy players of titles in order to preserve an appearance of propriety.
15 hours ago
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment 15 hours ago
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Sometimes, people do stupid things.

I speak with great authority on this matter.
June 13
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No need, I recall the poll. The fact is, we are sometimes allowed to “field”, when the cards plainly speak.

In 1981 I played a WA State teams event with Michael Courtney.

They were vul and I had a 4-4-1-4 12-count.

1M 1NT X ?

With no significant pause, I bid 2, natural and terminal, and played there, doubled. One off.

MC implored me never ever to do anything like that again.

MC: You'll get us barred for life!

AW: Rubbish! I was paying out when you had long clubs. They can't have it both ways.
June 13
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It is not hard to evaluate Greg's view absent an answer to the questions.

Greg wrote:

If you are also concluding that partner does not have s, then this indicates that there is partnership experience that partner will bid a nonsuit in this situation.

Greg is spot-on. Partner bid hearts and, magically, one plays him not to have hearts…
June 13
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My pipe-dream is to establish within the WBF and NCBOs a “zero-tolerance” for cheating now, in the past and in the future.

From that follows a policy of, “It doesn't matter when or with whom cheating occurred. It doesn't matter how much money you have. Placings with cheats will be annulled.”

That is nothing like what we see today. The WBF has never demonstrated the slightest interest in policing the game. They live in fear of sponsors and hope their “Keep it quiet” policy holds the fort.

I am hoping Nicolas Hammond is able to publish a book about the current state of affairs… it will be interesting reading.
June 13
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The jails are full of people who said too much at the wrong time.

Now, for Ortiz-Patino and FIB and Burgay to say in print that the tape was verified when that never happened… now we have something that makes little sense.
June 13
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Thank you… corrected.
June 13
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Norman Selway writes:

Avon is a fanatic and works on raw data, he was not there and in that respect is as clueless as most people. He makes his conclusions but there is no black and white. I look forward to his next publication, “Americans (or Australians) Under the Table”. Somehow I doubt that this tome will make an appearance.


The hard part about writing on collusive cheating in Australia or America is the lack of material, while the Blue Team left thousands of hands for the earnest analyst to study.

It is certainly a fact that there were/are pairs in the US that use illicit signals… I have some horrific details in private emails to me.

I am not so sure about Australia… while there have been some loathsome grubs (none more so than Jim Borin), I am not aware of any strong pair that used illicit signals.

Nonetheless, I did once write an article for Australian Bridge entitled, “Cheat Your Way to the Top”, about some “interesting” actions by Australian players.

One section concerned itself with the story of a player in the Australian National Open Teams who, in a wildly-competitive auction with written bidding in use, doubled the opponents in 6, only to have his partner bid 7.

In his anguish, our hero cried out, “Why did you bid? I made a big double!”

The kibitzers were speechless…
June 13
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I have been given the answer to your question; one of the parties you name “came clean” to their associates.

I apologise for the fact that I am unable to be more forthcoming. I am sure we both find that very unsatisfactory.
June 13
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Did you ask him about board 5 of the 1961 Bermuda Bowl final?

QJ1063 A932 A4 96

1 ?

Opponents vul… BG passed.

Forquet had one spade and a four-count.


I hear that Blue Team defenders say it was a “state of the match” decision.
June 13
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment June 13
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The suspect pair played on, be­cause nobody could match the taps to their bridge actions

That, right there, is our point of disagreement.

The details of only one board where foot-tapping occurred board known - board 7.

Bruce Keidan:
Three boards pass without incident. Then comes board 7… Zucchelli on opening lead. Before he leads, Facchini’s left foot shoots forward and presses down once on Zucchelli’s right foot. Seconds later, Zucchelli leads the spade 10.

John Swanson:
Our team watched the vugraph match… What did Zucchelli lead? The 10! The tournament was only seven boards old and there was confirmation of what we already knew had to be. Facchini and Zucchelli were cheating. But how?


Of course, if you are right, that, “nobody could match the taps to their bridge actions”, then there can be no reason not to release the details of the other five boards where Keidan saw foot-tapping.

Instead, the WBF engaged in (another) cover-up. Why? I'll give you a clue…

Logan Daily News, 27 January 1975:
However, the Italian team said it would quit the tournament if the two players were suspended.


And I'm afraid the NYT article does not tell us how GB-BG felt about cheating; it tells us what they wanted to say about it. I prefer to look at what people do at the time, not what they say after the fact.

Mike Becker:
My screen mate was Belladonna. When he made a bid, he placed his bid flush against the diagonal screen, instead of in front of him! There was a crack between the table and the screen bottom. I can't say there was anything going on, but it was unnerving.

After Giorgio made his bids this way for a couple of hands, every time Giorgio placed his bid against the screen, I quickly moved his bidding card to a place in front of him. This went on for several more hands. Giorgio then asked me to stop moving his bidding cards. I told him to call the director, which he did. Maury Braunstein came over and asked what the problem was and Giorgio said, “Mr. Becker is moving my bidding cards.” Maury asked him to show what he was doing, after which Maury replied, “Mr. Belladonna, if you don't place your bidding cards next to the screen, Mr. Becker won't move them back!” One of Maury's many great diplomatic lines. For the rest of the session and the match Giorgio made his bids at the edge of the table. I later learned that, on the other side of the table, Garozzo was crouched in a contorted way so his head was nearly level with the table! This was visible because cameras were used.
June 13
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John Cox:

I’ve always found the Oakie story laughable. ‘I thought these people were cheating with finger signals. As the captain of the US team, I took extensive notes of the same. Subsequently the same pair were caught cheating using the very same method I had suspected, causing an extensive scandal in the bridge world. Obviously I didn’t bother to look out my notes or tell anyone I had them. Then there was an inquiry where I knew the US team were to give evidence. Obviously I still didn’t look out my notes and provide them to the US team. Then some young man came to see me and, what do you know - they were perfect!!’.


I regard this as a grotesque misrepresentation of the facts behind the Oakie Notes. There is not even the pretense of a reasoned refutation of the Notes validity.

The naked desperation of the Reese supporters can also be seen in Richard Fleet's comment to me:

It's a pity that you didn't live 400 years ago. You could have made a good living as Witchfinder General.

In some circles, ad hominem attacks are regarded as a capitulation.
June 12
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Indeed I quoted Kleinman, but I changed the suit symbols to the Bridge Winners type. In doing so, I made a typo.

“East-West never bid beyond 3, and North-South reached 4.”
has been corrected to
“East-West never bid beyond 3, and North-South reached 4.”
June 12
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With zero defensive tricks, I dislike 1.
June 12
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I am heartily opposed to:
- collusive cheating
- the efforts of authorities to cover-up the facts

Does anyone imagine that both have ceased?

As for, “… both of them have been dead for years and can't defend themselves”, Forquet and Garozzo are very much alive and were provided with chapters of my book.

No reply.

Boye Brogeland:
We will never know the full extent to which bridge has been damaged by cheaters, but understanding the past can only help in achieving a vital goal: A clean game, now and in the future.
June 12
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment June 12
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The fact is, we don't get much in the way of rationality from the R-S defenders… this one takes the cake:

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/another-reese-schapiro-hand/?cj=816244
June 12
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Dunno if this is what we are looking for…

http://www.bridgeguys.com/Conventions/carding/cincinnati_leads.html
June 12
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So what is your view?

Fabrication, conspiracy and collusion?
June 12
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We are told that the signal for five hearts was a Roman “V”… after all, Reese was a Classics scholar.
June 12
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