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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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You'll be sorry you wasted your money.

The author received an email from an Italian, saying that the author was a fool who knows nothing about bridge.
43 minutes ago
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Sr Margiotta:
“…but despite what many people substained he (Burgay) stated he never reported Mr Forquet or any other bridge player.”

“Avon, where did you read Bianchi admitted to cheating with Forquet?”


Yes, Burgay did not “report” Forquet. He handed a tape to FIB President Firpo.

Ortiz-Patino:
“I understood the tape well and was in little doubt of its authenticity… In places, my jaw literally dropped. The media would have loved it: smoke signals, pauses, commonplace words with coded meanings… Burgay told me his partner had goner into hiding.”

Alan Truscott:
"Burgay … taped his telephone conversation … with Bianchi … it explained the illegal signals that had used with Forquet and that Belladonna had used with another partner, Renato Mondolfo … they involved the use of cigarettes and head positions. The cigarette could point up or down, left or right, to indicate an honor card or a suit.“

WBF Management Committee:
… The Management Committee deplores the manner in which the investigations of alleged serious improprieties have been handled by FIB and further that the undertakings of the FIB President (to provide a report with findings) given to the Executive in Monte Carlo have not been fulfilled.”


850 days after Burgay handed over the tape, no report, no findings, no transcript, tapes lost and the matter forgotten.

For MUCH more detail, see ”1976: The Burgay Tape" in my book.
an hour ago
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I stand corrected… I was referring to the comments of Mr Margiotta in his article. Thank you for pointing out my error.

Nigel Guthrie's comment in that posting is spot-on, in my view:

“Perhaps standard protocol in Italy is to lose vital evidence, suspend the whistle-blower, turn a blind eye to his assault by a national team-member and postpone a full report on the investigation for more than 35 years.”

Sections of Mr Burgay's letter are reproduced in my book; the translation was done by an Italian friend of mine.

Mr Burgay declined to answer my questions.
3 hours ago
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Without wishing to pick on Sr Margiotta, his article about the Burgay Tape is also quite surreal.

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/the-burgays-affair/

“The Burgay Tape” is the longest chapter of my book, and I believe I show that intimidation, evidence-tampering and a WBF cover-up occurred.
4 hours ago
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Why is studying every BT deal in every WC book “severely limited data”?

I agree that “process is so important”
Sept. 23
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So you assert that Mr Yates has issued a rebuttal of a 400 page book that he has not read.

I doubt Mr Yates shares that view.
Sept. 23
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Note that Mario Franco devised screens in 1956. I think he was a very strong player and desperate to get a clean game in Italy.
Sept. 23
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The text in enclosed in quote marks. That means someone else wrote it.
Sept. 23
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Larry Cohen:

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/catching-cheaters/

“If on dozens of relevant deals an expert player makes repeated extreme bids/leads/plays and has no rational bridge explanation, something is wrong. If they are unexplainable actions (“non-expert bridge”) then something is fishy. A world-class player (capable of winning Spingolds) might make an egregious error (perhaps one or two in an entire week). It is not possible for such a player to make 10-15 of those inexplicable plays in a week. Really. Beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Sept. 22
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The proper question is not, “Who is making the statement?”, but, “To what extent is the statement true?”
Sept. 22
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Plenty of non-US players have provided an endorsement… Listed in the book.
Sept. 22
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Ely Culbertson:
“…one pair of the (1937) European championship team, the Viennese, is sure to be two young men, Jellinek and Schneider, who have swept the continent like a prairie fire, winning every event they have entered!”

From my book:
“Franck Bodier and Pierre Figeac, two young French players, won consecutive Monte Carlo Open Pairs Championships in 1954 and 1955. Their first victory was done in true Facchini–Zucchelli style, racking up a 78% final session to win over Jeremy Flint and Tony Priday. Later in 1954 they teamed up with Jaïs–Trézel to run second in the European Championships. The next year in Monte Carlo they “scored heavily to finish well ahead of an international 156-pair field” As with Facchini–Zucchelli, their good fortune ground to a halt rather suddenly.”

Ortiz-Patino:
“… Facchini and Zucchelli had been conspicuously successful in big-money pair events in Europe, notably those open to players of all levels of ability including the famous Cino del Duca tournament, which they had won with two unprecedented 70% back-to-back sessions. This had not passed unnoticed in the United States, where even the dispassionate Edgar Kaplan had referred to them as “the hottest pair in Europe,” a term with special meaning for his readers.”

Alan Sontag:
“The Garozzo-Belladonna partnership was rumored, through 1973, never to have lost a pairs event…”
Sept. 22
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I have looked at that hand at length… in my opinion, it supports two conjectures:
- Illicit signals were in use
- Chiaradia was poor player who misunderstood the signal

The full deal is here:
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=266&dat=19910104&id=GvQrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QmoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2538,305710&hl=en

I judged that there was not enough beef in the argument, and so left it out of the book.

Far more compelling is my chapter, “Slams: On Lead with the Blue Team.”

From Ron Klinger's endorsement:
“…leading from a king-high holding and constantly finding partner with the ace or queen is success well beyond expectation.”
Sept. 22
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The matter is difficult to put into print… when I started, I hoped to scrape up enough material for 250 pages. Nine months later I had enough for 800 pages, with no end in sight. Perforce, there was much I wanted to say that had to be left out.

The book contains many “What would you do”? quizzes; some hands were in the 16-part problem set in my “Blue Team Rule” article. I hope that the shock factor helps support my case. There are so many “WTF??” hands that you will tire of them.

Almost every single eye-popping action becomes routine and mundane if you factor in Range Signals and Shortage Signals.

Length Signals were also in use; there is a chapter that shows the use of a good rule: Raise partner's five-card overcalls with three trumps, don't raise if he has overcalled with four. There is a startling example in my article.

We all know the old line about a 7-card suit being trumps. Forquet knew it too: he didn't raise Garozzo's overcall with four-card support, when Garozzo had a four-card suit and a side seven-card suit.

There are chapters on those signals in the book. I am convinced (and await the Burgay Tape for confirmation) that the first and most important signal was the Range Signal. As Anders Wirgren said, the BT NEVER went wrong; bid up when partner has the goods (level and vulnerability be damned), and be quiet as a mouse when partner has a poor hand. ALWAYS.

Did the BT miss a chance to exploit a signal?
There is one stand-out… Robert Jordan made a doubled game with truly excellent play, but Belladonna could easily have defeated it by giving a ruff, partner having a singleton.

There are a few others… but the collect ratio is in the order of hundreds to one. It is so heavily-skewed that I assert there is only one explanation: illicit signals.

Did the opponents do strange things that gained?
Yes, particularly in the early days; technique was weaker and dice-rolling more common. Their collect ratio was what you would expect - win some, lose some.
Sept. 22
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Eduard: Are you referring to Chiradia's 9 lead to 6NT, in the 1961 Bermuda Bowl qualifying (Italy v France)?
Sept. 22
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Sept. 22
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You are, of course, correct that the right of reply is inherent in Western judicial systems.

That is why Srs Forquet and Garozzo received a copy of some chapters a year ago.

One of them was the Takeout Doubles chapter.

A world-class player:
“Your book is mostly a waste of time. The Takeout Doubles chapter alone is proof of cheating”
Sept. 22
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There are so many things wrong with Mr Beyrouti's statements that I could write a book about it.

Oh, wait…
Sept. 22
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Was there a memorial event in Italy, in praise of Facchini-Zucchelli?

Yes.

Was there a memorial event in America, in praise of Sion-Cokin?

No.
Sept. 22
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If it's “all kind of random”, we should expect to see swings and roundabouts, pluses and minuses, with BT actions.

We don't. This topic is discussed in my book.

Example: Blue Team takeout doubles.

A big winner for them, a huge loser for everyone else, and abandoned when the screens went up.

Mr Yates wants to discuss 1957?

Both vul
3 KJ85 A943 KQ52

After the dealer opens a W2D on your right, what is your call?

Avarelli doubled for takeout.

A chapter of my book shows every BT double of a Weak Two, 1957-1959. Despite often being way off-shape, they averaged +1 imp/board (despite Siniscalco throwing away the setting trick in a game.)

Boye Brogeland:

“My approach to discover cheating by world class players is to look at non-obvious actions and the success rate of these … when players and pairs choose non-logical actions, which in addition have a great success rate (the actions are deemed as non-logical because you would expect them to have a lot worse success rate than 50 %), we should raise an eyebrow.”

Take a look at a 1957 deal; p18 here:
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/the-talk-that-never-was-the-blue-team-rule/

Chiaradia's 2 and 4NT are, in Brogeland's words, a “non-obvious action”.

Tell me, what do you think drove the winner of six straight Bowls to choose these actions?
Sept. 22
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This Italian adulation of cheats is nothing new… they even have run memorials to them.

http://www.bridgebologna.it/archivio-articoli/384-memorial-zucchelli-facchini-i-edizione.html
Sept. 22
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