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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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I think the auction on the last page needs repairing…
Oct. 19
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Say what you want, the score is the final word. Everything else is spin.

Meanwhile, every member of the 1958 US team signed a declaration that the Blue Team cheated.

Cover-ups followed, same as with the Gerber Letter, Facchini-Zucchelli and the Burgay Tape.

Both the Gerber Letter and the Burgay Tape detail the Blue Team's illicit signalling systems. It is open for the WBF to release the Burgay Tape; they won't. Instead, the WBF arranged a tacit deal with FIB/FIGB in 1978: We'll hide tape, you agree to our new policy of “invitation-only” events.

John Swanson:
The Italian Blue Team cheated their way through international competition from the mid 1950’s to the mid 1970’s.

I agree with Swanson. I think everything else is spin.
Oct. 19
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From the Encyclopedia of Bridge, 7th ed, p452:

LOSER ON LOSER.
The act of playing a card that must be lost on a losing trick in some other suit. This technique can be valuable in many situations, the most common of which follow…
Oct. 19
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I recall there is a discussion of LoL plays in Why You Lose at Bridge…
Oct. 19
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Unfortunately, the dagger can cut both ways…

The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 26, 1975:
The Blue Team wrote to the American Contract Bridge League to demand that it not approve his captaincy and when the American governing body ignored that plea, Blue Team star Benito Garozzo announced loudly that “If Sheinwold shows up in Bermuda, he had better bring along a hospital bed…”

Vanity Fair, 29 February, 2016:
Last fall Brogeland received a text that had originated with a teammate of Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes, the Italian pair who, for more than a decade, have reigned as the game’s No. 1 and No. 2 players. Brogeland had also publicly accused them, along with two other top-ranking bridge pairs, of cheating. The message read, “Tell your friend Boye that whenever he needs a wheelchair we have plenty of those in the south.”
Oct. 18
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Richard Cummings, in the book, “Australia at the 1964 Olympiad”, wrote, “My mentors taught me to always bid game in a major when holding ten trumps combined.”

After Cummings passing, I asked Tim Seres about these mentors… he said that the advice came from Bob Williams, a fine bidding theoretician and par deal composer, and Seres' one-time partner.
Oct. 13
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Find some Bridge World magazines from that time… you'll see lots of expert action and comment.
Oct. 11
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Well, if we include a game with a smaller playing-field (billiards), world-champion Walter Lindrum may well have the greatest margin over second-best.

In one year he scored more breaks of 1000 or more than any other player had made in their lifetime.
Oct. 11
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Off-topic, but I'd be doubling 5. The chance of playing 5 is close to zero; far more likely that the opponents can make a slam.
Oct. 8
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Here are the versions of Bridge Solver:

https://mirgo2.co.uk/bridgesolver/index.php?section=7
Oct. 3
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I believe Meyer Schleifer was a long-term heavy loser on the horses.
Oct. 2
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Thanks… that's what comes of posting after long dinners…
Sept. 28
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Jeff Rubens wrote of the scalpel of Culbertson 4-5 compared to the sledgehammer of Blackwood…
Sept. 28
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After the ST opening lead… S must shift.

What about South's ducking instead?
Sept. 28
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I have never understood the virtue of Roman Blackwood. How often will a player care which two aces his partner has? When he has a void? So what's he doing asking for aces, then?

Still, it's not as silly as Neapolitan/Blue Club, where we are told to cue first and second round controls equally, but there is often no Blackwood at all.
Sept. 27
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Yes, Marx's Byzantine was written-up in Kelsey's “Slam Bidding” (1973), while Kantar's essays are in The Bridge World, 1980.
Sept. 27
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But in my circle people are saying KCB was invented by the Italians, to which the prefix Roman was later added.

It is the other way around.

The “Roman” part of “Roman Key Card Blackwood” comes from the fact that RKCB borrowed part of the 1959 Roman Club responses to four-ace (no keycards) Blackwood. The Roman Club response went like this:

5 - 0 or 3 aces

5 - 1 or 4 aces

5 - 2 aces of the same color or rank

5 - 2 aces of different color or rank


I am not aware that any Italian had anything to do with RKCB… I believe a great deal the of work was done by Kantar
Sept. 27
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The Stayman auctions were from Italian Natural auctions, not Neapolitan. There were no fancy gadgets or conventions. No canapé,for opener. It was as basic as could be…

I agree that they won many world championships, and here is an example of how.

From “Under the Table”:

1958 Bermuda Bowl Final, board 142. Neither vul.
Chiaradia D’Alelio
♠ 5 3 ♠ J 10 6
♥ 8 6 5 3 ♥ 10 2
♦ A 5 3 ♦ K 9 7 4 2
♣ A J 9 4 ♣ 8 7 2
Chiaradia Crawford D’Alelio Becker
pass 1NT
pass 2♣ pass 2♠
pass 4♠ all pass

This lead problem was presented on bridgewinners.com. The
overwhelming-majority voted for a heart; not one person preferred Chiaradia’s choice: A low diamond to the king for a club through. On a slightly different layout that would have been the killer.



Here is the BW poll:
https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/lead-problem-1022/
Sept. 25
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