Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Avon Wilsmore
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
From http://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/ev-eng/fantoni-nunes-acquitted-by-figb.html :

The reason for the acquittal was that the CAS did not have enough evidence to prove that they had cheated…

The FIGB Federal Appeal Tribunal has thus accepted the appeal and “acquits the players for lack of evidence”.
Nov. 2
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I'm with you, Tomasz… we have an “issue” of considerable gravity on our hands - that it may be that cheats hold world titles and the authorities are hamstrung.

So why the chit-chat about irrelevancies?
Oct. 31
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
There is a LOT missing from Kaplan's account. It was written when Stone's $250,000 law suit against the ACBL was active, and I am guessing Kaplan wanted to stay on the sidelines.

The 1958 Official Handbook is not easy to find, but it is extraordinary. Little wonder that every US player signed a declaration that the BT players were cheating.


Under the Table:
I could not have written this book without the Official Handbooks; many were produced by the ACBL. Some of these are hard to find and seem to be in demand. It may be that there is a viable case for reissuing some of the old World Championship books; I certainly found them fascinating, particularly 1958, 1962, 1963 and 1967. Readers can lobby some appropriate body regarding reprints if they are so inclined.
Oct. 24
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Agree with Ben… a trump lead is auto.
Oct. 24
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Forquet, Garozzo and Siniscalco are still alive.

I have been told that Tobias Stone, late in life, was so distressed about the awarding of world championships to cheats that he refused to discuss the matter.

I wonder if surviving members of the Dallas Aces (and others, like Kehela, Von der Porten and so on) share your “rest in peace” view.
Oct. 24
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Thanks Ulf… I found what I was looking for.
Oct. 24
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Interesting… I will examine this.

Thanks.
Oct. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Don't be silly. Europe is a country.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8pnec4Hxps
Oct. 23
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Yes, the concept of “exceeding tolerance” is interesting, and I am grateful to Danny Kleinman for introducing me to its significance.

Kleinman:
The adroit use of illicit signals requires both judgment and discipline. The successful cheater must judge when his illicit information can resolve genuine problems, and take advantage of it only then. He cannot hope to utilize illicit information when he has a clear-cut bid or play available to him; that would exceed tolerance, and enable any suspicious observer to prove a case against him.
Oct. 22
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
- I am away from my books, but am more than confident that 1966/82 is in the Official Handbook. It is common for the boards not to be in sequence, for better spacing of the text. Seek and ye shall find.

- I have a chapter, “Psyches and the Range Signal”. It starts:
A curious historical fact is the occasional susceptibility of the Blue Team to opposition psyches.

In that chapter, I quote Kleinman:
It is tempting to think that a pair transmitting and receiving illicit information will almost always reach the best “single-dummy” contract… if the recipient of illicit information actually has legitimate values for his bid, the transmitter may miss a game or slam because he assumes that
the recipient was bidding on the basis of illicit knowledge.
Oct. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
ok, in order:

1. GB's 1966 2 opening.

All this stuff about 1 being forcing/not forcing is a red-herring. The fact remains that GB underbid his hand by an ace and a trump, and found partner with a jack.

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

An example of this is Garozzo's pass of the dealer's 1 opening, at favourable vulnerability with:
Q J 10 6 3 A 9 3 2 A 4 9 6

Was it coincidence that Forquet had a four-count and one spade?

If we really must discuss irrelevancies:

- Roman openings of 1// were 100% forcing in the 1959 system book

- Encyclopedia of Bridge:
Roman System… 1, 1, and 1 openings are natural… and forcing

- By 1969, the system book allowed a pass:
Pass, with 0 to 3 points in 4-3-3-3 distribution with four card support absolutely no possibility of a game even if opener is maximum

Personally, I am unable to follow that; this was a D'Alelio 1 opening:
8 A K J 10 8 6 3 2 K Q 6 J

4 is laydown opposite: xxx xxx Jxxx xxx, but how is responder to know?


2. Pabis-Ticci's 3S balance after 3 P P ?
AQJ743 A AK10 Q87

Your opinion of Kleinman's opinion is irrelevant. I submit that no expert would choose 3. Luckily, partner had only a jack. +140.

Further, you are correct; “I believe that in those times three-level pre-empts where expected to be significantly sounder…”, but that referred to playing tricks, not defensive assets in the preempter's hand.


Now Giorgio, here is a little quiz.

J105 92 A7543 Q32
Nil vul, you are dealer

P 1H x 3H
P P 3S P
?

I'll give you a clue.

Anders Wirgren:
I am convinced that the Blue Team players signaled their strength… because their timing was always perfect: they overbid when partner had extra values, but underbid when he had nothing. Always

So, what do you bid? Does partner have goodies or garbage?
Oct. 21
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Larry wrote, “A gambling bid or a stupid bid or something else?”

Something else.

Danny Kleinman:
Far better to open 1 — forcing, in the Roman System - planning to rebid 3 and forgetting about the clubs (which cannot be shown after a 1 or 1 opening in the system)

It is my opinion that GB opened 2, an ace and a trump overweight, for the same reason Pabis-Ticci (1966/82) bid 3 after:
3 P P ?
with: AQJ743 A AK10 Q87

Kleinman:
Most incredible of all, Camillo bids only 3 in the passout seat. There are far weaker hands that qualify for 3. The real issue is whether Camillo should jump to 4 directly, or double with the intention of bidding 4 next.

In each case. partner had a jack.

Deb (and Damo and MH): For as long as you focus on one hand, you will not get the gag. Did you not read the article above, and see many bizarre, yet successful, actions?

I repeat: The key is not, “Look at this weird action!”, but, “For every weird action, partner's hand is a remarkable fit. How is this possible?”

More examples of what we have seen are to be found in a chapter, “The Range Signal”.
Oct. 20
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
KQx xx AKxxx xxx

After 1 - 1, what options are there, besides 2?

http://www.australianbridge.com/article_39-5_raisingonthree.php
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Simple rules:

- If you are giving a signal, use the clearest (non-costly) card

- It follows that he play of a card denies the card immediately above
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Judy:

I am sure Richard is busy penning an apology to Bobby.

In a similar vein, all this talk about the CIA and Burgay tapes sounds lot like the fanciful tales that I hear from my 10 year (sic) nephew… Some people might be impressed hearing random references to the CIA… You spin some wonderful tales…. it doesn’t look like you’ve bothered to do your homework.
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The bridge autobiographies of Hamman, Swanson and Wolff all state that the BT cheated. Swanson goes into more detail than BH or BW.

The fact is, the WBF had a policy of “minimise the scandal” from its inception until quite recently. Maybe things have changed; we will see.
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I think it unlikely that Amazon will ever stock the book, but I'm only the author, and so know little about it.
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Bd 37 - it was Mathe-VdP who bid 6.

Both minor-suit queens were required for 7; not so easy in 1962.

The Italian auction to 4NT is astounding.
http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/pbn2deal/1568

4 was not a suit, it showed 14HCP(!)

Under the Table:
Walter the Walrus would agree with Walter Avarelli. There were only 31 points combined, therefore there could be no slam. 12 imps out..

Mike Lawrence:
Bob Hamman said it best. “From central casting.” Avarelli wasn’t very good
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
By what means can you justify assertions about my “main arguments” when you say (elsewhere):

I guess I'd have to read the book, and then look through all of the WC records, and I have no interest in doing either.

… I don't expect to be buying Avon's book…

I have to laugh. You read a book by someone you know to be biased and you uncritically accept its findings.



In my opinion, either:

- Read the book and talk about my “main arguments” if you wish

- Don't read the book and say nothing
Oct. 20
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I received a four emails pointing out that I have not dealt with the criticism that Michael Hargreaves has made in this comment section. I did not do so because I could not read his comments, what with Mr Hargreaves being on my Ignore list (along with Dean Pokorny and Nat Silver). Too many dogmatic and erroneous statements persuaded me that I had better ways to spend my time. After a fifth email I reluctantly clicked on a number of “Click to temporarily show the comment.”

Sure enough…

MH:
…US pairs were routinely outbid on slam hands.

False.

Kaplan, 1958:
The US bid twelve slams — five made, seven went down. We missed four good slams that would have made, and one good one that wouldn’t. One of the US slams that made should have been beaten; conversely, one of those beaten should have been made. All in all, a miserable showing.

The Italians were no better. They bid only eight slams — four made, four didn’t. That looks almost respectable, but they missed five good slams, and, of the four they bid and made, two were in the wrong contract and one should have been beaten. One of the slams they bid and went down one was a good contract, but they luckily stayed out of another good one that only failed because of stacked cards.


Under the Table:
In the 1963 Bermuda Bowl final, Italy bid three grand slams; one of these was on a finesse, the other two were about 60%. If any of them had failed, North America would have won.


MH:
Btw, if it was just screens, why was the BT still routinely playing in the finals of these events?

“Routinely” is something of an overstatement. There was no final in the 1976 Olympiad, the BT was a whisker away from not qualifying in the 1976 Bowl, and they made the final in 1979 and 1983. In the European Championships of 1977, 1981 and 1983, Italy came 2nd, 5th and 2nd. Further…

New York Times Bridge Book:
As (Ira Rubin) began play (in the 1976 Bermuda Bowl final)… he noticed… Belladonna had a cigarette in his mouth… on the table in front of him was a cigarette lighter which he would click occasionally during the bidding. Rubin did not have a lighter, but he had a pen, and joined in with occasional clicks of his own.

Bobby Wolff:
…in 1983 in Stockholm… both of them (Garozzo and Belladonna) took cigarette lighters to the screened tables. I asked Benito (in a stairwell between floors) to please stop bringing lighters to the table with them… he agreed and the noises stopped


MH:
Unless Avon has listed, with all auctions and systems, every single hand from all of the tournaments from which he has assembled his chosen hands, he will not have ‘put it all together’

This list exists; it is the set of World Championship Handbooks. I do not see the need to copy it.


MH:
…no reader of Avon's book will see anything but what he has selected, and he has, it appears, selected hands on the basis of whether they prove cheating.

It is true that the reader will see only what I (and foreword author Mike Lawrence) have written. And, “it appears”! Interesting. The way to find out if “it appears” is to look. Mt Hargreaves has stated that he does not want to read my book. Fine, but why, then, make lengthy comments about it?


MH on this deal: http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/pbn2deal/1197 :
Note the weird (to our way of thinking) 2H opening bid on that board, on AKQJxxx and a side J.

False.

Lazard was in 4th seat, vulnerable. Encyclopedia of Bridge:
Opening three-bids and weak two-bids in fourth position show maximum values, close to an opening bid.

MH:
Weak twos were very much in their infancy.

False.

Encyclopedia of Bridge:
A prototype of the weak two was used in auction bridge and adopted in the Vanderbilt Club system.

MH:
How can this (Avarelli's pass) logically suggest that N-S were illegally conveying information to each other?

It need not. The “issue” is that his partner doubled. Did Avarelli punish partner with a series of club bids? No, as always, the BT escaped; after an action that no one else would contemplate, partner had the hand type to avoid disaster.

MH:
So the Italian South, probably even less familiar with defending these bids…

In 1956, Chiaradia wrote at length on the topic of overcalling Weak Twos.


MH:
Avon insists that the hand wherein a player doubled 3H and then switched to the heart 10 through dummy's AJxx, is clear evidence of cheating.

Damn right I do. Here is the deal: http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/pbn2deal/857

One comment: Against a declarer who psyches a lot…

My reply:
Ogust-Koytchou psyched 6 times out of 162 hands they played in the 1957 Bowl. Five of the psyches were at favorable vulnerability.

On the 10 shift deal, they were vul. How many vulnerable psyches have you seen, in real life or bridge literature?

It is my opinion that Belladonna had no legitimate reason to suspect a psyche.


I know of only two world-class pairs who psyched, vulnerable: Reese-Schapiro and Garozzo-Belladonna. Partner never went wrong.

Reasons for Belladonna to know that Koytchou had psyched are covered in my chapters, “The Range Signal” and “The Shortage Signal”. Mr Hargreaves has read neither.

Further, both Damo and Mr Hargreaves do not follow the thesis of the book. The key is not, “Look at this weird action!”, but, “For every weird action, partner's hand is a remarkable fit. How is this possible?”


An email correspondent asked, “Have you ever heard of a lawyer who didn't want to examine relevant evidence?” Well, until now, no. I conducted an experiment; I phoned a noted lawyer of my acquaintance and asked his opinion of my book.

“I haven't read it, so I don't have an opinion.”

Mr Hargreaves, no doubt a very fine lawyer, has no such qualms.


Edit: Added “in the 1976 Bermuda Bowl final”… removed by the use of square brackets.
Oct. 20
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Oct. 20
.

Bottom Home Top