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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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I have an idea!

Geir Helgemo wrote this article:

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/extremely-happy-not-to-play-in-the-bermuda-bowl/

I think he should make himself even more happy, and refuse to play in any EC or WC until Mr Zimmerman hands back the 2014 “win”.
Oct. 13
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I would bet on it. He won't.

Faites vos jeux…
Oct. 13
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…might lead to a game-level contract with a fit in that suit.

This is correct. Note that the example hands all provide a sound fit at the three level, no matter what.

And, with the hand given, 108743 A103 76 A85
which “game-level contract” might you play, if partner has short spades? Unlike the sample hands supplied, there will be no eight-card fit.

As MK observed, the correct response is 2, to avoid having to advance to the three-level. We all enjoy a two-level Moysian.


As for MK's comment about Blue Club: Garozzo was/is a world-class system theoretician. His continuations are sure to be different and superior, certainly as compared to 1959 Roman Club.
Oct. 13
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After the 2 opening, Belladonna violated system and bid 2. Partner had spades.

After the 2 opening, Avarelli violated system and bid 3. Partner had diamonds and an excellent 21-count. With a bare A, Belladonna bid and made 3NT.

This pattern is consistent across every world-championship.

Danny Kleinman:
in my book “Bridge in the Tower of Babel” I examined their use of system, writing a long chapter I called “Bid with the Romans.” Their bidding deviated from their system so often that I concluded they were either terrible bidders or basing their calls on something other than their hands and their supposed partnership methods. That chapter contains some 77 bidding problems of which the pair got only 8 right, but you need not take my word for it, as you can check the deals and my analyses of them for yourself. You might also ask yourself, “Can conclusive evidence of cheating be obtained from studying hand records alone in conjunction with knowledge of partnership agreements?” You might be surprised.
Oct. 12
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We are not on the same page at all. The key question is, “To what extent does a highly-unusual action suit partner's hand?”

The purpose of the hand on p136 is to compare it to the hand on p137.

Yes, Avarelli bid poorly; it is my opinion that he was not much of a player.

By 1972 Avarelli did not know how to take a simple finesse, and raised his own pre-empts. The article above discusses the 1972 pass of 3X with:
S! 94 AQ109743 10943

Insanity, but the only way to get a plus score.

… too much of a case of “Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks”.

Really? Did you read Lawrence's Foreword?

See page viii-ix, for Avarelli's bizarre opening lead (also from 1972) that just happened to suit partner.

Then he (Belladonna) started that staring routine so popular with Jaïs and Trézel. All of the same mannerisms. Look left. Look right. Look at partner.

This is an eye-witness account to the signalling in action.

Anyway, if you are up to page 140, you have a few hundred to go.
Oct. 12
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Micheal is doing well.

After 2 (4441 or 5440, 12-16), with:
108743 A103 76 A85
2 was the systemic response in 1969; it was the systemic response in the 1959 edition.

This is not a matter of advanced systemic arrangements, but common-sense. The opponents are likely to lead a trump, and you don't want to play at the three-level when partner has short spades.

But Belladonna didn't bid 2


While we are looking at Roman 2m openings:

1958 Bermuda Bowl Final, board 137. You are vul.
973 J10 QJ10832 82

Partner deals and opens 2 (4441 or 5440, 17-20)

What is your response?
Oct. 12
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The Bridge World, editorial, September, 1979:

What we cannot understand, not for the life of us, is why the ACBL should have been unprepared in the first place. This is A.D. 1979, after countless scandals here and abroad, with unchecked professionalism providing greater and greater inducements to the unscrupulous. It must surely have occurred to our officials … that cheating is a possibility to be
reckoned with.
Oct. 12
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Damo:

This matter is too lengthy for me to address in a comment here.

PM me, leaving your email address and I will discuss 1967.


Having said that, you mention board 100 of the final. Take a look at the auction of GB-WA. What is wrong with it? If you look closely, you will find something strange.

Here's a clue:

The Roman Club System of Distributional Bidding, 1969, Avarelli & Belladonna:

With (a negative response and) a one-suited hand containing only a four- or a five-card suit, it is prudent to bid that suit only if, in the event it coincides with opener’s singleton or void, it is possible to play in another suit at the same level…
Oct. 12
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I follow the sentiment, but I have to say that I have been in talks with a senior EBL administrator; he and I had a lengthy face-to-face discussion.

I can say with considerable confidence that there are members of the EBL Executive who have every wish to purge the game of any and all cheats.

Regrettably, lawyers and CAS wield considerable power.
Oct. 12
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Oct. 12
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R-S were playing Acol. I am guessing “The Acol System Today” (Reese & Dormer, 1961) would be a reasonable guide.

And why would Schapiro bid 1H if he knew Reese had a singleton?

I don't follow that at all.
Oct. 12
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I do not regard the hands to be similar; in the era of psyches, Koytchou;s 2 was the give-away. I have partnered Tim Seres when he did exactly the same thing.

Danny Kleinman's essay on Reese-Schapiro is well-worth reading. Of this deal, Kleinman writes, in part:

Reese made a terrible error here… I think I could have gotten away with finger signals that indicate heart length if I had been in Reese’s shoes. On this deal, I would have jump-raised to 3 at West’s second turn. This would result in East’s going down several tricks, undoubled and not vulnerable. If an opponent doubled 3, of course, I would have left it for East to rescue himself… Had Reese have jumped to 3 at his second turn, then this one deal could have been used to rebut the entire cheating allegation. But Reese’s main concern at the time wasn’t rebutting an accusation he didn’t know was going to be made, it was winning IMPs.

The dead giveaway that Reese’s rhetoric cannot conceal is that Reese’s 2NT did not “test the situation” at all. Schapiro’s 3 revealed only that he had a distributional hand, not a psych. It could not “confirm suspicions” that Reese may have had. A typical hand for Schapiro’s sequence might be:
8 K Q 9 4 2 J 6 3 10 8 5 2.

Even if the opponents’ bids suggested that somebody lacked proper strength, why did that somebody have to be Schapiro?
Oct. 11
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Clearly there is no way Monaco will want to keep this title… Certainly no team that won with known cheats would want any ill gotten gains.

These assertions are anything but clear and certain to me.

I do believe that it is clear and certain that Steve would not want to keep such a title; I am sure many people feel the same.

But those who project their own standards onto others are going to be disappointed sooner or later. It's a fact that there are some people who will never willingly give up a victory, no matter the circumstances.
Oct. 11
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What is it that you mean by “the team”?

Bear in mind that, at that time, Perroux had the right to select who played for Italy in WCs.
Oct. 11
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Possibly so, but were they “helping their partner”?

1963 is, after all, the year of the Gerber Letter that, like the Burgay Tape, detailed cheating methods of the Blue Team.

Both vanished.

Bobby Wolff:
…while Jimmy (Ortiz-Patino) was in Dallas he infomed me that every member of the Blue Team was implicated (in the Burgay Tape). Burgay also informed me in Shanghai, 2007 that while the tapes were all 100% true in everything involving bridge and what went on, that he still loves Italy and does not relish the role of being thought of as being a traitor to Italian bridge, but rather realizes, like I do, that the world deserves to know the truth.
Oct. 11
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Eduard:

I apologise for not making my meaning clear: I was referring to Italian bridge sites and Italian bridge magazines.

Examples:

- Lanzarotti and Buratti. 30 month suspension in Italy, still suspended by the ACBL 13 years later.

- Facchini and Zucchelli. No mention of foot-tapping or cheating in the relevant issue of Bridge d'Italia (Nov 1995). Free to play in Italy, barred from entering WBF events.

- Vivaldi and Rossano. Suspended for 30 months in Italy; unsuspended immediately, before their appeal had been heard.

www.imp-bridge.nl, 1 Sep 2106:
Because Italy won the Olympiad in Maastricht in 2000 the Italian Bridge Federation granted amnesty to a number of pairs, including Rossano–Vivaldi. Apparently their reputation in their own country isn’t squeaky-clean.

WBF Credentials Committee, 31 Aug 2016:
Yesterday, the Credentials Committee of the World Bridge Federation determined that the invitation extended to Enza Rossano and Antonio Vivaldi be withdrawn; consequently they will no longer be eligible to play in the 2016 World Bridge Games in Wroclaw.
Oct. 11
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I refer you to the first sentence of my comment at the top of this page.
Oct. 10
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Not being in marketing, I don't know what is whiter than white; I do know that I think that what appears in Italian sites and magazines is a whiter-than-whitewash.

Example: Compare what you can find on Italian media about the Burgay Tape to what I have uncovered.

“Went to Brazil to teach bridge”.

Right.
Oct. 10
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John:

You find the Oakie account in Truscott's book to be incredible. In what sense?

- The notes, purportedly in Oakie's handwriting, are reproduced. Do you believe this to be a forgery?

- Truscott's account of how he located the hand records is documented. Do you believe this to be a fabrication?
Oct. 10
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John: You write, above:

The passage Avon quotes above seems garbled to me. Apart from making the suggestion about an alert East, which seems unjustified to me, what sort of dummy play is it that was beyond Chiaradia in his opinion? Is he suggesting this hand never occurred, or merely that a couple of world champions didn't reach his own standards? And how is he proposing that the hand should be played, exactly?

To consider your points:

1.
“… the suggestion about an alert East, which seems unjustified to me…”

May I suggest that you give East's trick-six problem to an expert of your acquaintance?


2.
“…what sort of dummy play is it that was beyond Chiaradia in his opinion? Is he suggesting this hand never occurred, or merely that a couple of world champions didn't reach his own standards?”

I am not suggesting that the hand never occurred. You can follow the bidding and play here:
http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/pbn2deal/564

What sort play of do I think was beyond Chiaradia?

A Vienna Coup. You can examine Chiaradia at work in three Bowls here, and judge his play for yourself:

http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/bermuda/1957/Bermuda%20Bowl/0

http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/bermuda/1959/Bermuda%20Bowl/0

http://www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/bermuda/1962/Bermuda%20Bowl/0


3.
“And how is he proposing that the hand should be played, exactly?”

The answer was given in my comment, exactly:
“…the simple diamond finesse is clearly a better line.”
Oct. 10
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