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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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Don't think so… I believe you are thinking of “Turner Hodges”..
Aug. 9
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If I had illicit knowledge, I wouldn't use it on a hand involving overtricks. I'd wait for a hand with some IMPs at stake.

Yes, it is important to be discreet. Danny Kleinman writes:

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.


Anyway, the Sobel deal is 1957/40:
www.bridgetoernooi.com/index.php/home/pbn2deal/526

The UtT text reads:

As we saw in Four-Four Fits, the Blue Team had a wonderful knack of slotting into a low-level fit without the use of takeout doubles.

Both Norths played 3. In the other room, Sobel… won the heart lead and shifted to a club, succeeding in defeating 3 when the A and K are exchanged. D’Alelio, meanwhile, won the heart lead and played more hearts, building a trump winner and saving an overtrick.
Aug. 6
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… and there are Wikipedia entries that (IMO) are designed to be cover-ups.

Wikipedia:
The string of Blue Team victories was also followed by some cheating allegations — mainly against “lesser” team members and none against Belladonna–Avarelli, Garozzo–Forquet, or Garozzo–Belladonna.

Except that every member of the 1958 US team signed a declaration that all of the BT players were cheating, and the 1963 Gerber Letter said the entire BT was cheating, and the 1976 Burgay Tape alleges that Forquet and Belladonna (and others) used illict signals, and Garozzo and Belladonna used cigarette lighter clicks once the screens went up…


Wikipedia:
Before the 1978 Olympiad in New Orleans, a new slate of officials was elected by the FIB who were able to satisfy the WBF that the required investigation had been performed. It is reported that the tape was lost and “no transcript exists.” The threat of suspension was lifted.

Except that the results of this “required investigation” were never released, and there was never an investigation into the fabricated exonerating tape produced by FIB…
Aug. 6
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Having done French at high school many years ago (thank you, Mrs Taylor)… kanaPAY.

Any error is sure to be mine, and not Mrs Taylor's.
Aug. 6
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As they say in America, “I am like wow”.

If you have what you think is an undetectable secret line of communication…

To what pair are you referring?

It can't be Fisher-Schwartz, Balicki-Zmudzinski, Elinescu-Wladow, Lanzarotti-Buratti, Fantoni-Nunes, Piekarek-Smirnov…


To be more precise, you say:

That's what really bewilders me about the whole business, from Reese-Schapiro onwards. If you have what you think is an undetectable secret line of communication - why use it to communicate only one thing?


I quote Denis Howard, one-time President of the Australian Bridge Federation and World Bridge Federation, ACBL CEO and Chairman of one of Australia’s largest law firms, on the topic of Facchini-Zucchelli (who doubtless thought they had a “undetectable secret line of communication”)

Two other defense arguments can be briefly adverted to. One is that a few hysterical Americans psyched themselves and proceeded to make a giant mountain from a tiny molehill. The other is that nobody would adopt such a clumsy method of cheating.

As to the former, there is again, like a spectre at the feast, the question of the eye witness evidence. O’Sullivan, the most damaging of the observers, was not asked one question by the defense at the WBF hearing. He was neither American nor hysterical and his evidence was unchallenged.

As to the latter, they said the same thing about Reese and Schapiro at Buenos Aires. It isn’t really an argument, as any analysis of the criminal mentality will quickly show; it is merely the expression of an illusion about human behaviour
Aug. 5
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Aug. 5
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Mike Lawrence:
Belladonna gave this a lot of thought. Later when I saw his hand I wasn’t sure what he had been thinking. Then he started that staring routine so popular with Jaïs and Trézel. All of the same mannerisms. Look left. Look right. Look at partner.

Alan Truscott:
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:
I asked Benito (in a stairwell between floors) to please stop bringing lighters to the table with them. He looked quizzical and I then offered, Bob and I also will promise to not making any noise whereupon he made what is to me a worthwhile quote, “I’m not worried about either one of you and never have been.” In any event, he agreed and the noises stopped…

Jaime Ortiz-Patiño
I understood the tape well and was in little doubt of its authenticity, the background noises and such like being thoroughly convincing. The tape was recorded on a Sunday and indeed one could hear church bells sounding on the tape. In places, my jaw literally dropped. The media would have loved it: smoke signals, pauses, commonplace words with coded meanings — all these came into the picture.

Bobby Wolff:
…while Jimmy (Ortiz-Patiño) was in Dallas he informed me that every member of the Blue Team was implicated . Burgay also informed me in Shanghai, 2007 that while the tapes were all 100% true in everything involving bridge and what went on…

Eric Kokish:
…but not until now has the full extent of the Blue Team’s collusive cheating been catalogued and revealed. Wilsmore’s book is the product of vast amounts of scholarly research, cross-referencing, and verification. As you read through the deals you will be horrified by the extent of what happened without official challenge or responsible investigation, and you will be in no doubt that the author’s conclusions are accurate.
Aug. 5
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Hands where a club return is successful far outnumber hands where a diamond return is better.

Regardless, I agree that much more evidence is needed before one has anything like a presentable case.

Well, you never know what's around the corner…
Aug. 4
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See Paul East's comment, above.
Aug. 3
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Ask Hobson.
Aug. 3
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Other.

Bid 2, sans apologies, calling the director, talking to the opponents or whatever. Just do it.

If the opponents have complaints, they are surely capable of putting their hands up.
Aug. 2
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No, in the Double Bay rubber game 1 does not show 4+ clubs.

What fruitloop would open 1 with:
xxxx Jxx Axx AKx ?

As with your earlier article:
http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/a-hand-from-rubber-bridge/
you are misrepresenting the Double Bay methods.

As regards the latter article's raise of a GF two-bid, the mantra “No ace, no king, no singleton, no void” goes back to the 50s game in the infamous “back room” of the Royal George Hotel.
Aug. 1
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Garozzo played a similar hand… as you might suppose from two such august declarers, the solution is simple and elegant.
Aug. 1
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A 1NT response was not forcing.

The versions of Precision used by the Blue Team in 1972 and Forquet - Bianchi in 1973-1974 were as basic as could be.
July 31
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…with points 20-20

I'm afraid I don't follow that…

From my book:

1973 Bermuda Bowl Final, board 1. Neither vul.
♠ K9 ♥ J ♦ KJ8642 ♣ 7543
WEST NORTH EAST SOUTH
Bianchi Wolff Forquet Hamman
1♠ pass
?
Pick your partner’s hand:
A: ♠ AQ1082 ♥ K842 ♦ 9 ♣ Q96
B: ♠ AQJ82 ♥ 42 ♦ A973 ♣ A6
Hand A... not good. On a trump lead we might not even make 1♠.
Hand B... we make two slams.


There is more to the story…
July 31
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Declarer must, with Ax and A bare, play the 10 at trick one.
July 29
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The World Record for doubling with length in the opponent's one-level suit opening must surely go to Siniscalco, while playing with Forquet.

1958 Bermuda Bowl Final, board 35
Q92 Q AJ10743 A98

Sinsicalco's RHO, Tobias Stone, dealt and opened 1.

Siniscalco doubled.
July 25
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So, what's the punchline?

What's the full deal and what are the author's thoughts about the right line and how to arrive at it?
July 24
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On the first hand, partner Avarelli had:
9 AJ7432 876 K83

He passed when his RHO raised to 3.


On the second hand, partner Belladonna had a 0-2-6-5
They bid to the making 6m and doubled the 6M sacrifice.

Norman Kay, after opponent's 1S opening, passed throughout with Avarelli's hand.
July 23
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I certainly would not classify a double of 1 with a 3-3-4-3 as “offshape”.


1962 Bermuda Bowl final, board 122
Belladonna
Q106 10 AK1054 QJ95
1 X


1968 Olympiad final, board 22
Avarelli
8643 10 AK63 AQ98
1 X


Now those are offshape takeout doubles.
July 23
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