Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Avon Wilsmore
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Reading old texts makes it clear that many US experts (Roth-Stone in particular, along with Jacoby and Schenken) regarded Goren (like Culbertson) as a great marketer and not a top-class bridge player.
Oct. 15
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
That is peculiar… I use FF 62.0.3 and have no problem.
Oct. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Damo:

I suggest you spend some time & go thru the actual book.

Kerry has quite an advantage in that area; first he reads the book, then he has an opinion.

Bob Heitzman read the book.

I just finished reading Avon's book. He recounts all the accusations against the BT over the years, many by very credible people. Many are not Americans. Then he goes through the hands. Offshape doubles is just the tip of the iceberg. He also discusses opening leads against slams, their uncanny ability to uncover 44 fits in competitive auctions, and many other topics. In every case he first discusses deals where they did weird things that worked and then goes on to show very similar hands where they avoided doing the same weird thing, when it wouldn't have worked. “Preponderance of the evidence” is a huge understatement…

…Maybe all the doubters should take their fingers out of their ears and read the book.


I have many emails from experts who have read the book.

The number that disagree with my findings: Zero.

Just like the number of off-shape takeout doubles the Blue Tream made, once the screens went up.

Edit-add.

This is not an attempted sales push. I don't care about sales. I want people to be aware that administrators have knowingly covered-up cheating for decades, and that, as a consequence, bridge has been shockingly-corrupt at the highest levels since at least 1957.

However much you are horrified by the current F-N debacle, things are worse than you think.
Oct. 14
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Oct. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Mike: I assert that there is no mistake.

Belladonna's unblocking required declarer not to have the 9

Avarelli's club duck (which cost an undertrick) required declarer not to have the 10.
Oct. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Many thanks… corrected.

Memo to self: Proof-read BEFORE the second bottle of Cointreau.
Oct. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I think Nick's comment should be printed off and stapled to the forehead of every BoD member's forehead.
Oct. 14
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Boye Brogeland:

We will never know the full extent to which bridge has been damaged by cheaters, but understanding the past can only help in achieving a vital goal: A clean game, now and in the future.
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
From “Under the Table”

As well as finding winning calls that horrify Garozzo*, Avarelli had other skills: he was a Tresette expert.

From Wikipedia:

“Tressette or Tresette is one of Italy’s major national trick-taking card games… There are… conventional signs that can be exchanged between partners:

Volo (“Flying”): The player lets the card drop or “fly down” from a few centimeters above the table. This sign signifies that the player has just played his last card of this particular suit…

Striscio or Liscio (“Sliding”): The player slides the card across the table before playing it. This sign signifies that the player has many cards of that suit”


An interview** records:

“(Avarelli) learned to play bridge without a teacher, but he was an expert at Tre Sette, a game similar to bridge … “It is played wherever Italians congregate,” said Avarelli.

Perhaps it is fair to make a correlation between the early training at Tre Sette and the fact that the Italians are the winners of five World Contract (Bridge) Championships. This may be the answer to the question why the Italians win so often.”


Maybe it is. Benito Garozzo is recorded*** as saying:

“… in 1943 in Naples … with … some friends and relatives we were playing Italian games like “Tresette.”…”



* This extract is from a chapter that discusses Avarelli's pass of a takeout double of 3X with:
94 AQ109743 10743

Two eye-witness accounts record Garozzo's shock at this choice.

** Florence Osborn column, Simpson’s Leader-Times, 14 June 1963

*** http://csbnews.org/interview-to-benito-garozzo-by-fernando-lema/?lang=en
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I think you are on the right track.

I wonder who financed F-N's legal case?
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Barry and I were both once hard-line Blue Team supporters.

We made observations. We evaluated the evidence. We changed our minds.

Bertrand Russell:
Assign to every belief the degree of certainty the evidence warrants
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Indeed.

Ortiz-Patino talks about a WBF meeting in Bermuda, 1975, that considered what to do about Facchini-Zucchelli:

Someone suggested that they be severely reprimanded for improper conduct, with the matter then being passed to the Italian Bridge Federation to deal with. This, however, is what had been done in 1965 (the Reese–Schapiro affair) and it had worked out badly.

From “Under the Table”:

The very next year there was another Italian cheating scandal — the Burgay Tape. The WBF “passed it to the Italian Bridge Federation to deal with” and it indeed “worked out badly.” Quelle surprise.

It may well have been more of a disaster than 1965 — after all, the British Bridge League issued a public report with findings, which FIB never did. The BBL did not attempt a cover-up, it did not tamper with the evidence and it did not create false exonerating reports that suddenly vanished…
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I think Ray is right.

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/2014-spingold-champs-offer-to-vacate-titles/

As regards 2014:

- Will Helgemo, Helness, Multon and Zimmerman also hand back their trophies?

- What about Janssem, Kalita, Mazurkiewicz and Nowosadzki?

And if Mr Zimmerman is reluctant, will the others walk?

There are no one-man teams!
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
All we need is Orwell's Encyclopedia of Bridge…
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Belladonna opened 2 in the 1958 Bowl v Argentina, board 137, and 1959 Bowl final, board 94.

There may be others, but my books are a 9 hr flight north.
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I would bet on it. He won't.

Faites vos jeux…
Oct. 13
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
…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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
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
.

Bottom Home Top