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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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Craig, how did the ruling go?
April 29
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Chung Ching Wei devised Precision in 1963. He was keen to see it played at the highest level and had the brains to know that task was beyond him.
April 29
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So far as I know, the first world teams bridge championship where the sponsor paid all other players and won a gold medal was 1973 - Giuseppe Garabello paid the wages and collected.

And then there was the final of a world championship where a pro pair told the captain, “If {the sponsor} plays one board, we play no boards.”

Mr Sponsor played no boards and missed out on a gold medal.
April 28
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I think there is no shortage of lawyers in the bridge world.

Surely it would be a simple task to find several good lawyers who are both strong bridgeplayers and willing to create the appropriate definitions and put forward draft regulations.

If the WBF were serious about effective laws and regulations regarding cheating, they could do this with ease.
April 28
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Suitplay… resident on my computer for over 15 years.

http://home.planet.nl/~narcis45/suitplay/
April 28
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“Well, you're dead now, so shut up.”

The Meaning of Life, Monty Python.
April 27
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Many problems are solved, and many advantages accrue, by playing a 2NT response the old-fashioned way: 13-15 balanced (not a raise).

Kokish has a structure where 3 is the GF raise; I play it and like it.
April 27
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Excellent… well done.
April 26
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@Ian C: Your preserving options comes at the cost of distorting your hand. Responder is balanced and has support, so it is distorting to bid two suits. Raise to 2 and collect a bonus when they compete.
April 26
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Delete
April 26
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Lawrence and Wirgren:

http://www.newbridgelaw.com/
April 26
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Nick did say, “speak definitively”

Anyone can have an opinion on anything, but they would do well to be aware of the areas where expert views count for more than all the amateur opinions in the world.

Bertrand Russell:
Where experts are agreed, the average man would do well not to suppose the opposite opinion is certain
April 25
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Page 2:

It's fortunate for you that the 8 and 9 were not swapped…
April 25
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I agree with Frank that social pressure can be a powerful force, and it's one that can be used to bring rogue elements into line.

For example, who paid for F-N's high-end lawyers? What was this action designed to protect? Now, if this person knew in advance that such an action would result in becoming a bridge leper, unable to form any strong partnership or team…

Instead, we have recent video evidence of the WBF President giving hard-core cheats a hearty welcome.

Meanwhile…

Tim Seres, The Bridge World interview, Jan 2013:

I was at the 1979 Bermuda Bowl when Malcolm Brachman’s team won. Ever since then, I have been a little uneasy about the matter of playing sponsors at the highest levels. If a wealthy person engaged a top-class tennis player for the afternoon, no one would think anything of it. But if, say, the finals of the Men’s Doubles at Wimbledon had a billionaire of club standard playing, I suspect that there would be quite an uproar. That will not happen for two reasons: bridge appears unique in the ability for a team to be able to carry a player of lesser skill, and in other pursuits the rewards that come to top players from prizes, advertising, and indirect sponsorship allow them independence.
April 25
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Avarelli auction corrected… thanks.
April 24
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment April 24
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I, on the other hand, think Paul's idea is excellent.

I also think that it is exactly what Nicolas Hammond has already done… a statistical analysis of certain types of action - opening leads, dummy-play trick-taking and so on.

My understanding is that known cheating pairs stick out like (insert your preferred cliche); their opening leads are supremely successful, while (often) one member of the partnership is an inept dummy player.


Example:

1972 Olympiad Final, board 67

Avarelli, in 2nd seat, they are vul.
QJ1032 A103 Q9832

P P P 1D
1S 2H 4S X
all pass

Avarelli-Belladonna were playing Precision; earlier, GB had opened 1D with J7 and J9.

So how to explain Avarelli's opening lead of A, a choice of no one, not even a beginner? And it just happened to suit GB's hand… quel surprise.

Meanwhile, as we see here, by 1972 Avarelli had trouble with a simple finesse and had lost all concept of the idea of “exceeding tolerance”.

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/another-look-at-walter-avarelli/
April 24
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment April 24
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The Blue Team played 1,752 hands in World Championship finals and I have studied every one of them many times, as well as every deal in qualifying rounds and semi-finals.

That is quite some data-set and I submit that a study of all these deals can arrive at only one conclusion.

When we see actions like this:

Siniscalco, nil vul
87 KQJ4 AJ85 Q63
1S ?

Garozzo, they are vul
QJ1063 A932 A4 96
1H ?

Each time a pass was chosen. Each time Forquet had rubbish… and a singleton spade opposite Garozzo's hand.

What would you say to a beginner who passed those hands?

Furthermore, the big boys didn't play much EC… Forquet never played past 1959, Belladonna played 8 times from 1960-1979 and Garozzo 6 times from 1960-1979. Regardless, I went through many EC Daily Bulletins and found some “interesting” hands. Space considerations led me to limit my manuscript to world championships and some Lancia hands.


Richard, don't you find the total silence from all Italian sources somewhat puzzling?

Anyway, stay tuned. There is new news coming.
April 24
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Tim Seres on the Manoppos:

Playing against them was the eeriest experience I’ve had at the table. They would pause at the oddest moments with nothing much to go on, and, as declarer, I knew they were about to play the one card I didn’t want to see.
April 23
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Bring it on!

Maybe one day we will exchange signed copies…
April 23
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