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All comments by Avon Wilsmore
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In 1980, a Perth youth player and friend of mine was playing in a duplicate.

A queen was led to his trump contract. Holding both the king and jack, he asked if the opponents used overleads or underleads.

When RHO won the ace, he played the card he was known to hold, and they declined to take their ruff.

He was barred from bridge for two years and gave up the game, apart from a comeback as my partner in the 1984 ANC Youth Teams.
July 9
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… if every psyche that they madewas (sic) successful something would have been said by their contempories (sic) - they were experienced players after all and would probably have noticed.


I am away from my books, but I quote Mr Yates:

Rixi Markus alleged that Reese & Schapiro were “wired”. Specifically, she claimed they always seemed to know when the other psyched.


I note you raise an irrelevancy; the psyching habits of a different partnership. I do not know what PL-JC got up to; illicit signals, “helpful” pauses, or neither. I do know, if you want to see psyches that failed, read the 1958 BB Handbook and observe Becker, Crawford, Rapee, Silodor and Roth-Stone.


It is certainly the case that not all US players were models of virtue. In my book, I discuss bd 134 of the 1963 BB final. It is a near-certainty that illicit information was flying back and forth throughout the auction.

My opinion is that Avarelli-Belladonna were using a formal set of pre-arranged signals, while Schenken-Leventritt were practitioners of “That Old Black Magic”.
July 9
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The topic under discussion by Mr Selway is psyching. He wonders if I am particularly dense, for he thinks I do not understand the bidding habits of the day.

I should have worded my question better; here is another attempt:

- Are there hands where one member of the R-S partnership psyched, and the other failed to “get the gag”?

- When psyching, what sort of ratio of “understanding each other” to disaster do we see over many years?


I have read every British Bridge World and many Bridge Magazines of the late 50s-early 60s. I recall many psyches; as with Jais-Trezel, most were junk facing junk. I recall no hand where partner bid too much.


As for GB v US, bd 74:

West         East
♠ A74 ♠ K53
♥ J9 ♥ 10652
♦ KJ10 ♦ A984
♣ K10763 ♣ 52
Reese Schapiro
P
1C 1H
P


Those who have read “Play Bridge with Reese” will recall his disdain for responding in a poor four-card major. On his hand, it is Schapiro who acted outside their systemic style.

There was no psyche.
July 9
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…in the Reese - Shapiro era… often it backfired with hilarious results…

Can you show me one R-S hand where partner did the wrong thing?
July 9
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Quite so…. if partner has a diamond void, why aren't we collecting +300?
July 9
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David Yates:
If I get to Australia, I am looking up Avon and we are going out for beers.

And plenty of them.


I am reminded of when I went out to dinner with UK/HK/AU bridgeplayer John Lester. We ate a good meal and visited several bars. We ended up at Baron's, a large, comfortable and dark bar in Kings Cross. 3am came…

JL: Whose round is it?

AW: John, I can't drink any more. I have to go home; 8 hrs non-stop drinking is enough for me

JL: Please, just two more rounds!

AW: No. I'm f'd and I want to go to bed

JL: Please, please, just two more rounds!

AW: Christ, man, what the hell for?

JL: Because if we have two more rounds, I can go straight to the office…
July 8
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I know of nothing regarding Reese and partners other than Schapiro.

- The Oakie Notes are from 1960.
- The photos on Truscott's book are from 1965
- Kleinman's essay examines the 1965 hands and Reese's statements in The Story of an Accusation

I regard the sum of those to be evidence of cheating, beyond reasonable doubt.

I do not know what other times and events Reese may have engaged in improper conduct.
July 8
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AW:
If you want to judge Kleinman's work, read Kleinman's work

Norman Selway:
Why? I don't remember him being around at the time, and for that matter neither were you. I was.

The other day I read an article about new research into man-made prehistoric structures in England. The author was not around at that time, therefore the article had to be worthless.


Meanwhile, in my research conducted over the last few years, I have been struck by the acuity of the analysis from two individuals: Anders Wirgren and Danny Kleinman. Both of them can examine a deal and winkle out facts and observations that are most elusive.


I repeat what I wrote above:
Kleinman's analysis, along with the devastating and unanswerable Oakie Notes, make the case against Reese-Schapiro simply overwhelming.

It really is time for the Reese defenders to consider an update of their views; it is mine that Reese was a truly great writer, a truly great player, and a cheat.
July 8
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I have 1965 (and all the WC books where the Blue Team made the final). I will be reunited with them when I visit Thailand in two weeks, and I will see how I go farming-out the task of PDF creation to a small firm I use for secretarial/printing jobs.

If that works, I am optimistic that Bjarne Knudsen and Florentin Axinte can again do fine work, as mentioned here:

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/another-wc-bookpdf-request/

Jim: If we run into problems or need advice, we will be in touch. Thanks for the offer.
July 8
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Yes, I have a point to make.

If you want to judge Kleinman's work, read Kleinman's work.
July 8
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I suspect Richard means, “aggressive with unbalanced ones.”

I agree with this.

For TR, who preferred playing strength over HCP, passing a flat 12-count and opening a shapely 10-count with an AKJxxx is entirely consistent.

As Kleinman pointed out:
At worst, the 1♥ opening will be lead-directing; at best, it may deter the opponents from bidding a 3NT makable only because East lacks a second heart to put West in with…

So, TR's 1 opening gains (against a pass) when his RHO opens 1NT and they end in 3NT, without a decent heart stopper.

To compare passing a flat 12-count with passing a hand with a long, chunky suit is a false equivalence.
July 8
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I am not going to speculate; I am not a specialist.

In the meantime, you could read Kleinman* for yourself.

Bertrand Russell:
If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted.


* Bridge World editorial staff:
Jeff Rubens, Phillip Alder, Kit Woolsey, Michael Becker, David Berkowitz, Augie Boehm, Bart Bramley, Larry Cohen, Mark Feldman, Fred Gitelman, Eddie Kantar, Danny Kleinman, Ron Klinger, Eric Kokish, Beverly Kraft and Bobby Wolff
July 8
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment July 8
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I guess I would have been better-off using “essay” rather than “thesis”

Meanwhile, I think your statement, “…all anyone can do is speculate…” is lacking an essential qualification.

Recently I had a medical specialist speculate as to whether a small lump on my chest needed attention. He speculated that it did not.

I did not seek the opinion of any of my (non-medical) friends. That is because I think there is speculation and there is informed speculation.

If the R-S case interests you, I recommend Kleinman's work highly.
July 8
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Bertrand Russell:
Proof is considerably harder to come by than the average person might suppose
July 8
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Kicking over the traces like this has an entertainment value and that's where it begins and ends.

Well, I found Kleinman's excellent analysis and uncovering of new facts about the R-S case to be much more than entertainment - I found his thesis absorbing and educational.
July 8
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Craig, your personal preferences will have no influence on what or if I post.

Now, if the WBF were, just once, to show the slightest interest in, or competence at, policing the game…
July 7
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Kleinman doesn't have much of note to say…


Kleinman quotes Reese:
If I know my partner has a singleton heart, it must be better tactics to pass originally … When East led ♥8 against Three Diamonds, I won with the King and returned a club. Obviously we could beat the contract only if partner had two tricks in clubs. I had visions of him making two clubs, then putting my back with the Ace of hearts. Now a third heart will establish a trump trick for the defence as the cards lie, for East’s ♦8 will force dummy’s King. If I know that partner has a singleton heart I must cash the second heart at once and hope that the defence will come to two clubs, two hearts and a trump.

Kleinman:
That seems like Reese’s best hope in any event. When Schapiro shows up with the two club tricks (ace and queen) for which Reese is playing him, surely declarer won’t also play Schapiro for the guarded queen of diamonds on the bidding. Reese’s visions of an uppercut are thus unnecessary. Even without knowledge of East’s singleton heart, I would expect a defender as gifted as Reese to cash the ♥A just to cater to the possibility. The only sound reason for not cashing the second heart would be knowledge (in this case, false) that East had a doubleton.

I don’t see that knowledge of East’s singleton heart should deter West from opening 1♥ with such a good 6-card suit. At worst, the 1♥ opening will be lead-directing; at best, it may deter the opponents from bidding a 3NT makable only because East lacks a second heart to put West in with and West lacks an outside entry to run his hearts after surrendering a trick to the opponents’ queen. Regardless, I would classify Reese’s 1♥ opening as a lead-directing semi-psych. (Note that a weak 2♥ opening is not available in the Acol System that Reese and Schapiro were playing.)
July 7
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Mr Yates' other article ( https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/confession-is-good-for-the-goal/ ) quotes Reese on 1965:

I don’t recall any clever psychic bids

We see in this current article that Reese does not have a good memory.


Here we saw another expertly-fielded heart-suit psyche:

https://bridgewinners.com/article/view/another-reese-schapiro-hand/


Of the deal on page 1 of this current article, Kleinman writes:

Reese is wrong on several counts. East may have known that West was weak—but not “very” weak. It was certainly very possible for West to have held the ♥Q and ♥J instead of the ♠5 and the ♣5, for example. It was likely, on the surface, that the opponents’ best suit was clubs, the suit North had bid, not hearts; especially since the “takeout” doubles of the Italians tend to show strength more than hand-pattern. No, the only basis for East to suspect that his opponents had a heart game was knowledge of West’s doubleton heart.

If Reese had held a singleton spade and four or five hearts, why would he suspect Schapiro’s 2♥ of being phony? But even if he were to be “alive to the possibility,” what could he then do about it? He still wouldn’t have verified that Schapiro didn’t have 5-5 in the majors (very possible when the Italians have doubled 1♠). To find out, he would have to bid 3♥ or 4♥, and then hear Schapiro run back to spades. If Reese had four or five hearts and only one spade, then Schapiro would fare very poorly indeed in 3♠ or 4♠ doubled.

Finally, when does a player ever have an “obvious” psych? A 2♥ bid by Reese would be “beyond tolerance”—just as Schapiro’s 2♥ was. Playing against the Italians, who make frequent off-shape doubles, it’s important for the opening bidder’s partner to bid a new suit, since the doubler may be short in that suit and the opening bidder may fit it. Any temptation for the responder to psych, therefore, is diminished. Such a psych is apt to be unreadable by the opener; and the honest use of the new-suit response is too valuable a bidding tool to give up or cast doubt upon.



Kleinman's analysis, along with the devastating and unanswerable Oakie Notes, make the case against Reese-Schapiro simply overwhelming.


Of Facchini-Zucchelli, Denis Howard wrote:

What there is of the defense case is weak enough to leave me in no doubt that Facchini and Zucchelli cheated in Bermuda. I submit that any objective analysis of the evidence and of the surrounding circumstances will lead all but the wilfully self-deceptive to the same determination.

The Reese-Schapiro case is no different.
July 6
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I think that the (to-date) definitive analysis of R-S at the 1965 Bermuda Bowl is by Danny Kleinman, in his book “Bridge Internationals, Famous and Infamous”.

From the summary:

I find Reese’s Story of an Accusation to be a masterpiece of deception, containing erroneous representations of vulnerability conditions on at least two boards, many unsubstantiated characterizations of bids as “normal” when they aren’t, unnecessarily vague language, and frequent non-sequiturs.

I also think that Reese found it hard to conceal his contempt for Schapiro in writing this book. Schapiro seldom knew how to use illicit knowledge about heart length in the subtle ways in which it might have proved profitable. Instead his erratic bids often exceeded tolerance; and what’s worse, posed the toughest dilemmas for Reese, who was almost equally concerned to stay within tolerance and to profit from his knowledge of Schapiro’s heart length.
July 6
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Agree. Roman Club did not use any DI.
July 3
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