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All comments by John Wilmott
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Another good point. I was referring to his many matchpoint victories in national European tournaments.
April 11
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You have a point, but few have won so many titles…
April 11
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Martin Hoffman should have been on the inaugural list in my view.
April 9
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Fourth Suit Forcing allows one to play Fifth suit forcing: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/fifth-suit-forcing/ Keep the convention.
April 2
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I am pretty sure that their will be a Dutch quartet with children in tow who will be taking a vacation on the Cote d'Azur this summer somewhere west of Menton.
March 28
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I do wonder who will replace Fantoni-Nunes in the Monaco team…
March 28
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Suppose you test one round of clubs first, and west shows out, is it best to play the double finesse in diamonds now?
March 27
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There has to a high degree of rigour in this sort of situation, as close to bulletproof as possible. With the benefit of the doubt in favour of the accused.

There will be plenty here advocating for BZ who will scrutinise the evidence with punishing rigour.

No one wants to see a witch hunt.
March 18
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It is better that a codebreaker has a sustainable hypothesis that is tested. It would be pointless if we have to keep starting from zero.
March 18
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Richard, many will overlook what are seemingly innocuous mannerism. It takes hours of careful observation to detect a pattern.

Once the pattern is codified by a codebreaker, it is better to try and disprove what has been postulated by another.
March 18
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Hi Oleg, My criticism is not aimed at Boye, of course not, what he has done for the game may pay dividends for decades. Tend to agree with your secondary point; that the authorities knew the bridge world suspected F/S for years and chose not to investigate. Boye took real risks, his career, a litany of lawsuits, and the possibility of being subject to a substantial ban.

I was unaware of a ‘plea bargain’ arrangement made with a third party. If such an agreement had been agreed and had been posted here in the past, I apologise for resurrecting the issue. I do not have a problem with such a course of action. Cheating is as corrosive to the game as steroids are to Athletics.

Just how close ‘deep throat’ came to identifying the methodology employed by B/Z would be of more than a passing interest.
Feb. 22
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OK Gene, three years ago you might have been aware of the gossip surrounding BZ, I was not, sorry. To my mind they were a pair in good standing. I just thought that Balicki was a slightly unpleasant opponent with the persona of a bad tempered nightclub bouncer, whereas Zmudzinski was a highly cultured individual. I would be shocked if many placed them in the same category as Fisher-Schwartz. Maybe I am drawing an unfounded conclusion, I am sure you mix in more elevated circles than I do.

I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who through extraordinary diligence uncovered the malfeasance that has contaminated the game.

I do think one is entitled to ask why one pair has come under so much scrutiny as opposed to fifty other top partnerships? If they are working to a list drawn up by a statistician maybe the time has come to present the list and the data for the sake of transparency.
Feb. 22
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Why were BZ ever suspected?
Were all the top pairs investigated so thoroughly?

It would be good to hear from the investigators.

BZ were never suspect in the same way that Fisher-Schwartz were. If it is because of their success at short suit leads against notrump contracts then I think the hands and the bidding should be made available to all bridge players, frankly, all pairs that have a high ‘strike rate’ on such a list should be presented.

We have ‘fingerprint’ evidence with F/S and F/N. The majority of criminal cases are decided on circumstantial evidence. The placing of the cards on the bidding tray is a good example, consistent with too few variables. Is it enough to convict? Should the bar for conviction be set above that of a criminal court? I think not. The integrity of the game is essential to its survival, for it to continue the world's best players will have to be actively ethical.
Feb. 22
John Wilmott edited this comment Feb. 22
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No one is going to develop a cheating system based on what cards they touch in dummy when defending. To believe such a contention is farcical. Balicki is highly febrile when playing bridge.
Feb. 19
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Robert, do you have compelling evidence to suggest they cheated? I am sure the EBL would be happy to reconsider the verdict if you can present it.
Feb. 16
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In the age of Sabine Auken, it would be a brave man who ventured the notion that men are inherently superior to women at the game. Nonetheless men are more successful. Why?

Bridge is a game of aggression, from the auction to the last trick, and everything in between, the acerbic comments, calling the director for perceived rather than real transgressions, temper losses, no one who contributes to Bridge Winners can disagree that many matches can be unpleasant experiences, more so when the red mist descends. Men thrive in such circumstances, women underperform.

Women are outperforming men in the more trivial aspects of life, to mention just a few; Academia including the sciences, the professions, literature, more women write fiction than men and more women read it. Try attending a poetry reading, the majority of readers are women. This list would need several paragraphs to elucidate the point.

The problem is not how women perform, it is the atmosphere in which the game is played.

Male 55+
Club player at best
British
Feb. 7
John Wilmott edited this comment Feb. 7
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FN were suing for loss of earning to the tune of €850K. I think they were looking at alternative facts.
Jan. 26
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Hi Peg, I tend to agree with the tenor of the last few posts you have made. Unfortunately, I think you have taken a slightly wrong turn. I do think that men bring something rather different to the table, not so much a larger brain, more from the endocrine system, manifesting in sustained aggression.

I have no doubt that the best women players declare and defend as well as men, I am not even sure the point is worth making, there have always been plenty of women who have displayed outstanding natural ability at our great game. None here can deny the presence of an insidious aggression, sometimes spilling over to violence, is an ever present aspect of the game played at the highest level and for the most part is perpetrated by the male sex. I would be astonished if women played at their best in such an atmosphere. Over four hours I would expect that most would feel intimidated to the point of unwarranted deterioration.

Some might be happy to dismiss the points made here as anecdotal, so be it, I agree, my points lack data and measurement. I would be sincerely interested if others have made similar observations. More than grateful if some are aware of research in this area.
Jan. 18
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Just suppose they are reinstated in Italy, so what? That will be the only place they could play and probably as jobbing professionals. Why not wait out the sentence and come back into the game in three years. The average time for a civil suit to be settled in Italy is nine years.

They will never be allowed to play in ACBL sanctioned events. I am pretty sure that if they are litigating the FIGB they will be barred from any EBL events.
Jan. 11
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