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All comments by Sigurbjörn Haraldsson
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Fact: the same polish team that won the BB in 2015 played in the European championship in 2016 and did NOT qualify for BB. Poland, with a different team, did not qualify in 2018 either. This clearly demonstrates that qualifying from Europe is a no mere formality, even for a bridge nation as strong as Poland. This, at the very least, hugely detracts from an otherwise impressive and clean win in 2015, I am sorry to say.
Oct. 28, 2018
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Laugh all you want. I just assume that the author isn't making up the hands or the way they were bid. I am more than capable of making up my own mind and debating all the hands presented in this book, and those views probably won't all coincide with the author's and some may even coincide with yours.
Oct. 20, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment Oct. 20, 2018
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Damo, your posts cracks me up. Your comparison of dbl 4s with a 6 card spade suit, albeit small ones, to sitting in pd's t/o dbl of 3d with AQ109xxx hearts is hilarious, to say the least. Talk about shattering one's credibility LOL.
Mr. Hargreaves; I never understood Mr. Wilsmore to be presenting himself as a neutral party, why did you?. He did his research and wrote a book on the subject, it is not an academic effort, so to me he is just stating facts he has gathered and defending his conclusions. I have no problem with that.

I like the phrase “exceeding tolerance” used in the book on more than one occasion. Suspected pairs can be done in by just one hand that exceeds tolerance, the racecars in recent years and also a french pair in the sixties, if I am remembering correctly. If you read this book it is just impossible to deny its conclusion, the hands the exceed tolerance are just too many, and adding them up with the many other (just) suspect hands and then adding the anecdotal evidence such as the burgay tape etc. It is just a slam dunk.
Oct. 19, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment Oct. 19, 2018
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“Under the Table” is a thoroughly convincing read, thank you for your hard work Mr. Wilsmore. As disturbing as I find almost everything in this book, two things stand out: the amnesty provided for (what were the names) Vivaldi -someone ? I don't fully understand what that is about? who gave the amnesty and why? could you elaborate for me Mr. Wilsmore? But then also and especially Donna Comptons's side of the story regarding the WBF handling of the doctors. I find that an extremely serious matter, unwillingness to act unless forced, attempts to suppress evidence, this is, in one word, revolting and someone needs to answer for it.
Oct. 15, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment Oct. 15, 2018
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Up Yours EBL.
Oct. 11, 2018
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Peter, why are you bringing up a case of one board over a man's 5 decade career when the discussion is about collusion cheaters that cheated multiple times on every single board, I don't know MP so I consider myself a neutral party when I say that I think it's distasteful if not downright offensive.
Whatever people's opinion on the matter are, (I for one tend to believe MP's claims for his actions, why would he admit fouling the board otherwise) but considering the abuse, attacks and insults just here on Bridgewinners over the years, MP has paid more than enough for his crime.. enough is enough, it's starting to feel like a vendetta against him.
I also find outrageous that you try to shame MP's teammates by questioning and minimizing their commitment to the enterprise put forth in the OP. While I will never ever knowingly enter a tournament that include certain players, I would have no problem whatsoever teaming up with MP and I see no reason why anyone should…
Oct. 11, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment Oct. 11, 2018
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How utterly revolting this is. I support the OP 100%. Almost equally revolting are the statements from Rona/WBF. They remind me that the WBF don't care one iota about the issue and that the WBF have basically, to their disgrace, ignored several DECADES worth of top level cheating. If the WBF or EBL, or any bridge organization for that matter, can't find a way keeping this filth away from tournaments, the game will suffer immensely and participation will decline, perhaps considerably. Don't give me whining about what can or can't be done. If the WBF has an invitation clause then by all means USE IT, and then why can't other bridge organizations add a similar clause ?
Oct. 8, 2018
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Anyone who uses that amazingly silly 9 of diamond lead as an example to convince others that the Blue team weren't cheating just simply doesn't understand the game. To me, it, at the very least, strongly suggests, if not flat out proves, that east signalled diamond strength to his pd. Otherwise, no one in their right mind would make that lead.
Sept. 22, 2018
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Seriously, was 1s not alerted ? Adjust to -50 for at least N-S, more facts needed regarding E-W adjustment. I feel that 1s bid should have been forcefully alerted.
June 20, 2018
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The committee mentioned that south should and DID realize something strange was going on after the strange explanation from west and is therefore on his own in the bidding. South did not ask further. It is not a stretch for south to guess exactly what is happening. Also, I would consider the dbl by north to be a bad error given the information he had and beyond redress, for NS at least.
April 22, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment April 22, 2018
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West just said that he got confused, he did not maintain that he believed the opening bid to be 2s, perhaps suggesting that at the time he thought 4m leaping michaels did apply over 1M. EW did have a convention card, which alhtough did not mention exactly 1M-4c, it did include the normal 2 suited overcalls, such as michaels and in a box for jump overcalls it was marked preemptive.
April 22, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment April 22, 2018
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Iceland has a rather small bridge community. It would be fair to say that probably no icelandic bridge player plays 4c there as h+c, especially these guys who play very natural methods with few gadgets. It is very possible that west isn't used to leaping michaels and is therefore confusing it with the 2M-4m overcall. Alhtough the convention card didn't specifically mention 1M-4c as natural, it did state 1m-2d M's 1M-2N m's and 1M-2M michaels also in a box for jump overcalls it was checked preemptive. This plus the fact that no one here, so far, has even heard of 4c as h+c over 1s, it seems clear that the east gave the correct explanation of their agreements and that west just went off the rails.
April 22, 2018
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment April 22, 2018
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To clarify, when I say we almost always open 1N with 5card major when in range, I mean with a 5332 shape.
July 31, 2017
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In my partnership, we will open 1N with 5card Major almost all the time when we're in the range of a 1N opener. Some play it that way, for some it's optional and the player uses his judgment whether he opens 1M or 1N. Obviously we and others must have a way to locate a 53 Major fit, and a relay following a stayman is quite common in my neck of the woods, and shouldn't surprise anyone at this level. But responder is of course allowed to use his judgment whether to decide to go for a 53 fit or whether to just shoot out 3N. With that hand, 10hcp and 3352 shape I would always try for a 53 fit, could be a very silly 3N. With the same hand and 3343 I would just bid 3N. So, the bidding was PERFECTLY normal and not even in the vicinity of fielding anything. I found the director statements at the table strange, if I heard them correctly that is, something about them not playing a normal stayman and they need to alert it. Is a treatment like this (53 Major fit location) really that unusual?
July 31, 2017
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I apologize for my harsh opinions, but IMO, no real bridge player would go whining about light third hand openers. No real bridge player would accuse his opponents of cheating with virtually nothing supporting the fact.
In the immortal words of Mike “the mouth” Matusow:
“the kiddy game is down the street”
Also, the examples given in this statement are absolutely laughable and in no way support your case.

On the other hand, I do understand that you were very displeased with the directors inaction. Dealing with the WBF seems like an exercise in futility. But now you must realise that your actions were inappropriate to say the least and instead of continuing to try to save face why not just apologize to Bathurst-Lall
Sept. 25, 2016
Sigurbjörn Haraldsson edited this comment Sept. 25, 2016
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This is sad beyond words for both pairs. Why on earth wouldn't the director(s), knowing about the direction switch and possible confusion, make sure the score was correct.
Sept. 18, 2016
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I wasn't aware that transfers, or anything for that matter, in competition had to be written down in a suppliment. One hardly sees suppliments nowadays, and I'm sure many are playing some groovy stuff in competition, are they being unlawful if doing so ?
Sept. 16, 2016
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“They had raised the issue of whether an American pair’s agreements for third seat opening was properly disclosed. There was no allegation of unethical behavior.”

Is this supposed to be a joke? Didn't they claim that Barthurst-Lall opened every time in third pos NV without disclosing it? They were definitely accusing them of cheating and their behaviour at game time certainly supports that. I myself would hardly even consider that cheating just unethical. First of all, it's stupid, second of all, everybody is weary of a NV third hand opened anyway so it's not like you're gonna catch anyone off guard. This is what, imo, makes Spain's actions so incredibly out of proportion that I'm at a loss for words, even if it had turned out to be true which it didn't. I mean, what kind of an insane response is that to a theory regarding their opps third hand NV openings. Good thing nobody told them about the dirty knife.

But what was the poor Spanish team supposed to do in their supposed predicament some have asked. Well, what did the USA senior team do a few years back, when they discovered REAL cheating was taking place, did they throw a hissy fit? no they informed the directors and took their cues from them, now that's a novel act.
Sept. 14, 2016
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In my opinion this looks like a case of simple neglect by lall-bathurst not to mention their tendency on their convention card under general approach and style. But Spain's actions were outrageous and they should have been expelled from the tournament on the spot. Shame on the officials and directors for letting this play out the way it did.
Sept. 12, 2016
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I like this idea.
I would think that any bridge federation with suspect pairs would be far more likely to perform its due diligence regarding cheating if a possible ban were looming over their heads. Also, I would think that this would be a great incentive for their teammates to root out the problem themselves. This would also maker their competitors for national spots more vocal, they would be less inclined to suffer in silence only adding to the existing whispers and rumors which surround the suspect pair(s).
Aug. 16, 2016
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