< Earlier Kibitzing · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·
|May-10-05|| ||soberknight: Alan Truscott is a leading expert on bridge and has written columns for the New York Times. <chessgames.com>, this man deserves a biography.|
|May-11-05|| ||perfidious: In July 1975, he came to a weekend event in our area; at the time, he was in the expert class, about 2050, if my muddled brain remembers correctly.|
|Sep-13-05|| ||John Saunders: Alan Truscott (16 iv 1925 - 4 ix 2005) has died in New York, aged 80. There are extensive obituaries to be found in US and UK newspapers on the web as he was a major figure in the bridge world. He was also a strong chess player, playing in four Varsity matches (1948-51).|
|Apr-16-08|| ||brankat: Among other things Alan Truscott's biography here says: |
"..He played a leading role in uncovering Britain's most celebrated scandal of cheating at cards."
Does anyone know anything about it? Thank You.
|Oct-15-08|| ||kramputz: <brankat: Among other things Alan Truscott's biography here says:
"..He played a leading role in uncovering Britain's most celebrated scandal of cheating at cards."|
Does anyone know anything about it? Thank You.>
British players Terance Reese and Boris Shapiro were using hand signals to show the number of cards in the heart suit. They were using a crazy bidding system to confuse the Italian team who were playing the Roman Club and the Neapolitan Club bidding systems.
Truscott married Dorothy Hayden, the former partner of B.J. Becker and they formed a very powerful partnership.
I played against them in a regional tournament in New York City.
|Oct-15-08|| ||kramputz: Correction in spelling the names:
Terence Reese and Boris Schapiro
|Apr-16-09|| ||WhiteRook48: o..k... have you ever heard of someone abandoning chess for bridge?|
|Jun-14-09|| ||GerMalaz: Sure.
Irina Levitina for one.
Was told Cezary Balicki (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cezary...) used to be a chess player.
Probably more, but unless turned bridge pro, guess totally quitting chess would be rare.
|Aug-07-09|| ||Phony Benoni: Michael Rosenberg, now a world-class bridge player, represented Scotland twice at the World Students Championship and one at the World Junior before giving up chess. The games we have attributed to Matthew Rosenberg may be his.|
|Apr-16-12|| ||Infohunter: I remember reading about that scandal when it broke--I'd forgotten all about it until just now. Incidentally, I do not know how to play bridge.|
|Apr-16-12|| ||King Death: <Infohunter> Reading the Wikipedia link to Truscott gives one impression of the Buenos Aires accusations and reading their link to Terence Reese gives a different one.|
I don't know if this difference is because of tendentious editing but Reese and Schapiro were cleared. That's a fact and it's enough for me in spite of what Truscott said.
|Apr-16-12|| ||Nosnibor: Is the first game shown here against the New Zealand master Robert Wade? I was under the impression that Bob did not arrive in England until after the war in 1945.|
|Apr-16-12|| ||erniecohen: <<King Death> I don't know if this difference is because of tendentious editing but Reese and Schapiro were cleared. That's a fact and it's enough for me in spite of what Truscott said.>|
They were not cleared by any means. They were banned from international play by the World Bridge Federation, but aquitted by the British Bridge League. Saying that they were innocent is like saying that the Black Sox were innocent because they were found not guilty by a Chicago jury. All of this is very well documented in Truscott's book, "The Great Bridge Scandal"; the evidence really leaves very little doubt that they were guilty.
|Apr-16-12|| ||erniecohen: <<WhiteRook48>: ok... have you ever heard of someone abandoning chess for bridge?> |
Actually, in the pre-internet days, it was quite common for good high school players to switch to bridge in college, where it was much more popular. (I was one of these; I was around 2000 Elo and stopped playing chess for about 20 years.)
|Apr-16-12|| ||FSR: http://chesshistory.com/winter/extr... quotes John Rather: "For what it's worth, Tobias Stone, who was a promising New York player in the 1930s, became a world-class bridge master after abandoning chess." I think Craig V Chellstorp and Gregory S DeFotis, two extremely promising Chicago senior masters, both gave up chess (completely in Chellstorp's case; for many years in DeFotis' case) for other games, including backgammon and maybe also bridge.|
|Apr-16-12|| ||waustad: Bridge is fasinating. I might have gotten hooked like my parents and sister, but I always wound up living alone. I didn't have a partner.|
|Apr-17-12|| ||King Death: <erniecohen: ...They were not cleared by any means. They were banned from international play by the World Bridge Federation, but aquitted by the British Bridge League. Saying that they were innocent is like saying that the Black Sox were innocent because they were found not guilty by a Chicago jury. All of this is very well documented in Truscott's book, "The Great Bridge Scandal"; the evidence really leaves very little doubt that they were guilty...>|
That was Truscott's point of view as you well know and his wasn't the only one.
|Apr-17-12|| ||SamAtoms1980: On the Terence Reese controversy, Richard Pavlicek has read every angle, and does not claim the ability to call it one way or the other:|
|Apr-17-12|| ||Cardinal Fang: Bridge is indeed fascinating... a complex, beautiful, cerebral game - which over the years has been completely ruined by small-minded ego, pomposity and petty politics so as to make it completely unplayable, and sad to say the Buenos Aires situation seems to have been where its decline all started.|
|Apr-17-12|| ||erniecohen: <<SamAtoms1980>: On the Terence Reese controversy, Richard Pavlicek has read every angle, and does not claim the ability to call it one way or the other>|
Actually, he says only that he read both books. I have also read both books. I think that no reasonable person could read both books and conclude that they were innocent. A reasonable person might read both books and conclude that there is a very small but nonnegligible doubt of their guilt. A reasonable person might also conclude that they did not benefit significantly from their cheating; that was the essence of their "aquittal".
But I think that most reasonable persons would, like the WBF, just conclude that they were guilty.
|Apr-20-12|| ||FSR: Here is an account of the cheating scandal: http://shenkinbridge.com/Entertainm...|
|Apr-20-12|| ||pawn to QB4: <<On the Terence Reese controversy, Richard Pavlicek has read every angle, and does not claim the ability to call it one way or the other>
Actually, he says only that he read both books.>>|
Hang on, ernie, he said this: <Each book is convincing for its side and, having read both, I can only say that I am not sure of the truth. Therefore, I take no stand on this issue.> which seems very much SamAtoms version "does not claim the ability to call it one way or the other".
I was left in doubt myself, and when in doubt, acquit. One point I never saw answered was this - to communicate the length of your heart suit is far from the most useful piece of information you could get across by cheating. It seems a really odd choice. For example, much better info would be conveyed by telling your partner, whether you were strong or weak for a particular bid. So if you're out to cheat, why not come up with a system for doing that?
|Apr-20-12|| ||erniecohen: <pawn to QB4> What I was saying is that Pavlicek doesn't say that he conducted anything like an investigation; his only source of information was the two books. But let's get to the heart of this.|
There just doesn't seem to be any reasonable doubt that Reese and Shapiro deliberately held their cards in a way that indicated how many hearts there were in their hands. There just is no other mathematically plausible explanation for the the observed data. Do you propose that there is one?
Their defense came down to (1) the information exchanged was not very useful, (2) this method of signalling would be too easy to detect, and (3) that had they known each other's heart length, they would have played or bid differently.
Now, it is entirely possible that they did this not to improve their score, but to prove how easy it was to cheat at bridge. This would completely explain why their results did not improve. Indeed, they might have tried their best *not* to take advantage of this information. It would also explain why they chose to signal such an oddly chosen piece of information. It is entirely credible that they just thought that they could get away with this and have their own private little joke, to be revealed only many years later, complete with photos.
If this is what happened, it completely obliterates the defense. Since they didn't intend to "really cheat", it didn't matter how stupid the information exchanged was. The fact that it could be so easily detected would just make for a better story if they revealed it. They purposely didn't take advantage of the information in their bidding or play.
The WBF probably recognized this possibility when they voted, unanamously, to uphold the ban of Reese and Shapiro. Whether this is what happened is completely irrelevant to the question of whether they cheated; the rules of Bridge simply do not allow you to signal each other, even if it is not for the purpose of helping you to win.
|Apr-21-12|| ||King Death: It's reasonable to expect that Reese would defend Schapiro and himself, just like Truscott would once he made the allegations with the help of the woman who became his second wife. Also it's hard to imagine that the WBF would reverse their findings unless they were presented with what they thought was clear compelling evidence that they'd been wrong in the first place. So what we're left with is a powerful lot of jousting that leaves everybody standing in their places at the beginning of the whole affair and reputations ruined.|
|Apr-21-12|| ||pawn to QB4: hi ernie
I've heard before the idea that they were signalling for that kind of motive: Schapiro was said (after his death) to have made a sort of confession along those lines. I don't think it ought to stand up in court: there was no evidence that they'd profited by signalling, so let's guess that they were signalling without the intention of profiting...you can't end folks' careers on that one.
The observed data: I concede to you, not in a position (read the books 30 years ago, don't have them now) to judge it or the reliability of those who collected it. I'd just suggest that there are an awful lot of things to say about of a bridge hand. Not as many as the moves of our own far nobler game of course, but I'd have thought a simple number sequence like 1 3 2 3 3 2 2 4 3 5 2 would describe some aspect or other of my next ten hands.
Here's something, though, from Jeremy Flint that, if his account is true, makes the idea that they were signalling seem very strange.
<1. The bitter quarrel between Reese and Schapiro "was surely not the perfect background for alleged dishonest complicity".
2. When Flint was playing with Reese in the closed room, Geoffrey Butler (BBL official) and Waldemar von Zedwitz (senior American master) came to watch. After the session Flint said to Reese:
"Terence, you realise we were being watched."
"Good gracious," he replied "Do you think so?"
"I suppose they must be considering banning the Little Major," I ventured.
"Reese is considered a fool by no-one [yet] according to his accusers he continued to exchange signals for the next seven days"> sorry to have no better source than wikipedia, I'll take any abuse on the chin.
But if so, this seems a mad risk for someone to take. "Considered a fool by no-one" is understating it - he was usually considered a genius, Schapiro saying that he'd only met one other, our own Emanuel Lasker. So he's told officialdom is watching, yet carries on signalling: I wouldn't have thought any sane man would risk that to win a world title, let alone to be able to tell a funny story afterwards.
KingDeath's comment about the sad ending after so much effort. Too true.
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