August 2015 will be remembered as a landmark for World Bridge. There had long been talk among bridge players about certain pairs ethics, and enough evidence was found by experts sifting through filmed vu-graph documentation to accuse four World Champion pairs of cheating, Italians Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes among them. The American Bridge League banned them for life while its European counterpart (EBL) suspended them for three years for ‘collusive cheating’. The pair appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), a board with no bridge players on it, which, while not exonerating them, upheld the appeal. The EBL and ACBL stood by their decisions, but the following week Mr Fantoni showed up at the prestigious Barcelona Congress, playing with Miguel Trapé, president of the Catalan BF (not a member of the EBL) and organiser of the tournament. Check it out on the Bridge Winners website.On to pleasanter pastures. Today’s hand was played by the great Gunnar Hallberg in a high stake rubber bridge game at TGR’s.
West led 3♥which went to the 6, Ace and 4. East returned the ♥J covered by South’s ♥Q and won by West’s King. And now comes West’s big problem: WHO HAS THE ♥8? If Declarer has it, he’s giving the contract and if partner has it they have four heart tricks and the ♦Ace. So West returned the ♦7, ducked in dummy, and South took the ♦Q with the Ace. Now Gunnar, having concealed his ♥2, made the brilliant play of the ♥5, forcing West to guess who had the 8! If partner has it he must hop up with the ♥10 (a Crocodile coup gobbling up East’s ♥8) to take four tricks and if Declarer has it he must play the ♥7. Beautiful.
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