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The annual Bermuda Bowl world championship saw Italy and the United States playing in the 1975 final. There, American reporter Bruce Keidan would uncover one of the most infamous bridge cheating scandals ever.

While watching one of the Italian pairs, Gianfranco Facchini and Sergio Zucchelli, Keidan noticed unusual foot actions between the two. The reporter found the players tapping each other's feet under the table in an apparent attempt to relay information about their hands. Cheating is, of course, grounds for expulsion from any bridge organization. Keidan's discovery, which was confirmed by several witnesses, was eventually presented to the presiding authorities of the event, who "severely reprimanded" Facchini and Zucchelli for their activity but allowed the players to continue competing in the event. Ironically, although the Italians were allowed to stay, the Bermuda Bowl authorities placed blocks underneath the tables to prevent any further foot contact.

American captain Alfred Sheinwold was angered by the Solomonic decision and stated that his team would resign from the bridge match. Only by threats made to Sheinwold by the United States' governing body, the American Contract Bridge League, was his team coerced into finishing the event. (The ACBL did not want a huge public embarrassment that refusing to play would cause.) Italy won the event, 215 - 189 (International Match Points). By all accounts, Facchini and Zucchelli quickly faded from the international bridge circuit thereafter.

See also

  • The Buenos Aires Incident
    At the 1965 Bermuda Bowl, the Americans B. Jay Becker and Dorothy Hayden accused British pair Terence Reese and Boris Schapiro of using finger signals to cheat.

  • The Fisher Schwartz Scandal
    The Fisher Schwartz scandal occurred at the 2015 Spingold Team Knockouts when Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz were accused of cheating.

  • The Houston Affair
    The Houston Affair was a bridge scandal involving American players Larry Cohen and Richard Katz.