As experienced tournament players may know, the United States uses a playoff system to determine which team gets to play in the annual world championship. These team trials, as they are known, ended scandalously in 1977 when two players, Larry Cohen* and Richard Katz, abruptly quit in the middle of the final. At the time, event officials were investigating rumors that Katz-Cohen were transmitting information illegally. Before any formal accusations were made, however, Katz and Cohen resigned from their team, which then forfeited due to a lack of players.

But not only did Katz and Cohen quit their team and the event, they resigned their memberships in the American Contract Bridge League, the national body in charge of the team trials. Soon afterward, Katz and Cohen filed a $44 million lawsuit against the ACBL and three tournament officials for defamation of character, false allegations of misconduct, and forced resignation from the League. The whole affair managed to get settled in court, where the ACBL agreed to readmit Katz and Cohen, who promised in turn to not play with each other again. Monetary compensation was not made to the pair.

*Not the Larry Cohen famous in tournament bridge circles for his book, The Law of Total Tricks.

See also

  • The Bermuda Incident
    The Bermuda Incident was a bridge scandal at the 1975 Bermuda Bowl championship. There, the American team accused the Italian team of cheating.

  • 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.