Magazine article The Spectator

Partners in Crime

Magazine article The Spectator

Partners in Crime

Article excerpt

IT was something Terence Reese and Boris Schapiro wished the world would just forget about, but last week the Buenos Aires cheating scandal of 1965 hit the headlines again when a friend of Reese claimed he'd confessed to him that they had cheated, but that it was part of an experiment to prove cheating was possible.

Whatever the truth, it has gone to the grave with them. But one thing's for sure: they were one of the best international pairs of their time and didn't need to cheat. The scandal put Reese off tournament bridge for good, but after a ten-year gap Schapiro made a comeback. At 89 he became the oldest world champion in any sport when he won the World Senior Pairs.

I never met Reese, but Schapiro was a regular at TGR's, and even in his eighties was as irrepressible as ever (his very first words to me were: 'Fancy a spot of intercourse?'). My favourite piece of Schapiro mischief took place in 1948. Reese had been dining with him, and had borrowed a sackful of his bridge trophies to take to his newly formed Bridge Players' Association. …

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