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Fisher & Schwartz Defence Files: Hand from Polish Championships

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The rebuttal document presented by Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz to the Israeli Special Ethics Committee (IBF-SEC) is written in Hebrew and is 400 pages long. Fisher and Schwartz have decided not to publish it in its entirety before the public hearing at the SEC, which will start on the 14th of February. Nonetheless, Fisher has decided some days ago to publish an excerpt from this document on facebook.

It is one of the hands analysed in the prosecutor’s document, entitled ‘Israeli Doctors’ and edited by Amir Levin, Bar Tarnovsky and Eldad Ginossar.

This hand was played in the Polish Championships 2014/2015 (round 3, board 8). Fisher and Schwartz  were playing for RAL Poznan team, against AZS Poliytechnika Wroclaw. The original text is in Hebrew: We publish here an English translation.


F-S Hand 01

“Fisher jumps to 4 and hawks (COUGHS) mildly as the tray is passed to the other side, probably warning partner from bidding (has bad hearts for his bid and was afraid to pass the 4-level with this hand).”

See 1:05.27 in this link:click here »


Problem with the argument:


Fisher’s 4 is a preventive bid that tends to be a signoff.  There are a few possibilities where Schwartz can bid beyond 4, the cases in which Schwartz will do this are case in which there is a fit in hearts (at least 2 cards) and a large number of controls (aces and kings).

The following are a number of cases in which Schwartz can bid again, in all of which 6 is easy to make.

AXXX JXXX KX AXX – only 12 points

AXXX JXX KQX AXX – only 14 points

XXX AXX XXX AKQJ – only 14 points

As can be plainly seen, the number of high-card points in all these hands is less than 15.  It should be taken into account that Schwartz has the option of hands with 18-21 points where it is easy to make 7 .  A number of them are cited here:

AXX  AXX XXX AKQJ – 18 high-card points and balanced distribution

AXX AXX KQX AXX – only 17 high-card points

From this it is possible to understand that Fisher has a super-maximum hand for 4 and there is no reason at all why Fisher should be against Schwartz bidding again beyond 4, it is clear that with any combination of cards that Schwartz should have to move in the direction of slam, it will be very easy to make 6 or even 7.

On this board, writers of this document reinforce the fact that no forbidden information was passed by Schwartz-Fisher by means of coughing.

What in fact happened: Fisher bids 4, Fisher’s hand is super-maximum for his bidding and despite this and against what might be expected Fisher becomes hoarse.

It can be seen that in the Doctors 3 document the writer of that document points out that Fisher’s hand is not a minimum.  There is no reason to say more, this shows a lack of credibility and seriousness and exposes the objective of the Doctors documents – slander and destruction of  Schwartz-Fisher’s image and career.



  1. The accusers think use of the word “probably” represents them as cautious. But the incessant and tendentious repetition of everything (including “perhaps”) to the detriment of the accuse does not indicate caution, but rather malicious mud-slinging. It is not only negligence in evaluation of the bidding system but also an intent to damage with the presentation of things that have not been examined (lacking proven argument), as though there were indications of cheating.
  2. The writers of the documents’ lack of credibility is expressed time after time in a clear and incontrovertible way.
  3. The writers of the document contradict themselves on that same board will different evaluations of strength in two different documents.
  4. Fisher’s hand is super-maximum for a bid of 4, in complete contradiction to what might be expected according to the theory of cheating in the Doctors documents, where Fisher coughs when the board is passed and is found on Schwartz’s side, something that indicates a complete contradiction to what might be expected according to the Doctors documents.
  5. It is clear that this is another case where there is no doubt that Fisher and Schwartz do not employ forbidden means by coughing or not coughing.
  6. The large number of cases in which there are contradictions between statements of the writers of the Doctors documents casts doubt on the credibility of the documents and the general contention that information has been passed illegally by means of coughing.



Amir Levin’s reply »

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