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“Written in the Hands” – Jaime (Jimmy) Ortiz Patiño has passed away

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Jaime Ortiz-PatiñoI have known this sad news from the golf site Patiño, born in Paris in 1930 by Bolivian parents, had been in facts a strong golf-player as well. Patiño had been president of the World Bridge Federation (WBF) from 1976 to 1986; his love for bridge is attested by the efforts he made to broaden its family: he established the Central American-Caribbean and Asia & the Middle East Zones. The Encyclopedia also reports that Patiño was the “prime force” to introduce the screens, it happened the first time in 1975 Bermuda Bowl, but he first suggested it in 1958 Bermuda Bowl of Como.

Here’s a description of him from a book published in 1966: “When Jimmy first appeared on the bridge scene, at Amsterdam in 1955, he was anybody’s idea of an international playboy, night indistinguishable from day. Now that was past, and he came before the Court as a director of many companies, actively engaged in the management of his family world-wide concerns. Despite his present responsibilities he retains the effervescence of a youth Gary Player…”

Gary Player is a great South African golf-player of that times; the book is “Story of an Accusation”, by Terence Reese; the Court was that one who sat in judgment of Terence Reese and Boris Shapiro for the allegation that they would have made finger signals at Buenos Aires 1965 Bermuda Bowl.

The allegation was proved to be flimsy, at least, and Patiño gave the clearest evidence of it, not without a note of humour: “I have not noticed anything specials of Mr. Shapiro except that he is continually putting down his cards to relight his pipe…”.

Moreover, he confirmed what already witnessed by Irene Bajos De Heredia (bridge director, mother of Sylvie Willard): the evidences of cheating are written in the hands, and Reese and Shapiro’s hands were tidy. Nothing supported the allegation, nothing in the bidding nor defending of the two champions, nor results did it.

Jimmy was a gentleman.


Paolo Enrico Garrisi

January 5, 2013

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