January 4, 2021

An EBU Disciplinary Committee recently considered the following charges against Laura Talamoni:

  • a. In a number of online teams matches (in the Richmond Online Knockout and the Richmond Summer Teams League) organised by the Richmond Bridge Club, played on the Bridgebase Online (BBO) platform in May, June and July 2020, she was aware of the layout of the hands when playing.
  • b. This was achieved by “self-kibitzing”: watching the sessions concerned via a separate BBO identity.
  • c. That advantage was taken of this information to make calls and plays which were unlikely to have made been made if unaware of the layout of the hands, to the benefit of her team’s bridge scores in those sessions.

The defendant admitted the charges. A disciplinary hearing was held. The Disciplinary Committee found the charges proved, and that the defendant’s conduct constituted an offence under paragraph 3.2(iv) of the EBU Disciplinary Rules, being unfair or dishonest play. The Committee imposed a sanction of suspension of EBU membership for a period of 21 months. The sanction was reduced from the standard as there was a plea of guilt at the earliest opportunity and other mitigating circumstances.