Barnet Shenkin

Boris Schapiro 1909-2002 by Barnet Shenkin prev/next

Boris Schapiro
Boris Schapiro

Boris was Reese’s partner when they were accused of signaling in the heart suit. The captain of the British team Ralph Swimer said that Schapiro had confessed to him.

It was well known that my late father was unhappy to agree with the verdict given in the Foster report but had to accept it my father being the Chairman of the British Bridge League.

The greatest tournament in the world at that time for pairs was the Sunday Times for whom Boris wrote the weekly bridge column. One year around 72 or 73 my father and I went down to watch. Boris I believe was playing with Jeremy Flint. Boris was early sitting at his table. My father innocently asked him: “What system are you playing Boris?” A very quick reply: “we’re playing the hearts Louis playing the hearts!”.

In the mid 1990’s I was the guest at a friend’s wedding in London. I was sitting on Boris’s right elbow. He nudged me and said. “You know Barnet your father thought we were guilty of cheating” “A lot of people did” I replied. “well” he continued “I am the only person left alive who knows the truth”.

When I asked him who the world’s best ever bridge player was he quickly answered “It was Terence Reese Barnet Terence was the best.”

After his death many expected to find a letter with a posthumous account of the events but none was forthcoming.

He played very well even at his old age and was the oldest player to win the Gold Cup at 89 years old.