The cheating scandal that exploded in Buenos Aires on the last day of the World Championship so dwarfed the story of Italy's seventh straight victory that this achievement was virtually overlooked.
Italy trounced both Great Britain and Argentina but had a much more difficult time with the U.S. team, which went into the final 48 deals with a lead of five International Match Points over the heavily favored Italians. That lead evaporated on the first two deals of the day, however, and in the first 14-board session of the final round Italy outscored the Americans 42 to 9 to build a 28-point edge. For the second 14 deals of the day Captain John Gerber shuffled his lineup, resting Dorothy Hayden and B. Jay Becker, who had played consistently well throughout, and used Howard Schenken and Peter Leventritt against Giorgio Belladonna and Walter Avarelli, and Ivan Erdos and Kelsey Petterson against Pietro Forquet and Benito Garozzo. A 12-IMP rally shaved Italy's lead to 16 IMPs, but U.S. hopes dissolved in the crucial last session as Italy scored 74 IMPs while holding our team to a mere 16. And that was that.
For Italy, Massimo D'Alelio and Camillo Pabis-Ticci outscored Belladonna and Avarelli, but, as usual, Forquet and Garozzo played best of all and were unanimously selected as winners of a special award to the tournament's best pair. Forquet, rated by some handicappers as the top performer of our day, is a devotee of the pass as an offensive weapon; in the aggressive Benito Garozzo, he seems to have found an ideal partner.
In the deal shown below, from the final day's play, it was not until the Italians bid and made an optimistic five diamonds that the commentators realized there was any possibility of game in the hand.
When Becker and Mrs. Hayden played the North-South cards, they reached a three-spade contract. West led the 4 of diamonds, East took the ace and returned the 6, and Mrs. Hayden had to guess whether the opening lead was low from the queen or was a singleton. She elected to play the king, saw it ruffed by West and could not escape losing two trumps and another diamond, for down one and a minus 50. The Italians were more ambitious: