Fulvio Fantoni (born 9 November 1963) is an Italian international bridge player. He is a six-time world champion, a World Grand Master of the World Bridge Federation (WBF), and the WBF first-ranked player as of December 2011. He is one of 10 players who have won the Triple Crown of Bridge.
Fantoni was born in Grosseto. His regular partner for many years is Claudio Nunes, the second-ranked World Grand Master (April 2011). They play "Fantunes", for their surnames, an innovative bidding system characterised by natural but forcing one-level opening bids in all four suits.
Emigration to Monaco
Since 2011 Fantoni and Nunes are full-time members of a team led and paid by the Swiss real-estate tycoon Pierre Zimmermann, under contract expiring 2016. From 2012 all six members would be citizens of Monaco and the team would represent Monaco internationally. The team finished third in the 2010 world championship, not yet full-time, and competed in the 2011 European Bridge League open championship (neither is a national teams event).
Early on 14 September 2015, expert player Kit Woolsey reported at Bridge Winners (bridgewinners.com) some conclusions of an investigation of play by Fantoni–Nunes in the 2014 European championship for national teams, where the pair represented second-place Monaco. The investigation was conducted by a team led by Boye Brogeland of Norway, who had started in August a public campaign to clean up the top ranks of bridge. Fourteen hours later, that article was prefaced by a note from the website editors: "Bridge Winners has received overwhelming evidence alleging improper communications between the world's #1 and #2 ranked bridge players, Fulvio Fantoni and Claudio Nunes, during the 2014 European Championships." The evidence included analysis of video recordings of 10 matches played by Fantoni–Nunes during the tournament, wherein the vertical or horizontal orientation of a card played on the table correlated with possession of a high honor in 82 out of 85 cases.
Late on 14 September 2015, the European Bridge League announced commencement of an official investigation of play by Fantoni–Nunes, Fantoni refused to comment, while Nunes could not be contacted by reporters from The Times. The Italian Bridge Federation announced its own investigation on 16 September and its consultation with a prosecutor on 25 September.
On 6 April 2016, the FIGB verdict was announced: Fantoni and Nunes have been banned for life as a pair, and each player is banned individually for a period of three years.
Major tournament wins
- Bermuda Bowl: 2005
- World Team Olympiad: 2004
- World Mind Sports Games: Open Teams 2008 — successor to the quadrennial Olympiad
- World Transnational Open Teams Championship: 2007
- World Open Pairs: 2002
- World Mixed Pairs: 2010
- European Teams Championships: 2004, 2006, 2012
- European Champions' Cup for Open Teams: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
- North American Bridge Championships (11)
- Buffett Cup (2) 2010, 2012
- North American Bridge Championships (6)
- "FANTONI Fulvio". Athlete Information. SportAccord World Mind Games. December 2014. Retrieved 2015-01-12.
- Open Classification, World Bridge Federation. Confirmed 2010-11-07.
- Fulvio Fantoni: Claudio Nunes is much stronger than I am!, Interview by Laura Camponeschi, neapolitan club online bridge magazine, 8 Nov 2010. Retrieved 2011-08-26.
- "Helgeness and Fantunes Immigrate to Monaco", BridgeTopics.com, 14 December 2010. Originally published in Norwegian: Alf Helge Jensen, "Helgeness skal spille for Monaco", Bridge i Norge (ed. Boye Brogeland), 13 December 2010. Confirmed 2011-08-23.
- "The Videos Speak: Fantoni–Nunes". Kit Woolsey. 14 September 2015. Bridge Winners (bridgewinners.com). Retrieved 2015-09-14 16:20 (UTC).
- "Breaking News: EBL Investigates". EBL News. European Bridge League (eurobridge.org). Retrieved 2015-09-15.
The same two paragraphs are quoted at the online bridge magazine Neapolitan Club (Italian and English), reportedly retrieved 2014-09-07 and 2014-09-14. "Allegations of Cheating: EBL's Statement". 14 September 2015. Neapolitan Club (neapolitanclub.altervista.org). Retrieved 2015-09-15.
- "Big, Rich Cheaters! Bridge World Rocked as Top Players Busted". John Walters. Newsweek. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- "'Dirty Tricks' deal bridge a huge blow". Valentine Low. The Times (London). 15 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-28.
- "Statement from Italian Bridge Federation (FIGB)". Laura Camponeschi. Neapolitan Club (neapolitanclub.altervista.org). 25 September 2015. Retrieved 2015-09-28. Includes full text of the second official statement in authorized translation.
- "Statement from Italian Bridge Federation"
- "Wernher Open Pairs Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-07-22. p. 4. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Blue Ribbon Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2013-12-03. p. 7. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Jacoby Open Swiss Previous Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-03-29. p. 9. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Mitchell BAM Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2013-12-01. p. 8. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Mixed BAM Previous Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-07-24. p. 14. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Reisinger Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2013-12-06. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Roth Open Swiss Previous Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-07-26. p. 10. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- "Spingold Previous Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-07-21. p. 12. Retrieved 2014-11-03.
- World Team Championship Winners
- "Vanderbilt Previous Winners" (PDF). American Contract Bridge League. 2014-03-24. p. 6. Retrieved 2014-11-03.