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Count the ACBL In

Bridge Winners has received the following statement from Robert Hartman, CEO of the ACBL.

The recent press reports about high-level tournament bridge are disturbing. In just a little over a month, two of the world’s most successful bridge partnerships have been publicly accused of cheating, and findings offered as to their methods. A third pair preemptively stepped up, confessed to ethical violations and withdrew from the world championships. A fourth pair had its invitation to participate in the Bermuda Bowl withdrawn by the World Bridge Federation a day before the prestigious event was to start.

We’ve watched as Boye Brogeland led the crusade to clean up bridge at the top. By posting access to a series of questionable hands on the Internet, Boye called for the expert community to conduct an unprecedented investigation into the accused cheaters’ methods. Hundreds of players, including world-class experts, have scrutinized tapes of past play.

To fulfill ACBL’s promise that tournament bridge will be an honest game, the League is eager to harness the eyes and minds of players around the world. Therefore, we are immediately taking the following steps:

  • Videotaping every table in major NABC team contests (starting Spring 2016) from the quarterfinals through the final and posting these recordings on YouTube.
  • Forming an ad hoc committee of bridge players, including experts, which will meet to explore ways of reducing cheating at all levels of the game.
  • Strengthening ACBL’s process of investigating and disciplining cheating. This process is well underway with the use of three full-time ACBL staff.
  • Notifying a player’s national bridge federation, the WBF and the other seven zonal organizations whenever the ACBL takes disciplinary action, and making our evidence available should any of these entities want to pursue their own case

Players expect the organizations charged with safeguarding the game they love to work together, and they’re right. It is only through the governing bodies and the player community joining forces that the vision of a 100% cheating-free game will be realized. Count the ACBL in.

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