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All comments by Allan Graves
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This has been a good discussion. “ it would be too difficult to set it up ” is simply not an option. Cheating the public perception of cheating will destroy the game. It is imperative that we get this done as soon as possible. The panel has to be the very best players in the world since the “ comfortable satisfied ” would be that there were indeed, a pattern of illogical bids or plays or both , made over a sufficiently large sample of hands to warrant sustaining the cheating allegation. Even slightly lesser players would not the playing the analytical experience and skill to have the “chops” to command the respect required. Certainly more than a majority would be the standard. Remember we are saying that they are indeed cheating, not that some think they are, or are not, cheating.
May 19, 2016
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Well you make a good point. There would need to be an “ August commission ” from the world's governing bodies/ NBO that is mandated to investigate cheating wherever and whenever. They would create this panel and insure that its findings would be respected. This commission would be such that it would command the utmost of respect. The entire process must be seen to be above reproach. “ If it talks like a duck and walks like a duck then its a duck ” . This approach cannot be, nor seen to be ,corrupt in any way.
May 18, 2016
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This a good step in the right direction . Imagine a panel of 7 bridge players selected from the worlds absolute best who were also respected for their sportsmanship in every way . After thoroughly reviewing a large sample of hand they were “ comfortably satisfied ” that the pair was cheating , the you can rest assured they were cheating . This is exactly what we need . Ideally part of entering a tournament you sign off in some way on being governed by such a process .
May 17, 2016
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you could play fancy, A attitude K count ( partner would lead King I expect ( or use just simple, attitude on either the K or Ace, normally signaling continue when you can ruff third round. or you simply want partner to continue. So here simply low as you wish him /her to continue.
May 17, 2016
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i agree
May 17, 2016
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I should have said, forget an alertable agreement but I must confess that I am inexcusably vague minded regarding what is or is not an avertable agreement and all the stuff re alerting above 3NT . I realize their are some bugs in my suggestion re automatic penalty but I think the idea is valid. It is equally valid for newer players as well as more experienced because far too many newer players load up with conventions they do not understand and cannot remember and far too many experienced players agree to play unfamiliar conventions and then forget them in the heat of competition. Automatic penalties would significantly interfere with this trend.
As to Kits very valid point we would and should make not disclosing agreements via the proper procedure as a very serious offense, much more so than it is now. For example many Precision paris essentially play 1D as forcing. I have no problem with this in open competition but unsuspecting pairs are constantly tripped up by this and clearly some prior discussion would be useful.
April 8, 2016
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Three points
1. It is long past time for an automatic imp or mp penalty for forgetting an agreement.
2. The ACBL has failed to adequately address the loss through quitting the profession , retirement , or death of a large number of excellent directors and tournament organizers .
3. You owed it was to team 3 to appeal and you owed it to everyone to hold this director to account for their incompetence . They are paid employees not doing their job , not overwhelmed volunteers .
April 7, 2016
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We continue to get side tracked on the bridge cheating issue. Very early in the process back in September many of us said it was imperative to establish a sizable ( 7 plus ) super committee of the worlds absolute best players who had the authority to acuse and convict players of cheating based on the lack of logic over a large sample of hands played by the cheats. Players entering bridge competitions sigh off before hand on being willing to be examined by such a committee and to abide by their decision.
Playing bridge is a privilege, not a right. We cannot become involved in having to prove how they are cheating. It is obvious , to the worlds very best players that in all these cases that they were cheating by examining the logic of a large number of hands.

Players who have colluded to signal each other have crossed a line in the most egregious way and to suggest that after a suspension they will return to the game having learned their lesson is naive. Even playing with others they will be unethical in every conceivable way. They have proved that they are playing bridge for very personal motives that have nothing to do with “ for the love of the game” which basic motivation of the 99.9 % who play the game These .001 % are into fraud for fame, money , and a variety of other highly neurotic motives and they will return to these behaviors. There is no reason whatsoever for us to risk any of this. If a partnership colludes they are gone for life no ifs ands or buts. They can get on with the rest of their life, they can play bridge at home, they can play bridge online. What they cannot do is play in any official bridge tournaments ever again.
March 7, 2016
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Collusion between partners must always be a lifetime ban. Germany not only tolerated but actively supported the “Doctors” until the world said “no more ! ” . Given this history I guess we can be happy these guys were suspended at all. Well done Germany .
March 7, 2016
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Well the point is to to limit the high cards in a 2nd neg to 0-4 and keep the bidding low. and you a split range with 8 plus . which allows a well defined 5-7 point range for constructive game bidding. The controls can come later. 0-1 Cnt could still be 15 HCP . Precision pairs often do the same thing by having a 1H resp to 1C be 8-11 Hcp artificial
Feb. 15, 2016
Allan Graves edited this comment Feb. 16, 2016
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Best is 2H 5-7 ( ace alone as well ) with no Kokish as not needed
2D as 0-4 or 8 plus with Kokish but no 2nd beg as not needed ( assume weak until proven otherwise)
Feb. 15, 2016
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We have asked repeatedly for this to occur but for liability issues we were told that they prefer to see the resolution of the Lotan ( that is not me in the videos ) Fisher , Ron ( not me either ) Schwartz case . Understandable and they are suspended pending a hearing which is supposed to happen in Reno .
Jan. 30, 2016
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David , you are trolling this sight. Everyone reasonable understands what this implies.
No one on this committee would have impure motives towards not only ridding the bridge world of cheats but more over have ensured that the accused be given ever opportunity to response
Jan. 29, 2016
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Of course the rule that members of bridge organizations must accept such committees ruling as a condition of membership is not yet the case. I thought that was obvious in my comment. From what we now understand to be the case if such procedures had been in place a number of years ago, Fisher and Schwartz would never have been members in good standing of any NBO and hence would have been barred from all organized bridge quite some time ago.
Jan. 29, 2016
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This nonsense is why we need the proposed policy that only players in good standing are allowed to play. Rule one of joining a bridge organization such as the ACBL is to be bound 100 % to committee rulings that withdraw “ good standing” for cheating without having to prove how they were cheating . As has been clearly stated repeatedly on this site the committee would be made of entirely of the those who not only were the best in the world , but beyond reproach. Maybe it is time for the EBL to ban Israel from playing in EBL events until this matter is resolved.
Jan. 29, 2016
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Yes , and that is why a significantly improved recorder system with a computerized data base is required . Am I the only one wondering the video evidence has not resulted in s lifetime ban for Fisher Schwartz from the ACBL regardless of what any other organization thinks ?
Jan. 23, 2016
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One issue is does partner have prior knowledge that their partner is likely the hand without the values or intent their auction suggests and that this style has not been made available to the opponents. For eg Neither vol it goes 1C , 1D, 1H, to you holding 26 HCP balanced. If you assume that it is partner who has nothing for their 1D overcall then that is prior knowledge. Say your convention card says 0-18 as their overcall range. Ok I am not sure that is legal under the arcane rules of the ACBL but lets say it is. Your educated guess says its partner who has 0 and you bid 3NT. dummy does indeed have 0 , good guess. So it is reported. It turns out that overtime partner has far less for his tactical actions you field it nicely . Their is no implications of overt signals ,your card says 0-18 but video and observes note their is always a little something in the air when partner has sub values. You know he has zero.The opponents don't. There is something wrong with that don't you think ? This is the problem that has to be solved. Many “ active ” pairs , especially in " hit and run events like pairs or swiss teams against weaker players get away with this. Is there anything wrong do you think ? This is one situation that increased recording would expose. On the contrary to some of the posts with technology and the programming wizzes we have it would be very easy to have this data base, Simply type in the players ACBL number and look at the cases. The problem here is of course that we do not know of all the disasters that occurred when partner did not field it . What about leads ? Do they field when not to lead it and when to lead it ? I do not know the solution to all of this but surely most would agree it is a problem.
Jan. 23, 2016
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I see , thanks . To say more simply then the committee has final say . All players signed off on that when they entered the tournament . Clearly then the committee is appointed with utmost care . They must be of the very , very highest bridge skill and of impeccable character . It is not a legal proceeding . It is unimaginable that a committee composed of such players would deem a pair as cheats who were not cheating . Obviously such a committee would not come to such a decision lightly . Finally a pair convicted of illegal signaling must be banned for life .One does not have the right to play bridge and I would guess the probability of a convicted cheat returning as an ethical player to be almost zero . The damage caused to the game is so extreme that no second chances are warranted .
Jan. 21, 2016
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In September there was a very well discussed policy proposal of having tournament players sign off on accepting the ruling of such a committee based solely on substantial circumstantial evidence. I hope that this policy proposal is still very much in play. Playing tournament bridge is not a right but a privilege and if a committee of the best players, in the world say that a pair is clearly cheating then that should be the end of it. We cannot be held hostage by cheaters splitting legal hairs when it is completely obvious beyond all shadow of a doubt that they are cheating.
Jan. 20, 2016
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Yes sectionals are part of their charge but why so many sectionals as clearly they hurt a full service club . If they cut sectionals by half the dedicated unit volunteers could focus on new player developemenylt. They could offer and / or co ordinate teaching the game to brand new players in community centers , social clubs , golf clubs etc . We need to begin to teach the public how to play recreational rubber bridge , the mother game and find places for them to play it as home play is dying rapidly . People playing ACBL mind sport duplicate has always been a minuscule fraction on the bridge playing public as the vast majority are not interested in pitting their skill against other players . They much prefer the recreational experience of playing the worlds best game they way it was created with the skill and gamble of a great card game but not as a highly competitive mind sport . However the vast pool of recreational players always provided those who did indeed want the personal challenge and commitment of duplicate . They came to the duplicate already having spent hundreds if not thousands of hours at the rubber table so adjusting to duplicate was not difficult .Then they decided whether it was for them . In the fifties some 40 million Americans knew about bridge but less than 200 K belonged to the ACBL . We forget what a tough sport duplicate is
And regrettably how much fun it is to play rubber bridge at home or a social or golf club with friends . The ACBL has an enormous opportunity to provide recreational rubber bridge to the public without pressuring them to play duplicate Thise who want to try duplicate will do so naturally
What difference does it matter to a club owner where their bridge revenue comes from . Yes it will take some reorganization of priorities but that is what entrepreneurs do . They react to market demand . It is a huge mistake in general to team new players duplicate . The harsh and uncompromising feedback is counter productive to enjoying the learning experience . If we had adapted to the dying home games 40 years ago the ACBL would be thriving now with millions of recreational rubber players and the same 200 K of duplicate players . Moreover the less experienced duplicate players would be much better than those today . Taking up this challenge is one task that progressive unit boards could do within the overall view of creating and supporting full service bridge clubs . One start might be that their are no new sanctions granted to anyone that does not have a teaching program for new players .
Dec. 29, 2015
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