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All comments by Allan Graves
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I had a fortune cookie last night, seriously, and it read.
“ The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom ”
Most of us are coming into these discussions at varying parts of the process. I have been with this since Boye and I began meeting the second Thursday night of the Nationals and even stayed over on the following Monday so we could have one last discussion about going forward. I have had plenty of time to be angry at every cheater, , myself , the organizations , every troll. the lack of accountability and procedures etc. I can so relate with both Joel's and Ish's position. It seems that we never want either of them to play in anything important while encouraging cheating pairs to come forward.
Sept. 20, 2015
Allan Graves edited this comment Sept. 20, 2015
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Well said Peg
Sept. 19, 2015
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The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is
Rapidly fadin'
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin'.

IMO we need to balance a very strong deterrent with encouraging “ coming in from the cold ”. Not coming in , the penalty is life , if and when we catch you. Coming in, something less. It's a big tent , our bridge community .“ Coming in from the cold ” is the first step in a multi stage apology. Apologies are a very important in a good human society. We need to protect the game with very long suspensions , establish very strong detergents. demand restitution but also leave space to accept an apology.
Sept. 19, 2015
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I agree Karen. FS and FN for life. SP less. ( Life as a pair. ) Ten and restitution ( however that can be decided ) for them as individuals. This is best for them as they need to get on with their lives in another livelihood. Obviously they are smart enough to make a living outside of bridge.
Sept. 19, 2015
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The last time I looked at NBO regulations there is almost nothing the players can do
short of 100 % proof to instigate a serious investigation. . The NBO"s have complete control over the process.
Congratulations on a job well done.

The German doctors were caught by the USA senior team after years of European play.
Fisher Schwartz played in your Cavendish Teams 2013 and 2014
Fantoni Nunes were welcomed to Monaco .
Smirnov and Peikarek confessed

Depends on what the meaning of concrete data is
or even what the meaning of is, is.
Sept. 19, 2015
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Hi Mustafa. I understand your caring for your friends and team mates and your loyalty.
And i think my post may have bee misunderstood. I was only concerned with not starting a new discussion about other pairs as there are now quiet ways to pursue it and we need to stop the public questioning of other pairs.
It is very important for Alex and Josef going forward that they did confess. They do not have an easy road ahead. They are going to need the support of their bridge friends.
If you are in Denver can I buy you a beer ?
Sept. 19, 2015
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I agree in principle with Eric R.
Sept. 19, 2015
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Yes deterrence is very important
Sept. 19, 2015
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Yes Tony, restitution is a critical phase after the confession. Again , how to determine what
is suitable and how to go about it is again something that should not be rushed particularly
Sept. 19, 2015
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1 ) I agree completely with Tony. 2) confessing makes a difference 3) no need to rush this part.
Sept. 19, 2015
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No, Mustafa I know how you are feeling but the mechanisms of the catch-a-cheat initiative are settling in nicely If you have a lot of hand evidence then send it the the collection unit and stay patient. We no longer need public outing. That is wrong .
Focus on your own NBO and help them improve there governing. If we had done this years ago the events of today may have occurred a lot earlier.
Sept. 19, 2015
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Job one for the NBO's was to protect the integrity of the game.

Actually Jean Charles if anything is incredible is a) that you chose to post something without thinking about it and b) if you still chose to post, it was not to simply apologize.

You were , and took on, the job as being one of the protectors.
The protectors could have done something like:
“ Lets raise some private money and get our best players to analyze video regarding the rumored pairs so we can get to the bottom of this. A generous budget and full support. Back channel the ACBL to get their videos.
And the protectors could have done that, oh I don't know , how about years ago ?

Things happen when the happen . To say things would have been better if we had handed everything over to the NBO administrators is not relevant . What is relevant is that we did not do that and have consistently explained our reasons for not doing that. The results so far mean that Bridge has a chance to revive itself. A chance mind you. These events are very damaging . Bridge as a relevant mind sport may never recover in the public eye .

Under your watch.

Having said that you are correct in saying that the penalty phase is very important.
Alex and Joseph chose to confess. That makes a difference. Especially for them in their life going forward. It is a big decision how to approach that. On an earlier post I mentioned how every spiritual tradition values voluntary confession as the best step one in dealing with the personal and societal damage that has been caused.

You are representing the Monaco Bridge Federation. and are a member of the other governing European and World bridge organizations.It seems your ”go to response “ in these matters continues to be ” Shoot the messenger "

In civilized governance models when scandals of the relative magnitude of this occur right under the noses of those who have wholeheartedly taken on responsibility
they admit it and resign.

The least you can do is apologize





Sept. 19, 2015
Allan Graves edited this comment Sept. 19, 2015
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three cheers for ISH
Sept. 18, 2015
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Video and screens beginning rnd of 64 . Empowered directors whose rulings won't be gutted in committee and a renewed faith in a new process of protecting the integrity of the game . Also ,my hobby horse in this , bidding tablets behind lowered screens and raised screens in the card play . The clown in your example couldn't deny it and would have suffered a max imp penalty ,say lucky 13 ' and one of those warning cards that world football uses. More electronic than now just not all the way .
Sept. 18, 2015
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I respect the compassion displayed by this of you willing to offer a second chance. However they are a big favorite to reoffend . The damage and harm they can cause is not worth the risk in my opinion . No second chance for conspiring with a partner . No second chance for having hand records . It was premeditated so out the door forever.
Sept. 18, 2015
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Larry what do you feel about having bidding tablets at a table with screens as that would allow the screen to be “ down ” the entire auction no tray needed , no UI arguments . We play the cards as usual with the screens up. This seems a normal extension of the bid box idea . All results entered on bridge mates after the hand so no pencils or pens for private scores ( everyone gets a printout immediately after the game. I know i posted it earlier but I have come around a bit to see this sort of compromise as useful.
Sept. 18, 2015
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Bill that is a good Question The due process commentators had a valid and necessary point to make at the very beginning of the FS affair.“ Due process is the fundamental issue. ” We have procedures in place to execute due process. You guys are out of line “ A duck may be a T REX until the DNA is tested. Give the duck to the NBO and they will test the DNA We countered that argument with a duck is a duck and then we proved it. Twice The first time should have been the end., the second time should have been the end. We did not start the third pair rumors.
Since the very beginning their arguments, dozens and dozens if I am not mistaken, have a main point has always been his first point. As Stevie W said ” I'm done with you “ In my opinion the do the right thing path is often the difficult path of seeing rules as relative rather than absolute. Therefore to” do the right thing “you have to go beyond the rule.
Those who hide in the absolute ”truth " of relative rules are essentially afraid, sadly to get real… We all do it of course , life is not easy. In fact in it is often extremely difficult
Bill all opinions are welcome and are relevant but those opining who have no skin in the game have to be extra circumspect. They are commenting on an event they did not experience. Life is experiential , not intellectual. Our language can only approximate experience never explain it exactly. Your experience of something is by nature slightly different than mine. I lived these events . Many others lived these events. we experienced them. We experienced the massive harm they have done to us and other. Some did not. Some continues to criticize and the criticisms are not shallow the are deep (they is not criticizing our haircuts when they accuse of being cavalier around destroying peoples reputations. They are criticizing our deepest ethics as we deal our very real direct experience over many years with these 4 players who , allegedly, cheat at bridge , our frustration at the unwillingness of the NBO 's to do something about it, and the risks and costs we took to ignore the rules and do the right thing, . Therefore those who did not experience these events in some direct way need to be respectful of that , and make sure their comments reflect that. Just think twice before hitting the send button. They do not do that. That is the nature of trolling. They get involved in a contrarian way when they have no skin in the game. It is just a head trip and most of us are long past the point of being particularly polite about this. Its a free world to be sure but it works both ways. I apologize for any previous reference to actual persons. Any criticisms are to trolls in general.
Sept. 18, 2015
Allan Graves edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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This community of BW players who were involved directly or indirectly with the cases of FS and FN and the ousting of Israel and Monaco from the Bermuda Bowl have accomplished the mission. The evidence has been turned over to the WBF, ACBL , EBL and other NBO who will now apply due process. The alleged crooks are out. The BB is fair. Those few who have schooled us repeatedly on lack of due process constantly made the argument that the NBO would do the job in spite of the overwhelming evidence that they could not. There troll argument that “ a duck may be a T Rex until you analyze the DNA was one relentless argument re the FS and FN cases. Their other argument , although never clearly stated , was that if you have to out cheats in a rough and ready way then it was better to let them cheat rather than sully the appearance of civility . Obviously the many of us that had had enough chose the authentic path. Do the right thing. rather than the fake path of the coward who hides behind rules as absolutes rather than the courage to see rules as relative guidelines.
As we always stated repeatedly once this mission was accomplished then due process can start again but it cannot be business as usual and I for one am sure it won't be. All of us need to hold the NBO's accountable for using the investigative examples of the last few weeks to bring their due process procedures in line with the demands of the modern game.
Any whispering campaigns that started in months past were a result of a broken recorder system for due process and severe reprimand , as it should be , for public accusation. Therefore only whispering was possible but that can stop now.

We have the investigation methods now to stay behind the scenes until we have proof.
I don't know how this third pair issue began. The trolls, who have no skin in these very stressful matters , had a lot to do with it, fanning the flames or riding their one trick ponies up their fantasy high roads or down their fantasy low roads. Others thought it best to bring things to a ” painful point“ That is almost never a successful strategy
I vote for a complete moratorium on anything to do with the ” third pair" Everyone who has posted please agree to stop. There is no last word to have. Their never is.
It is best for the game we love, that we stop this now, The entire community is naturally completely stressed out.
It is time to rest and contemplate an enormous job well done .
Sept. 18, 2015
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Some of you have no skin in this game.
The players who played on teams with these 4 alleged crooks in dozens of ACBL Nationals have skin in the game. Some of you have no skin in this game. The teams of Israel and Monaco that had to drop out of the BB have skin in the game. Some of you have no skin in this game. The Israeli world junior champions of a few years back have skin in this game. Some of you have no skin in this game. The Italian teams that Fantoni and Nunes played on have skin in the game, Some of you have no skin in this game. All the opponents of those alleged crooked teams have skin in the game. Some of you have no skin in this game All the great players who rolled up there sleeves and went to work to catch these alleged crooks, have skin in the game. Some you have no skin in this game… All the players who understood that extraordinary steps had to be taken have skin in the game. Some you have no skin in this game. Like all trolls everywhere you stake out self aggrandizing positions of a contrary nature . In this case some of you have chosen to stake out the intellectual high moral ground and school those of us who have skin in the game. Some of you have no skin in this game . It is not about you and your head trip as the high moral guardian.You have no skin in this game. This is not about you, It is not even remotely about you
It is about something else.
Sept. 18, 2015
Allan Graves edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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Playing bridge is a privilege, not a right.
If you cheat you grossly abuse that privilege. We are uncovering constant new additions to how truly abusive it is. This whispering campaign is yet another example. Cheats pollute the environment. Paranoia spreads. When we catch-a-cheat it must be suspension for life. if you conspire, suspension for life. I you get hand records, suspension for life. If you simply self cheat and we can prove it. Suspension for life. Israel had Fisher Schwartz on numerous occasions we have found out but not only let them back repeatedly but honoured them by nominating them to represent their country. How come the WBF credentials committee allowed this ? Did we have Fantoni and Nunes when they were just starting ? Did we Italy? Lets assume not but certainly there history suggests that some situations were swept under the rug for political or incompetence reasons. Look how much damage these 4 have caused by being enabled.
The consequences of allowing convicted cheats to re enter the game is not even remotely worth it. They almost invariably cheat again or simply regress to being unethical . Having players convicted of cheating and then being welcomed at our tournaments is an affront. The incredibly disturbing case of the vegetable foot soldiers being held in high esteem and “the cars” being welcomed back to bridge is highly disturbing. Cokin and Sion back in the game , highly disturbing . There are other ACBL cases where people fixed hands etc and are welcomed back in the game. Highly disturbing. Cases swept under the rug for political reasons. Highly disturbing. You cheat you are suspended for life.
Playing bridge is a privilege , not a right.
Sept. 18, 2015
Allan Graves edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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