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All comments by Allan Graves
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It is not “ drop ins ” but rather only 3 specific incidents . Up to 6 pairs from the Senior KO final and up to 4 teams from the losing Spingold and Vanderbilt rnd of 8 . 1: We welcome these players into the day 2 semi final as a courtesy who because of scheduling anomalies are unable to participate and 2: A critical component of the Major National events brand is that they are the best fields in the entire bridge world wide calendar . Were you in fact a participant in day 2 of the Blue Ribbon . ? I did notice my friends Schwartz and Korbel were the first non qualifier to miss the final . I wonder if they resent the pairs that came in to day 2 from the senior KO final or did they not qualify for the usual bridge reasons . i say it is a special situation that schedules overlapping major NABC events ( not minor NABC events ) . These three exceptions are a good and world precedented solution to three unavoidable anomalies . When you enter the 12 Major NABC events that are decided over the three Nationals you are competing against the world's best . They are not stratified , restricted or handicapped . The field is the field . It will be a great field regardless always slightly different if course but always the best at the time . If you enter , the best way to enjoy these experiences is to play your very best . The rest takes care of itself .
Dec. 6, 2016
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As I understand it , the dropins were in addition to who qualified from day 1 and if a half table had resulted then an additional pair from day 1 would be Qed. I would like to see a poll of every participant in the two semi finals sessions as to whether they 1) resented the senior KO finalists being allowed to join in Day 2 at a bottom third carryover and 2 ) if they did not qualify for the final day it was because of the senior KO participants or instead it was for the usual time honoured traditional reasons . Because of the drop in policy , the ACBL's premier pair event was indeed open to every top player in the world who chose to be in Orlando playing in the ACBL flagship events . Tournament bridge in the ACBL is obviously under siege at every level .An important component of the ACBL brand is that the Nationals attract the worlds best fields and that it's iconic events attract the World's best players . We should recognize , as does the rest of the world , that playing in the Finals of the senior KO or the rnd of 8 of the Spingold or Vanderbilt is equivalent to being in the bottom 1/3 of the qualifiers for the semi final sessions that , because of ACBL scheduling , overlap other iconic events. Indeed it is ironic indeed that expanding the Roth and Jacoby Events to a third day, presumably to make them a better test ,has had the opposite effect of weakening them
by inadvertently denying entry to 4 top teams . Allowing drop ins to the semi final day of the Blue Ribbon pairs and the two recently expanded ( to six sessions from 4) Roth and Jacoby Swiss events is simply good policy that continues to ensure the very highest standards for the ACBL's iconic premier events and restates that the ACBL Nationals are the worlds best tournaments partly because its iconic events have the worlds best fields .
Dec. 5, 2016
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Drop in are definitely proper. For eg in the Jacoby and Roth Swiss, when they expanded those events to 6 sesions from 4 they eliminated up to 24 top players from around the world from those Swiss events. That is the losing Quarterfinalists from the Spingold and Vanderbilt
would be left with nothing to do for the last Sat and Sunday and , of course have plane tickets and hotel reservations to Monday. Acbl must allow dropins to the Saturday semi finals of the Roth and Jacoby Swiss teams.
Dec. 5, 2016
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Forcing stayman ( Carter) so much better for new to intermediate players . Strengthens concept of artificial game force ( opening 2C , basic 4th suit . ) and other concepts where bids are not used naturally but as message bids ( unassuming Q bids etc . Finally teaching transfers to new to int players really bad as their declarer play usually has been taught ( incorrectly in my opinion) as counting losers in a trump contract i.e. Setting up their hand so transfers confuse them in the play as they do not appreciate the ruffing power of the short trump side nor drawing trumps with dummy Ling suit.
Oct. 16, 2016
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It is very important that everything possible be done to protect the game from those who think satisfaction in life will come from cheating the other players , and ultimately cheating their own life .
So I certainly support your efforts .
Oct. 14, 2016
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John I admire your tenacity and appreciate your concern for such serious issues . I am talking about top experts evaluating a top expert partnership . Where you see play or bid A vs play or bid B as a random guess and therefore their success or failure a function of luck .Top experts would analyze that the logic of A is clear and the logic of B is false and know that the expert partnership also knew the logic of A was clear and the logic of B false yet they chose B at the table and partner had the holding to make B successful . Once an aberration , two or three times very lucky . 6 times conclusive proof of cheating . One does not need to know how they are transmitting the information. Clearly it would be good to know the How but it is not necessary. In the case of weaker players it is more likely neccessary because the A or B decision is more likely to be random. I have only been talking about major National and International tournaments where the players have signed off abiding by the final decision of the ethical committee . As I said that is the process cheaters would fear most . Their deluded confusion feels they can outwit detection by a fool proof method and know , at least until now, that they are immune to conviction from the illogical but successful table result. In the past the collection of data by Recorders or organizations had been haphazard and uncoordinated at best , or sloppy and halfhearted at worst. Regardless it was often collected by players unable to analyze accurately at the highest level. Had all of the suspicious hands surrounding the three convicted pairs been properly collected and placed before
The top expert committee , and they had all signed agreements stating they would abide by any ruling , they all would have been expelled years ago.
Again i appreciate your interest but your last post regarding reverse engineering illogical plays or bamboozling an analytically weak commitee is clearly not what I am talking about but has all too often reflected the response to cheating accusations by many National Bridge Organzations.
I am heartened , as are many others , that going forward , Bridge organizations are realizing the serious of the issues and resolving to get things right.
Oct. 14, 2016
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Au contraire it makes my case . FN had many such examples and would have been expelled years ago . The Italian judge is not even remotely comparable to my suggested committee .
A thousand hands ? Hardly . We are talking about top experts making clearly illogical plays that are always successful . A dozen , dozen and a half ? The German doctors did more than enough in Bali . If that was a normal tournament then they would have been gone years ago . I don't think I have explained well enough that top experts do not consistently make illogical bids and plays and if they do they are not always successful . The results are the evidence and you do not need a very large number to know they are cheating . That being said , for the umpteenth and last time we also need transmission detection and the automatic bid play recording and video to track what is going on. Both together would be a massive deterent . If a cheat knows that figuring out how they are cheating is not required to expell them but illogical sucess will as well
Then they most likely won't cheat and , if they try and do it only to give them a little edge in seemingly logical positions then they will drive themselves crazy calibrating the edge they can go to and the habitual patterns driving the motivation to cheat will drive them over that edge repeatedly .Thats what's called the tolerance factor .
Oct. 14, 2016
Allan Graves edited this comment Oct. 14, 2016
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David Burn . That is a great idea !
Oct. 14, 2016
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Well abnormal bridge logic at the highest levels of the game sticks out like a sore thumb. The hand where Fantoni Nunes . holding 2 Aces defending a trump slam led one which held and then rather than cash the 2nd one which was 100 % on logic not to get ruffed , instead played his partner for a singleton and gave his partner a ruff . Had his partner not ruffed the second trick then on the logic it was clear declarer would have been able to discard his losers in the other ace suit . There was no video but we now know his partner would have followed perpendicular showing a singleton. Nunes excuse was fatigue . Fine . How many of such plays that suceed do you need to see before you realize they are cheating ? Not that many . As I have said though you do both . The method of transmission and the consistent sucess of illogical bids and plays . Fantoni Nunes played their 2 bids as 10-13 5+ . 1 bus were 14 +.They often opened 2 lighter than 10. There results indicated they knew min max and when length was 5. How was that known ? Because they were right far too often in situations that were clearly logically random. You do both the method of transmission, and the standing oversight committee. This is at the highest levels and requires automatic recording . At lower levels of average skill
you would need more reliance on transmission because poor play that lucked out would be more common .
If cheaters know they can be expelled both on the breaking of the code or the consistent sucess of illogical plays then that would be a powerful deterent .
Oct. 14, 2016
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Hi Tim
Not all that many as we would be looking at unimpeachable character and geographical considerations. I think those asked would feel honoured but certainly could be work.

They would certainly compete but presumably obvious conflicts of interest could be resolved in some way .
Oct. 13, 2016
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All good points Brenda
Oct. 13, 2016
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John , you can do both
Oct. 13, 2016
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A large sample of illogical bids and plays that were consistently successful is Light years from one expert disagreeing with another's judgment. None of the known or suspected cheaters would have been even remotely considered.
Oct. 13, 2016
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Nicolas I see you point and indeed I hope we can have an automatic at the table recording method that still allows us to play cards. Having said that if an expert partnership had a history of illogical but consistently successful bids and plays then the proof of burden would and should shift to the pair in question to give the logic for the actions. Smokescreen red herrings would have some effect of course but the point is that a top expert is making completely illogical plays . That in and of itself is a flag and having to explain the pseudo logic to a panel I have suggested would be revealing
Top experts simply don't do that . The existence of such a panel would act as a deterent and yes they could agree to cheat only occasionally but which situations etc. Their motivation to cheat is based on powerful habitual patterns to obtain some reward and not using their illicit tools would most likely be impossible to resist. Let's not forget that my offering here is only a part of the anticheating network . The “ how are they cheating ” detection methods are also evolving and going full bore. If all of these methods were in place I would be surprised if pairs would try and cheat in those conditions.
Oct. 13, 2016
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Richard
I I did not say that no one cheats. I said one way to catch and expell them is for a panel of the worlds absolute best players examine a large data base of illogical bids and plays that were all successful
And deem them cheats . I know that there are many such players who would serve the game with
skill and honour in such a role . People cheat because they are extremely confused about what makes them happy . Winning is not a source of happiness as its superficiality rapidly dissolves.However our bridge culture celebrates winning so obviously there is motive .
People will cheat at bridge , it cannot be tolerated . A multi faceted approach such as I proposed (supported by many others by the way ) would be effective.
Oct. 13, 2016
Allan Graves edited this comment Oct. 13, 2016
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We are talking about a large database of illogical bids and plays that succeeded . One lucky or illogical play that was successful is not the issue . Bridge logic does not belong in quotes . It is the essence of the game . If a weak to moderate player on lead holds XX. KJ9XX XX QXXX
vs 1D (P) 1S (P)
1NT. all pass
and leads a club you would think it odd and probably move on
If a successful expert partnership
Made this lead AND partner had club values and not heart values you would file it with a recorder
If there were multiple incidences of this type of success with no incidences of unusual leads failing
To hit values combined with the many incidences of making the routine heart lead then they are probably cheating
Imagine if you will keeping a straight face while you reverse engineered your pseudo logic in front of the names that have been mentioned for dozens of these leads . Of course they are cheating and they are expelled . It is not only the lead but the consistent success of the lead . Inagine if you will where a pair consistently passed heavy when partner was minimum and consistently raised light when partner was max . This is pseudo logic and cannot be adequately explained. Bridge at the highest levels is a game of logic . Much of the logic is still self secret until it is revealed by the Helgemos of the game . That is why it is critical in one development as a bridge player to study the best and most creative players and subscribe to magazines such as bridge world for the master solvers clubs .
The panel of Helgemo's is a neccessary part of the protection umbrella . Cheaters will know that regardless of how sophisticated their method their bids and plays will eventually be revealed for what they are . They can pick their slots but the stress of deciding what spots to pick will be very stressful and probably undermine their play . Regardless eventually they will slip . With the constant vigilance of technology and statistics we can cover the bases. What is absolutely critical
Is that along with the panel that we have a way of recording the bidding and play while still playing cards and enjoying each other's company .
After all, that is why we started playing in the first place and it is still the same endlessly enchanting quintessentially human recreation that it had always been .


Sent from my iPhone
Oct. 13, 2016
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If you want to be happy think of other people . If you want to be unhappy think of yourselves.
By definition , the players on this committee would consider first their role as a protected of the game the ongoing inspiration their love of the game . Second they would consider the rights of the accused the ongoing inspiration being their basic humaness . Third they would try and do the very best job they could because they know that is a basic ground of happiness and contentment .
You are probably correct about current government models but this is not about that . It is about Protecting the game of bridge for the benefit of all . This panel would not even be remotely wildly imperfect . It would aware , grounded and precise .
Oct. 13, 2016
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This edit is to reset the context as the thread is not clear
I am describing the qualities of the proposed panel
members in response to Richard who worries that panel members would act in“ self interest” and attempt to convict suspected cheaters in order to eliminate them as competition. My own experiences is that such a panel , properly chosen would put the interests of the game and their own integrity first.

Their best interests are the love of the game . Many people live their lives committed to the benefit of others while staying true to their own basic goodness . That is a good working definition definition of integrity.
Oct. 13, 2016
Allan Graves edited this comment Oct. 14, 2016
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John . Brilliant plays are logical . I said a large database of illogical plays that were consistently successful. Where in anything I said would suggest that comment has merit . You are not being fair in any way .
Oct. 13, 2016
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If you have been following this thread , your comment is completely uncalled for .
Oct. 13, 2016
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