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All comments by Art Korth
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Dave: The contract with the sponsor is to play bridge for the sponsor's team. That is not an illegal activity.

The fact that a player or a pair cheats at bridge is also not an “illegal” activity as far as the laws of the state are concerned (unless the fact that the player or pair is cheating can be deemed to be fraud or theft). Cheating certainly violates the laws of bridge and the conditions of contest of every bridge tournament.

However, the contract should include language that the parties will abide by the laws of bridge and the rules of any tournament that the team enters. Even if this is not explicitly stated in the contract, it is implied unless stated to the contrary (and that would never happen). So cheating would be a breach of contract and the contract would not be enforced in any manner that would benefit the cheating player or pair.
Oct. 14, 2015
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“And a woman is only a woman, but a good cigar is a Smoke.”

Rudyard Kipling in “The Betrothed.”
Oct. 14, 2015
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Jan: Yes, Drury can be viewed as a type of psychic control. But the powers that be have decided that it is an acceptable psychic control.

It is my understanding that the original K-S system included systemic psyches that were 0-3 HCP. The psychic control used in K-S was a 2NT response showing 22-23 HCP (or something very similar) which opener would pass or raise to 3NT with a psyche but do something else with a real opening.

For a great book on the history of psyches dating back to the origins of contract bridge, I suggest that you read Psychological Strategy In Contract Bridge: The Techniques Of Deception And Harassment In Bidding And Play by Fred L. Karpin.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Mike: Psychic controls were banned by the ACBL many years ago. Dave Treadwell discussed psychic controls with me on a few occasions. He and Evelyn Levitt used to psyche frequently, but Dave told me that they gave it up after spending far too much time in front of tournament committees.

I play a light opening system. It is very tempting to psyche in third seat after partner's first seat pass denying as many as 10 HCP. But I consider this to be unethical. Perhaps I am wrong about this, but it doesn't feel right.

As for multi-range 1NT openings, if one of the ranges was 0-5, then one could not play any conventions over the 1NT opening bid (at least that is true in the ACBL).
Oct. 13, 2015
Art Korth edited this comment Oct. 13, 2015
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Thanks, Steve. I corrected that typo.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Very impressive. This case has proven to be more difficult to crack than the others. Perhaps more analysis will confirm the 5 card suit signal as valid and may come up with other signals conveying other information.

Keep up the good work!
Oct. 13, 2015
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“A Terence Reese fan, eh, Art?”

Anything but. Although, if I remember correctly, it wasn't the British Bridge establishment that cleared Terrence Reese, it was the British courts.
Oct. 12, 2015
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So, Christopher, you are saying if some third party doesn't like the decision of an NBO in a cheating case, the NBO is suspended? Seems a little arrogant to me.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Sorry, Bob. Everyone is entitled to a defense. Otherwise, innocent people who are accused of heinous crimes may suffer. Remember, the police are not always right when they name a suspect or arrest a suspect.
Oct. 12, 2015
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It is a lot more complicated than that. The only basis that FS would have to sue someone would be defamation of character. And, as I mentioned elsewhere, in a civil defamation of character lawsuit, truth is an absolute defense (if there is any exception to this, I don't know it). It is certainly easy to say that it is up to the jury to decide if FS were cheating. But they would be aided by expert testimony as to the nature and extent of the cheating of FS. And, while FS could have there own experts attempt to discredit the findings of cheating, it should not be difficult to poke holes in the qualifications of FS's experts.

What it really boils down to at trial would be credibility, both of FS and of their accusers. And, besides the quality of the evidence against FS, the issue of credibility could come down to several factors:

1. What is the motivation of those accusing FS of cheating?

2. What is the motivation of those defending FS?

3. What is the motivation of FS to cheat?

The only point that FS are likely to use as a weapon would be that Boye Brogeland was on the team that lost to FS in the Spingold quarterfinals, so Boye would have revenge as a motivation to accuse them of cheating. But I don't believe that discrediting such an accusation would be a difficult task given all of the facts and circumstances.

Edited to correct a typo.
Oct. 12, 2015
Art Korth edited this comment Oct. 13, 2015
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I am sure it is far too late for that. Their lawyers would certainly be advising them not to speak with anyone who would be telling them to come clean.
Oct. 12, 2015
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In civil defamation cases, truth is, as far as I know, a complete defense, as one of the elements of the offense is that the statement is false. Criminal defamation cases are different, in that the rational behind a criminal defamation charge is that the defaming statement causes civil unrest, even if true.

Of course, we are only concerned about a civil defamation case here.
Oct. 12, 2015
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I learned about the flagging procedure after I responded to a particularly offensive post. I was probably the first one to see it. After I posted, there must have been a number of flags as the original post (and my response to it) were removed. And I received a note from Eugene informing me of the flagging procedure. I was told that the moderators cannot read all of the threads, so a post like mine objecting to a prior post may go unnoticed. But the moderators are automatically notified if a post receives some number of flags, and then they review the post to determine if it should be removed.

Since then I have flagged several posts that I found to be objectionable.
Oct. 12, 2015
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Fred, thank you very much for this statement. If only this were the actual statement of the WBF. The WBF should be embarrassed at what has been exposed over the last few months, but, as many before it have done, the WBF chooses to attack the messengers rather than join in the fight.

If the WBF had a track record of dealing appropriately with cheating in bridge, some of what is said in Mr. Harris' statement would be understandable and acceptable, perhaps even laudable. However, the actual track record of the WBF in this area is completely lacking, and inspires no confidence whatsoever. So, I (and, it appears, most everyone else posting here) will give it the credence it deserves.
Oct. 9, 2015
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Declarer already unblocked the clubs.

Even though declarer's claim was not best, declarer has the rest of the tricks. It would be irrational for declarer to lose a heart trick when West cannot lead one upon winning the club.
Oct. 8, 2015
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Until I read about the spacing issues in B-Z's placement of their bidding cards, it never occurred to me that anyone did anything but put their bidding cards down in a uniform manner. I certainly make an effort to keep my bidding cards neatly arranged. But perhaps I will discuss with my partners the need for varying the spacing of our bids so that we can increase the accuracy of our bidding. :)
Oct. 5, 2015
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Could we please put this to rest? As a practical matter, putting Israel in any group of competitors which includes other Middle Eastern countries makes no sense whatsoever. Most, if not all, of those countries would refuse to play against Israel, and the WBF would turn a blind eye to that as it always has.

So, putting Israel in the EBF makes perfect sense - not geographically, but competitively.
Oct. 5, 2015
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Gary: Of course you are right. But who is to say when all of this would eventually come together were it not for the push that committee ruling gave to Boye? Another week? Another month? Another NABC?

Of course, my post was at least partly in jest. But not entirely.
Oct. 5, 2015
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Let us not forget to honor the committee which ruled against Boye's team giving a quarterfinal victory to the Cayne team in the Spingold. Without that ruling, none of this would have happened so quickly, if at all. As Boye posted in the thread announcing his team's giving back the titles they won with FS:

“If we had won the committee, I would have gone to bed, slept for a few hours, fought hard against Lavazza in the semis win or lose and moved on (probably not noticing much about what went on at the other table in the match). What happened now after losing by 1 IMP, I slept only two hours before waking up. I went to the BBO to see what had happened at the other table. It was Pandora's Box.”

So, I nominate the committee for a special award for facilitating the cleanup of bridge at the highest levels. Well Done! We could not have done it without you.
Oct. 5, 2015
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“You guys are all we got now.”

Hardly a ringing endorsement.
Oct. 5, 2015
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