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All comments by Art Korth
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I see that the rules prohibiting players from touching other players' cards were cited in the Helping Hand thread. Still, it bears repeating. It surprises me no end that Balicki could do this and not get called on it.
Oct. 4, 2015
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My point is that this type of behavior should have been penalized in the past. And repeated violation of the same rule is something that should have been noted and brought before a conduct & ethics committee.
Oct. 4, 2015
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At IMPs, I think it is clear to bid to 5 over 5. I expect that we may have play or it may be a profitable sac. If I am wrong, I may not be wrong by too much. My preference is to bid 3 first so that partner doesn't think I have great high card strength.

At matchpoints you just have to be right, so it is more of a guess.
Oct. 4, 2015
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In reading this and other threads, it bothered me that there has never been a mention whether it was legal for Balicki to touch dummy's cards, whether to arrange them or for any other reason. Please correct me if anyone has brought up this issue before - I don't recall seeing it discussed.

Subsection B.3. of Law 7 states that:

“During play each player retains possession of his own cards, not permitting them to be mixed with those of any other player. No player shall touch any cards other than his own (but declarer may play dummy’s cards in accordance with Law 45) during or after play except by permission of the Director.”

“Play” has 4 definitions depending on context. In this context, “play” is defined as “the period during which the cards are played.”

Section C of Law 41 states that the play begins “irrevocably” when the opening lead is faced and the dummy is spread. Therefore, once the dummy is spread, the hand is in “the period during which the cards are played.” So, once the opening lead is faced and the dummy is spread, Law 7 dictates that “no player shall touch any cards other than his own… except by permission of the Director.”

Subsection B.5. of Law 90 specifically provides that “touching or handling of cards belonging to another player (see Law 7).” is subject to a procedural penalty.

So, I am wondering why there has been no mention that Balicki, as a defender, is not permitted to touch dummy's cards, let alone do so in a manner which allegedly conveys information.
Oct. 4, 2015
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Actually, the entire event could be run very reasonably with a round-robin of 128 teams. It would extend the event by 7 days.

First, the 128 teams would be divided into 4 sections of 32 teams each. Within each section there would be a complete round-robin of 31 matches, 4 matches each day for 8 days (3 matches on the first or last day). Rather than the 16 board matches played in the round-robin this year, the matches would be 12 boards. So, each team would play the same 48 boards per day as they do now.

After the first round-robin is done, the top 8 in each section would advance to the second round-robin. All four sections would be combined into a single group. There would be a second full round-robin of 31 matches (or, probably preferable, there would be a full carryover from the 7 qualified teams that each team played in the initial round-robin and the second round-robin would consist of 24 matches with no replays against teams from the first round-robin. I haven't analyzed if this arrangement creates any “sportsmanlike dumping” possibilities, but given that every team has an incentive to do well in the first round-robin against other qualified teams, I doubt that such opportunities are significant). The top 8 in the second round-robin would advance to the KO finals. If the second round-robin does not include replays, the second round-robin would last 6 days.

So, increasing the size of the event from 22 teams to 128 teams could be done by lengthening the event by 7 days.

While the amount of boards played per day would be the same, the preparation of the teams would increase, as they would have to prepare to play 4 opponents per day instead of the current 3 opponents per day in the round-robin phase. However, given that the skill disparity between the top teams and the bottom teams will be much greater with 128 teams, the extra opponent each day will not be a major problem for the top teams.

I am not advocating increasing the field to 128 teams. I am just saying that it is workable.
Oct. 4, 2015
Art Korth edited this comment Oct. 4, 2015
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Where is the objection from BZ? From the PBU?
Oct. 4, 2015
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Canon 3 - New Jersey Code of Conduct for Judiciary Employees

“A court employee shall observe high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the courts may be preserved, and shall avoid impropriety or the appearance of impropriety.”

I am sure there are many more instances of codes of conduct that implore that classes of persons must avoid even the appearance of impropriety in the conduct of their profession.
Oct. 4, 2015
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I really do not understand many of the points made in this thread.

FS are accused of cheating. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet, they have not been convicted of cheating yet. The IBF is conducting the formal process which may lead to a conviction. However, despite there being no formal finding of cheating, the Israeli team withdraws.

FN are accused of cheating. The evidence is overwhelming. Yet, they have not been convicted of cheating yet. There may be some official body conducting a formal process which may lead to a conviction, but I am not aware of it. However, despite the lack of a formal finding of cheating, the team from Monaco withdraws.

A German pair admits to unethical conduct. As a result, the German team withdraws.

BZ are “disinvited” from participating in the Bermuda Bowl. Presumably, this is not done without reason. No objection to this unprecedented action is voiced by BZ or any officials of the PBU (to the best of my knowledge). Subsequently, evidence which may indicate that BZ were cheating in the 2014 European Championships is found and made public. No formal finding by any bridge organization has been made that BZ are guilty of cheating. The Polish team does not withdraw from the Bermuda Bowl.

What is wrong with this picture?

Oct. 4, 2015
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If I played against an opponent who constantly touched dummy's cards with his fingers, changing on each suit, then there is some chance that my opponent would lose his hand. How can such behavior be tolerated even if one did not know that the touching of dummy's cards was a means of conveying information?
Oct. 4, 2015
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There is a book titled “Underhanded Bridge” by Jerry Sohl. It is meant to be amusing. I have a copy somewhere, but I haven't seen it in some time. Maybe I lent it out to some Israeli, Italian or German friends of mine…
Oct. 1, 2015
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I had the pleasure of playing against Carolyn and Mike at a regional in Valley Forge, PA, this past June. Despite the result at the table, it was a very enjoyable match.
Oct. 1, 2015
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As another lawyer, I agree with John. I was considering posting something like John did, but I didn't want to distract from the substance of the thread. Of course, so many others have gone off on tangents that it hardly matters now.
Sept. 30, 2015
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“I have been told, if you got nothing nice to say about a person, don`t say anything at all? :-)”

Apparently, Hermod, you do not understand the internet. :)
Sept. 30, 2015
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As a bridge player and a poker player, I can't begin to decipher the point being made here.
Sept. 30, 2015
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“And would you have found plausible one month ago that 3 teams would withdraw from BB due to cheating and that 1 pair would have its credentials removed ?”

Yes, but I would not have found it implausible that the pairs causing their teams to withdraw or the pair that had its credentials removed deserved that fate.
Sept. 30, 2015
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“Perhaps Mr. Wolff is a paranoid man who sees cheating everywhere.”

Perhaps that is because cheating is everywhere - you see it if you know what you are looking for. I would accept Bobby Wolff's take on the situation above most others.

Remember, just because they say you are paranoid doesn't mean that they aren't really out to get you.
Sept. 29, 2015
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What you are referring to is an adhesion contract - a contract where one of the parties has all of the bargaining power and can dictate the terms.

The language on the ACBL entry form could be looked at in that manner, except that the participant has the obvious “out” - he doesn't have to enter the tournament. The ACBL doesn't have any power to force the participant to enter and ACBL sponsored tournament. And, if the participant chooses to enter, the ACBL certainly has the right to dictate terms for participation.
Sept. 28, 2015
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I would interpret “or publicized” to include distribution of videos made in furtherance of the enforcement of the rules and regulations of the ACBL. So, yes, in answer to your question, for the limited purpose of enforcing the rules and regulations of the ACBL, the contestant does give up his or her right to privacy as it concerns the filming and recording of his or her images.

Whether that includes distribution to other NBOs and to the WBF is far from clear, but the 1983 regulations state that it is up to the discretion of the ACBL as to how such images are to be publicized. If this provision were interpreted in the context of a legal proceeding, I am sure the Court would impose an obligation of reasonableness in the use of a contestant's image. So, for example, handing over a video of a contestant's alleged unethical conduct to the WBF or other NBO would make sense if that contestant was known to be competing in events run by the WBF or other NBO, but putting the images of a player on the 6 o'clock news under the heading “Bridge Cheater Exposed” might not be considered to be reasonable.
Sept. 28, 2015
Art Korth edited this comment Sept. 28, 2015
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Been there, done that.

http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/newsweek-speaks/
Sept. 28, 2015
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Hank may like being referred to as “Hunk,” but I assure you that is not the case. :)
Sept. 28, 2015
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