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Laws of Duplicate Bridge, North American Edition

Law 1.C. The Backs of the Cards
The backs of all 52 cards in a deck should be identical. They may incorporate words, a logo or a pictorial design but the image used should possess a center of symmetry.


Now, assuming that the Laws applicable to NZB are the same, it appears as though events that used those cards are in violation of the law.

This must surely be referred to the WBF… so, I will do so.
Feb. 17
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Is someone able to quote the text of this announcement?
Feb. 17
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No illicit signalling, just a casual application of "That Old Black Magic.
Feb. 15
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I suspect that some Older players are disinclined to tolerate the term, “optional double”.

Yes, as you say, “partner will pass sometimes, and bid sometimes.”

By some magical means, their action always suited the doubler's hand…
Feb. 15
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The “timing is the cure” idea is better than nothing, but not without flaws.

I recall Kaplan discussing this topic in a BW editorial, where he wrote about squeezes in the 4th dimension…

Declarer, in 6NT, has 12 tricks and little hope of more. He takes no time over the play, while the defenders are put through the wringer - amongst other things, they see AQxx in dummy, causing the defender with length to worry… while declarer has KJx.
Feb. 15
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Near Neighbors, Terence Reese, April 1977 Bridge World.
Feb. 15
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Agree.

Since when do directors get to choose which rules they like which rules they get to ignore?

This is like the bad old days of Kaplan's “Black Magic”.

Jeff Rubens writes of Kaplan's 1956 “New Science” essay:

…A good player was one who helped partner solve problems, but not, alas, only through choice of calls and plays. In contrast, the next wave of upcoming players adopted not only a more scientific bent than their predecessors but also an attitude that scorned transmitting or using extralegal information. I was a member of this “young scientist” group. Typically, when players of my age met knowledgeable opponents of the older generation at the table, the appearance of tactics such as forcing passes in non-forcing auctions, Hesitation Blackwood, and lack of spontaneity from a remaining doubleton produced stares, scornful sneers, and occasionally even derision.

The matter of slow play is no different. “Everyone” knows what is going on and the authorities are reluctant to take the matter on… after all, it might annoy some Big Names and, far worse, some sponsors (whose initials are PZ).

Well, we need to rock the boat…
Feb. 15
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I am indeed researching something… not sure where it will lead yet.
Feb. 15
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1C = Standard… and,I promise I am very serious about this.
Feb. 14
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XX is not so flash when East is 3-4-2-4…

I want to be at the table before I entertain thoughts of running with four-card support.
Feb. 14
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Are we on the same page? I agree with Greg. I would lead a club. You can confirm that; I Liked his comment before I posted.

What I wanted to convey is this:
Win-or-lose, lead a club. If, perchance, we hit the layout given in the article, write it off. Look forward to the remaining boards; the opponents are overbidders. We are out of boards? Then look forward to meeting them again…
Feb. 13
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I firmly agree with Richard on all points.

However, I have had a dislike of the term “externality” for some time.

Consider:
…the Pinto had a design flaw involving the placement of its gas tank at the back of the car. A rear-end collision, even at relatively low speeds, could cause the car to burst into flames. The public became aware of this problem through gruesome accidents that cost hundreds of lives. But the public also learned that Ford had known about the design flaw and in fact their engineers had discussed the possibility of remedying it by inserting a metal plate next to the gas tank. This alteration , however, would cost approximately $11 per car. Ford executives then calculated how many deaths and injuries would likely occur, and how much they might expect to pay in legal damages. With stunning bureaucratic efficiency, they decided that it would be cheaper to pay the lawsuits rather than make the needed improvements, hoping to save Ford approximately S87 million.

Ford execs took the action they did because people roasting alive in their cars was an externality.
Feb. 13
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… and look forward to being an overall winner against such bidders.
Feb. 13
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I'm 100% sure 2D would be a winning bid if Partner expected 5D and 4S for the bid.

What does “expected” mean? Are you speaking of an arrangement where 2 shows four spades and five diamonds (and some modest HCP range)?

Such an arrangement will, of course, be alerted, and, regardless of whether you play or defend, will be tasty feed for opponents who can count.
Feb. 13
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The S!10 is a good plus… the lack of a sixth spade or a singleton are serious minuses.

I'm a passer over 1NT.
Feb. 13
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As for games in Australia, it has been over 45 years since I saw a shuffle & deal at the table at any event, from a small club duplicate up.

Hand records have been standard at State and National-level events for as long as I can remember.
Feb. 12
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Nicolas writes:
Journalists back then did not have access to the tools of today.

No, but many journalists were read a document (the Gerber Letter; see p5 of the article above) that detailed the cheating methods of the Blue Team. How is that that they *all* kept quiet about it? Who organised the cover-up?

They also had access to no end of press releases about the Burgay Tape. Why is that that no one demanded facts?


David Carlisle writes:
I am sick and tired of banging on about events that are half a century old. The point I was making was we need people of that caliber to break contemporary cheats. It (sic) here and now that matters.

We are seeing the matter of cheating differently. My opinion is that top-level bridge has *always* been corrupt; officials have had no interest in investigating the use of illicit signals and have organised cover-ups from the 1930s to today.

There is no substantial difference between looking at the Blue Team and looking at Fantoni-Nunes (or Schneider-Jellinek or Jaïs-Trézel). It's all just a continuum - “minimize the scandal”, in Ortiz-Patiño's words, and, if need be, arrange a cover-up.

It's going on still; from the article above:

Donna Compton:
I was told (second hand) that it was a good thing that I was so persistent with the video because it was the determining factor in finding the Coughing Germans guilty. Who knows if this was true or not. But if true, then what was the “then” WBF Legal Counsel thinking? Was he told to suppress the video?

Either the WBF has a commitment to eradicating cheating, or is does not.

The current WBF web site tells us that the WBF is “devoted to offering its members the best possible service.” Either this is a meaningless platitude or it is not.

I agree “we need people of that caliber to break contemporary cheats.”

We also need a skilled, open administration that values integrity over image.

We don't have that.

Alfred Sheinwold, Another Death in Venice, 1974:
When the integrity of your contests is questioned by a large number of expert observers you don’t make impassioned speeches, you adopt remedial measures…

That cost him his position at the IBPA.

David Harris, WBF General Counsel, Oct 9, 2015:
However, the WBF does not approve of the current lynch mob mentality and approach that is being utilised by a small number of people… The WBF will not tolerate cheating, neither will it stand by and watch kangaroo courts claim some legitimacy when they have none.

Nothing changed in 41 years - just shoot the messenger.


Edit: added the year to “Another Death in Venice.”
Feb. 11
Avon Wilsmore edited this comment Feb. 11
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Muddied or muddled?
Feb. 11
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I know in the past the ACBL as Sheinwold to examine evidence because he was a CIA code breaker during WWII.

Really? When Sheinwold spoke up about the Blue Team, he was caned:

Akron Beach Journal, 19 Jan, 1975
…in November {1974}, 33 members of the International Bridge Press Association voted unanimously that {Sheinwold} be removed from his position of vice president of the IBPA because of an article which he wrote for the August issue of Popular Bridge.

Then, as now, the authorities hear what they want to hear. Journalists could have done much more, but didn't.
Feb. 10
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What about photographing (say) the backs of an entire suit, uploading the files and posting a link here?

I'm sure some BW members would like a look…
Feb. 9
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