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All comments by Cornelia Yoder
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When Dwight and Edith played against me in the Toronto Regionals many years ago, my partner played in game after Dwight had bid clubs.

When Edith failed to lead a club on the opening lead, Dwight glared at her with a scowl that would frighten a child. She ignored him, and when she next got the lead, she failed to lead a club a second time. His scowl deepened to one that would frighten ME.

When, on her third opportunity at trick 11, Edith again didn't lead a club, Dwight slammed down his 11th card, shook the table with his 12th, and almost broke it with his last.

Lifting out of his seat a bit, he leaned across the table with a growl that would frighten a bear and hissed, “WHY DIDN'T YOU LEAD A CLUB?”

Edith smiled sweetly at him and said, “For the same reason I don't scratch my balls in the morning.”

True story. My partner and I fell off our chairs trying not to laugh out loud.

Sept. 5, 2015
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Absolutely not, David, you said exactly what I said in another thread! It's high time to take care of this problem, and Boye has opened the door. Let's follow through right now, while we have the people and backing to do so.

Keep it private, check everyone that is remotely questionable, and report findings to proper authorities privately. That's not a witch hunt, that's a serious attempt to clean up the game.

Who cares if they try to cover tracks by posting or not posting? Right now they should be running scared.
Sept. 5, 2015
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You know what, Nick, I do understand totally. I just got a new pair of glasses, and the optometrist botched them in about 5 different ways. The poor optician has had to remake them four times now, and the optometrist keeps giving me a song and dance about how his prescription is right and it's my eyes that are wrong (truthfully!! that's exactly what he said).

I want so badly to file a report with the state medical board, but I'm afraid to, for fear that another optometrist might refuse to see me next year because I complained.


What Boye did was exceedingly brave, and he would not be the first person in history to lose it all doing the right thing.

That's why I suggested all the analysis should be done privately, not posted here, and the results given privately to the proper authorities.

Now that Boye has risked so much to kick open the door, the least that the rest of us can do is to follow him through. There is a lot of strength in numbers, and right now, for a short time, the numbers are here on BW to accomplish this. There are also a lot of high-powered credentials here right now.

I, for one, don't play tournaments any more, and the worst that could happen to me is to be barred from the BBO ACBL tourneys. Unfortunately, I don't have the credentials to do all that needs to be done, but I'm hereby volunteering to help in any way that I can.

Sept. 4, 2015
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Timo: “Most comfortable environment for them will be the environment that reduces the probability of cheating by a lot. It will also increase their performance, having not to deal with boards, their security, tray movements, observing each and every single move of your opponents….all sorts of distractions when you are trying your best to win a major event. ”

Timo, all that you say here is equally true of me, and I'm not in any world championships. When bidding boxes were first available, I used to BEG the TD to let me use one. Once I even claimed to be hard of hearing just to get one.

What happened was that people saw them in use, got comfortable with the idea, and would finally give them a try. Now I doubt there are more than a handful of players who want to go back to voice bidding.

The same thing will happen with tablets, first at championships, then at major tournaments, and eventually down to the club level. A few years maybe, but it will come, and there won't be a handful of players who will want to go back to the days of irregularities, hesitations, body language, and cheating.
Sept. 4, 2015
Cornelia Yoder edited this comment Sept. 4, 2015
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So what are all you knowledgeable people waiting for? Get the videos and figure it out, just like you have done for F/S.


It doesn't have to be public, the people “in the know” can do it privately. When you have the cheating system sorted out, then go to the appropriate authorities.

I don't suggest posting anything, but I do think enough people could do this privately to not violate any rules or risk improper public allegations.

Sept. 4, 2015
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Usually in a minor, No in hearts.
Sept. 4, 2015
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>>>>“…if you can play the BB on tablets, then you don't need to leave home to play in them …. Can YOU IMAGINE all those WBF board members giving up on the per diem and stipends and 5 star hotels and the worldwide travel?”<<<<<


Can you imagine the number of really excellent players who would be able to compete if they didn't have to pay for 5 star hotels and worldwide travel?

Even a regional in the US costs well over $1000 to attend, and that's if you play with your spouse.

Not everyone can spend that on a card game no matter how good a player they are.

Maybe seriously competitive bridge is a game for the ultra rich, but wouldn't it be nice if it didn't have to be.
Sept. 4, 2015
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I don't think you can make blanket rules about punishing cheaters. There are far too many levels of severity, and far too many reasons for doing it. For example ….


Case 1. Sociopaths cheat because they don't have ethics, not because they are violating theirs. They cheat because that's how they deal with the world, and they don't truly understand why everyone else doesn't do the same.


Case 2: Some cultures consider cleverness, trickery, and cheating as a higher value than honesty or integrity. They cheat because that is the norm of their society and it is expected.


Case 3: Some people cheat because they got an unexpected opportunity and don't stop to consider the possible consequences. They are the ones who overhear a contract result and take advantage when they play that same board.



Lifetime bans are appropriate for Case 1 cheaters. They will never ever ever be able to play honestly.


Punishment, then education and rehabilitation is possible for Case 2 cheaters. Some may be able to overcome their cultural values and learn to behave with integrity.


Mild punishment or even warning should be enough for Case 3 cheaters.


Sept. 4, 2015
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>>>No one wants an electronic environment, most of the people I spoke to said they would give up bridge before they decided on an electronic environment.

Of course you didn't speak to all the people (like me) who have completely quit going to tournaments and play only electronically now.

That certainly sounds exactly like what they said when bidding boxes were introduced, but I think most people decided to continue playing anyway. Then they said the same thing about the BridgeMates scoring device, but they continued to play anyway. It would be the same for tablets.

“Resistance to change” is a very well-known psychological phenomenon. People resist change but they accommodate it easily when it happens.


>>>…why the Deranged moron drove 400 miles back from SC at midnight…

>>>…Billy Miller wait 10 minutes to get a director because a card fell out of a board and he was scared to put it back.

>>>Chairing an appeal committee, where 2 players with less than 200 Master points each were accused of passing over a hesitation.


And these are reasons why we should NOT move to an electronic system that prevents all irregularities, covers all but the longest hesitations, and doesn't require you to know how many masterpoints your opponents actually have?
Sept. 4, 2015
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Nat, you are right on! Cheating is much more common than it used to be, and as a now-retired professor, I can sympathize with you on that.

Prevention is clearly the way to go, and electronic play seems the most obvious solution.

While someone might find a way to cheat at bridge despite not being in the same room with partner, with all keystrokes and mouse clicks recorded, with impartial witnesses in the room, and with electronic shields or jamming devices nearby, at least it would be orders of magnitude harder.
Sept. 4, 2015
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I'm looking forward to the day when ALL such matches are played electronically. Not only would it discourage cheating, but go a long way to preventing it. That way, no one would have any reason to feel singled out.
Sept. 3, 2015
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I guess I didn't realize that BW required everyone to read things that make them puke sick.
Sept. 3, 2015
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It doesn't really matter, John. The issues are pretty clear.

1. Prevention is better than punishment, even given that you could always catch and punish.

2. If we can do away with the whole issue of body language, reading it (for imo UI) or being deceptive with it or communicating UI to partner with it, bridge will be more fair.

Cheers for Alvin's plan to look into an electronic means for both!
Sept. 3, 2015
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HOORAY!! Thanks, Alvin!!

Is it too soon to start a discussion on what the implementation considerations are?

Not necessarily answers, but a list of concerns to be addressed in any implementation might be in order. I can't imagine a better place than here on BW to get such a list started.

Sept. 3, 2015
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John, perhaps you could find a few examples of the Rules of Bridge, like in Hoyle or other books that define the rules of games, where “reading the opponents” is listed as part of the game of Bridge.

It's included in the Laws of Duplicate only in negative, meaning that since you can't stop people from doing it, we need to protect them from being deceived, which as you point out (and I agree) should be allowed as well. Far better if no one could obtain such UI and then no need to worry about deception with it would be needed either.

Now, we do have a way to stop people from doing it, by electronic play, and I sincerely hope that such methods as electronic play can be implemented asap.
Sept. 3, 2015
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Sure you do, John, if you're good at it, because it gives you an advantage that is (a) not part of the game, and (b) illegal to counter. Could you still do as well if you didn't have such information?

There are those of us who think it's on the edge of …. well, you know …. and should be eliminated right along with all the other ways to obtain UI.
Sept. 2, 2015
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I think you should also mention the other three players who stood up and renounced their contaminated victories! They also provided huge support in an important way!
Sept. 2, 2015
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Of course they do, and that's why it should be eliminated. They are allowed to use such information, but I am not allowed to be deceptive with it. The sooner it's gone, the better for bridge.
Sept. 1, 2015
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Interesting, because every time I've talked about using computers for tournaments with players of flight A (I don't have much contact with the world class bunch), the argument is always that they don't want to lose the ability to “read the table”, “read the opponents”, watch hesitations, etc.

I, for one, would like all of that to be gone permanently, so only the game of bridge itself matters.

Sept. 1, 2015
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“This speaks loudly in favor of prevention.”

Right on!



“Might electronic play be a future? I think so.”

Absolutely! When it finally comes, I might actually come back to tournaments.




“Even if, admittedly, some very lovable game aspects will be lost.”

What loveable aspects? Being able to read body language better than someone else? So-called table presence? Being able to berate your partner after a bad play? Are any of those (loveable or otherwise) REALLY part of the game of bridge? I long for the day when I can play real bridge without worrying that how I squint my eyes tells the opponents UI.




“A piece I wrote a year ago: Bridge in the Future http://www.allevybridge.com/index.htm/indexfuture.html&rdquo;

Excellent article, Alvin, except that I think separating the players into different rooms should be part of this, at least at the higher levels of play.



Prevention is better than Punishment!
Sept. 1, 2015
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