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All comments by John O'Connor
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The EBL President's report from January (linked in the OP) answers these question.

The Investigating committee has finished its work on the first three cases and the accused players are allowed to present their defenses there so I would assume that they have done so.

The IC report is passed over to the EBL executive who then have to decide whether of not to pass the report to the DC.

The fact the the executive have decided to pass the report to the DC is indicative of the conclusions of the report.
Feb. 27, 2016
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I like this line of thought. It seems like a very good way to judge such positions.
Feb. 24, 2016
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“Maybe off-topic, but how many people would notice something like this in the first place? Do people play a match and come away knowing whether their opponents play right- or left-handed?”

I would always notice that. I play with bidding boxes and no screens and I always note that right handed bidding boxes do not serve left handed players well.

I asked the club if they would consider buying some left handed boxes but they saw no need.

Feb. 22, 2016
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“I am particularly interested in team mates and opponents prior to Boye and company, going all the way back to their days as Israeli junior stars. The prosecution should be too. How long as this been goin' on?”

You might like to check this link. FS seem to have form with the IBF.

http://bridgecheaters.com/?page_id=112
Feb. 10, 2016
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Back in the early nineties, a UK based bridge magazine (perhaps Bridge Plus) ran a spoof ad in their April edition announcing that the English Bridge Union was launching a traded masterpoints scheme.

It included mention of a futures market allowing up and coming players to raise money for competition expenses by selling their expected masterpoints in advance.

I thought that it was funny but perhaps it is an idea whose time has come?
Jan. 25, 2016
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Tom, I think that you are correct and, as I would have expected, you have made your point very well.

But:

Having spent almost two decades living in Germany, I do understand that the legal system, the constitution and general public opinion give a higher value to the opportunities for redemption than is the case in the UK or in many other countries.

I'd not rule out the possibility of a German court deciding that a 10 year ban was too much - even anti-constitutional - and that could have knock on effects around the world.
Dec. 12, 2015
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Are the doctors contesting only the verdict of cheating or are they also contesting the punishment?

I ask that because many people here have equated cheating at bridge with the use of drugs in athletics.

On a first offense in athletics etc, a competitor will usually receive a ban for two years or perhaps less in some circumstances.

Could the doctors argue that a ten year ban is excessive when compared to bans for drugs cheats?

If they would win that argument in court, what would the WBF and ACBL be able to do about it?
Dec. 11, 2015
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As a general comment:

Thirty years as a freelance IT consultant took me to more countries and cities than I can count without referring to my little black book.

In most of those places, I looked for the local bridge club and asked if I could come and play.

Without fail, I was welcomed and a partner was found for me and I spent an evening with a crowd of people who all smiled at me, made me feel welcome and made it clear that they were delighted to be hosting a visitor.

If you find yourself in a new place, however strange, find the local club and go along for a game. You, and your new friends at the club will all benefit from the experience.
Nov. 12, 2015
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I don't believe that language is much of an issue now. If your web search includes a location then google appears to go appropriately multi-lingual and will find the phrase “bridge club” in whatever language is used in Manchester, Plovdiv, Konstanz, Moscow etc.

Also, while google translate is pretty dire at general text, it will do a fine job of highlighting important things such as contact information.
Nov. 12, 2015
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Once, in the course of a job interview with a Belgian company, I was asked if I would be willing to learn the prevalent local style of 5 card majors and strong no trump in order to get a place on the company team.
Nov. 12, 2015
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Encryption can hide the meaning of the information being passed from A to B but in bridge it cannot hide the fact that information is potentially being passed.

It does not matter if a player uses the same variation of idiosyncrasies when declaring as when defending, if the variations are there then they can always be spotted given sufficient analysis.

Indeed, if variations in idiosyncrasies or mannerisms were to be outlawed then there would be no need for accusations of cheating.

For example, if a pair employed the FN method of aligning the long axis of the card with different compass points then there would be no need to show that they were cheating, instead, they would just get a small penalty (say between 3 and 5 imps) for a violation of propriety each time they changed alignment and that would deter any method of sending signals by such means without anyone needing to accuse somebody of cheating.
Nov. 12, 2015
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Will there be a secret handshake for the people who get voted in?
Nov. 10, 2015
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Thanks to everyone for the comments. There is a lot to think about and my partner and I will be working at this over the next few weeks to see what suits us.

Again, thanks to all - much appreciated.
Nov. 10, 2015
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