Join Bridge Winners
All comments by Jonathan Steinberg
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The ACBL has five representatives on the WBF Executive Council. Why do we not hear from them? Is no dissent permitted? Do they all follow like sheep?

I have said it before and I will repeat: the WBF is the most political animal in bridge. It is not a coincidence that Poland is hosting the 2016 World Championships. And now the controversial Poland/England 6D slam and subsequent flawed review (and flawed Daily Bulletin reporting).

Poland is poised to win the Bermuda Bowl – six players who played great bridge but should never have been allowed to participate.

The WBF created this nightmare scenario. Their official carefully scripted statements do nothing to inspire confidence.
Oct. 9, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In any election, the incumbents usually have a huge advantage…apparently not in 2015. The ACBL election results are quite interesting.

Of the three incumbents only Bob Heller was reelected in District 7 in a 3 person race. In New England - District 25, Rich DeMartino lost to Mark Aquino who won on the first ballot in a 4 person race. You need 50%+ 1 to avoid a runoff. Well done, Bob & Mark! In District 23 (Los Angeles area) Rand Pinsky (incumbent) lost to Kevin Lane (who often comments on Bridge Winners). District 19's Don Mamula has retired as of the end of this year and did not run. There will be a run off between Jeff Ford and Marv Norden, the Penticton Tournament Chair.

Departing will be Rich DeMartino, Rand Pinsky & Don Mamula. New Board members will be Mark Aquino, Kevin Lane and ???

Thus there will be three new faces on the ACBL Board in 2016 – perhaps 25 new faces would be best but this is a start.

Perhaps the ACBL membership is expressing its dissatisfaction with the only tool they have – the ballot box.
Oct. 5, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Congratulations, Boye! Well deserved. You have done awesome work and we are all better for it. I ptomise to take your photo in Denver ;)!
Oct. 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
I heard there is a players petition being presented to the WBF in India to stop Poland's third pair from playing. Any updates?
Sept. 29, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Very surprised to see two of the most apolitical people I know with such strong views.

The WBF, however, is the essence of a political animal. Poland is a strong and good force in bridge. They produce lots of excellent players, young and old. They have student/school/youth programs that are outstanding. They gave us Josef Blass :)

Coincidentally (or not) Poland will be hosting the 2016 World Bridge Championships. Am I being cynical? Perhaps but..

The ACBL has five members on the WBF Executive Council. Do they have an opinion they wish to share with us?

Boye has been fighting for openness, a clean game, transparency. I think the ACBL under President Suzi Subeck are taking the correct steps (see Robert Hartman's post Count the ACBL In).

The WBF on the other hand remains far too secretive, giving no explanations (see the Bridge In News interview re: The Polish situation which answered no questions).

Thanks for going public. It needed to be said. Now, please go get some badly needed wins and VP for Canada.
Sept. 28, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Barry G, not only has Boye & friends broken the codes, an explanation of their “methods” has been posted on you tube. This one graphically illustrates F/N: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKe7gLTfaF8&feature=youtu.be
Sept. 27, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In April, 2014 I sent a private e-mail to Robert Hartman suggesting they use their video cameras on specific pairs. I quoted an anonymous expert who mentioned 4 pairs about whom there were ongoing and/or “very real” and strong rumours: F/S; F/N; B/Z; P/S. I suspect I was given the info because people knew I would pass it on and be a Royal Pain if nothing happened.

In March, 2015 I followed up with a second e-mail this time copying the new ACBL President Suzi Subeck. Same names plus a 5th pair (much lesser known) who accumulated more Recorder slips (and loud whispers & rumours) during the Dallas NABC than any pair in history.

The chickens have come home to roost!

With 160,000 ACBL members plus the rest of the world it is inevitable that some will cheat. Always have. Always will. But with the expert community now working with the ACBL plus all the videos, I think cheaters will have second and third thoughts.

But even cheaters are not infallible and do not cheat all the time. This thread has suggested that bidding and slams were not B/Z strong point. They did not shine on this deal (one of my all-time favourite hands)

Gatlinburg Regional. No interference. We were playing Carolyn Lynch (Passell, Meckwell, B/Z) My partner Daniel Korbel opened 1H with VOID,KQxxx,AJxx,QTxx. I held Txxx,x,Kx,AKJxxx. We play Flannery so my choices were 1NT or an aggressive 2C GF. I chose the high road. Over 2C, Daniel splintered with 3S and we eventually reached the cold 12 opposite 11 HCP 6C slam.

At the other table Adam Zmudzinski & Cezary Balicki had the following (no interference) auction 1H-1S-2D-2NT-all pass, Down 1 after my teammates found a Spade lead! They never bid the suit they were cold for slam in. I suspect F/S and F/N would have fared better.

One board (good or bad) proves nothing but it was a memorable hand for me as we went on to win the match (single digits) and KO.
Sept. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
It is currently 9:44 PM local time – 9.5 hours ahead of Toronto whatever time zone we are in ;)!
Sept. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The word from India (FB message) is that everyone was in shock when the announcement was made. The Opening Ceremonies are now underway – Chennai is 6.5 hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time in North America. Local time in Chennai is 6 PM
Sept. 26, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The Chico Marx clip from the 1930's is priceless!
Sept. 23, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
From what the expert bridge community has been telling me for several years - and I have passed the names on to the ACBL powers-that-be (with little action until 2015 when Suzi Subeck became President and started working behind the scenes to fix the system), they are indeed the “third pair”.

Time to round up your teams and enter the ACBL & WBF premier events. Everyone's chances of success have improved. That is good for all of us.

And I do appreciate the honesty (if not the ethics) of Josef & Alex for making their statement. Very different from F/S and F/N.
Sept. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Why not put all of us in sound proofed cement cells (perhaps a glass of water & stale bread) with whatever electronic gizmo has been approved by the powers-that-be. Plus a time clock.

Sorry, not my idea of playing bridge!

Should I start a new thread on invisible transparent online masterpoints? Thanks for the idea Adam ;)!
Sept. 19, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Very true, Roy. Many players felt the same way. It was an embarrassing final between two very suspect teams. In Chicago, due to space limitations, the Spingold moved to a different hotel one day. For the final, a young player suggested to me that the ACBL set up a special table with screens for Fisher/Schwartz to play against Fantoni/Nunes. It would be on the Hilton roof on a set of rails or moving track. As both pairs would be too busy looking above/below the screens for signals, no one would notice as the table rolled over the edge and fell off the roof!

Sept. 15, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Probably not. There have been 3-5 pairs that have been whispered about for several years. Fisher & Schwartz along with Fantoni/Nunes were at the top of everyone's list. IMHO, the outing of these cheaters is wonderful news for bridge.

I fully expect the ACBL is actively investigating all the players on the “list” and that by Denver some official hearing(s) will have been held and the discipline (expulsion, I hope) will be announced.

When the German doctors were found guilty one newspaper wrote “the genteel bridge world is shocked…”. I found the comment to be silly. While the vast majority of players at all levels are inherently honest and ethical, there is always a tiny percentage of players who are not. There always will be. That's life. The ACBL had to up their game in prosecuting and expelling the cheaters. I think they realize that and have begun to take the necessary steps.

Why do people cheat? In my experience there were always two types of people: the psychologically disturbed and a very small number of professional players who needed to win to keep their clients. In the last decade or so, the astronomical sums of money being paid to play at the highest levels ($15 - $25,000+ per player for an NABC) plus double that if you actually win a major NABC event created and continues to be a huge incentive to those who are less ethical and/or so hungry for the big bucks that they will do anything. I don't believe the ACBL can ever completely prevent it.

But rather than be sad, horrified, or shocked by these revelations, I believe the game will be a lot better with increased surveillance and ACTION being taken against the unethical.

My heartfelt praise and congratulations to all the bridge experts who have been working behind the scenes as well as very much being in front of the public eye to clean up the game. They deserve our thanks. All of us who love and play bridge will ultimately be in a better place because of their efforts.

And if there are a handful of bridge players out there who are beginning to sweat, all the better!
Sept. 13, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Excellent suggestion. If the ACBL wants players to use the Recorder system, forms should be as readily available as convention cards.
Sept. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
The confirmed skeptics will always be disbelieving until the evidence becomes incontrovertible. But for the majority with open minds, the preliminary evidence is persuasive:

1) Granted the ACBL's past performance has been lax and not effective but in 2015 Suzi Subeck became ACBL President and changes began to be made behind the scenes.

2) Bridge Winners felt the need to “jump-start the process” http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/jump-starting-the-process/#new_1 But they have now asked the community “With reform apparently underway, we ask that our community refrain from “outing” other suspected cheaters in public unless there is significant proof. Cheating allegations should be dealt with through the proper channels”

3)Suzi Subeck was determined and brave enough to be the first sitting ACBL President to go public on Bridge Winners with her thoughts. http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/ethical-allegations-brief-statement-from-the-acbl-president/#new_1

4) The skeptics countered “but there is nothing on the ACBL web site”. As of this morning, there is.

While the ACBL is unable to comment on specific investigations why would anyone believe they are not consulting with Boye and all the experts who have analyzed and studied the evidence? Official results from ACBL hearings should start to be known by the Denver NABC.

5) Once a finding of guilt is official, the ACBL is very public. All District and Unit secretaries are notified – they are supposed to notify bridge clubs. A list of all ACBL members currently under probation, suspension or expelled is updated regularly and can be found online at: http://web2.acbl.org/Suspensions/suspendedlist.pdf

How can anyone be more transparent?

6) Going forward, Suzi wrote: “I am in the process of expanding and formalizing an expert review committee to assist us going forward. I initiated discussion of this with Larry Cohen (see his post for more information) prior to the NABC in Chicago. I am hopeful that this committee will become a permanent part of the ACBL Oversight structure.”

I believe it's time to step back and let the system work. There are a lot of very good people including bridge experts working to improve the system and level the playing field. Let's support them and give them a chance to succeed.
Sept. 11, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
In Denver this Fall, the ACBL Board will be deciding if the time has finally come to have all Appeals heard by Tournament Director panels rather than players. More discussion can be found at: http://bridgewinners.com/article/view/cayneschwartz-appeal-that-ultimately-decided-the-spingold-winners-what-went-wrong-will-it-happen-again/
Sept. 3, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
For 99.9% of us, all we have to do is avoid accusing someone of cheating at the playing site. Hmm, not too much to ask, is it? If you have concerns, report them to the authorities, not to the alleged unethical player at the table – why would anyone? To create a brouhaha at the table. I suspect some would not react kindly to the accusation. That is why you should not do it!
Aug. 31, 2015
Jonathan Steinberg edited this comment Aug. 31, 2015
You are ignoring the author of this comment. Click to temporarily show the comment.
Hannah Moon, Prince Albert, SK, currently ranked #6 on the 2015 Richmond Trophy Race?
Aug. 30, 2015
.

Bottom Home Top