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All comments by Michael Fleisher
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Since the “upsetting” post was deleted we (well, at least I) don't have any information to understand the issue discussed.
From the comments so far it appears that NH posted links to videos and invited the “crowd” to make judgments about the Italian team.
Without going into the “trial by crowd” debate, it isn't much different than what was done with other teams in the recent past.
My only conclusion at the moment - Censorship created a problem.
Nov. 23, 2015
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Perhaps an entry fee for posting on BW..
Nov. 13, 2015
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Hmm.. Yes to bridge Interpol and no to tax Interpol??
Cheating is cheating, and rumors and gossip were smoke with real fire to justify the bridge Interpol.
Oct. 31, 2015
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Cheating is the greatest bridge felony.

Accessory after the fact:
Every person who, after a felony has been committed, harbors, conceals or aids a principal in such felony, with the intent that said principal may avoid or escape from arrest, trial, conviction or punishment, having knowledge that said principal has committed such felony or has been charged with such felony or convicted thereof, is an accessory after the fact to such felony.

Personally, I don't care about the cheating details. BUT, if an official body starts an investigation, details should be provided.
Oct. 19, 2015
Michael Fleisher edited this comment Oct. 19, 2015
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When it comes to proving cheating, sky is the limit :)
Oct. 16, 2015
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I'm surprised that on one hand such an informal way of keeping score is allowed while on the other hand the “too late to correct” rule is strictly enforced.
Oct. 15, 2015
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Fact is, the train already left the station when solid proof was available.
Everyone is responding to the “rant” part of the post. However, the real reason why Poland was in a very different situation is the timing.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Polish team was actually asked to play since there was no (perceived) time to get a replacement.
Oct. 14, 2015
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Can you predict a void without knowing the hand, based on video and bidding?
Try looking at a match not yet looked at.

Otherwise, this is a good example of cherry picking.
Oct. 7, 2015
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Subconscious cheating?
I played at the club against an expert player(GLM). He made a very enlightening comment to his partner -
“You placed your card to my opening lead as if we lost the trick, although we won it. That indicates you disliked my lead”.

I am reasonably sure that B-Z may be “cheating” on this level, without really knowing it.
They are very “busy” during the play and they surely know their partner's mannerisms after years of playing together.
Oct. 6, 2015
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The sure way to prove cheating is to count plays that were “bad”, as determined by a committee of experts (Larry Cohen?) that worked for B-Z.

In view of their constant level of activity at the table I think it will be difficult to actually decode how their method works, if they have such a method.

Has anyone attempted this?
Oct. 5, 2015
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Gene,
The play for the BB was already starting. There was no proof that met the standard required at that time. Therefore there was no legal reason to uninvite Poland at that time.
If that is not bad timing, assuming there is sufficient proof now, I don't know what else to call it.
Same as the opponent following to the lead and only then discovering declarer led from the wrong hand. That defender had all the proof yet the timing was bad.

I agree that plenty of blame lies with the wbf. Including the too high standard of proof. My comment however is saying that the Polish team shouldn't be condemned given the circumstances. They came to play, were hit with the “news”, and were probably also in the dark regarding the reasons as the rest of us.
Oct. 4, 2015
Michael Fleisher edited this comment Oct. 6, 2015
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I made two points.
1. The law is clear. I agree that it needs to be different.
2. The timing of the proof was bad.

2 is, IMO, very pertinent to this discussion. The proof, convincing as it is, was presented too late. No need for condemning the Polish team for not withdrawing.

It is most probably the right thing to do, but their situation is very different than the other three teams.
Oct. 3, 2015
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You play a hand. At a certain point you lead from dummy for a successful finesse. After the dust settles and you make the contract an opponent mentions that you led from the wrong hand and you actually would have gone down with normal play.
The law is on your side, opponent played to that critical trick without noticing.
However, the right thing, especially since up to that point the defense was literally brilliant, would be to score down 1.
What do you think? Follow the law for a gain? Reward the brilliant defense and do the right thing?

Some would indeed do the right thing. However, most will use the law for a gain.

If the law says - use the criminal standard of proof. That standard is not met, or not met in time, should the team withdraw? Perhaps. Should they be disrespected if they don't? I'm Not sure. Especially if they think there is a reasonable doubt, or even if they thought so when round 1 started.


Oct. 3, 2015
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The teams that replaced Israel, Monaco and Germany are also late in posting their bidding system. It was less than a month..
Sept. 28, 2015
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Well, someone actually decided on the contents in the link above. I don't think anyone was forced to do so.
Obviously there are views that contradict the quick conclusion of - lets immediately execute the guilty.
Sept. 21, 2015
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To all the “ban forever” crowd. An interesting link that shows an example of a reformed cheater.

http://www.acbl.org/allan-cokin-1942-2014/

In my estimate, without personally knowing the 3 pairs , I would say that PS are probably most deserving of a second chance.
Sept. 21, 2015
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“No factual basis and was purely statistical”
From now on, especially after the last few weeks, the only way to prove cheating will be statistical. Any prospective cheaters will be very subtle in their methods.
Statistics is a respected field of science and should be applied on a regular basis to analyze recorded cases of “bad plays” that work.

That part bothered me. Otherwise I'm joining the “hats off” crowd.

Sept. 20, 2015
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Speaking seriously about the internet - It can be used effectively to improve the recorder system. You should be able to get online and select a player / pair (with the event and seating info + short description) that you suspect. If there are enough such selections, monitoring action can be initiated. Kind of like the “Flag” option used effectively by BW.
For example - I played a KO match against a Pro team + 1 sponsor. The “pro” opened 11 (out of 24) times 1NT with a stiff. He / She did so only when playing with the sponsor.
Cheating or not - I would like to have an easy way to flag that person for possible future scrutiny.


Sept. 14, 2015
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Roger,
I think the effort I described was more than reasonable.
A system that has a “ignore it unless it is persistent” methodology built in, is really broken.

Next time I am faced with a situation where director is not showing up when called, I will think about your comment. Perhaps they are waiting for the caller to cool down and move on. :)
Sept. 3, 2015
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“All you people screaming for blood? How many players memos have you filled out”


I played in the spring NABC a year ago. We wanted to fill a player memo. We asked for it from director. He said he will bring it to us and noted our exact section, number and direction. Nothing happened.
The next day, not giving up, I tried again. Found a director and repeated my request. Exactly the same happened - nothing.

My feeling, dealing with player memos is a headache for the directors / ACBL officials. That serves as an incentive to try to make the issue disappear if ignored long enough.

Frankly, it was a headache for me too. I didn't want to keep chasing the issue. I came to the NABC to have fun, and play good bridge. The cheaters (or not) I wanted to report were not worth any more efforts.

We should do more to report cheaters, but the current system is not making it easy.
Sept. 3, 2015
Michael Fleisher edited this comment Sept. 3, 2015
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