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All comments by Richard Willey
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> When you instead said that you were confident
> the data would show how wrong our claims were
> I knew you truly meant it, and that meant the
> sample hands we found gotta be wrong somehow.
> I still don't know how though.

Your sample size is grossly insufficient. Bringing forward charges with this sort of evidence is at best negligent.
Sept. 22, 2016
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Hi Justin,

Minor pedantic point: I don't think that “over fitting” is the right expression to be using.

Over fitting describes a case where you are using a model that is too complicated. As a result, you end up capturing not only the signal component of your data set but also the noise. You end up with an extremely accurate fit this this particular set of data, but your model is useless for extrapolation.

As a practical example, consider a case where the “true” relationship between X and Y is a linear relationship. I decide to “fit” the data using a 7th order polynomial or a 5th order Fourier series or some such. The complicated model will give me a great fit, but I really don't want to be using it for anything serious.

Back in the data, I would say that the expression that you are looking for is “data mining”. When I went through school this expression was used in a derogatory manner to describe researchers who searched through a data set looking for some hypothesis and then validated this using the same data set. (This was contrasted with a more “pure” ideal of folks who developed their model, formulated their hypothesis, and then gather some fresh uncontaminated data set to test the hypothesis). From what I can tell, however, the expression might not be as slanderous as it once was…
Sept. 22, 2016
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What are the odds that this type of screw up only affected the winners of a couple events?

I suspect that there is a more pervasive problem. Folks only flagged these two examples because they impacted first place…

If I were the WBF and seeking to re-establish credibility, I'd go through a rigorous analysis of all the scores and see just how often this got screwed up. Conversely, if I were a third party with an ax to grind, I'd do just the same in an attempt to embarrass them…
Sept. 22, 2016
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> If I read the posts in this thread and the other one that has
> over 1400 posts correctly, opening with less than 8 HCP
> is ILLEGAL according the COC in this tournament,
> PERIOD.

You might need to learn to read better…

(In this event) it is illegal to have an agreement to open with less than 8 HCP. The crux of argument is whether these openings constitution a concealed partnership agreement.

BTW, in the second example hand that the Spanish brought forth, opener holds 8 HCPs
Sept. 21, 2016
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> I think 6/6 is way more than needed. To have an implicit
> partnership agreement you just need your partner to be
> aware of the possibility of you psyching. How many do
> you think you need for that? I would need only 1/20.
> They had 2 just 2 days before.

Gonzalo, given the complexity of this case and the wide number of allegations I think that you need to be more precise about your charges.

There is one set of issues around whether or not Bathurst and Lall were playing a HUM in 3rd seat. In order to analyze this, we need examples of B+L opening hands with 7 or fewer HCPs.

There is a second set of issues around appropriate disclosure of a light opening style in 3rd seat.

You need to explain what specifically is being alleged and what set of hands that you're using to analyze this.
Sept. 21, 2016
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Dear Mr Jimenez,

There are better people than I on this mailing list to comment on the bridge related arguments that you have raised.

I do feel quite well qualified to comment on the quality of your forensic analysis. Your sample size is no where near large enough to be able to draw any firm conclusions.

Given the severity of the charges that you brought, you had an obligation to ensure that you had a bullet proof case. You did not. You have a couple anecdotes and a grievance.

I agree that its more than reasonable to have a broad investigation into light opening styles in third seat and discussion regarding how this interacts with the HUM regulations. had you called for such at the close of the match, I think that you would have garnered a lot of support.

However, given the timing of your charges, their disruptive impact on the event, the insufficiency of your dataset, and your slipshod analysis I think that you have probably done a lot to discredit your cause.
Sept. 21, 2016
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I will note in passing that the ACBL Conventions committee has repeatedly refused to approve any kind of defense to MOSCITO's transfer opening bids.

1D = 4+ Hearts, could have a longer minor
1H = 4+ Spades, could have a longer minor
1S = unbalanced with 4+ Diamonds and no 4 card major

Apparently these opening as so insidious that American's can not cope with competing against them, even in Midchart level events.

Of course, Chip Martel - the same person who refused to sanction any defenses to MOSCITO and the person responsible for the grand snipe hunt - plays nearly the same structure for his responses to his 1C opening…

And of course, he's not required to post any kind of defense because, of course, this is just bridge…
Sept. 21, 2016
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David, your argument seems to be with the nature of reality rather than with dealing programs.

Life isn't fair.
Life isn't predictable.
Carpe diem.
Sept. 20, 2016
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Forcing pass with frequent use of relays

Forcing pass allows me to play a set of opening bids that are limited wrt strength and extremely frequent. In turn, the facilitates a bidding style based on simple short auctions to an acceptable contract.

Relay based methods allow one to define the largest number of bidding sequences with the minimal amount of stuff to remember.
Sept. 20, 2016
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> Not at all. Your solution involves people entering their seed data into
> a program. If I want to subvert you, I write a program that looks like
> the one you expected but doesn't use your data and instead a seed
> I chose and know what will happen with.

I have the source code to the “official” hand generation program.
I inspect the source code to verify that it does what it says.
I compile my own version of the program.

At the close of the event, all of the seeds are posted.

I take said seeds, enter all of them into my version of the program and compare the output from my hand generation program to the boards that were actually played.

Lets pretend that the adversary has substituted an evil nefarious hand generation program to the “official” hand generation program. One of two different things is going to happen:

Either

1. The evil hand generation program produces exactly the same set of output as the good hand generation program (in which case I don't really care)

or

2. The evil hand generation program produces a different set of output from the good hand generation program (which I can detect).

[I suppose that I should caveat this by saying that I do care if the evil hand generation program emails the hands to a third party, however, this is a radically different threat model and I don't see what this has to do with the methodology that I am suggesting)
Sept. 19, 2016
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It seems pretty clear that there is some debate whether the WBF definition of a HUM might be approved upon. In particular, a specific set of regulations that seems to be intended to prevent players from using “strong pass” openings seems to be in conflict with fairly standard expert practice regarding whether or not to open in 3rd seat.

Section 2.2.C in the WBF Systems Policy bars “By partnership agreement an opening bid at the one level may be made with values a king or more below average strength.”

I will leave it as a open question whether or not this regulation should be retained or modified.

If the intent truly is to ban “Ferts”, how should the regulation be modified? Arguably, it might be better to focused on the maximum strength for the opening rather than the minimum…
Sept. 19, 2016
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I’ve been seeing complaints about the level of disclosure provided on the WBF convention cards for decades. It seems clear that this is a pervasive problem. I would like to believe that – in this day and age – we can do better. In an ideal world, I would like to see a system with the following characteristics.

1. The WBF identifies and publically posts convention cards from past events that they feel are role models for appropriate disclosure.
2. Partnerships must provide a completed convention card documenting their agreements to the WBF significantly in advance of the tournament. (From my perspective, roughly four weeks feels fine)
3. The WBF commits to review the submitted cards for completeness within a week and provide feedback to pairs who fail to meet. At this point in time, Convention Cards are posted to the web site.
4. Teams that wish challenge the methods being used by other pairs have one week to register complaints.

The goal of this type of system to avoid the requirement to review the methods that pairs are playing at the last minute.

There is an obvious tension between the desire to provide as much time as possible to review methods and changes to methods and the desire to allow pairs to have flexibility about the set of methods that they are using. I’m not particularly wedded to this timeline or even this particular implementation. With this said and done, I do think that a system in which pairs submit their methods in advance and the quality of their disclosure/legality of their methods can be assessed in advance is better than the very ad hoc system that we have today.
Sept. 19, 2016
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Sept. 19, 2016
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I think everyone is missing the forest for the trees…

Regardless of what happened with yet another world championship, at least people got got to play bridge using real cards rather than been subjected to the horrors of a electronic playing environment.

As long as we preserve this, who cares how many boards get fouled or championships marred…
Sept. 18, 2016
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> I beat Meckwell. Using the same tactics. Is all
> fair in love and war? I guess so.

Meckwell is known for gaming the system in precisely the same way. I'd love to see them on the receiving end…
Sept. 18, 2016
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> I think an even better analogy than skiing
> would be a NASCAR race where half of the
> field all have cars with engines set for a
> maximum of 180 MPH and the other half of
> the field have their engines randomly set
> for maximum speeds anywhere between 170
> and 190 MPH (but averaging 180 MPH).

Perhaps you would be happier playing in par contests.

If not, please provide a constructive description how the hand generators should be biased rather than just complaining about the nature of reality.
Sept. 17, 2016
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> That lacks the “Proof that the hand generator
> which had said accessible source code was actually
> used” step, which Hans' method would come closer
> to whith the right tweaks when it comes to the
> cryptohash generation.

You sure you don't want to rethink this statement?
Sept. 17, 2016
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Rather than ligating past events, I wonder whether it might be more productive to try to agree on what try of framework folks would like to see moving forward
Sept. 17, 2016
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> I think way around that is for the cryptohash to
> also wind up demonstrating when it was obtained
> (and for it to be generated only once). So anyone
> you provide it to can show that it was only created
> after the match and from the machine that made the
> deals in the first place. An interesting problem to be sure.

You seem to be suggesting a system in which the sign signs the hands to verify that these are the right ones.

I prefer a system in which

1. The source code for the hand generator is publically available such that people can verify that that the hands match the seed used for the tournament

2. The seed for the tournament is generated in a trustworthy manner
Sept. 17, 2016
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> The problem with this it that creates a different
> but obvious method to rig the hands – you provide
> said cryptohash to someone ahead of time.

I'm not sure what you mean

In order to recover the hash, you need all five of the original hands. This means that four different teams plus the chief TD must all be in collusion.

I don't think that is particularly likely.

If you believe that this isn't secure enough, just have five or six or seven or however many teams you want input bridge hands prior to the start of the game.

I readily admit, none of this matters a hill of beans if you can bribe one of the people who is duplicating the boards to give you the hand records in advance. However, the mechanism that you suggest (provide the cryptohash ahead of time) doesn't seem feasible and even if it were feasible, its not any worse than what we have today.
Sept. 17, 2016
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