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All comments by Richard Willey
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I'd like to commend Mt Lair for his decision. This can't have been any easy choice, however, it seems like a prudent way to avoid potential unpleasantness down the road…
Aug. 18, 2016
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FWIW, I left MathWorks four years back. However, I was working on the stats system roughly 10 years ago. As I recall, we did a bunch or work to improve our implementation of the Mersenne twister about that same time…
Aug. 18, 2016
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I don't believe that this attack posses a significant threat to any of the dealing programs in use; rather, I worry that this type of attack could be applied to dealing programs
Aug. 18, 2016
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Let's call a spade a spade: The quest for bridge as an Olympic sport is a thinly disguised attempt to gain the right to auction off Olympic gold medals to high net worth individuals.

Between the doping cases, the rampant bribery, and judging scandals the Olympic movement continues to fall to new lows. With this said and done, I believe that bridge's tradition of client / pro relationships would really lower the bar…
Aug. 17, 2016
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Hi Don,

While I agree that Constitution and the Bylaws are important, at the end of the day I expect that cash flows are likely to e more important.

I don't suppose the its possible to break down the WBF's major sources of funding? In particular, was is the minimum number of discrete organizations that would need to cooperate in order to decrease WBF revenue by a third and by 50%?
Aug. 17, 2016
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I hate to point at imagined cost savings from “waste, fraud, and abuse”, however, I can not help but believe that issues related to the integrity of major contests should take precedence over the efforts to join the Olympics.

Perhaps we could rethink the need to locate HQ in Lusanne…
Aug. 17, 2016
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> FS were NEVER suspended for cheating together. Their suspensions
> were for separate acts by one of them only. There was not even one
> suspension for collusive cheating.

Why should conviction of collusive cheating be the gate to exclude individuals from your National team?

Schwartz forged board results in an event to select members of your national team.

Fisher was found sitting on board slips showing his partner's hand.

I don't care that they were never convicted of collusive cheating.
Individuals like this should not have been allowed to represent your National team.
Aug. 17, 2016
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I'm calling shenanigans…

Please produce someone who will verify your claim on the record.

I find it absolutely ridiculous to suggest that any pair would constrain this type of cheating to hands where they hold a multi 2D opening.

Furthermore, if there are pairs engaged in this type of cheating, the appropriate response is NOT to ban multi 2D openings, but rather to improve facilities to block this type of out of band signaling.

Just to be clear, your claiming that the WBF had knowledge that pairs were using bidding cards to exchange information about hand strength 16 years ago, “took actions to resolve that problem”, and then were blindsided when F+S and F+N started using exactly the same signaling method to cheat.

(In the WBF's defense, neither F+S or F+N played a multi 2D, so of course, there was no reason to think that they might be cheating….)
Aug. 16, 2016
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Screw the masterpoints.

Dropping the sanction will allow you to cut prices for the participants.
It will also help teach the beginners that masterpoints are meaningless.

(Make sure to tell the ACBL management what yo've done and who in Horn Lake lead you to make this decision)
Aug. 16, 2016
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What's good for the goose is not always good for the gander.

my impression is that these discussions are directed towards international representation and other forms of elite play and not necessarily appropriate towards a pick up game in the local clubs.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Interesting topic. I've already seen a lot of good arguments on both sides.

Few quick points:

First: Collective punishment is common throughout the world of sports. If your college was caught violating NCAA standards, the whole team gets punished. I think that it is reasonable to apply similar principles in the world of bridge and punish other individuals / groups than the pair that was cheating.

Going forward, at the individual level, I would favor that the team mates of the cheaters be banned for some length of time. In a similar vein, I think that the National org should also lose the right to compete And that the Zonal org should forfeit a slot.

I'm not sure about the precise figures, but the following feels reasonable

The partnership is banned forever
The individuals in the partnership are banned for 10 years
The team mates of the partnership are banned for four years
The country of the cheaters is banned for two years
The Zone of the cheaters forfeits a slot in the next competition

Second: From my own perspective, I would prefer to see a system in which there are incentives for team mates or National organizations to do the right thing if they believe that other members of the same team are cheating.

As such, if the cheating charges are brought by team mates of the cheaters, all ban related penalties are waived. And, in a similar vein, waivers flow up-hill. (If the team mates of the cheaters bring charges, then the National org and the Zone are off the hook as well. If the National org brings charges, without the help of the team mates, then the National Org and the Zone are off the hook, but, presuming conviction, the team mates are still banned for four years)

To me, at least, this feels as if it creates the right set of incentives.
Aug. 16, 2016
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In all seriousness, why should I care?
Aug. 16, 2016
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> I hope and believe that there are currently none who are
> using a cheating code. Obviously, I could be mistaken
> about that. But I am not mistaken that the existence of
> such pairs is not as certain as the fact that David C.
> posted what he posted.

Michael, I hope that you are correct. Personally, I suspect that you are not.

1. If there is one thing that the recent cheating scandals have demonstrated, its that the existing incentive structure is such that some individuals are choosing to cheat.

2. I am reminded of a famous quote by Bob Hamman regarding the Blue Team. He (said) approximately “They only cheat when they need to”

Given the extremely lax security that is in place, I suspect that there are some (very strong) pairs who only require an extra edge on a small number of hands and proceed accordingly.

As I have mentioned before, I don't think that this can be solved until the sponsoring organizations are willing to address this issue systematically (and to me, this means physical separation of players)
Aug. 15, 2016
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The only reason that this law is on the books is because some folks were pissed off because Katz and Cohen were cheating and decided that twisting the GCC to ban elements of breakthrough club was an appropriate response.

1. I don't think that its appropriate to use the convention regulation system to punish individuals
2. It's been 40 years and everyone involved is long gone

Since it is trivial to evade this regulation by making cosmetic changes to the response structure, I'd far rather see the law stricken from the books rather than encouraging inane rules lawyering.
Aug. 15, 2016
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I am aware of well documented academic studies that demonstrate that corporate boards produce better decisions when they include women. I am not aware of any such studies that focused on eye color or religious faith.

And (jokes about gingers aside), in modern times I am not aware of significant discrimination against individuals based on their hair color. As the recent idiocy involving Roger Ailes shows, discrimination against women is alive and well.
Aug. 13, 2016
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Hi Geoff,

I am going to need to disagree here. I, for one, think that we'd be a lot better off if there were a primer on “how to cheat at bridge”. I say this not because I want to train a generation of cheats, but rather because we need to make sure that the honest players need to be aware of what types of behavior they need to be watching out for…

I don't expect that any widespread use of video is going to percolate down to the vast majority of games. The players in those games need some way to protect themselves. Sticking our heads into the sands isn't going to do anyone any good.

FWIW, at the elite levels of the game, I still believe that we need much better systems to protect against more sophisticated cheats. We know that the incentives structures are sufficient to cause people to cheat. I still believe that we're only catching the “stupid” cheats…
Aug. 12, 2016
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If they are, indeed, forcing to 2NT then I would have a hard time believing that the bid is not promising invitational values.
Aug. 12, 2016
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As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I think that the key hand type to consider is the ones included in the auction

1M - 1N
2x - 2M

I can easily believe that there are non game invitational hands included in this bid. ven if there are not, the system coould (trivially) be made GCC legal by putting some three card raises into this sequence.
Aug. 12, 2016
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Not very good with google, are you Ray?

Let's see: Law 40C of the Laws of Duplicate Bridge reads:

Deviation from System and Psychic Action

1. A player may deviate from his side’s announced understandings always, provided that his partner has no more reason to be aware of the deviation than have the opponents.

If you prefer, Appendix 4 of the WBF Systems Policy can be found at

http://www.worldbridge.org/Data/Sites/1/media/documents/official-documents/Policies/WBFpsychicbiddingguidelines.pdf

FWIW, I find it surprising the that the “Conduct and Ethics Chair, District 21” would be confused about such a basic issue…
Aug. 11, 2016
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The WBF allows regulatory bodies to do whatever the damn well feel.

For example, the ACBL is permitted to have regulations like the following “You may not use any conventions if your 1NT might ever contain fewer than 10 HCPs”.

Italy is allowed to ban psyches even though the right to psyche is protected in the laws.
Aug. 11, 2016
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