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All comments by Richard Willey
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This brings up another issue:

Creating new definitions is all well and good.
What we desperately need is official documentation that explains what is / is not legal.

It is disgraceful that the ACBL is incapable to creating anything equivalent to the EBU's Orange Book.

It literally took five years of effort to get the ACBL to unambiguously state whether a Muiderberg type 2M opening was GCC legal or restricted to the Midchart.
Aug. 24, 2016
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> The deal has been cut and I doubt we'll have anyone doing any further investigation.

A deal has been cut, which does not involve an accusation of cheating in ACBL events.

There is NOTHING preventing someone else bringing charges to the EOC alleging that P+S were cheating in some other event.

I would suggest that someone with reasonable standing should do so…

Once again, I will point at Roy Welland who certainly has standing and also seems to have an inclination to do something.

Posting on BW is fine and dandy, but I would hope that bringing a formal complaint to the EOC might be more fruitful…
Aug. 24, 2016
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Because majordomo is forever…
Aug. 24, 2016
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> Er… which Strauss wrote fairy tales?

I was referencing Leo Strauss and the “noble lie”
Aug. 24, 2016
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The ACBL's claim that there is no evidence that P+S have not cheated in ACBL run events is a twin edged sword.

On the one hand, they are using this claim to justify what many feel is a fairly light sentence. At the same time, this would permit the ACBL to bring a separate set of charged if evidence emerged that P+S were cheating in events administered by the ACBL.

I don't think that it is productive to make demands that the ACBL change the punishment assigned for P+S for this case. With this said and done, here's what I do think that people should be asking for

1. Does the ACBL have video tapes showing P+S playing?
2. If so, how many boards and in which events?

Once we have this information, we can determine whether there is enough video to try to crack the code that P+S were using.

Note: We have the opportunity to do things “right”

Since none of the data has been seen before, we can divide the videos into a formal test set and a validation set. The test set can be released to the community and used to develop a hypothesis. The validation set can be used to determine the accuracy of this hypothesis.

Hypothetically, if Mr. Welland were to bring a civil legal case against P+S, he might be able to demand access to said tapes to help prepare his case…
Aug. 24, 2016
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Normally, when someone says “The customer is always right” they provide evidence about what customers - or better yet prospective customers - are asking for.

You launch into some kind of Straussian fairy tale about priests lying to Vikings and use this to discredit a membership survey that overwhelming shows that the user base that was surveyed overwhelming rejects efforts at trying to get bridge included as an olympic game.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Good strategy?
Aug. 23, 2016
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Sorry if this sounds pedantic, but something just occurred to me:

In theory, the expression relay system could be interpreted in one of two ways

1. A bidding system that makes extensive use of relays (Blue Club is a bidding system. Meckwell Lite is another bidding system)

2. A series of relays over a single bid.

For example, many strong club variants use relays over the 1C opening.
Stayman is a relay response over a 1NT opening.

It had always been my impression that the ACBL prohibition against relay systems was directed at the former, but not the latter.

Michael, can you confirm this?

More over, I will go further and assert that the ACBL's restrictions around relay systems have always focused on the use of relays over 1D/1H/1S opening bids. No one cares if folks use relays over 1C, 1N, 2C, 2M, …

If this is the case, then it might make sense to drop the prohibit against relay systems altogether and, instead, simply ban people from playing a relay response to the openings in question. (You'll need to special case a forcing NT over 1M, but that's easy enough to do)
Aug. 23, 2016
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“This inclination is contrary to law. Not that I expect that would stop the ACBL.”

Sorry, would you prefer “If Zia does it, it is a tactical bid. If you do it…”
Aug. 23, 2016
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> Once you have a built in an asking bid for “did you psyche”
> haven't you really defined the previous call as a two-way bid?

Yes

Its almost as if there is something fundamentally flawed with the definition that we use for psyches…
Aug. 23, 2016
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The ACBL provided a fairly detailed description of the pseudo random number generator being used.

There wasn't much detail about the actual dealing program, however, this isn't viewed as being difficult to “crack”.
Aug. 23, 2016
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The USBF is (theoretically) a separate organization. Why should they pay any attention to what the ACBL does?

FWIW, I have long argued that the conditions of contest for USBF events should be consistent with those for the event that they are selecting for. In particular, I believe that the convention charts should be identical.

The USBF does not seem to share these views. Most of the complaints have focused around some combination of

1. The difficulty in filling out the WBF convention cards
2. Concerns about high variance methods
Aug. 23, 2016
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> We might be inclined to bar relay systems from novice games.

In all seriousness, how many people are clamoring to play Ultimate Club or some weird extended puppet Stayman variant in novice games?

This sounds like a solution in search of a problem…
Aug. 23, 2016
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I very much applaud any attempt to liberalize what conventions players are able to play at regionals, Nationals, and the like.

With this said and done, I am surprised that the C&C would bother concern themselves with what is played at the level of local clubs. (In my experience, clubs owners are going to do whatever they damn well please, regulations be damned). I don't see the value in trying to regulate this. I can point to a number of examples in which Districts have chosen to amend Convention Charts because they don't agree with regulations established by the ACBL. (At the end of the day, the ACBL is much more concerned about collecting its sanction fees than it is about trying to enforce convention regulations)

We're getting somewhat far afield here, but at the end of the day, the only events that the ACBL is really able to control at those held at Nationals. I think that your best course of action is to recognize this and explicitly state:

1. Here are the regulations that will apply in the events that the ACBL is running

2. The ACBL is interested in ensuring that its members enjoy consistency across events, so we recommend the following…
Aug. 23, 2016
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Agreed.

What is wrong with this definition?
Aug. 23, 2016
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Thanks for clarifying this provides a somewhat better idea where you are coming from.

With this said and done, I wonder whether or not it would be better to change the regulation to discuss “destructive methods” rather than a destructive “bid”.

In the case of your 1S example, the set of hands that the 1S bid shows does not seem to be central to the discussion. To me at least, the key distinction would appear to be that the 1S bid is forcing.

If the definition of continuations over bid “foo” are crucial to the discussion, it might be better to treat the methods as a whole rather than labeled the bid itself.

With this said and done, I don't think that anyone has a god given right to an unobstructed auction and remain unconvinced that this 1S bid should be considered destructive.

If a definition of “destructive” is actually require, I would prefer to see this based around adequacy of disclosure.

For example: If a hand can not be concisely described in any way other than “the set of hands excluded from all other calls” this is might plausibly be deemed to be destructive.
Aug. 23, 2016
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For what its worth, if I were forced to define the expression “Psychic Control”, here's what I'd suggest.

A psychic control is an asking bid. The codified answers to the asking bid reveal whether or not a previous bid matches its “systemic” meaning.
Aug. 23, 2016
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In all seriousness, I think that:

A “tactical bid” is a random act that the ACBL is unwilling to punish.

A “psyche” is a random act the ACBL is inclined to punish.

Both describe the same type of action, however, in one case you have a pejorative label and the other you have a neutral label.

While I appreciate the desire to change this this, I am quite skeptical whether this will prove effective.

In particular, until the ACBL is willing to start applying concepts like precedence I think that efforts at providing more concrete definitions are doomed to fail. I genuinely believe that the ACBL prefers as much ambiguity and contradiction as possible as to provide themselves with the maximum wriggle room (and this dates all the way back to Kaplan if not before]

Aug. 23, 2016
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FWIW, here's the email that I sent to Steve after the other thread was closed

Hi Steve,

Just to clarify, this thread was a poor attempt at humor.

(Obviously) I am not going into the business of selling hand records for ACBL tournaments. I think the best evidence that I can provide is that over the weekend I notified Jan Martel, the ACBL C&C committee, and a few other folks that there are major security flaws with the ACBL's system for generating hands.

Speaking of which… There are major security flaws with the ACBL's system of generating hands. (Severe enough that some one could have easily hacked a major tournament in real time). I'm not just blowing smoke out my ass. One of my co-workers decided to run with this idea and posted a description of the problem to one of the major academic crypto mailing lists. A few heavyweights have weighed in, stating that the system is badly flawed in multiple ways.

I am attaching a link to what I believe to be the best response (even if (0x5DEECE68F) is prime)

http://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2016-August/029969.html

Please let me emphasize once again: If someone is willing to invest a bit of time and money, they can crack all the hands for the Vanderbilt or the USBF team trials in real time. I know that you are a serious poker player. I'm sure you're aware that folks have been able to break the hand generators that were used on several online poker sites. The system that the ACBL is using is significantly worse.

regards.

Richard
Aug. 22, 2016
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Let's use this 1S bid as an example:

It is clearly legal to use a 1NT overcall of a strong club opening to show a balanced hand. (Its probably not a good idea to use a 1NT overcall to show 8-11 balanced or some such, however, I think that you'd have a hard time banning a natural bid)

Why is should a 1S overcall be considered inherently destructive while a 1NT overcall is acceptable?
Aug. 22, 2016
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