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All comments by Richard Willey
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Lovely. Everything appears to be in Hebrew. That's going to make it much more difficult to understand what's going on…

Feb. 14, 2016
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Is there any reason that I should care about any of this? In all seriousness, all this discussion about coughing and judgement on one particular board seems like a distraction from the real issue (the board and tray signals).

I sincerely hope that the prosecutors in this case see fit to restrict themselves to the clearest and most compelling examples. So long as it is possible to demonstrate that the pair was passing illicit information using one signally method, there is no reason to try to demonstrate that the pair was cheating using a variety of cheating methods.

Introducing weaker examples can only provide the defense with an opportunity to distract people.




Feb. 13, 2016
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>A liar and a cheater. Who cares what he says.

So nice that we were able to dispense with hearings and trials and move directly to the execution…

Personally, I think that we owe it to ourselves to pay very close attention to what Fisher is saying.

1. The process that we are working through only works if we are willing to given F+S a fair hearing

2. The critiques that F+S raise and their success during the actual legal proceedings need be carefully considered when collecting data during future cheating incidents

With this said and done, I read Fisher's comments and thought that it consisted of self serving drivel and unsubstantiated claims. It did nothing to convince me of the merits of his case.
Feb. 9, 2016
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thanks for the correction
Feb. 9, 2016
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FWIW, I view this as a reasonable precaution on the part of the IBF. F+S have already demonstrated a proclivity for filing lawsuits. A public announcement that the IBF will handle attorney fees should certainly help reassure their panel and might help dissuade F+S from suing.
Feb. 9, 2016
Richard Willey edited this comment Feb. 9, 2016
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Unless, of course, the ACBL feels that the IBF sanction is insufficient
Feb. 6, 2016
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I recently renewed my subscription to The Bridge World simply to see how they covered the recent imbroglio that has shaken the top levels of the game. Sadly, I felt that the discussion did not rise to the standard that I've seen on this web site.

I probably won't be renewing.

FWIW, the reason that I stopped subscribing last time around was (what felt like) a very parochial approach to the game. Lots of discussion of 2/1 GF and North American pairs. Not much discussion regarding other approaches…
Feb. 2, 2016
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A lot of you are acting as if you had some kind of god given right to an unobstructed auction when you have good hands. There is no such thing.

In a similar vein, the purpose of bridge is not to have beautiful descriptive auctions. Rather, it is to achieve the best score at the end of the session. Sometimes we achieve this by getting to our best contract, other times we do well by forcing the opponents to make a blind guess.

Personally, I think that it is a mistake to try to use the convention charts to force the game to adhere to a set of personal aesthetics. If you genuinely believe that there is too much “obstructive” bidding, adjust the scoring tables such that people are penalized more if they fail to make their contracts. (It's been done before. Maybe its time has come again)



Jan. 29, 2016
Richard Willey edited this comment Jan. 30, 2016
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> If you conducted a poll on this site asking – “Are you familiar
> with the details of the Lillie ruling” – what do you suppose
> the percentage of affirmative answers would be? My
> own answer would be negative.

If only I had thought to provide a link to a web page providing a summary of the decision and the debate around it in my original post…

How much embarrassment might I have saved myself…

> Why is it my obligation as your reader to fill in the factual lacunae in your opinions?

I don't think that the gap is in my opinion, but rather in your familiarity with the subject. In any case, there's no obligation for you to inform yourself on anything. (It would probably interfere with your ability to pontificate.

A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

Jan. 28, 2016
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Ray, you accused me of creating a straw man.

I offered the 1998 Lille example to demonstrate that my characterization of Wolff's position is consistent with his own quotes. (If you want I can find plenty of other more recent examples. I used that one because its the first one that came to mind and I knew that I could find it easily on a search engine)

The 1998 had nothing to do with me - something that would be blinding obvious if you spend a modicum of time actually familiarizing yourself with the discussion. I guess that informing yourself would cut down on your time available to write ignorant snarky responses.
Jan. 28, 2016
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> If you throw bids out at random, you're turning the contest
> into poker, which is not what I'd like bridge to become.

I disagree with this comment on oh so many levels.

First and foremost, Wolff Wolff's objection is to any method that he finds aesthetically displeasing. A 10-12 HCP 1NT opening - the example that Wolff choses in his last post - is hardly a “random” bid. It is merely one that Wolff happens to dislike.

If this were simply a matter where Wolff's aesthetics happened to be violated, I wouldn't care that much. However, Wolff had a proud tradition of issuing rulings in which he placed his own personal feelings above to the law. He not only admits to issuing rulings that have no basis in the laws, he crows about it. The results of which are travesties like the 1998 Lillie ruling.

Since Ray has accused me of constructing a straw man, let me include a direct quote for il Duce.

“Consequently, to create a level playing field we MUST eliminate the following insidious trio of i's:

intimidation
intentional convention disruption
inactive ethics.

Primarily because of this, bridge justice at the very high levels has to be handled in a different way than natural justice. We need to roll up our sleeves and fight the i's the only way we might have a chance in order to stop them or at least slow them down. We cannot wait for 100% evidence of violations, but must rather act with harsh punishment for apparent disrespect of the game itself. Yes, at times it will be subjective, but as long as solid people are in control, it will work. And at the very least, under threat of bad scores (plus some embarrassment) the players will be aware of the horrors of not conforming.”

This type of attitude should immediate disqualify anyone from serving on a committee or drafting regulations.


https://web.archive.org/web/20080124173854/http://www.blakjak.demon.co.uk/lille8.htm
Jan. 28, 2016
Richard Willey edited this comment Jan. 28, 2016
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Heres a shorter version of Wolff's comment: “If your methods suck, don't bother improving them. It's far easier to ban the competing approaches.”

Thank god Wolff isn't allow to participate in drafting regulations or issue rulings any more.
Jan. 28, 2016
Richard Willey edited this comment Jan. 28, 2016
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<Richard puts on his economist hat>

From my perspective, the best way to frame this proposal is to ask what the ACBL is “selling” in exchange for the entry fees that it collects.

1. If you believe that the ACBL is selling the chance to play the game of bridge, then the four player versus six player distinction is meaningless. Only four individuals are playing at once. The fact that there are six players on the team is a distraction. The price change is best viewed as the ACBL ratcheting up fees in order to recover from the recent financial debacles.

2. If you believe that the primary ACBL business of the ACBL is selling masterpoints, then the four player versus six player distinction is salient. The six person team is collecting significantly more masterpoints and it seems reasonable to charge them accordingly.

From my perspective, the arguments about bulletins, lunches, snacks, and the like are a distraction at best.
Jan. 24, 2016
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the lovely thing about fresh snow is that it makes a pretty good toilet paper substitute
Jan. 23, 2016
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> if you successfully argue that it should be a “user fee” for those in the events, then have you
> not also provided justification that WBF dues should be the same kind of “user fee” upon those
> who are directly involved.

Hi Don

Traditionally, I have been very supportive of providing funds to the WBF. Regretfully, I have concluded that I was wrong on this front. Today, when I think of the WBF, three things come to mind

1. Wasting enormous amounts of time, resources, and credibility on a Quixotic quest to join the Olympics

2. A complete failure to police the game such that 15+ years of events are irrevocably tainted

3. Selling broadcast rights to events to third parties thereby preventing spectators from watching games

I no longer have much problem with cutting off funds to the WBF…

Jan. 21, 2016
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This is starting to be a bad joke…
Jan. 20, 2016
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Statistically speaking, no one attends the Bermuda Bowl either, so your argument seems moot.

I think that the more telling argument is that I doubt that clients will pay so the pros will boycott…
Jan. 20, 2016
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Initially, I was kinda horrified at this idea, but its starting to grown on me. This has the virtue of simplicity, which is a powerful argument.

As Lukasz notes, this solution isn't perfect. In theory, a member of the Czech team might decide to conspire with a member of the Estonian team. In practice, the rewards from this conspiracy would be decreased dramatically and the difficulty in conspiring would (arguably) increase.
Jan. 20, 2016
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How many do I need to open 2NT with a stiff opposite the same partner for this to constitute an agreement and how many times if Zia is the one opening 2NT? Or, alternatively, how many times does Zia get to open an 8 count in third seat?

Jan. 19, 2016
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> Otherwise, you might as well have no system. It cannot function handling tens of thousands of > reports throughout ACBL-land.

I agree that this type of system would be wildly implausible if you are working in Excel or trying to examine the data by hand. Conversely, if the recorder system is built on top of a well designed database, this type of analysis becomes pretty trivial.

The question becomes: Is the ACBL willing to invest the effort to do this right?

Jan. 19, 2016
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