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All comments by Richard Willey
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The question is not “Does Boye bluff?”, rather it is “Has Boye made a mistake?”

I would hate to see the good work that he has done discredited by a less than convincing claim.
Sept. 25, 2015
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I want the system to be auditable.

Its not enough that the system generates “good” seeds. We also need to ensure that participants are able to verify that the system is behaving as expected.

Using the system that I describe, the seed number for the RNG can (and should) be reconstructed at the close of the round and everyone can verify for themselves the the “right” set of hands were generated.

If we “salt” the system with an addition input we're actually introducing complexity and exposing ourselves to an additional type of attack. If I were particularly clever and was able to control the salt, I could actually use the power to force the seed to whatever value I wanted.
Sept. 25, 2015
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Larry,

If you believe that you have found flaws with the proposed implementation, its best if you disclose them publicly.

Best practices in computer security are based on open disclosure. “Security through Obscurity” does not work. It's much better to identify flaws and allow people the chance to improve the system based on the new information.

As a practical example, earlier in the thread you suggested that cheaters could comprise the hand records. I showed how a system could be implemented that would collaboratively generate a seed for the RNG that would make this extremely unlikely. (Note that I didn't say impossible. There is no such thing as perfect security. The best that we can hope for is to significantly increase the difficult of cheating and improve our ability to detect this cheating when it does occur)


Sept. 24, 2015
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And why is it that there are 1,001 different books out there on technique, but no public discussion on how crucial it is to read your opponent's hitches or watch how they slot their cards….
Sept. 24, 2015
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There is a small to medium sized group of idiots on the ACBL BoD who seize on any excuse to try to defund contributions to the WBF.

They never get anywhere.

The fact that they are using this latest controversy to push the same tired proposals is meaningless.
Sept. 24, 2015
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Here I was, all excited to hear about bidding in the UK…
Sept. 23, 2015
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Oh good, then the decision has no bearing on the ACBL.

(If USBF decisions were binding on ACBL events, this might call into question that whole silly little charade where people pretend that the USBF and the ACBL are separate organizations)
Sept. 22, 2015
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The day the ACBL starts caring about the spirit of the law, I might do once again.

In the mean time, I have some nice little laminated cards printed that say “I have a lawyer on retainer and will sue you personally.”



Sept. 22, 2015
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As with any exchange with the ACBL, I recommend asking the same question 3-4 times just to see the number of conflicting responses that you get.

At the end of the day, the only thing that actually matters is whether the local director in charge is friend yours or of the opposing side and how much you are willing to spend on lawyers.
Sept. 22, 2015
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I wonder whether it would make sense to tie the minimum length of the base suspension to the length of the partnership?

F+N were playing together for 15+ years. Their ban should last a minimum of 15+ years.

I find this attractive because it ties the length of the ban to the length of time that the pair was contaminating results.
Sept. 21, 2015
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Encrypted signals use a key that is known to the defense but not (initially) to declarer to encode the signalling method.

For example, consider a case in which we use standard count and attitude if the “key” takes value A, but upside down count and attitude if the the key takes value B.

Some possible examples of a key include

1. If we know that declarer has a nine card trump fit, the key takes value A if trumps split 2-2, otherwise B

1. If we know that declarer is missing the queen of trump, the key takes value A is North holds the Queen, otherwise B

Note that if declarer can break the signal (he can determine that the defense is using UDCA) he can use this information to derive information about the placement of the Queen or how trump is splitting

Sept. 19, 2015
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Real time observation seems unnecessary, expensive, and useless.

There are any number of academic studies that show that humans are actually quite bad a observing and remembering events in real time.

I am in favor of an electronic playing environment, however, I consider video to be an incredible step forward.
Sept. 19, 2015
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FWIW, I agree that there is a significant difference in coming forward and admitting guilt before your code has been broken and doing so afterwards. (For that matter, I also agree that there is a difference, though not as extreme in admitting guilt before official judgement has been rendered)

As such, I do not believe that the death penalty is warranted. With this said and done, I do believe that any return to bridge needs to be predicated on the following

1. Complete description regarding the methods that the pair used when it was cheating

2. Refunding all cash prizes won and fees received (monies to be paid to an internationally recognized charity)

3. A lengthy break from the game for each individual (five to 10 years seems about right) and a death sentence for the partnership.




Sept. 19, 2015
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Migrating to an electronic playing environment might not be a direct response to the use of electronic devices to cheat, however, it does have a number indirect effects, most notably

1. Moving to an electronic playing environment means that you can physically separate members of a partnership by greater distance. In turn, this significantly increases the size and power requirements for the transmitter and receiver making them easier to detect.

2. Moving to an electronic playing environment gives you comprehensive records. There larger the data set that you have available, the more powerful your statistical analysis becomes and the greater your range of options

Sept. 19, 2015
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I doubt that video is going to be anywhere near as effective in catching individuals who are cheating in the days / years ahead.

Don't get me wrong. I think that Boye, Ish, Per, and the like have done phenomenal work, but we're all running the red queen's race here. The techniques that sufficient to catch the last rounds of cheaters aren't going to be sufficient for their smarter children.

I expect to see much more complicated codes that get used for shorter periods of time and more use of electronics.

Personally, I'd be investing in bug sweeping technology. I also think that we need to dramatically increase the corpus of hand records as to permit more sophisticated statistical analysis.

Sept. 19, 2015
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I've played plenty of matches under just those conditions over in Europe and somehow my poor little head didn't explode.

I understand that this gors against the whole theory of American exceptionalism, but you really might want to consider that the rest of the world doesn't have these same restrictive system regulations (and by the way, they also have a player base with members under the age of 60)
Sept. 18, 2015
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I'd say that my most important credential is that I am an ex ACBL member. Up until 10 years ago when I had the opportunity to “work” with the C&C committee on some suggested defenses I was an extremely active member of the ACBL. I played tournaments at least twice a month and played in 1-2 club games a week.

After the C&C wasted months of my time on a snipe hunt, I pretty much gave up playing the game in North America. I still play online. I'll occasionally play in tournaments in Iceland and the like. However, I avoid the ACBL to whatever extent I can.

FWIW, I just the sort of person that the ACBL should mourn that it lost as a member. I have a decent amount of free time, lots of money to spend on events, travel, and even pro's if I wanted to. I really enjoy challenging intellectual games. However, I doubt that I'll play serious" bridge in North America until the ACBL passes from the mortal coil. (Judging from the age of folks at the local regional, I don't have too long to wait)

Sept. 18, 2015
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And was mocked terribly a decade ago for even suggesting it…
Sept. 18, 2015
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Damn straight! If people from other countries are wiling to work harder at the game, we need to ban their methods!

God forbid that Americans need to invest time or effort in preparation when we can game the rules instead!
Sept. 18, 2015
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