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All comments by Steve Zolotow
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I am a strong believer in free speech. People are allowed to say whatever they want. They can use offensive language, say the earth is 5000 years old and is the center of the universe, or that global warming is nonsense.
This does not force me to allow them to say it in my living room, magazine, newspaper or on my web site. Dean is free to say whatever he wants. Bridge winners is free to bar any posts or posters that it wants.
In this case, it is up to Dean to resolve things we BW. If they don't want him to post, that is their right.
Oct. 16, 2015
Steve Zolotow edited this comment Oct. 16, 2015
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Odds of the WBF giving up its useless quest to become an Olympic Sport and focusing on procedures that prevent cheating or at least allow cheaters to be caught and punished fairly quickly: 236,752 to 1 :)
Oct. 14, 2015
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He was also a winner at Hearts & Poker
Oct. 14, 2015
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I agree with Roy that potentially tainted teams should have the grace not to play. This discussion reminds me of an old feature in the Bridge World, “Who Gets the Blame.” This column featured hands that had disasters and asked the panel to apportion blame between the two players involved. Here it is more complicated, we have at least 3 groups among whom to apportion the blame. BZ, the remaining Polish team, and the WBF. I would probably assign 60% to BZ, 30% to WBF, and 10% to the other Poles. Why so little to the other Poles? As far as I know, they followed the rules as laid down for them by the WBF. They won the actual Bermuda Bowl fairly, although they did perhaps benefit from questionable rulings. Then why any blame at all? Because I feel that even though they were technically allowed to enter they had a moral or ethical responsibility not to enter if their initial qualification was questionable.
Oct. 14, 2015
Steve Zolotow edited this comment Oct. 14, 2015
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I don't see why there shouldn't be continual jeopardy. If someone is acquitted of having cheated on Monday, then new evidence comes to light or better analysis proves that they were, why shouldn't they be subject to the appropriate penalties. This would also apply in cases where the fact that one bridge organization finds them not guilty does not mean that another cannot look at their alleged crime, and find them guilty.
Oct. 13, 2015
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How did backgammon creep into a chess discussion? In any case, Gus Hansen, a top poker & backgammon pro, has recently become somewhat serious about bridge.
Oct. 13, 2015
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There was a book “Brains in Bridge” that Gerald Abraham, a top chess player, wrote as a companion to his other work called “Brains in Chess.” The bridge had some clever hands, weird bidding, and some unproved theories. Still available 2nd hand on Amazon.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Meyer Schleifer was a really strong speed chess player long after he had switched to bridge. The wikipedia entry for him begins
"(1908–1994) was an American bridge player from Los Angeles, California. Schleifer was born in Brooklyn, New York City, where he was a strong chess player as a teenager. He contracted tuberculosis as a law student at Columbia University, whence he quit school and moved to Denver for his health. He moved to Los Angeles a few years later, and won two Southern California Chess Championships before he switched to bridge. For most of his life, he earned a living at the bridge table, primarily by playing rubber bridge for money stakes at clubs. According to Eddie Kantar, who judged him “America's greatest bridge player” in 1972, Schleifer did have many clients at duplicate bridge, or tournament play, and could have become rich if he had not been a heavy loser betting on the horse races.

Schleifer was inducted into the ACBL Hall of Fame in 2000.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Where does he rank on the cheater GOAT list? (Greatest of all time) Certainly behind Lance Armstrong and Russ Hamilton, but ahead of Rosie Ruiz. I guess the greatest cheaters have never been caught.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Gene
Why don't you start a new international bridge organization? Let's see how many member nations would happily abandon the WBF and join any legitimate group.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Their target audience is the lawyers, judges and juries who will eventually represent the WBF and the ‘alleged’ cheaters in whatever litigations develop. They are interested in establishing their lack of culpability or liability for any damages found to have occurred.
Oct. 13, 2015
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Max,
I'm not sure where the WBF has its thumb, but it looks pretty clear that they have already started to cover their ass. Their statement must be an attempt to avoid any liability. Of course, we wish there were more interested in taking responsibility, but large organizations frequently try to avoid so doing.
Oct. 13, 2015
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In some cases in which someone is accused of slander and/or libel, truth of their original statement is not a defense. I think this applies to private (non-public) individuals. Thus they may be able to successfully sue Boye and/or others even if it is proved that they were cheating. I don't want to pretend to have legal expertise. I especially don't want to pretend to have international legal expertise. So let one of those more qualified legally amend this comment.
Oct. 13, 2015
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This whole problem was created by the way the WBF's initial handling of BZ. They should have decided either a) BZ were cheating & the Polish team couldn't play or B) BZ had not been proved as cheats, so they and the rest of their team could compete. Instead they followed a middle (muddled) course. No BZ, but Polish team allowed. This created any number of problems, for example - allow a last minute substitute pair or not, if so then should that pair, which hadn't had its CC submitted before the deadline be forced to follow WBF rules & play simple card.
While I don't think the Poles should have been allowed to play, especially not with an excellent additional pair allowed to play a full card, once the WBF allowed them to so, they played well, qualified in a tough field, and won fairly convincingly against all the opposition, except England, where they may have benefitted from a bad ruling.
In any case they won and should be congratulated. (To those who feel their victory was undeserved, remember that undeserved victories are fairly common in all competitions, and bridge is no exception. Hence the old saying, “We was robbed.”)
Oct. 11, 2015
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I'm impressed and depressed at what this guy has expressed, and feel he should be repressed.
Oct. 10, 2015
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Object at matchpoints is frequently to win as many tricks as possible, even if it means risking your contract. This is not generally true at IMPs in which the objective is to bid and make contracts. Virtually everyone who tries no (undoubled) overtricks count in high stakes rubber bridge, (where the objective is similar to IMPs,) likes it.
Oct. 10, 2015
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I find it extremely annoying, both as a spectator and as a player, when someone in 3N with 9 sure tricks agonizes while trying to make 10. When overtricks count, there is a rationale for doing this, but it certainly makes things slower and IMHO less enjoyable. I have even heard it argued that every hand should be played slowly so that the opponents aren't alerted to which hands are delicate and which are no-brainers.
Oct. 9, 2015
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Having a Swiss as a qualifier for all major team games is a great idea. It guarantees that everyone will get several days of bridge & and have a chance to play against some of the top teams. It should appeal to sponsors. No one want to spend a fortune on pros & then make an early exit.
Oct. 8, 2015
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I would suggest that the BZ incident suggests what should have been obvious without it. The WBF, and other organizations, should forget about drug testing and develop a policy to deal with cheating, both suspected and ‘proven.’ My own feeling is that suspects should not be allowed to play pending investigation. If and when those accusations are proven, then some clear permanent punishment would be levied.
I get that barring an accused pair might lead to an innocent pair missing a tournament. To me that is far preferable than having one that is guilty be allowed to play because sufficient proof had not been produced. Look at the havoc that FN created over a more than 10 year span.
It would also be possible to allow accused pairs to play only if they agreed to play by computer in completely different rooms until an investigation exonerated them. In any case, clear rules and procedures are long overdue.
Oct. 8, 2015
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POLAND DID NOT PLAY REALLY WELL. THEY MAY HAVE PLAYED LESS BADLY OR MORE LUCKILY BUT CERTAINLY THEY DIDN'T PLAY REALLY WELL OR EVEN MODERATELY WELL.
Oct. 7, 2015
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