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THE VARIED DYNAMICS OF CHEATING AT BRIDGE

The game is played at several levels and under varying conditions ..

1. Game played socially with no bidding boxes, screens or electronic scoring devices

2. Game played with bidding boxes but no screens; scoring is at times on paper and at times, on bridge mates

3. Game played with bidding boxes, screens; scoring at times on paper or at times on bridge mates

4. Games played on the internet (BBO, OKB or similar sites).

5. Then there is the situation where cards are dealt manually on the table or, pre dealt through a dealing machine or manually prepared hands from printouts.

The cheating parameters can vary depending on the conditions of play.

The number and the quality of Tournament Directors, presence of observers, the integrity of preserving secrecy of pre-dealt boards are only some of the dynamics that can vary from one tournament to another.

All recent posts on Bridge Winners have focused on #3 form of play and on games played where there are the WBF and the EBL as the overseeing organizations.

With the broad spectrum of so many dynamics, comes the equally broad spectra, of cheating methods.

I would like to bring to the attention of authorities, (NBOs, zonal councils, WBF) that there should be a detailed document on suggested methods and processes to deal with unethical practices, in ALL these play conditions.

While the immediate job on hand is to establish the guilt/innocence of the accused, the far reaching implications are devastating for the future of our beautiful game, unless a protocol is well established, to deal with cheating.

Technology will play an important role. Video shooting of matches, observers, detailed software to follow card by card play with speed of play being recorded are to name only a few.

Financial constraints will surely compromise the authenticity/integrity of results emerging from some events. But it will be known to all players before hand, the constraints under which they are competing.

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