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All comments by Jonathan Ferguson
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I wonder if they might get charged with perjury. Presumably they were under oath when they lied about the ‘mental blackout’ hand.

That would be poetic justice.

http://newinbridge.com/news/2015/jun/no-proof-ui-fantunes-case
Sept. 14, 2015
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Cayne's statement didn't open up a spot in the Bermuda Bowl, nor did it come long after the TECHNIQUE was detected/decoded, which was the point (imo) at which guilt went from (very) probable to (far) beyond a reasonable doubt.

Here guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt from the start & there IS a Bermuda Bowl spot that should go to an honest team.

The statement from Zimmermann should have come today. The evidence is overwhelming. The way forward is clear. Justice delayed is justice denied.
Sept. 14, 2015
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My guess is that it might start out like a rationalization. ‘If we play against a known cheating pair, we’d better develop a system so that we can ‘level the playing field.’'

I'm concerned that now that their method is public, we might actually see MORE cheating, at least at the lower levels. I'd like to see explicit rules against varying the vertical/horizontal play of cards, with a warning for first offenses, etc.
Sept. 14, 2015
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Ovunc, you're beginning to challenge Boye in the over-the-top theatrics department. Are you aware of more imminent public revelations about a not-yet-publicly-accused well-known pair or not?

Say you had heard that all of the top pairs cheat (and I seriously doubt that's what you've heard.) If it turns out that 10% of the top pairs cheat, I somehow doubt that would end the world. It might surprise a few people.
Sept. 14, 2015
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I've gotta wonder if playing cards vertically/horizontally just for the gamesmanship element will now become a thing.
Sept. 14, 2015
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I'd be more inclined to watch if they had offered Bob a cameo.
Sept. 14, 2015
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And no, I won't make a habit of playful/silly/mostly-pointless articles like this one. The minor point I was trying to make is that (imo) singling any one person out for catching the cheaters isn't really appropriate given the collaborative effort it took.
Sept. 14, 2015
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Geeske, I'm PRETTY SURE that Al Gore invented the Internet. I read it on the Internet.
Sept. 14, 2015
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That's a good point, Scott. I should have said ‘Everything you’ve ever done in the game *as a partnership* should be erased retroactively.'
Sept. 14, 2015
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TBH I don't care if they were. Part of the punishment for such conduct should be loss of ALL titles, regardless of whether it can be proven that the cheating occurred at all events.

If you're caught cheating, red-handed, you should be banned from bridge and everything you've ever done in the game should be erased retroactively.

I also think we need to have a serious discussion about what happens to people who knew another pair was cheating & did nothing about it. Is ‘Nothing.’ the right answer there? I hope not.
Sept. 14, 2015
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I'm with Gary, promoting the 2nd place team to 1st place is a significant improvement over leaving the titles vacant. Yes, it's bad luck for the teams who were in the cheaters' half of the draw, but not knowing who would have won is always going to be an issue due to the Butterfly Effect.

The carnage this pair contributed to is appalling. It's a shame they can't be locked up for the rest of their lives.
Sept. 14, 2015
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I can't say I'm too impressed with this bit either (per Google translate):

“Geir has not had time to think what this has to say in a historical perspective. ”I do not know what we should do in relation the the victories we have taken. We must wait for what Pierre Zimmermann says and does."

You forfeit ALL titles won with this pair. That's what you do.
Sept. 14, 2015
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Is it credible, if the ‘whispers’ were as loud/widespread as it seems they were from what's being said here, that Geir ‘did not have any suspicions against them’?
Sept. 14, 2015
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Time for a ‘Monaco - Do the Right Thing’ thread.
Sept. 14, 2015
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Here's a non-Facebook-dependent link from the other thread.

http://bridge.no/var/fckeditor/bridgeno/file/PDF/internasjonalt/Nordic.pdf
Sept. 8, 2015
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They might have a winning argument there. Just how much do they weigh, anyway?
Sept. 8, 2015
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Thanks! I've worked on formatting it a bit:

EUROPEAN BRIDGE LEAGUE
Yves AUBRY, President

Dear President,

Thank you for your official request for a review of the status of Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz following the allegations of cheating published on the Internet and Social Media.

Although the EBL had not received any official request from any EBL NBO, these 2 players were under surveillance during our recent EBL championships. However, right up until today the EBL has not received any direct accusation of wrongdoing by the pair from any opponent or their NBO that had arisen during EBL championships.

The only related official request has come from Lotan Fisher and Ron Schwartz in Tromsø, when they were accused in a bar during the “night” by Peter Fredin to be the biggest bridge cheats in the world.

Daily, I follow what is being published on the matter. It is a serious affair not only for these 2 players but for Bridge in general, the Bridge community, top players and of course institutions like the EBL.

In this area of discipline, the following matters need to be considered:

1. The EBL’s direct responsibility for discipline is limited to EBL Championships. We are a sport federation and our options to investigate and take decisions are clearly limited in statutes and rules and regulations to our EBL Championships.

2. To officially investigate, the EBL needs to receive formal requests from members of the EBL; the EBL members are the NBOs and not individual players. Thus receiving your letter was important in providing a legal basis to investigate. Everything published by a player cannot be taken in consideration by the EBL.

3. Investigation of incidents that occur in ACBL championships, national championships or invitational events are the responsibility of the authority organizing the event. For example Fisher/Schwartz won the Cavendish in Monaco but were not invited to return the following year. To date, no information has been passed on to the EBL on why this course of action was taken.

4. The EBL is strongly opposed to cheating and will take all feasible measures to eliminate it but it is impossible to have a camera and a TD behind every player under suspicion. 3 pairs were under close surveillance in during the 2014 Team Championships in Opatija but no cheating could be proved.

5. In following our disciplinary code, it is not mentioned that the EBL President can himself make a request to investigate the actions of players but neither does it say he cannot, so last week I have taken the first step by asking our legal advisor for advice on the legal procedures to be followed.

6. All players are under the authority of their NBO and this is the reason why the Israeli Federation is conducting an investigation into the allegations related in various media; they can be expected to reach a conclusion before the end of September.

Similarly, it is the responsibility of the Swedish Federation to make a judgment on Peter Fredin’s behavior.

In receiving your official request, the EBL has now a legal basis to set an investigation process in motion to deal with matters occurring at EBL Championships. Due process will follow and the 2 players will be given the opportunity to explain any of their actions that warrant an explanation. The EBL Disciplinary Committee charged with investigating the matter will reach a conclusion and if appropriate, action will be taken. All decisions can be subject to an appeal.

Until the investigation has been concluded, if required, the EBL Credentials Committee can, under the rules and regulations, decide to accept or not accept these players’ entry for any EBL event without giving a reason.

Following any conclusions reached, if needed, the EBL Executive Committee can refer to the statutes in reviewing the final results of the last EBL Open Team Championships.

It is quite important to conduct this matter in a legal and structured manner. The world of Bridge has had recent experience which will probably need 10 years in different courts and countries to be definitely concluded. I want to avoid any possibility of this recurring.

Yours sincerely


Yves AUBRY
EBL President


Sept. 8, 2015
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I was nodding until I got to ‘deserved the win.’
Sept. 8, 2015
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FWIW I miss the old Eugene Hung who wrote me this just over 2 years ago (sorry for violating the Donn rule):

“Of course it's me. FWIW, she's not the only one who has been calling for us to censor your comments. I frequently personally disagree with what you write, and I certainly don't like the tone in which you write most of your pointed attacks, but I firmly believe that you have a right to shoot your mouth off, as long as you do so without being crass. And that is where your opponents are in the wrong.”

He was right.
Sept. 8, 2015
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