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All comments by Wayne Burrows
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The alleged scheme as presented that Fisher and Schwartz are using is not elaborate.
Sept. 3, 2015
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“Either go for broke and get them all, or do nothing, half a job wont scare the people that have been doing this for 20 years.”

Exactly
Sept. 3, 2015
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Its pretty sad that there are people who want to cheat at bridge. Its more understandable, although perhaps less forgiveable, when a lot of money is involved. Sometimes even fame is enough. The ridiculous amounts of money paid to top athletes has inevitably encouraged people to cheat in a very wide range of sports.

Its also pretty sad when people are out to hurt those they perceive have cheated as much as possible. Someone once said something like let the one who has not sinned cast the first stone. As sure as some people are that Lotan and Ron are unrepentant cheaters, there are others in these threads that have cheated, maybe not at the card table but in some aspect of life.

Certainly at the very least before we nail their coffin we (I say collectively but I mean the decision makers) have to hear what Lotan and Ron have to say. Hopefully that process will be transparent and fair.

Others have said that there are other pairs who are under suspicion. From my very limited experience at top event I have seen first hand suspicious actions - the guy who doubled me with a yarborough, a player (in a top pairs event) who fingered his double card before passing then his partner doubled, the player who pulled and showed his card to my partner and then when my partner finessed returned the card to his hand and produced the king, a world class player who bid a grand slam when he could count eleven tricks but partner produced two more than had been shown.

At lower levels I have encountered other actions. One player bid a grand knowing an ace was missing and miraculously his partner furnished a well placed undisclosed void - the suspicion is that he must have heard a result, another pair two hands in quick succession doubled my opening preempt, the first they doubled slowly (30sec after a stop card removed) and partner pulled with a balanced four count, the second the double hit the table while the stop card was still out and partner left it in with a balanced three count. Prearranged communication is supposed to be the gravest possible offence. Yet this pairs actions were not even investigated when I complained.

From what I have seen, assuming Lotan and Ron were communicating illegally and don't have anything like a plausible explanation, so far all I have seen are very crude ways of cheating (communicating). I am pretty sure I could easily devise a much harder to detect method - my results might arouse suspicion but it would be much harder to detect a modus operandi. Other pairs could easily already be using such methods. On a slightly different tangent I have thought of an interesting experiment to measure how valuable some illicit information is. Measure quantitatively in terms of IMPs or matchpoints.

Rather than concentrating on how hard to punish someone who has been caught, I think it would be much more worthwhile to concentrate on establishing procedures to make it more difficult to cheat. For example punish at a much lower level players who depart from correct procedure, don't allow players to freely walk around or in and out of the playing room, design a tray that can stay on the table (maybe an electronic tray), routinely check results and videos for anomalies etc.

In other aspects of life cheaters who have been caught have sometimes been able to help enforcers prevent others from cheating. Although from what I have seen so far the methods here were quite crude.

Nevertheless I think it would be much better to rehabilitate than excommunicate anyone caught cheating. There may well be worse out their and many more cheaters than you think. It will be impossible to be consistent or to catch them all.

I am not opposed to a lengthy partnership ban and a lengthy individual probation. However it seems there should be little objection to them playing medium term with trusted partners.
Sept. 3, 2015
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I don't agree that Israel withdrawing is tantamount to finding the pair guilty. There are plenty of precedents where people are stood down pending an investigation and someone else takes their place.
Sept. 2, 2015
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Even this doesn't make sense. Lotan made a bid and there was a double and redouble.

Either this is the wrong board number or it was fouled somehow.

In the video the bidding clearly goes:

1x 1y X XX; 1NT p p p on the assumption that 1NT is the final contract. That auction makes no sense in any orientation of the board.
Sept. 2, 2015
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Partner thought that there was close to play for 9 tricks vulnerable in clubs (or eight in hearts). We have four prime cards. I am a little surprised that no one is bidding 4 and only one suggesting 3.
Sept. 2, 2015
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That sort of wide sweeping waiver of rights leads to abuse of power by the organisation. There needs, 100% essential, to be checks and balances on the organisation.

You can't appeal unless you lose the right to play is oppressive bullying behaviour. It has no place in the 21st century. An organisation that had such a rule would increase my concern about fair treatment not diminish it.
Sept. 1, 2015
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Ironically we are discussion a different name for players that always win.
Sept. 1, 2015
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Do all those participating in sport give such a waiver?
Aug. 31, 2015
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Lotan was not the only one who looked at his opponent's hand.

If think you open a can of worms if you start throwing the book at people who have looked at their opponents hands in situations like this contrary to a strict reading of the law.

Maybe in future enforce it more strictly but I don't think we can go back in time and label someone based on a common practice.
Aug. 31, 2015
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“If Magnus is right, there is a simpler way. Simply check and see if when they are on defense the partner of the opening leader is always the one who removes the tray (if one of them removes it). If that is the case, that is completely convincing evidence. ”

I disagree with this statement. Assuming NS always remove the tray (not completely my experience). There is a practical reason for the non-leader to remove the tray. The leader should be thinking about their lead.

If I was to suggest a partnership procedural method just to make the most use of our time I would suggest the non-leader always removes the tray.
Aug. 31, 2015
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Indeed assuming there is cheating, and even if there was no suspicion of cheating, it seems it would be good practice to make the videos available.

If these things are public then it will be harder to hide and therefore better for the game in the long run.
Aug. 31, 2015
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If there is evidence on those two hands I think it is the drinking bottle. But I want to document more instances of when he uses the drinking bottle and I don't have time to look.
Aug. 31, 2015
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What was the explanation of the bidding?
Aug. 31, 2015
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Martin if you have a 90% action, by which I think you are saying it is 90% likely to be successful with AI, and it becomes 98% with UI then there is likely to be no damage. Your actions will not change.

It will vary from problem to problem but a 90% action is likely to have very close to 100% following. Indeed if we all knew the probabilities of success precisely then (ignoring state of the match/session) a 51% action would have a 100% following (or very close). Only because we have imperfect information do we create so-called logical alternatives. However in clear cut cases the additional information of increased or even decreased liklihood of success will not affect our action.

What is not clear is where the threshold is with imperfect information and it is likely to be different for different problems.
Aug. 30, 2015
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So he is not on probation and he has his masterpoints back.
Aug. 30, 2015
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hmmm
Aug. 30, 2015
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What is 4? Is both majors more likely than one major and diamonds?
Aug. 29, 2015
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The customer is always right. You should be able to at least ask for exactly what you want.

People hire pros for a huge variety of reasons hence there are a huge variety of pros. Some are more adaptable than others. Some very good players (pros) are not always very good to their clients - at least that is what I have witnessed. Of course some are very good to their clients.
Aug. 29, 2015
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