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Cheating Allegations

#1 User is offline   eagles123 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 16:07

on Bridgewinners lately been a whole load of boring nonsense about alleged cheating but the recent developments are kinda intriguing. Anyone ITK have any insight :P

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#2 User is offline   kuhchung 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 16:35

I was wondering why all was quiet on this front, but then I stopped wondering and kept refreshing BW.
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#3 User is offline   diana_eva 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 18:14

i don't think those ITK would ruin BB's timing by revealing anything here or elsewhere before he's ready to reveal whatever he has, himself.

#4 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 21:32

why is this issue spingold...past spingold cheating.... not discussed here?


at this point:
1) players do not say a very famous pair cheat
2) but they make that meaning clear without saying it(teammates say give up past wins)
3) people complain zero evidence or just mean ugly gossip or ugly jealous
--------

Larry Cohen presents separate issue on methods to catch top class cheating
1) Larry presents a method
2) others debate the method
---------


both threads say cheating at top levels is a big problem, including high tech methods, cell phone methods

transfer a tiny bit of bridge information=huge cheating

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#5 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 23:30

View Postmike777, on 2015-August-27, 21:32, said:

why is this issue spingold...past spingold cheating.... not discussed here?


at this point:
1) players do not say a very famous pair cheat
2) but they make that meaning clear without saying it(teammates say give up past wins)
3) people complain zero evidence or just mean ugly gossip or ugly jealous
--------

Larry Cohen presents separate issue on methods to catch top class cheating
1) Larry presents a method
2) others debate the method
---------


both threads say cheating at top levels is a big problem, including high tech methods, cell phone methods

transfer a tiny bit of bridge information=huge cheating

http://bridgewinners.com/


My take is that almost everyone there is discussing rumours and innuendo without hard evidence. I disagree that nobody says this famous pair is cheating - quite a few people have said so. But without promised evidence and a process that provides natural justice, there is much more heat than light at this point.

That's not to say that nobody in the rest of the bridge world, here included, is interested in the outcome. Many people are, and I'm sure there are many more discussions offline than online (for instance, I have a number of thoughts on the matters, but they will stay off the internet). One way or another, the world of serious competitive bridge is going to be significantly changed in the near future by the result of the issues currently being discussed.
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#6 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2015-August-27, 23:58

View Postsfi, on 2015-August-27, 23:30, said:

My take is that almost everyone there is discussing rumours and innuendo without hard evidence. I disagree that nobody says this famous pair is cheating - quite a few people have said so. But without promised evidence and a process that provides natural justice, there is much more heat than light at this point.

That's not to say that nobody in the rest of the bridge world, here included, is interested in the outcome. Many people are, and I'm sure there are many more discussions offline than online (for instance, I have a number of thoughts on the matters, but they will stay off the internet). One way or another, the world of serious competitive bridge is going to be significantly changed in the near future by the result of the issues currently being discussed.


Significantly changed? How?
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#7 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 02:43

View Postsfi, on 2015-August-27, 23:30, said:

I disagree that nobody says this famous pair is cheating - quite a few people have said so.

Which famous pair? As someone that does not use bridgewinners, could someone perhaps write a short summary of what has been said so far? I take it we are not talking about the issue in general but of something more specific but it is going to be difficult to discuss it here without knowing what is going on.
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#8 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 03:03

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-28, 02:43, said:

Which famous pair? As someone that does not use bridgewinners, could someone perhaps write a short summary of what has been said so far? I take it we are not talking about the issue in general but of something more specific but it is going to be difficult to discuss it here without knowing what is going on.


I think it would be best not to discuss it or name names on this site, since at present there are only allegations without evidence.
I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones -- Albert Einstein
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#9 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 03:10

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-28, 02:43, said:

Which famous pair? As someone that does not use bridgewinners, could someone perhaps write a short summary of what has been said so far? I take it we are not talking about the issue in general but of something more specific but it is going to be difficult to discuss it here without knowing what is going on.


I do not know why you do not use BW, and it is none of my business. But if the reason is that you do not like their policy, management or whatever it maybe, you can still just read and not participate.
I will pm you the details.
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#10 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 03:28

View PostVampyr, on 2015-August-27, 23:58, said:

Significantly changed? How?


Two ways, IMO. First is that reputations of some top players will be damaged no matter what the final outcome is - the current allegations have already been published in at least one UK paper (link somewhere on bridgewinners). Second and more important is that there appears to be enough frustration among top players about cheating that systemic changes may be made. What those effects might be we'll have to wait and see.

I agree with your comment about not naming names - it's easy enough to find by even a cursory look through the forums over there. And I wouldn't even want to attempt a short summary.
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#11 User is offline   captyogi 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 04:24

For Cheating in Bridge Game what all methods can be used ?
I narrate one or two methods which come to my mind.
Man is a Creature, all the time progressing, it is this thinking ability of Man, has brought Man from Caveman to Present Status.
Thinking can be Constructive, for the betterment and Progress of Mankind, at a same time it can Destructive type also.

At Local Level Club Tourneys, if there is one Bermuda Level Player and rest normal Exp, Adv, Int and Novice, in Local tournament he will win many times ( nobody will say much ), but not all the times, if it happens all the times , eyebrows will be raised.
Same Player and Regional Level or National / International ( Europe International can be as Good as National Level for USA, India ), where there is competition is Tough and Equally Good Players ( Bermuda / National / International Level ) are there, Results should be mixed, but now if One particular player keeps winning hands down, match after match, thrashing other Top Class Teams 20-0, if eyebrows are raised, gossiping starts, there should be no harm, you cannot directly accuse, but investigation / brain storming starts, what is wrong in that ?.

I put forward some hypothetical , but possible Cheating Methods

Cheating Method 1 :

Expert Level Player gets involved in Dealing, Machine Dealt Boards, copies .PBN or .LIN files on pen drive , takes them home and at peace goes through all the deals, makes note of Typical Deals and makes Good Use of this information on the table, every round of 8 to 10 deals, IMP Scoring, 2 deals, where Slam or Game is not possible to bid , but it is Cold or other way round , Slam or Game has to be bid , but it is bound to fail for sure, are Good Enough for your team to give 20-0 Win.

Cheating Method 2 :

With somebody in Dealing Team or Vu Graf Team, who is willing to compromise integrity, Cheating Expert makes a deal with him ( of course at cost )and gets Dealt Boards .PBN or .LIN files on pen drive, 20-0 victory is assured.

Crooks, Cheats, Terrorist, Guerillas their brain is working overtime all the times, trying device new new innovative methods, world is facing brunt everyday, How Bridge can be exception, we are part of this world. We better prepare to counter such destructive methods and stay alive or perish.
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#12 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 05:30

@captyogi

Mind if I ask what brand of mushrooms you are smoking?
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

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Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#13 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 05:33

View Postsfi, on 2015-August-27, 23:30, said:

My take is that almost everyone there is discussing rumours and innuendo without hard evidence.

Not sure what you call hard evidence. I only know Brogeland very little, but to me he seems the kind of very smart person who thinks really hard about the topics he decides to think about. (Back when I watched a lot of Vugraph I always thought he is the world's best player.) I would be shocked if he doesn't have very convincing evidence.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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#14 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 06:05

View PostMrAce, on 2015-August-28, 03:10, said:

I do not know why you do not use BW, and it is none of my business. But if the reason is that you do not like their policy, management or whatever it maybe, you can still just read and not participate.
I will pm you the details.

One for me too please! I have a basic understanding of what is going on but it's tough to understand because there are thousands of posts and several threads on the same thing.
... and I can prove it with my usual, flawless logic.
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#15 User is offline   sfi 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 06:10

View Postcherdano, on 2015-August-28, 05:33, said:

Not sure what you call hard evidence. I only know Brogeland very little, but to me he seems the kind of very smart person who thinks really hard about the topics he decides to think about. (Back when I watched a lot of Vugraph I always thought he is the world's best player.) I would be shocked if he doesn't have very convincing evidence.


I did say 'almost everyone' precisely because I did not want to make any judgement about whether there is evidence or how compelling it might be. If there is, most people in the discussions do not have it yet.
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#16 User is offline   captyogi 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 06:43

View Post1eyedjack, on 2015-August-28, 05:30, said:

@captyogi

Mind if I ask what brand of mushrooms you are smoking?


@ 1eyedjack,

Sorry, I could not understand what you have to say, can you please explain in normal layman language ?
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#17 User is offline   ggwhiz 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 08:24

I think the whole point is to get some action to fix a broken system and I can't think of anyone being disciplined for cheating (like the Doctors) that didn't first get away with it for at least 10 years. Those titles being vacated is no consolation to the people that should have won them.

Buried in the giant thread a comment from Boye Brogeland indicates that his public grandstanding is in large part a frustration with official foot dragging, especially with the World Championships fast approaching.

Larry Cohen has started a lively debate on how volunteers from the top level can fix a system that the ACBL (or anyone else for that matter) doesn't have the resources or the will to tackle. It wouldn't surprise me if the current system is to take this allegation and to take a year or more to gather and examine evidence from the past x number of years before making a ruling and that just sucks.

Hardly boring stuff to me.
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#18 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 09:04

View PostZelandakh, on 2015-August-28, 02:43, said:

Which famous pair? As someone that does not use bridgewinners, could someone perhaps write a short summary of what has been said so far? I take it we are not talking about the issue in general but of something more specific but it is going to be difficult to discuss it here without knowing what is going on.

Basically, Boye Brogeland and 3 other members of his team that won the 2014 Spingold have announced that they think the other pair on their team (Fisher-Schwartz) are cheaters, and they want to relinquish their win in the event. He hasn't made the evidence he's gathered public yet.

The thing that some people find most suspicious about this is that this came out just a week or so after his team lost to them in this year's Spingold (F-S were again in the team that won the event). So some see it as sour grapes over the loss.

#19 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 09:27

I know a few players who play on a regular or semi-regular basis in the 'big' events, but know very few of the very best players...tho Allan Graves is a friend of mine and a former partner/teammate.

He loves the game with a passion, and I am not the least surprised that he is one of those offering to vacate the titles he has won over the last year or so.

However, I don't agree at all with the way that Brogeland is going about this. I appreciate that he is frustrated, but while official organizations often take a long time to deal with allegations even when supported by cogent evidence, they generally DO deal with them eventually.

The cases in which the ACBL, for example, have handled things badly (Katz-Cohen in the 1970s is the one that springs to mind), it was in fact at least partly due to being too quick off the mark, and not being able to evaluate the evidence, afford a hearing, and so on. That led to the guilty parties suing and eventually getting reinstated. When the foot-soldiers got caught, once again the investigation came to a premature end because of someone speaking out. Thus the Italian team captain wasn't brought into the investigation, in a way that would have required him to witness the cheating mechanism..the result was that the Italians argued that the accusations were sour grapes by the Americans.

Here, we seem to risk a similar argument...indeed, it has already been suggested that Brogeland spoke out now in part because he resented losing to his former teammates. I don't ascribe to that view....I am mentioning it only as a reason, one amongst many, for not doing this as he is doing it.

While anger, frustration and loathing of those who cheat can be difficult to swallow, surely the better approach would have been to alert the ACBL not only of the cheating but of one's idea of how they were doing it. On BW, Woolsey has posted that, having looked at some hands, he has a hypothesis about how they do it, and that Brogeland told him he had the same hypothesis.

If so, then the best way of identifying the cheating would be to do nothing now, but instead to use the next event they play as an experiment. Have some trusted experts look at the hand records in advance, and make predictions based on the hypothesis and see what happens.

Yes, that is not best for the integrity of the event just finished, or of the next event. Proving cheating would give the losers of the finals the event, but does nothing for the teams beaten, by cheats, earlier in the event. But it would make contesting the allegations very difficult.

As it is, the accused pair is now tarnished, probably beyond redemption, even tho we do not as yet have any evidence in the public domain. While I accept that Brogeland is an extremely honest, and talented, player, he remains human and thus it is possible that he is seeing something that he is miss-interpreting. Even if he isn't, he is still doing this the wrong way, imo.
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#20 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 09:28

View Postbarmar, on 2015-August-28, 09:04, said:

Basically, Boye Brogeland and 3 other members of his team that won the 2014 Spingold have announced that they think the other pair on their team (Fisher-Schwartz) are cheaters, and they want to relinquish their win in the event. He hasn't made the evidence he's gathered public yet.

The thing that some people find most suspicious about this is that this came out just a week or so after his team lost to them in this year's Spingold (F-S were again in the team that won the event). So some see it as sour grapes over the loss.


That's a bit of a biased summary IMO.

  • This started with a post from Brogeland hinting that he has strong evidence of cheating and has alerted the relevant bridge authorities (WBF, ACBL, etc.)
  • He explained that he was unsatisfied with their responsiveness, and that really wants the matter resolved before the upcoming world championships. He said he has the equivalent of a straight flush in spades, and would start revealing more cards (reveal more information, or put more on the line from his side) one-by-one until authorities would act.
  • The announcement that the Schwartz team wants to relinquish their titles (they won three tournaments with Fisher-Schwartz) is apparently the 10 of spades - and he said the J of spades would be coming soon.
  • Meanwhile, every single top player who posted an opinion made clear that they believe the accusations. E.g. Geoff Hampson wrote that when he declares against them, he always assumes that opening leader's partner has strength in the suit led. "So far, I have always been lucky [with that assumption]." Others (Michelsen, Fredin) started posting hands where in their view Fisher-Schwartz took ridiculous but successful actions in bidding or defense.


Brogeland did indeed say that he realized what is happening after looking through the hands at the other table in his team's quarter-finals loss to Cayne (which included Fisher-Schwartz). This apparently included three false claims, including one that wasn't caught until after the correction period.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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