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Cheating Allegations

#61 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 19:57

yes
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#62 User is offline   kuhchung 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 19:59

just read the other posts. I actually thought Boye was trying to pressure them to confess (pretty crazy inference from something I read on BW) but what you wrote makes more sense

Also waiting is really trying something something paraphrase Rueful Rabbit
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#63 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 20:25

View Postmgoetze, on 2015-August-28, 19:09, said:

Justin, dude, noone here said they don't believe Boye has evidence. Just that they don't like his overly dramatic way of presenting it. I believe that's a fair comment.

Two people wrote it would have been better to keep this quiet so that more evidence can get collected. I think they may retract that statement once they see the ace of spades.


http://bridgecheaters.com/?page_id=237
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#64 User is online   hrothgar 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 20:27

I've been trying to come up with a relatively straight forward way to estimate whether or not a pair is exchanging some form of illicit information and came up with what I think might be a promising approach. I am curious what folks who play in top level events think about the following:

Let's assume that a pair is cheating by exchanging unauthorized information. (They have a wire that they are using to convey information about hand strength or club length or heart length or whatever).

There are some types of actions at the bridge table where this information will be extremely useful. (opening leads, partnership defense, bidding). However, there are other types of actions where this information will be of much less utility. For example, consider declarer play where you are in the same contract as the rest of the field. In theory, your ability to exchange illicit information might have allowed you an unusually efficient auction that might conceal some useful information from the defense. Even so, I would expect that a pair that was cheating would have much less of an edge in this case than during other types of actions.

If this is true, than a dramatic skew in a partnership's skill in (defense) versus (declarer play in "field" contracts) might provide a useful signal to infer that a pair is cheating.

If I had a large data set, this would probably be the first slice that I would look at.
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#65 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 20:41

View PostPhantomSac, on 2015-August-28, 19:32, said:

I get it. I think you don't get my point that showmanship may be necessary. His endgame is presumably to force or entice the leagues to act.

Just revealing everything at once is worse if that's your goal. The leagues are under way more pressure every day to act this way. And hopefully they will. If the ACBL were functional or competent at all I agree this is not the way to go.

I do not know his motive but I think this is creative and smart. I can guarantee you he's not doing it for attention or to be dramatic for the sake of being dramatic.


Agreed completely and while some may not like Boye's style in presenting this, certainly he wants to try to get things cleared up prior to Chennai.
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#66 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 21:24

Justin

I think you over-reacted by characterizing all who critiqued the manner of presentation of the allegations as supporting the alleged offenders. There may have been a handful of those on BW, but it certainly isn't true of the majority. Since posting my thoughts I have learned more about previous complaints and the apparent failure of authorities to do something. That changes my views somewhat....I have a lot more sympathy for what he is doing now. But I never doubted his sincerity and very few others seemed to either.
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#67 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 21:46

I apologize if I did that (not saying I didnt my mind is just spinning right now). I was upset before the SJ came out, figured I would be happier after the site went up and people saw, then got more mad lol.

If I generalized or mischaracterized people I apologize. Obviously the people who are hurt most by this kind of alleged activity are people like me... "fringe top pros" if you will who are outskilled by people like Helgemo/Meck and outcheated by other people. Sorry if I was over the top.

edit: And of course outcheated was a stupid phrase, hopefully everyone knows I meant "cheated" and was just going for the out/out alliteration which obviously means something I didn't mean lol
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#68 User is offline   PhantomSac 

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Posted 2015-August-28, 22:00

View Posthrothgar, on 2015-August-28, 20:27, said:

I've been trying to come up with a relatively straight forward way to estimate whether or not a pair is exchanging some form of illicit information and came up with what I think might be a promising approach. I am curious what folks who play in top level events think about the following:

Let's assume that a pair is cheating by exchanging unauthorized information. (They have a wire that they are using to convey information about hand strength or club length or heart length or whatever).

There are some types of actions at the bridge table where this information will be extremely useful. (opening leads, partnership defense, bidding). However, there are other types of actions where this information will be of much less utility. For example, consider declarer play where you are in the same contract as the rest of the field. In theory, your ability to exchange illicit information might have allowed you an unusually efficient auction that might conceal some useful information from the defense. Even so, I would expect that a pair that was cheating would have much less of an edge in this case than during other types of actions.

If this is true, than a dramatic skew in a partnership's skill in (defense) versus (declarer play in "field" contracts) might provide a useful signal to infer that a pair is cheating.

If I had a large data set, this would probably be the first slice that I would look at.


I like this idea and other data driven statistical approaches. This is how online poker cheaters are caught FWIW but the sample size of hands is much much bigger which makes it easer (like hundreds of thousands to millions of hands). Stuff like this is the way of the future.
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#69 User is offline   MrAce 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 01:53

http://bridgecheaters.com/?page_id=112

This is from Bridgecheaters.com. It is on the net. If this is true, all the fuss about their reputation being tarnished is wrong. It seems like it has already been tarnished. Amazing none of the organizations took this under consideration combined with huge suspicion over a decade+ hands. Idk what you all think but imo they were given 2nd, 3rd, 4th chance and pardoned so many times already. I think Justin is right about naive posts here. No offense but after reading this, I do not see innocent 2 kids and their life is being tarnished.

Summary of cases between IBF and Fisher-Schwartz
Below is a summary of the cases between the Israeli Bridge Federation and Lotan Fisher and/or Ron Schwartz over the years

1) In December 2003 Fisher was accused of forging results and of unsportsmanlike behavior. The Juniors Committee decided to suspend him for a year. When he appealed the decision, the Committee decided to suspend him from the final of the Israeli championships and put him on probation for a year.

2) On February 2004, Fisher was accused of unsportsmanlike behavior because during the 2004 Tel Aviv International festival, he loudly abused his then partner, Mr Ram Soffer, and called him a faggot. As a result he was suspended from the festival and the disciplinary committee suspended him for a month till March 2004 and extended the probation to a further year.

3) In July 2004 Fisher and his partner Ron Schwarz win the three day Shaufel Cup with a huge lead over the second placed pair. During this event a significant number of experts complained that they were cheating. The Sports Captain, Mr Micha Amit, was shown many suspicious hands from that event and he decided to form a committee to investigate the matter. The committee met on the 1st of August 2004 and decided that Fisher-Schwarz did not provide a satisfactory explanation for the actions they had taken in the hands in question. Fisher and Schwartz appealed against the legal standing of the committee. The appeal was denied but the Sports Captain decided that the proof of guilt is not beyond all reasonable doubt and terminated the matter.

4) On December the 9th 2005 the Disciplinary Committee of the Israeli Bridge Federation heard a complaint that Ron Schwarz forged the results of a match that he played with Shimshon Horowitz in the qualifiers to select the Israeli Team. Schwarz had originally started the event partnering Lotan Fisher but following a heated exchange, Lotan had abruptly left the venue in the middle of the competition and Mr Horowitz was drafted in as a last minute replacement. The court acknowledges that Mr Horowitz was completely unaware of Mr Schwarz's actions.

(Follow lengthy testimonies from all parties involved)

The conclusions:
It is clear that this case involves a very serious infraction: as the defendant on his own admission changed the results, something which would have compromised the fair play of the whole competition.
Furthermore it is noted that while he admitted that he changed the results, Mr Schwarz lied about the fact that the result of the specific match had no effect on other players.

The verdict
As such we decide to suspend Ron Schwarz for a year from any bridge activity in the Israeli bridge federation. Further he is to be suspended for two more years from any activity related to playing or taking part in trials leading to representing Israel in any capacity. Following the end of the sentence, Mr Schwarz will be held on probation for five years.

5) On December 9th 2005 the Disciplinary Committee of the Israeli Bridge Federation heard a complaint that on the 24th of January 2005, Lotan Fisher whilst taking part to the qualifiers for the Israeli team, upon collecting boards to play from the common table, deliberately took the slips from the board indicating the cards of his partner with the clear intent to cheat. When confronted by the TD and asked to get up, he refused and eventually the missing slip was found on his seat.

(Follow lengthy testimonies from all parties involved)

Upon hearing all the facts the committee finds that It is obvious from the circumstances that there was a clear intent to cheat on his part. Therefore we convict Lotan Fisher of cheating and improper behavior for refusing to comply with the instructions of the TD and we issue the following sentence:
Two years suspension from any activity of the IBF. 18 more months of suspension from any activity related to participation in competitions leading to representing Israel in any capacity. Following the end of the sentence, five years of probation.

6) In February 2009, Ron Segev (a member of the Israeli Juniors team) submitted a complaint including a number of suspicious hands played by Fisher – Schwarz in recent national events and the very different of play from national events to the coaching sessions for juniors that they both attend. The committee recommended that the pair should split and not play together. If they are not prepared to do that, the committee wishes to receive any other suspicious hands by the pair so that they can be examined by a qualified panel.

For those of you fluent in hebrew, here are word files with more detailed information about the cases above.

Document 1 hebrew

Document 2 hebrew

Document 3 hebrew

Document 4 hebrew


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#70 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 02:10

I mean, if Brogeland succeeds in getting them banned this might be literally the biggest favour anyone has ever done for top-level bridge. And the BBF chorus...criticizes him for not giving authorities enough time/too much grandstanding/being overly dramatic.

I'd say this says more about BBF than about Brogeland.
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#71 User is offline   Fluffy 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 02:44

All I can add is that when I played the Bermuda Bowl ast year in Monaco and saw Fischer-Swartz win the teams, I asked why they didn't compete on the pairs whihc is suposed to be the main event.

I don't remember whom, but I was told that organization, after they won previous year and went through their results, decided not to pursue against their prize if they agreed not to play the event again together.

(I see now Justin already pointed this)

So I have never ever played against them, and I already had the impresion they were cheating a year ago. Same as with Doctors.


I disagree with mike profusedly. They cheat, everyone know, someone has to say so. After this everyone can finally openly talk about it, and everyone has hands to tell!. Exactly this is what happened with Buratti-Lanzarotti in Tenerife, untill someone said something public nobody was willing to talk it publically. But the day after every expert (and I mean hundreds) had at least 1 board to tell about them.

I just saw Thomas Bessis has made an article or eevn created a website to talk about them. This is the way to go.

So takin a first stab publically is what changes things. It is a very important move.
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#72 User is offline   broze 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 05:15

View Posthrothgar, on 2015-August-28, 20:27, said:

<snip>


This seems really interesting, and I agree it's all about having big data sets. With this approach you might be able to give each pair a ratio: good results in category 1 vs good results in category 2. Any pairs with anomalous ratios could be more closely monitored.
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#73 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 05:22

View PostFluffy, on 2015-August-29, 02:44, said:




I disagree with mike profusedly. They cheat, everyone know, someone has to say so. After this everyone can finally openly talk about it, and everyone has hands to tell!. Exactly this is what happened with Buratti-Lanzarotti in Tenerife, untill someone said something public nobody was willing to talk it publically. But the day after every expert (and I mean hundreds) had at least 1 board to tell about them.

I just saw Thomas Bessis has made an article or eevn created a website to talk about them. This is the way to go.

So takin a first stab publically is what changes things. It is a very important move.


Firstly, I was unaware of their prior reputation. I have been largely out of bridge for several years, and didn't encounter them on my few forays into international bridge, Philadelphia 2010 and Veldhoven whenever that was:)

I already said that having learned of the apparent inactivity of various bridge authorities, in the face of multiple complaints, my views had changed.

Secondly, you are, I think, wrong about Buratti-lanzarotti. Afaik, the first publicity about them cheating, other than whispers, was after Tenerife, and in Tenerife the system worked as it is supposed to work. They were seen cheating, ironically by an Israeli pair, who reported it, and the authorities convicted the cheaters and only then did the hundreds of players openly discuss their experiences. So that case shows that the system can work, eventually. I don't know if formal complaints had been made before Tenerife, but there was no Brogeland type campaign to force anyone's hand afaik.

The doctors were exposed in a similar way. The system can work. I was unaware of the apparent failure of the system with these guys.

Thirdly, on a much, much smaller scale I was the subject of a whisper campaign back in the late 90's in Canada, after forming a partnership with Gord McOrmond. After little prior success, beyond a few regional wins and low rankings in our team trials, suddenly I was part of the strongest pair in the country for a couple of years, and a number of players resented that and quite openly accused us if being 'wired'. Since that was untrue, it was very painful to hear about. Even a few people I had considered to be friends seemed to buy into it, or at least enjoy the whispers.

Thus maybe I am a little sensitive to the pain that a whisper campaign can cause. There is a saying in defamation law, which is an area where I have some experience professionally, to the effect that there will always be some people who derive pleasure from saying and hearing bad things about good people. So I really don't like whisper campaigns. That is one reason why I admired Brogeland's open stance even when I thought he was wrong to pursue it...he wasn't whispering: he was shouting, and if the accused were innocent, they could launch their own complaint and force a hearing.


Whisper campaigns are cowardly. I understand why they happen. I understand that when complaints are made and seemingly ignored, a whisper campaign may seem like the only way forward, but it is still a cowardly way to assassinate the character of another. For one thing, when the victim of the whispers is innocent, it is very difficult to do anything about it. A complaint, even if it triggers an investigation, looks to some as an attempt to silence critics, and by making it high profile gives the accusations broader exposure and there will always be people who prefer to believe the whispers no matter what. And some people will think that complaining is just a way to silence legitimate criticism. So the victims are basically helpless. That nay strike you as just fine if you believe the whispers but it is an awful experience if you are the target and are innocent.
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#74 User is offline   broze 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 06:13

View PostPhantomSac, on 2015-August-28, 21:46, said:

edit: And of course outcheated was a stupid phrase, hopefully everyone knows I meant "cheated" and was just going for the out/out alliteration which obviously means something I didn't mean lol


"outskilled by people like Helgemo/Meck and cheated out by others" would have been a nice Chiasmus."
B-)
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#75 User is offline   broze 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 06:46

I find these deals from BB and particularly one or two from Bessis incredibly compelling evidence. I understand the misgivings that some have about "cherry-picking" deals to prove guilt, but several of these plays aren't 'pushy' or 'swingy' - they're just so bad, and ianae.

I think the problem the bridge world with a fair-trial approach to high level cheating is that those most suited to analyse the evidence and try the cheaters, are those who lose most by the cheating, i.e. other professionals.

Nevertheless I was worried about that these claims would not be enough and might jeopardise any official route. If this is just the 'tip of the iceberg' I am no longer worried.
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#76 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 08:34

View Postbroze, on 2015-August-29, 06:46, said:

I find these deals from BB and particularly one or two from Bessis incredibly compelling evidence. I understand the misgivings that some have about "cherry-picking" deals to prove guilt, but several of these plays aren't 'pushy' or 'swingy' - they're just so bad, and ianae.

I think the problem the bridge world with a fair-trial approach to high level cheating is that those most suited to analyse the evidence and try the cheaters, are those who lose most by the cheating, i.e. other professionals.

Nevertheless I was worried about that these claims would not be enough and might jeopardise any official route. If this is just the 'tip of the iceberg' I am no longer worried.

This was an interesting deal, hand 1 in the closed room. The defender cashed the ace of clubs, and declarer played him for Jxxx on that basis. The video shows that dummy asked to see Verhees' hand. There were some mannerisms by dummy, but none which clearly indicated any signalling to declarer.


The video of the hand; you can start at 18.30 if you just want the play of hand 1.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=KHDSvRJkv6I

Trying to justify declarer's play for a moment, he could have thought for five minutes in order to try to pick up a tell from the body language of Van Prooij, much as poker players do before calling or folding. This is legal, but not the way most of us play bridge. He could also have thought that East cashing the ace of clubs suggested that he thought he had a trump trick. An alternative explanation would be the receipt of unauthorised information, either from partner or an external source. I will leave the reader to decide which explanation he thinks is more likely.

If a moderator could make the hand larger, that would be appreciated!

This post has been edited by lamford: 2015-August-29, 09:01

No, I meant exactly what I wrote; I believe BBO's claiming algorithm is about as perfect as it can get. It's basically the only aspect of GIB that I find faultless. - smerriman
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#77 User is offline   mgoetze 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 08:41

For Lamford:


"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
    -- Bertrand Russell
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#78 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 08:55

Many thanks, Michael. You should add "formatting" to sleeping and eating as your hobbies!
No, I meant exactly what I wrote; I believe BBO's claiming algorithm is about as perfect as it can get. It's basically the only aspect of GIB that I find faultless. - smerriman
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#79 User is online   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 09:15

View Postlamford, on 2015-August-29, 08:34, said:

This was an interesting deal, hand 1 in the closed room. The defender cashed the ace of clubs, and declarer played him for Jxxx on that basis. The video shows that dummy asked to see Verhees' hand. There were some mannerisms by dummy, but none which clearly indicated any signalling to declarer.


The video of the hand; you can start at 18.30 if you just want the play of hand 1.

https://m.youtube.co...h?v=KHDSvRJkv6I

Trying to justify declarer's play for a moment, he could have thought for five minutes in order to try to pick up a tell from the body language of Van Prooij, much as poker players do before calling or folding. This is legal, but not the way most of us play bridge. He could also have thought that East cashing the ace of clubs suggested that he thought he had a trump trick. An alternative explanation would be the receipt of unauthorised information, either from partner or an external source. I will leave the reader to decide which explanation he thinks is more likely.

If a moderator could make the hand larger, that would be appreciated!



This is a great example if how easy it is to 'find' evidence once one has decided what the facts are. They cheat. Therefore they are not entitled to make any play that works unless 'we' think the play to be correct.

I am not going to argue the merits of the line adopted at the table, other than to say that there is some bridge logic to suggest that at imps when the opening lead is the Ace of our second suit, leader thinks he has a second trick somewhere.

You may or may not be brave enough to go so far against the conventional odds of how to play the diamonds, but one of the hallmarks of very good players is the willingness to look foolish if one's thinking persuades one to play against the a priori odds.

This is NOT saying that F-S don't cheat. It is saying that this sort of cherry-picking of hands by lesser players than those suspected if cheating is one of many reasons why public allegations of cheating are generally a very bad thing. As it happens, I have been persuaded that Brogeland's approach is regrettable but probably justified in this instance. That doesn't make the putting forward of this hand as in the least bit appropriate.
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#80 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2015-August-29, 09:28

View Postmikeh, on 2015-August-29, 09:15, said:

I am not going to argue the merits of the line adopted at the table, other than to say that there is some bridge logic to suggest that at imps when the opening lead is the Ace of our second suit, leader thinks he has a second trick somewhere.

I made exactly the same point as you that there is some bridge logic to the play, and it is up to the reader to decide. I wrote, "I will leave the reader to decide which explanation he thinks is more likely." I would also ask that you move on to board 4 of the same set after the auction (4D)-4S-(5D) where 6S was chosen, successfully.
No, I meant exactly what I wrote; I believe BBO's claiming algorithm is about as perfect as it can get. It's basically the only aspect of GIB that I find faultless. - smerriman
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