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Team match options and match security

#1 User is offline   GCTech 

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Posted 2020-June-24, 20:00

I'm looking for advice on how to solve what appears to be a security problem in team matches that are set up by the players themselves.
I am one of the organizers of the Online Collegiate Bridge Championship, in which teams representing various colleges and universities compete against each other in a series of matches. The team matches are set up by one of the players who picks the match options, including whether the boards will be generated randomly or taken from a previously generated deal. It is my understanding that the other players cannot see which match options have been selected. If this is in fact the case, then it opens up a huge security hole: whoever sets up the match could generate a set of boards in advance, save them, look at them and then use those boards instead of the random option when they set up the match. If the other players cannot see which match options have been selected, there is no way to prevent this. I guess that BBO has a record of the options have been picked in each match, so in principle the event organizers could ask BBO for those records. However, it doesn't seem feasible to do that routinely on every match that's played.
So, is there a way in which the options chosen to set up the match can be verified, perhaps after the match is over? Or is there any way to solve this problem other than having a trusted third party set up each match? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Giorgio
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#2 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-June-24, 20:21

View PostGCTech, on 2020-June-24, 20:00, said:

I'm looking for advice on how to solve what appears to be a security problem in team matches that are set up by the players themselves.
I am one of the organizers of the Online Collegiate Bridge Championship, in which teams representing various colleges and universities compete against each other in a series of matches. The team matches are set up by one of the players who picks the match options, including whether the boards will be generated randomly or taken from a previously generated deal. It is my understanding that the other players cannot see which match options have been selected. If this is in fact the case, then it opens up a huge security hole: whoever sets up the match could generate a set of boards in advance, save them, look at them and then use those boards instead of the random option when they set up the match. If the other playersz cannot see which match options have been selected, there is no way to prevent this. I guess that BBO has a record of the options have been picked in each match, so in principle the event organizers could ask BBO for those records. However, it doesn't seem feasible to do that routinely on every match that's played.
So, is there a way in which the options chosen to set up the match can be verified, perhaps after the match is over? Or is there any way to solve this problem other than having a trusted third party set up each match? Any tips or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Giorgio


Possibly you don’t know that the person who set up the match can engage in private chat with his partner, teammates or in fact anyone playing in the match. The reason for this is unknown, but BBO have indicated that they have no plans to remove this ability or at least make it optional, (say, the ability would be enabled if all four players agreed). Somehow no one thinks this is a big deal.
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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#3 User is offline   BudH 

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Posted 2020-June-24, 20:36

When a game starts, it will say saved deals are being used if that is the case.
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#4 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2020-June-28, 23:59

How is this any different from f2f matches? If the predealt boards are provided by any of the players, there's no guarantee they didn't look at the hands.

If you want better security, have a trusted tournament organizer set up the matches, rather than delegating it to the players?

#5 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2020-June-29, 19:09

View Postbarmar, on 2020-June-28, 23:59, said:

How is this any different from f2f matches? If the predealt boards are provided by any of the players, there's no guarantee they didn't look at the hands.

If you want better security, have a trusted tournament organizer set up the matches, rather than delegating it to the players?


For those of us who play in leagues there is not really the chance to do that. It is unlikely that organiser will be online at the same time, (plus in, for example, the EBU Lockdown League there will be upwards of 100 matches playing at the same time) and it is onerous for a friend who happens to be online to be asked to set it up and invite the players, especially if the match is in two parts.

Perhaps this could be done by yellows. Better yet would be to remove the private chat ability. I challenge anyone to tell me what one of the players in a match has to say to his partner or to someone at the the other table that must not be “heard” by the whole table. People online these days are used to real bridge, where private communication between partners is not permitted, and between teammates is not permitted and is usually impossible.

You can produce a level playing field by giving everyone the ability to private chat, or no one. If there is (though the probability is vanishingly small) a valid reason for private chat, then the ability should be had by one person from each team, who may chat privately only with members of the other team. It truly astonishes me that BBO allow the current situation to continue. Maybe the BBO staff should set up all the matches.
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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