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Cheating allegations A new approach

#41 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 10:55

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-23, 09:30, said:

And yes. I'm saying that players don't know their legal requirements (and therefore their opponents' legal requirements), and as a result, there's an awful lot of non-wilful, non-deliberate irregularities. Much of that is *education*, not enforcement.


Enforcement is highly educative. Penalise wrong doings and you can bet that if they didn't know before they will the next time. That's how it works in most other sports and indeed in life.
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#42 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 14:40

The problem is that the word 'fair' has very different meanings to different people.
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#43 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 16:46

Other above have made parallels (in a different way) to public health and potential voerreach into people's lives.

I have serious concerns about how blase some people are in this thread to some of the potential endpoints or consequences of such surveillance

Just as an example. They are currently trialing sewage testing for Covid and then testing whole suburbs based on fragments of viral material in sewage. I know others have discussed concerns about checking bridge players for substance use while playing. I'm sure everyone here is smart enough for these issues not to need be spelled out. And I seriously hope in the braoder scheme there aren't any Nazi-types here.

Also in trying to catch a few high-level rogues who would be challened and identified and have due process through normal channels, they run the risk of mass sweeps of millions of harmless people who dont always follow tournament level restrictions

Are people going to get a midnight knock on the door for psyching a bot or playing under the influence of something

Other parallels are the overeach of commercialism into our lives where our faces are scanned as we walk around the streets to bombard us with mood related ads.

How far and how specific and how local is this intrusion into every aspect of our private lives going to go before people start asking a few questions.

I've been so concerned about the way the world is going these days, I never use my computer unless I have a wall behind me, although who knows what technology they have for seeing through walls. But then again the main surveillance opportunities are out there on a clouds and webservices these days, or our hardware devices. I've been rather suspicious of strange behaviour from my touchpad and keyboard recently - and I have behaved for many years (even decades) assuming every mousclick, key press was being tracked by somebody somewhere :)

And without wanting to reference any specific play-surveillance analytics my Bridge is and never has been at a level to maintain a consistent error rate - its different levels of high :)

Oh dear, we have found that you were under observation for something else and someone has long distance camera footage of you doing something you shouldnt during an online Bridge match :)

I must admit, until recently, I never thought that world Bridge authorities would become an area of concern in relation to privacy, surveillance and intrusion into our lives. I regret ever laying myself open by joining BBO and the ACBL. Looks anxiously out of window at distant high-rise with line of sight
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#44 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:10

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-13, 16:46, said:

They are currently trialing sewage testing for Covid


Yes

They are doing this in Massachusetts
I could not be happier.
Alderaan delenda est
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#45 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:26

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-13, 16:46, said:

Other above have made parallels (in a different way) to public health and potential voerreach into people's lives.

I have serious concerns about how blase some people are in this thread to some of the potential endpoints or consequences of such surveillance

Just as an example. They are currently trialing sewage testing for Covid and then testing whole suburbs based on fragments of viral material in sewage. I know others have discussed concerns about checking bridge players for substance use while playing. I'm sure everyone here is smart enough for these issues not to need be spelled out. And I seriously hope in the braoder scheme there aren't any Nazi-types here.

Also in trying to catch a few high-level rogues who would be challened and identified and have due process through normal channels, they run the risk of mass sweeps of millions of harmless people who dont always follow tournament level restrictions

Are people going to get a midnight knock on the door for psyching a bot or playing under the influence of something

Other parallels are the overeach of commercialism into our lives where our faces are scanned as we walk around the streets to bombard us with mood related ads.

How far and how specific and how local is this intrusion into every aspect of our private lives going to go before people start asking a few questions.

I've been so concerned about the way the world is going these days, I never use my computer unless I have a wall behind me, although who knows what technology they have for seeing through walls. But then again the main surveillance opportunities are out there on a clouds and webservices these days, or our hardware devices. I've ben rather suspicious of strange behaviour from my touchpad and keyboard recently :)

And without wanting to reference any specific play-surveillance analytics my Bridge is and never has been at a level to maintain a consistent error rate - its different levels of high :)

Oh dear, we have found that you were under observation for something else and someone has long distance camera footage of you doing something you shouldnt during an online Bridge match :)

I must admit, until recently, I never thought that world Bridge authorities would become an area of concern in relation to privacy, surveillance and intrusion into our lives. I regret ever laying myself open by joining BBO and the ACBL. Looks anxiously out of window at distant high-rise with line of sight


I really don't think you need to be concerned. Whoever 'they' are, they are unlikely to be too worried about you and me.
To them, we are just like the flies in William Blakes poem.

Am not I A fly like thee?
Or art not thou A man like me?
For I dance, And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life And strength and breath,
And the want Of thought is death;
Then am I A happy fly.

Of no consequence at all. Not worth the bother.

non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek; N'écris jamais une lettre et n'en détruis jamais une.
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#46 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:28

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-November-13, 17:26, said:

I really don't think you need to be concerned. Whoever 'they' are, they are unlikely to be too worried about you and me.
To them, we are just like the flies in William Blakes poem.

Am not I A fly like thee?
Or art not thou A man like me?
For I dance, And drink, and sing,
Till some blind hand Shall brush my wing.
If thought is life And strength and breath,
And the want Of thought is death;
Then am I A happy fly.

Of no consequence at all. Not worth the bother.




I am assuming that I am irrelevant. But who knows they may be looking for any scalps for our misdemeanours, no matter how trivial and insignificant

EDIT - apologies for edits - turned into one of my usual edited rambles
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#47 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:29

View Posthrothgar, on 2020-November-13, 17:10, said:

Yes

They are doing this in Massachusetts
I could not be happier.


Its fine as far as it goes. I'm just thinking, as always, of potential overreach of any technology
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#48 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:31

View Postthepossum, on 2020-November-13, 17:28, said:

I am assuming that I am irrelevant. But who knows they may be looking for any scalps for our misdemeanours, no matter how trivial and insignificant


Well, we've made it this far, let's keep on truckin'.
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#49 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 17:35

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-November-13, 17:31, said:

Well, we've made it this far, let's keep on truckin'.


I think, with apologies to Nic Hammond for any misrepresentation of his methods, he would need a very specific (and different) test for my bridge playing. Rather than error rate, it could be trying to detect when I do something right, or consistently right more than once or twice :)

EDIT I deleted a later post/dislaimer or statement of interest or in this issue disinterest. My concerns are much broader and belong in the Water Cooler, and relate to serious concerns I have over the intrusion of all things tech and analytic into every area of our lives. I will leave Bridge stuff to those who are seriously interested and impacted by this issue. Apologies for getting too involved
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#50 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 18:55

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-23, 09:30, said:

"dozens". "A few". Sure, those are only the ones that are reported and investigated, but there are what, 10 000 players on BBO right now? And maybe 30 000 daily players?

The paranoia being generated is much worse than the actual cheating.

If you listen to "some Americans", *every* non-American team that has won a world championship was cheating. And a couple of the US teams that beat "some Americans", too. There is an alternative explanation for this, even if there was (or still is!) a lot of cheating going on.

And yes. I'm saying that players don't know their legal requirements (and therefore their opponents' legal requirements), and as a result, there's an awful lot of non-wilful, non-deliberate irregularities. Much of that is *education*, not enforcement. Players don't know, and we don't care to educate. "Some Americans" are proud of not knowing the Laws, and some of them are proud of "doing what they think is right" over following the Law. Not to denigrate those people, whose judgement and bridge skill is high enough that they probably are right, but there aren't many people I would put in that class, and the leaders doing it - and publicising that they do it - encourages the people who listen to or read them to do the same thing. With their less-refined judgement and lower skill, they are less likely to be "right". And the newer players learn from these people...

And the paranoia about the C-word is overshadowing any effort going into fixing this - and in fact an awful lot of "random use of UI" is being reported as "they must have a wire" or "they're deliberately passing and using information with their tempo". Which was my previous point; yes, we do have to work on actual cheating, but we really have to work on teaching people what they and their opponents shouldn't be doing. If for no other reason than "we can't call it cheating if you didn't know. Guess what? Now you know."...

Nicolas Hammond agrees with Mycroft. His analysis shows that as few as 1-5% of ordinary BBO players cheat (although, in absolute numbers, that's a lot of players).

Currently, the CAT has reported 30-50 top-level alleged on-line cheats to those who run a few high-level on-line competitions.

At the world-class level, over the past 60 years, Nicolas Hammond's computer analysis of records shows that a few (but not all) Italian pairs cheated. Also, there were many cheating pairs from America, Britain, and other countries.

Even a few cheats wreck competition. Convicted cheats have won several world-championships. Suspected cheats have won more. Even when they don't win themselves, cheats eliminate other potential winners.

Currently in spite of their obsession with so-called "Equity", the WBF and NBOs have provided scant redress to victims of convicted cheats. Victims should be moved up the ranking lists to be awarded the places and titles, of which they were robbed by cheats. Unfortunately such a process can be crude and messy (e.g. in KO events).
But organisations should attempt to award victims some relief from damage.

MI and UI infractions are rife but I agree with Mycroft that it's wrong to blame ordinary players for carelessly flouting bridge rules. Also, judging from the the rarity of PPs and DPs, it seems nearly impossible to judge that such infractions are deliberate.

Bridge laws and regulations are so complex, subjective, and fragmented that few players read, understand, or comply with them. Another consequence is that, even in the simplest cases, with agreed facts, top directors disagree about rulings.

It would be harder to rationalize cheating if Bridge-rules were unified, simplified, and made less subjective :) The game would also be more fun :)
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#51 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 20:48

I think 1% is too high for my liking. I'd like another nine in reliable (or equivalently, another zero in "cheaters").

However, I guess the idea that 1 player in games at two average clubs (25 tables total) is doing something deliberate to gain an illegal advantage sounds about right.

I'm really disappointed, though.
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#52 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-November-13, 21:24

By complete coincidence, several interesting youtube videos on Benson's law popped up in front of me.
Possibly because I'd been watching some MIT videos on probability.
For an Institute of Technology as opposed to an actual University, MIT is quite a good school Posted Image.
I still remember logbooks and slide rules.

I have noticed, in some of the timed robot tourneys that I've been playing, that many players take a very long time before bidding - minutes - enough time to put the hand into Jack Bridge.
Once they start playing, they seem to play very quickly.
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#53 User is online   thepossum 

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Posted 2020-November-14, 03:53

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-November-13, 21:24, said:

I have noticed, in some of the timed robot tourneys that I've been playing, that many players take a very long time before bidding - minutes - enough time to put the hand into Jack Bridge.
Once they start playing, they seem to play very quickly.


I've noticed that watching declarers too. Some seem to take an age analysing their hand and dummy and the their strategy after the initial lead :) Then they seem to play remarkably quickly, unless of course something unusual happens which requires more simulation (sorry slip of the keyboard - I meant of course thought). Of course it may be much lower tech than a computer and software.

Sorry I promised not to re-enter this thread at all

But I am going to say something about this issue and what I have read here and on other bridge forums about the issue. Either people are taking the adminsitraors for a ride and joking about stuff, or many people discussing the issue (not here by the way) don't have a clue about anything, especially important things likes statistics and technology

DISCLAIMER I apologise if any disrespect is taken by the suggestion that any players of any calibre or worth at all would rely on a simulation or any other method. After all, in my experience technological approaches are based on expert knowledge anyway :)
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#54 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-December-01, 14:02

Michael Rosenberg, on"Bridge Winners" said:

Collusive cheating [is certainly not] incredibly difficult to perpetrate successfully. Not even close to "incredibly difficult" if done in a smart way - advance collusion.
One example: We take the first name of our West or North opponent (or maybe the previous opponents) and figure out the numerical letter value. If it's odd we cheat on even-numbered boards. If it's even, we cheat on odd-numbered boards. Let's say it's Richard. That's 61. So we cheat on even-numbered boards. On these boards, we could do any or all of ...
  • Agree our preempts will be less sound.
  • Agree our TO doubles will not be off-shape.
  • Agree on invitations we will always be at the top of our range.
  • Agree that we will lead more from jacks than kings.
  • Agree we will lead more from 3-card suits vs. NT.

etc, etc. etc. Each of these will give some small edge. (If there are better examples, that's not the point). I think the 'code' could be far less complicated than the above, and still not be detectable. But even if I'm wrong, I think the code could be far more obscure and not rise to the level of "incredibly difficult".

Michael draws our attention to an under-rated but frightening method of collusive cheating. For example, some players and regulators would be tempted to rationalize such ploys as a matter of style.
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#55 User is offline   pescetom 

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Posted 2020-December-01, 15:55

View Postnige1, on 2020-December-01, 14:02, said:

Michael draws our attention to an under-rated but frightening method of collusive cheating. For example, some players and regulators would be tempted to rationalize such ploys as a matter of style.


I agree.
His example might seem specific to online play but of course is not, in face to face one can still use opponent's real name or the time of first bid or the position of left thumb, u.s.w.
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#56 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted Yesterday, 09:40

We can attempt to justify agreements, similar to those suggested by Michael Rosenberg, changing them from mainifest collusive cheating
into seemingly innocent variations in style. Thus, depending on board-parity or whatever, we could agree that one of us will


  • Pre-empt less soundly, especially in 1st position.
  • Open all EBU “rule of 18” hands, regardless of quality.
  • Never open "light" in 3rd seat.
  • Double off-shape.
  • Invite only when top of our range.
  • Open 1NT only when 4333 4432 or 5332 and never with a 5 card-major.
  • Lead from a king only if there is no feasible alternative.
  • Lead more often from 3-card suits vs. NT
  • With a choice of count or preference, signal preference.

All can be rationalized as so-called "matters of style".
Regulators seem to condone them and turn a blind-eye to non-disclosure.
Judging by discussions like this, many professionals have adopted such practices.


This is another argument for changing the law to "Explain all partner's calls" (including matters of "Style").
Alternatively we can keep Bridge as a cheating free-for-all.
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