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The Last Five Days

 

In an earlier thread titled "To Sabine and Roy", the poster and many other commenter's offered their advice and their opinions on what actions they felt we should take after learning of the scoring error that occurred in the final day of the Open Pair Championship.

This post is being made to describe the actions we actually did take.

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Sabine and I first learned of the scoring error by reading the post on BW after we made it to the airport for our flight on Sunday night. We arrived home a little after midnight and went right to sleep. After a few hours, I woke up and did the following:

At 4:39am that morning, I wrote to a director who was working in the pair game, I have removed headers and footers for privacy reasons but included what was written in the body of the email:

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I imagine you are aware of what took place on Sunday with the wrong scoring. Do you know if the WBF plans to take any steps to rectify the situation?

It's really a bad deal for everyone. I feel horribly, thinking it's possible I don't deserve the medal I was awarded. Cornell and Bach must feel even worse, and it's an unfortunate situation for the whole bridge world.

I welcome any questions or ideas from the WBF to help make the situation better.

If you think I should write this to someone else, please let me know - you're just the person I feel that I know the best.

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At 4:49, I wrote to Ish Delmonte to ask if he had email addresses for the 2nd place finishers, Cornell and Bach.

At 5:02 I wrote to a WBF official, text below:

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It appears there was a scoring error in the 2nd of 5 sets on Sunday. Do you (as a WBF official) know if anything can still be done to fix the problem? Please let me know if there is anything I can do or if there is someone else at WBF I should contact.

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At 5:22, I wrote (the first of many emails) to Cornell and Bach, text below:

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This is just a terrible situation for everyone. It sounds likely that you are the rightful winners of the event.

There is a lot of talk and speculation on Bridgewinners. I'm not sure where the truth lies, but I have written to two officials asking that the situation be addressed, probably they would have done that anyhow, but with the WBF, you never know.

I intend to follow up to make sure that if a mistake remains in the scoring, that something be done to rectify the situation. I will keep you posted on anything I hear back.

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Later that morning at 9:54am I sent an email to the director who was present at the table during the incident. I know some think it was an indisputable fact that a scoring error existed, but it seemed so unlikely given the oversight by the director on this hand, so I thought I should check to make sure before taking further action. Below is the text of that email:

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With regard to the board where Sabine and I had to switch directions because a player began bidding at another table ...

I imagine you are already aware of the scoring situation by now and I'm writing to ask if it is possible for you to verify that a scoring error occurred and if it did, that it was not corrected.

I have already written to a WBF official and if it can be verified that the final score was not correct then I plan to find a solution that rectifies the inequity.

If you are able to help, that would be great, if it is not within your grasp, but you can point me in the direction of someone who does have the capability, I would be grateful.

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I wrote again to the WBF official asking if he would be willing to discuss the matter on the phone with me once I confirmed that the scoring information was correct. Once I received confirmation, the WBF official and I spoke on the phone.

He explained to me that according to the rules and some existing precedents, it was too late for anything to be done because it was too far beyond the correction period, but just to be sure, he would check with the chief TD.

When we spoke again later, he explained that technically no change could be made. He also said that we could not exchange our gold medals for silvers, nor could they jointly award gold medals or titles. The only action permitted by the WBF at that point would be for us to resign our title, but even that would not result in the 2nd place finishers being moved up, they would remain in second place, and we would get nothing. I did not end the phone call with the feeling that was necessarily the end of the matter.

I thought laying out the logic of the situation more thoroughly might be helpful, below is my next email to the same WBF official. Sent at 4:50pm, from this email I excluded a small amount of non-relevant personal information from the text.

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I am writing one last time in the hopes that the WBF will reconsider jointly awarding first place, or even another solution if it must be that way.

I learned that the person responsible for checking erroneous scores failed to review the 7th session, and that was the reason the score was allowed to remain. In my opinion, that is solely the fault of the WBF, who should do what they can to rectify their mistake. If it were the Polish pair that had been damaged by their failure to check the scores, I would understand the WBF not wanting to allow them extra time to make a change, but that is not the case here.

This situation is different from others in that everyone knows what happened on the board, and that the score was simply input wrongly (or corrected wrongly by the arrow switching, I don't know what that is) so there is no possibility that anything dishonest is taking place.

It is also the case that all parties, including the directors agree to all of the facts, and no other parties would be damaged by this action. This would correct a terrible wrong committed on the Kiwis who had ZERO chance to find the mistake themselves since nothing had happened at their table.

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It is my understanding that the WBF is still reviewing the situation carefully, yes, it may be slower than we would like, but in their defense, they are not all sitting in the same room and meetings must be scheduled, so everything takes longer.

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I have read many times in the other thread that I must have known that a scoring error existed, I did not. I have read that it was my fault for inputting the score incorrectly, it's true I made a mistake, but to be clear, I did not enter +650, it doesn't work that way. I entered 4H by south +1 on a hand that 4H by south made +1, it was only a mistake because the player sitting in the south seat was holding the east cards due to the directional switch of the board.

I'm sure people are wondering why we didn't post sooner. We wanted badly to set the record straight but the WBF was being very cooperative with my requests to investigate and we felt it would be back-handed to make posts that might be seen as attempts to influence their decisions.

Keeping quiet became more difficult with each passing insult, accusation, and insinuation. We thank those who came to our defense and gave us the benefit of the doubt, and I hope those who rushed to make unfounded and baseless judgments feel embarrassed by their actions.

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