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All comments by Boye Brogeland
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Further down in the thread there seems to be information that it was dummy looking at the hand of the opening leader. Even though it’s not allowed to do so, it’s a big difference from a cheating point of view. If that was the case, I would think a warning was more appropriate than a disqualification.
June 5
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Disqualify for sure, and report the incident to the bridge organization where the competition was played. Hopefully it would result in a ban for the peeking player. This is cheating.
June 5
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Thanks for sharing this incredible and warm story, Mariusz. You truly deserve the medal - what you did for bridge was golden. Zia has been my idol ever since I read «Roll over, Houdini» some 30 years ago, and grew even a few inches more after this beautiful gesture.
May 16
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Felix. A more relevant question as an anology to the Fantoni/Nunes situation: Do you believe that Nassar, if exonerated by any court, should be taken back as the USA gymnastics national team doctor?
May 8
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I would prefer if it was «one for all, all for one», but that’s not realistic as people are not prepared to make the same sacrifices. Not everybody is as wound up as us about FN and other cheats. Hopefully it won’t be necessary as EBL will protect their prime event, but in the sad situation of the opposite, players caring about the integrity of the game must protest (the way they see fit).
May 7
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This battle is too important not to fight. Sure, the «game» may seem rigged in favor of the cheats because of CAS, but if we don’t play we can’t win. Don’t let the cheats, the lawyers and the financial risk keep holding this game hostage. It’s time to roll the dice.
May 7
Boye Brogeland edited this comment May 8
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There are quite a few people at the EBL who I really trust to do the right thing and disallow Fantoni and/or Nunes to participate. To name a few: Jan Kamras (Sweden), Eric Laurant (The Netherlands) and Kari-Anne Opsal (Norway). The EBL has already spent loads of money on cheating cases, and I think and hope they will continue their fight for fair play. So I definitely think we should support them and attend their flagship tournament - we are in this boat together. If they then fail to protect the integrity of the game, it should be the end of both the EBL and the WBF.
May 7
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What I would like to see is (more) people turning up in Istanbul for this great event, and for the EBL to protect the integrity of the game by refusing Fantoni and/or Nunes to take part. I believe the EBL will do that as they have handled cheating very seriously post August 2015.
May 7
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Fighting cheating is do or die for bridge (as a competitive sport/game).
May 7
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One would hope that Fantoni and Nunes finally showed some decency and didn’t show up for a tournament where they are not welcome. One would hope that the EBL and other bridge organizations took necessary actions to avoid cheats to play. If none of this happens, I hope bridge players will stand up to protect our game. We shouldn’t accept the unacceptable.

I have to admit that I feel the situation is delicate. I have signed up to play in Turkey, and I would love to play in this great event (as I have done all seven times since it was first held in Menton in 2003). If I entered the event just to make my living, I would personally feel that I was sellling out on bridge; that I was a hypocrite.

Hopefully fellow bridge players and bridge organizers will unite in drawing a line in the sand. This is our Alamo.
May 6
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To me FN are the most succesful cheaters the last 20 years, but if you go back in history they may have some countrymen who can give them a run for their money.
April 24
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Well done to all the players making a stand against cheating. If we follow Team Harris' example and band together, we will succeed.
April 19
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Ron.

I have responded to that question numerous times. No, I didn't know. I had heard rumours, and I got more concerned as time went by. The two hands I found most troublesome were where Fisher-Schwartz found the wrong lead (but still hit what would be their partner's preferred lead), but the normal lead (in my view) would have succeeded. Opinions on leads can differ, but when I asked them for their logic behind those leads, their responses seemed made up. Was it enough to “know” that they were cheats? I certainly wouldn't bet my life on it, as I did after August 15th 2015.

Regarding Piekarek-Smirnov, Elinescu-Wladow and Fantoni-Nunes I had also heard rumours, but I was still very surprised when FN got busted (I had played quite a bit against them, and also on the same team as them, never experiencing anything suspicious).

In hindsight my alarm clock should have gone off earlier for Fisher-Schwartz and probably some of the other cheats. But one must remember that the awareness of the cheating problem (at least to me) was totally different pre and post August 2015. It was the people who knew before August 2015 who could (and should) have done more.

I mentioned Balicki-Zmudzinski because I remember that you heartily defended them. There had been rumours about them too over the years. So where did you go wrong regarding Balicki-Zmudzinski since you seem to have no problem knowing who the (other) cheats are?
April 19
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Ron. What about the team mates of Balicki-Zmudzinski? Would you give the same «ban» as team mates of Fisher-Schwartz and Fantoni-Nunes?
April 18
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An impressive win by Tony - in his first American outing - and the three Norwegian lads. I believe they won their first 12 matches in the tournament! These days nice guys finish first!
April 2
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Congrats to the Wolfson team for an incredible win. Terrific players - and great guys!
April 1
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My suggestion would be a 20 seconds mandatory pause for declarer. Then third hand must play in tempo unless he/she has a bridge problem in the suit (not a signal problem). As declarer you get the benefit of taking more than 20 seconds at trick one if you feel you need it.
March 26
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Has Lanzarotti served his 10+ years ban in the USA? Yes. Has he been involved in any cheating incidents after his return to European bridge more than ten years ago? No. Has he sued his way back through non-bridge courts? No. So he meets most of my criterias for getting a second chance, which is still possible both in Europe and in the USA. Where the ACBL failed, was in not demanding a clearer admission of guilt in order to reinstate him. Admitting cheating solely on the queen of diamond hand in Tenerife shouldn't have been enough. It's frustrating that the Appeals & Charges Committee didn't get this right, and thereby pushing the problem over to the players. I believe that many of us would be willing to boycott tournaments if certain cheats were allowed to play, but personally I don't draw the red line with Lanzarotti.
March 26
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United we stand, divided we fall. Let's follow the examples of Erik, Morten, Maria and James so that bridge organizations never again forget how important a clean game is to most of their members. If bridge federations can't keep Fantoni, Nunes and other cheats in denial away from their tournaments, at least give other participants the opportunity to refuse playing against them. And give each pair 50 % score, which is way more than cheats deserve.
Feb. 21
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I met Richie some 20 years ago during a Cavendish in Las Vegas. He was a very interesting guy, always keen to discuss various bridge topics. As a sponsor and team mate he was superb, encouraging us to back our judgment and handling bad results and losses very well. After the cheating scandal in 2015, he supported the idea of renouncing our illgotten titles. He was a fierce competitor, always giving it his everything. The final of the 2014 Reisinger in Providence is a good example of this. A few minutes before game time Richie tripped in a wire on the floor, hit the ground hard and hurt his knee. He insisted he still wanted to play, though, getting medical treatment with cards in his hands. Richie and Allan (Graves) played great that day and we were in the lead after the first session. Thanks for all the good times, Richie. I will miss both you and Margie.
Feb. 10
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