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All comments by Boye Brogeland
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Randy. I used to trust people, especially bridge players. The 99 % of bridge players who love the game and try their best in every aspect of it, won't come flooding with accusations unless they really feel cheated. I don't want to submit to the 1 % who try to take this game prisoner just because there is a risk they will come up with groundless accusations.
Feb. 20, 2017
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Hi Mike.

You should have been in Monte Carlo for the Cavendish. As Zia said in his speech, it was a tournament played in a very friendly atmosphere. Hardly any director calls, nobody seemed to be bothered to look at convention cards and full disclosure was given upon request.

Played in the right spirit and with integrity I think you can overcome a lot of the challenges you mention.
Feb. 19, 2017
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Hi Timo.

First of all I am not used to this cynical thought that you accuse someone for something you know they didn't do. Maybe I am too naive, but 99 % of bridge players I know wouldn't start accusing other players of cheating for no reason. If you and your partner weren't among those 1 % lost-the-plot-people, but really believed that me and my partner tapped under the table, please tell the TD (or fill out a recorder form) as it may be something to look into. You have actually done what you should do in such a situation, and I am pretty sure that competent people at WACA would find your accusations groundless. The accusations in itself should not be enough to sideline anybody unless the evidence was compelling.

I am not sure how many times I need to explain the situation when I played with FS on the team. I don't feel innocent in this respect as I was suspicious and had heard rumours. Looking over hands when we played with them were actually later helping me cracking some of the information they would need to have for some of their actions. Could I prove that they cheated when they were my team mates? Not at all. Should I have reacted earlier and followed my hunch? Maybe.

With your anology I feel you are mixing apples and pears. If you are tested with an illegal substance in your body you have breached the WADA doping regulations. Then you have to prove your innocence to avoid a ban. I haven't heard about someone being banned by WADA for being suspicous about someone else taking an illegal substance.
Feb. 19, 2017
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We can agree or disagree with EBL's decision on BZ, but it certainly sets the bar high for a cheating conviction. If cases need to be as crystal clear as FS and FN we are more or less giving up on policing the game. Why spend time filling out a recorder form when you basically know it won't lead to anything? Why put in hundreds of hours and plenty of money to prosecute when you probably must acquit?

Going forward I think the burden of proof - like with doping - should be on the players' side. If we are found to have breached the rules so it leads to a serious cheating suspicion, we get suspended and must prove that we didn't cheat to avoid a ban. This process should preferably be handled by an independent “WACA” (World Anti-Cheating Agency) which all the federations and organizations adhere to.

Playing bridge is a privilige, not a right. We need to (re)build a code of honor, not of silence. New leadership, especially for the WBF, is long overdue.
Feb. 19, 2017
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Mr. Zimmermann. It's about time to take the high road.
Dec. 9, 2016
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People who are willing to sue the ACBL to keep their stinking titles, masterpoints and seeding points should be named and shamed. Who are they, Chris?
Dec. 9, 2016
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Land of the free, home of the brave - what happened? Bridge craves integrity, not lawyering and money talks. Shame on us who allows this to happen.
Dec. 7, 2016
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Why should we believe you, Jack? Are you looking for 15 minutes of fame? Did you find my two questions to be fair? Please let people express their take on the situation without randomly attacking their motives and sincerity.
Sept. 27, 2016
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First I would like to congratulate Roy, Sabine, Ashley and Michael with a tremendous showing in Wroclaw. You were clearly the two best pairs in the event and the gold medal could easily have gone either way. The scoring mistake was highly unfortunate, but it happened and should be addressed for the good of the game.

To me this is about sportsmanship. Bridge needs more of the approach taken by Ishmael Del'Monte and Ashley Bach (and also James and Sam Coutts) back in 1999 (told by Alan Taylor in this thread) and less of the “I am clinging to the win because the rules say I can”. Instead of becoming a Norfolk 1979 or a Geneva 1990 - let Wroclaw 2016 be the start of a new era where sportsmanship comes first (and where the Spain/USA incident can be a reminder of where we don't want to go).

Let's unite in doing what's right for the game based on fairness and integrity, not based on how well we know the players involved or which country they come from.

It's time to talk the talk and walk the walk.
Sept. 19, 2016
Boye Brogeland edited this comment Sept. 19, 2016
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Thanks for your clear memory, Harald.

To David.

I think American players in general (based on experience from playing quite a bit around the world) focus more on the letter of the law compared to players from other nationalities. In Norway for example we would tend to act more according to what we feel is the spirit of the law. I am not saying one approach is right or wrong, but it should be considered carefully for how we want the game to develop.

Do we want a more lawyerish game where we are able to challenge more or less everything (at any time?) that doesn't clearly pass the laws? Or do we accept that it is “just bridge” and we give some leeway to our opponents in unclear situations (like a possible failure to disclose third hand openings thoroughly on the convention card)?

What goes around comes around - and I know which environment I would like my kids to play in. That being said - we certainly should not go easy on unethical behaviour and plain cheating.
Sept. 14, 2016
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To Melanie and David.

If I recall it correctly we were told before the Round Robin match against the USA (Nickell team) that our convention should have been put on the front page of our convention card (under “Special bids that may require defence”). So they wouldn't let us use it and claimed they would need an hour to prepare a defense.

We had done a mistake so we discarded the convention, but it certainly highlighted that different players/pairs/teams have different approaches in these kind of situations. I do hope that there was no bad intent or gamesmanship behind it (the same goes for Spain), they just did what they thought was right.

Personally I would have liked to see a less conflictive line regarding Kevin and Justin's possible disclosure issue. Bridge ought to be a gentleman's game - and we should save our hard fought battles for cheating and unethical conduct.
Sept. 13, 2016
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Thanks for posting, Justin. I am sorry you have to go through this and for you and Kevin to be labeled BL (thanks for picking up the baton, though :-), but it seems to be part of the (healing) process the game is going through after the cheating scandal. People are seeing ghosts, and unfortunately you got spooked.

I don't think the Spaniards had any bad intent with what they did. Since not much was mentioned on Bathurst and Lall's convention card regarding third hand openings, Spain probably felt they had a case. (It reminds me about playing Meckwell in Bermuda Bowl in São Paulo in 2009 where we had a convention, 1 S - 2 H and 1 H - 2 D to show either a weak raise with support or natural GF, which was only mentioned on the second page of the convention card. USA protested that it wasn't on the front page and made us discard the convention. Enforcing the letter of the law.)

It's valuable that we get honest and open discussions on these topics. Hopefully we can all learn from it and make better assessments next time around. And let's make sure we don't make it into us vs. them in the usual nationalistic fashion. We have seen too much of that the last year or so.
Sept. 13, 2016
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Who are these “all players who had been sentenced” and why did the FIGB lose it's mind (I know winning gives you a high, but still…)?
Sept. 1, 2016
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This amnesty sounds like a bad joke. Why did it happen and who did it affect? I hope some Italians can enlighten us.
Sept. 1, 2016
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Here is my take on it:

Did they cheat? Yes.

Did they admit it? Yes, though they named it ethical violations (wouldn't you try hard to avoid the cheating stigma?)

What was the code(s)? The cracked code was a high-low placement of bidding cards to pass information about hand strength (the evidence from the European Championships 2014 is still readily available on YouTube).

Did they make a full confession? Yes, if you believe they cheated only in a few events. No, if you believe they were more notorious at it.

Did they get a good deal? I don't know of any deal struck with any bridge organization. Personally I promised to rest my case if a confession was made public - and also to support an IOC type doping ban for the crime.

What my feelings are almost a year later? I still think it was important that someone admitted to cheating. It made it clearer that rampant cheating was going on and it spared the bridge organizations another draining and unnecessary lawyerish case. The statistical evidence against two other pairs was quite a bit stronger, yet they chose to keep the game hostage for as long as they possibly could.

I would like to see all results involving a cheating pair nullified and not limited to some random number of years.

I would give cheaters who confess, as opposed to the ones in denial, the benefit of the doubt; maybe they can rehabilitate. Clean up, serve your time and come back. Prove that there are bridge cheaters who deserve a second chance.
Aug. 24, 2016
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Timo. Tor Helness was not part of the two teams which got a one year suspension for a falsified match result (the match was never played, but the reported result made sure that both teams would advance to the next round of the Norwegian club championships).
Aug. 1, 2016
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The writing is on the wall both for the FS case and the BL “case”. You should ask yourself why you got both wrong from the start, Hanan.
July 16, 2016
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I like 5 clubs as a highly intelligent bid. 7 diamonds was a leap of insanity, but “knowing” partner had diamond length (he didn't double 3 clubs) gambling on two red aces didn't seem all that wild.
July 2, 2016
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To come up with the exact code is challenging, and has needed lots of people putting in a ridiculous number of hours. Bridge federations can not expect the bridge community to put in this amount of work every time there is a big cheating case looming. To find someone guilty of cheating it should be enough to prove that illegal signals were sent.
June 3, 2016
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I definetely got the impression that it didn't matter what the other team said - it was a lock when the correction period had passed. So “I don't want to win this way” was a brilliant show.
June 1, 2016
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