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All comments by Christopher Monsour
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Sabrina and Nat, I'm not sure Adam was referring to bridge players' being out of shape (which they are) so much as to their being frail (which wouldn't characterize golfers or bowlers).
Aug. 19, 2016
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Yes, Richard, but now that you're out of shape it means the other kind. :)
Aug. 19, 2016
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David, Good point. Perhaps even FS and FN could be allowed to compete…as geldings…
Aug. 18, 2016
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Ben, in the US I believe the sentence for sufficiently serious bridge offenses is whatever suspension for whatever period of time PLUS an INDEFINITE ban from representing the US in international competition. Similar to not allowing convicted felons to vote (or, perhaps more to the point, not allowing convicted child molesters to live near schools) even after they have served their sentence.

Why is it unreasonable to criticize other NBOs, like the IBF, for not having similar policies?
Aug. 18, 2016
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Hmm, clearly the sport bridge was intended to be paired with as a biathlon is golf…
Aug. 17, 2016
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Question for Paul and/or Roy, if a US pair had the record that FS had prior to their latest conviction, would the USBF have allowed them to represent the US in international competition? I don't know the answer, but I suspect it is “no”, and I think that's the point Roy is trying to make when he calls the IBF irresponsible.
Aug. 17, 2016
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I guess that saves cost on silver and bronze medals…
Aug. 17, 2016
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Frankly, given the importance of NABCs to so many bridge players, some of this the ACBL can just take into its own hands. It should alter the sentencing guidelines in the CDR in two respects:
(1) Anyone convicted of cheating who has *ever* represented *any* country in international competition should be receive twice the otherwise applicable punishment;
(2) Anyone convicted of cheating, as a condition of reinstatement with the ACBL, must agree not to represent *any* country in international competition in the future.
Aug. 16, 2016
Christopher Monsour edited this comment Aug. 16, 2016
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Why so much emphasis on trials? Presumably strong players travel to major tournaments in larger countries (or practice on BBO). Surely those are more likely places to catch them cheating than in an NBO qual in a small country against ma and pa.
Aug. 16, 2016
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Michael, as to who would do the fining…the other NBOs. Presumably it would ultimately be the other NBOs that would have to enforce any punishment (including Geoff's proposed punishment of exclusion) if we assume as Geoff does that the WBF is useless.
Aug. 16, 2016
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The innocent NBOs would get some of the money and could individually decide to use it in detection efforts.
Aug. 15, 2016
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Gary, that would have been my first choice, but if the WBF isn't stepping up to the plate, giving them the money would be pointless.
Aug. 15, 2016
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So I guess maybe a possible problem with my proposal is to whom the fines would go, given the ineffectiveness of the WBF. How about giving 50% of the fine to the innocent NBOs that participated in the tainted championship and the other 50% to support world youth bridge?

I agree that the main point of the penalty would be to create appropriate incentives. As such, the size of the fine probably ought to be on a sliding scale based on the GDP of the country and the % of its population that plays competitive bridge. In the case of adopted homelands, the adopted homeland should be responsible for the fine, but its size should be based on the combined amounts for the adopted and the original homelands. Monaco can afford it….

Whether the NBOs would then require their representatives to sign a hold harmless would be up to them. If they did, it would give Hamman an opportunity to develop and market an insurance policy for innocent teammates.
Aug. 15, 2016
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And they promised Life Masters lifetime membership, too, once upon a time….
Aug. 15, 2016
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No, we should not ban such nations from fielding teams, but those NBOs should be *fined* *heavily* to provide for the costs of future enforcement and investigation efforts (and maybe even enough to help defray some of the normal operating costs of running international competitions).

I feel that I wouldn't want to ban an NBO unless complicity could be proved, which would be very unlikely, but fining an organization that failed to send an honest team would create proper incentives without being the equivalent of a finding of collective guilt.
Aug. 15, 2016
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Problem is that starting the tournament with an earlier schedule and ending with a later one makes everyone's travel plans more difficult. Especially if, like the 2001 Reisinger, they need a committee to decide an event that started late on the last day.
Aug. 15, 2016
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The Reisinger is seeded, but it doesn't necessarily follow that it's seeded via seeding points. (It might be–I just don't know.) After all, the major pairs games are also seeded–via organizer judgment rather than seeding points, as far as I know.
Aug. 14, 2016
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Nicholas, I assume item (e) applies to flighting and stratification, but not to seeding?
Aug. 14, 2016
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I think many bridge players forget how most people live. Get up at 5:00 or 5:30, exercise, shower, wake the kids, have breakfast, get the kids to school, and get to the office by 8:00 or 8:30. Starting at 10:00 is a nice relaxing break. Starting at 1:00 is essentially jet lag before you've even changed time zones.

Moreover, for travel reasons, the last day often has to start much earlier. If the finals have to start by 10AM, isn't it silly for the semifinals to have lasted until midnight?
Aug. 13, 2016
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@Steve, until remote spectators become a major source of revenue for organized bridge, accommodating their scheduling preferences (especially when they can view proceedings on a laptop from the comfort of their bed) is worth exactly nothing.
Aug. 13, 2016
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