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All comments by Sabine Auken
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Now you have aroused my interest, David! The whole thing could become something totally new. The tournament could be a dungeon run and we could auction all the pairs off in the auction house. But who gets to keep the loot?
Sept. 18, 2015
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Peg, I appreciate BBO for giving partnerships the possibility to practice anywhere and anytime without having to be at the same location. I would not enjoy playing a serious event in a BBO-like setting. For whatever reason I have trouble remembering the small cards and I feel more like playing a computer game. In addition to that in my view part of the psychological element of bridge gets lost.
Sept. 18, 2015
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I also opt out of the tablet version. As stated elsethread I would prefer playing World of Warcraft instead and fly around on my epic mount.
Sept. 18, 2015
Sabine Auken edited this comment Sept. 18, 2015
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I am sorry if I didn't make that clear in my original post. So let me try to correct that, please. When I wrote “there hasn’t even been a single hint of potential wrongdoing” I meant that to include that no suspicious hands had been presented.
Sept. 18, 2015
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Ellis,
It's possible I have no business of getting in the middle of your argument here. But maybe not a hundred, still I would say a substantial amount of - as you call them - fishy hands had not only been collected, but also submitted for a review to at least one bridge organization long before that quarter final.
Sept. 17, 2015
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FWIW please put me down as a naysayer. I do not want to play electronic bridge. I'd much rather go back to playing World of Warcraft. It's a lot more fun to use my computer for that than for clicking bids and cards.
Sept. 17, 2015
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“what Twain was referring to was that statistics can be manipulated to tell whatever story it is you want to tell.”

Thank you, Richard. I was hoping that someone with more expertise than me would provide that explanation. I hope you don't consider my approach insidious. My intention was to urge the community to treat statistical findings with caution.
Sept. 17, 2015
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Thank you very much for your post, Roger. I am afraid I know much less about numbers and statistics than a player striving to do well in high-level bridge competition is supposed to know. But your post aroused my curiosity. So I did what I usually do, when I don’t know so much about a subject. I googled it.

Curiously one of the first things I came across was a quote by a person presumably much more knowledgeable about numbers than me, Mark Twain:

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
Mark Twain's Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

So now I am totally confused. Could somebody with a better understanding of statistics please explain what Mark Twain meant when he wrote that.
Sept. 17, 2015
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Ellis, there may be some misunderstanding here. I have not asked people to stop looking. I have been looking myself. I have asked people to stop with insinuations unless they have evidence and are prepared to come forward with it. And I have asked people that have looked and found nothing to please state so.
Sept. 17, 2015
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Thank you very much for your statement, Espen and Alan!
Sept. 17, 2015
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Well done, Dave. I will admit I was hoping to catch some attention with the subject line. And hats off to you for admitting to your curiosity. :)
Sept. 17, 2015
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At the risk of repeating myself (since I already posted this in a different thread), but if I understand the WBF rules correctly, the next empty spot will go to Zone 6 (Pacific Asia)
http://www.worldbridge.org/wbt-right-to-enter.aspx This may be different if one or more teams are disqualified and the results of last year's European Championships get adjusted. But I would consider this extremely unlikely to happen before the start of the Bermuda Bowl.
Sept. 16, 2015
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Laura,

I was very glad to see your post. You and I have discussed these issues in private email, when I was looking for help. I wanted to thank you once again for your invaluable input and also for raising those issues in public now. I believe they are of utmost importance and need to get resolved urgently.

The current “catch the cheaters” approach has been extremely successful, maybe more successful than even Boye could have hoped for, and Boye deserves all the credit for his courage. But what about moving forward. We cannot possibly continue in the same vein in future potential cheating allegations. If we do, we risk doing more damage than good. So something fundamental has to change. I hope you have given the powers that are something to think about.
Sept. 16, 2015
Sabine Auken edited this comment Sept. 16, 2015
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It is not self-evident that a Zone that does not fill its quota gets offered a new berth. It is always Zone 1 that gets to fill the first empty berth. The rules don't say anything about how Zone 1 is to determine which team gets that berth.

The correct rules are here http://www.worldbridge.org/wbt-right-to-enter.aspx
“If any Zone does not fill its quota the first berth will be offered to Zone 1, the second to Zone 6.”

Sept. 5, 2015
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I was born and raised in an environment of a nation suffering from having blindly adhered to the authorities’ orders, not daring to object and resist. Most of the few who did, didn’t survive. It led to one of world history’s biggest and most despised and hated massacres ever. During all my childhood I don’t ever remember the German flag being raised happily and proudly at important occasions like birthdays or anniversaries, as is customary in many other nations. The common feeling was, we don’t really have so much to be proud of right now.

It is a convenient and safe way of living to always try and follow the letter of the law and rely on the authorities to “take care of things”. It takes courage to not only consult your own conscience, but also act on what it is telling you. Even speaking the inconvenient truth is often looked upon unfavourably and risks getting punished. I have a feeling that is what happened to Gabrielle Sherman on Bridgewinners. I wasn’t privy to reading the posts that got her temporarily suspended, but I very much hope it was the tone and style she wrote in, that were deemed unacceptable for this forum, and not the possibility that she was indeed speaking the unacceptable truth.

I have been sidetracking. Getting back to the subject at hand I would like to address those that feel strongly, the authorities (in this case national and international bridge federations) have to take care of alleged cheating cases like the one discussed in this thread and that there should be no accusations without proof, because it might hurt innocent parties. I can assure you that several top players for a number of years already have supplied the relevant bridge federations with a wealth of circumstantial evidence incriminating the pair in question here. No action has been taken against the pair by any of those organisations, because no “proof” of method could be found.

For the top players the situation has become unbearable. We love this game and we want to compete against one another on an equal level playing field and find out in the good old honest way who is the best. The organisations’ inability to provide such an environment has led to a huge frustration among top players. What are we to do? I for one hugely admire Boye’s courage of speaking up and trying to change an unwanted situation that the authorities so far have been unwilling to or incapable of rectifying. Well done, Boye!
Aug. 25, 2015
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Restaurant recommendation. Villains Black Market Craft http://www.villainschicago.com, 1/2 a mile from the Hilton. I found it difficult to resist the name. It is a gastropub. Expect rustic food, charcuterie, cheese plate, pork belly as appetizer. Burger, pork and steak as main dish. If you absolutely can't stand that, there also is a cod (which Roy said was delicious). There is not much wine to choose from, but they have more than 40 beers from all around the world on tap. I was especially pleased to find one from my native town Bamberg, in Germany. Truly hard to resist :)
Aug. 10, 2015
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“The USBF trials are not a zonal competition”

This may not be relevant to the discussion, but clearly WBF has a different view on this http://worldbridge.org/zonal-championships.aspx states that

“Zonal Championships are organized regularly by the WBF Zones. Each Zone organises at least one each alternate year as the qualifying event for the World Bridge Team Championships (the Bermuda Bowl, Venice Cup and d'Orsi Seniors Bowl).”

Zone 2 comprises 3 member countries Canada, Mexico and the USA. http://worldbridge.org/zonelist.aspx?qzone=2

http://worldbridge.org/zone-2-acbl.aspx explains

“Zone 2 will qualify three teams in each series (Open, Women and Seniors) for the World Bridge Team Championships in Chennai

The United States Bridge Federation (USBF) will run trials to qualify two of the three Zonal teams for the World Bridge Team Championships and full details can be found on their website.

The third zonal team will come from either Canada or Mexico. The Canadian National Championships are held from 23rd - 30th May and a play-off between the winning teams and Mexico will be scheduled as soon as possible following this.”

Accordingly WBF considers both the USBF trials and the playoff between Canada and Mexico zonal competitions.
July 24, 2015
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I wanted to refrain from commenting on the headline complaint, since I didn't feel it was in any way illuminating the issue being discussed in this thread. But in the hopes of ending further discussion here goes:

The interview with Lauria was originally published on the Neapolitanclub website, which has strong Italian roots. Laura is Italian and not surprisingly the interview was conducted in Italian http://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/itl/lorenzo-lauria-qualcosa-e-accaduto.html . The headline “qualcosa è accaduto” literally means “something happened”. In the interview Lauria expressed “sicuramente qualcosa è accaduto che ha distratto il giocatore” meaning literally “surely something happened that distracted the player”. In the English translation of the article (http://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/eng/lorenzo-lauria-something-happened.html) that got shortened to “something distracted the player”, so “something happened” is missing in the English translation.

In my view any complaints about this should be directed to the editor of the neapolitanclub website. I don't see how bringing it up in this thread sheds any light on the grave topic in discussion.
June 17, 2015
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It appears at least one Italian player agrees with Geoff's view on that issue. http://neapolitanclub.altervista.org/eng/lorenzo-lauria-something-happened.html
June 16, 2015
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The current system of professionalism in bridge, where the sponsor is an integral part of the team, is pretty much unique to the United States with a few more instances strewn around the world. BBO allows us to watch a myriad of transmissions from national and international bridge tournaments all over the world almost every single day around the clock.

I would like to pose a question to all the contributors to this thread that criticize and object to this current system of professionalism. Which matches and tournaments do you watch on BBO? The ones that feature the big sponsor teams, where you can marvel at your favorite star’s heroics and laugh at his or her victim’s shortcomings? Or the ones where people with a normal everyday job (leaving little time for bridge practice) fight it out against one another in a national championship to bring home the gold medal, an achievement they have been working for very hard for a very long time?

Speaking of hypocrisy.
May 22, 2015
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