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Cheating Allegations

#661 User is offline   1eyedjack 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 07:04

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-12, 06:52, said:

there are a small number of accused pairs, all of whom seem to be obviously guilty. As far as I can see none of these cases are close to marginal.

One of the cases seems pretty marginal to me. I may yet change my mind, but it is early days for that
Psych (pron. saik): A gross and deliberate misstatement of honour strength and/or suit length. Expressly permitted under Law 73E but forbidden contrary to that law by Acol club tourneys.

Psyche (pron. sahy-kee): The human soul, spirit or mind (derived, personification thereof, beloved of Eros, Greek myth).
Masterminding (pron. mPosted ImagesPosted ImagetPosted Imager-mPosted ImagendPosted Imageing) tr. v. - Any bid made by bridge player with which partner disagrees.

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#662 User is offline   Trinidad 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 08:10

View Post1eyedjack, on 2015-October-12, 07:04, said:

One of the cases seems pretty marginal to me. I may yet change my mind, but it is early days for that

I think the cases can be categorized differently:

L-S and F-N were asked to confess, if not then the case would be made public. They didn't confess, the case has been made public. The cheating is obvious: The code has been cracked. Its use is confirmed.

I don't know whether P-S were asked to confess, but either way, they did confess to have behaved "unethically" and they "suspended themselves". A confession makes the case pretty obvious.

Then Boye announced that more cases would be sent to the WBF to handle. They were not intended to be made public. The WBF "uninvited" B-Z. According to Jassem that was because of cheating accusations. So, where the L-S, F-N and P-S cases are obvious for the public, the B-Z case is not as clear. But supposedly the WBF has evidence that it is reviewing (whatever that means). This evidence may or may not be more extensive than what the public has seen.

In my opinion, B-Z are consciously* signalling with the way the bidding cards are spaced. But I haven't seen a fully cracked code applied on a set of boards where an expert could predict the spacing of the bids and where he points out that the partner has used the signal. The investigation has been messy.

Rik

* When I was a beginner, I played with a very nice partner who signaled hi-lo by the way he played the cards: When he played a high card out of his hand, he "played it high": the path of the card was a nice arch from his hand, to the level of his nose, before it was placed on the table. A low card was "played low": it was taken out of the hand, put on the table and pushed forward. When I picked up the pattern, I told him to stop it and he hadn't been at all aware that he had been doing it... but, much to his embarrassment, he had a bit of difficulty getting rid of this habit. This behavior was subconscious. I don't think that is the case for B-Z.
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#663 User is offline   Hanoi5 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 08:31

The recent statement by the WBF signed by Mr Harris is the 'drop that overflows the glass' (I know it's the straw that breaks the camel's back in English but I like the Spanish version). So much so that now we have Fisher-Shwartz using it like a banner. What is even more troublesome is the fact that they could get away with their behaviour by focusing on the wrong way that it was brought to light. It's like those caees you see on TV where the killer gets away withthe crime because the cops forgot to read their Miranda rights. Terrible indeed.

In fact, there's another sign of trouble ahead with their case: they have just asked the IBF to 'explain' to them or give them more time in order to 'understand' what they're being accused of. Could there be something 'lost' in translation? Maybe the words board and tray do not exist in Hebrew or they are the same or something. Can you imagine what would happen if they get away with it?

View Postwyman, on 2012-May-04, 09:48, said:

Also, he rates to not have a heart void when he leads the 3.


View Postrbforster, on 2012-May-20, 21:04, said:

Besides playing for fun, most people also like to play bridge to win


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#664 User is offline   Zelandakh 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 08:55

They are being accused of breaching 73B. Not sure how it is possible for that to be lost in translation.
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#665 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 12:25

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-12, 06:52, said:

Sure, but u . Its not as if we have accusations flying everywhere, there are a small number of accused pairs, all of whom seem to be obviously guilty. As far as I can see none of these cases are close to marginal. I understand that people should have the right to defend themselves, but sometimes people are just obviously guilty. I mean, if FS get off without a lifetime ban, then that just means that the WBF are failing even more egregiously than we thought!


How many is this "small number" that you refer to? (When you've answered that, I'll tell you whether you're mistaken when you say that false allegations are "a problem that we don't have", or on another planet when you say that they're all "obviously guilty".)


But in any case, the WBF aren't "using a problem that we don't have to justify inaction". I can't see anything in their statement that says they intend not to act on cheating.


... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#666 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 12:46

View Postgnasher, on 2015-October-12, 12:25, said:

But in any case, the WBF aren't "using a problem that we don't have to justify inaction". I can't see anything in their statement that says they intend not to act on cheating.

I think the general gist is that the WBF has failed to act with respect to these particular pairs, over a period of several years, perhaps even decades in some cases; and that this is de facto evidence of intent not to act.






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#667 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 14:02

View Postgnasher, on 2015-October-12, 12:25, said:

How many is this "small number" that you refer to? (When you've answered that, I'll tell you whether you're mistaken when you say that false allegations are "a problem that we don't have", or on another planet when you say that they're all "obviously guilty".)


I assume you are referring to Balicki-Zmudzinski as the pair that's not obviously guilty. I have two things to reply to that:
  • The "lynch mob" followed proper protocal in that case - informing the WBF. They are under public suspicion because the WBF credentials committee disinvited them.
  • I agree with you that this caused some public allegations that aren't quite obviously true. But I expect there'll be clear evidence soon, presented by the "lynch mob", not the WBF.


Also, the worst case B-Z scenario isn't that a blameless innocent pair is getting convicted in public court. The worst case is that an innocent pair gets publicly convicted that somehow subconsciously makes hand movements that look like signalling numbers on about every second hand they defend. If you can't control your hand movements enough not to signal numbers on every second hand you defend after the screen is opened, then maybe bridge isn't for you.
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#668 User is offline   gnasher 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 14:10

View Postcherdano, on 2015-October-12, 14:02, said:

I assume you are referring to Balicki-Zmudzinski as the pair that's not obviously guilty.

No, I was thinking of another pair, about whom accusations were flying around without, so far as I know, any evidence at all.

If Phil thinks Balicki-Zmudzinski are obviously guilty, I can can understand that even if I don't agree with him.
... that would still not be conclusive proof, before someone wants to explain that to me as well as if I was a 5 year-old. - gwnn
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#669 User is offline   nullve 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 15:24

View Postcherdano, on 2015-October-12, 14:02, said:

If you can't control your hand movements enough not to signal numbers

Can you? How do you know?
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#670 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 15:28

View Postnullve, on 2015-October-12, 15:24, said:

Can you? How do you know?

https://www.youtube....EjYngI&t=49m45s
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#671 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 17:40

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-12, 06:52, said:

Sure, but using a problem that we don't have to justify inaction about a problem which we do have is pretty silly. Its not as if we have accusations flying everywhere, there are a small number of accused pairs, all of whom seem to be obviously guilty. As far as I can see none of these cases are close to marginal. I understand that people should have the right to defend themselves, but sometimes people are just obviously guilty. I mean, if FS get off without a lifetime ban, then that just means that the WBF are failing even more egregiously than we thought!




For all we know, we have precisely this problem of mistaken accusations. I mean BZ. I have been following this on BW fairly closely, including looking at a few....not most...of the videos. I see profound methodological issues with the analyses I have read so far. Even such basic details of looking at what is described and seeing something else. There is a well-recognized problem, in psychology, of people seeing what they want or expect to see rather than what is. It might be me that is having that issue, but I am not the only one who has seen that sort of problem.

We had a full and persuasive analysis of FN and FS within a matter of a few weeks. BZ, if they cheated, appear to have used more complex methods, so it is understandable that the investigation is ongoing, but for now I am very much unconvinced that they cheat. I am not partisan in this dispute...my memories of playing relatively high-level bridge against some Polish pairs left me distinctly unimpressed with their ethics....somehow they knew almost no English when asked to explain their bidding, but had pretty good English when they wanted us to explain....I am not, btw, speaking of any of the current team. I mention it only to support my statement that I am no fan of Polish bridge.

As far as I can see so far, there is at least a reasonable possibility that the lynch mob has wrongly set its sights on BZ. That isn't to criticize the making of a complaint....one need not have 100% proof to ask for an investigation. I am not being at all critical of Brogeland et al. I am being critical of those who have pronounced BZ guilty and then attack all who say: wait a second, where's the proof?

Those who ask that question are all too commonly portrayed as deniers of guilt. Which leads to this horrible climate in which cobbling together videos, selected and analyzed to demonstrate a hypothesis, rather than to attempt to disprove it, is accepted by the mob as convincing, irrefutable evidence. That is what I think the WBF is concerned with, and rightly so.
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#672 User is offline   Hanoi5 

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Posted 2015-October-12, 19:15

View Postmikeh, on 2015-October-12, 17:40, said:

For all we know, we have precisely this problem of mistaken accusations. I mean BZ. I have been following this on BW fairly closely, including looking at a few....not most...of the videos. I see profound methodological issues with the analyses I have read so far. Even such basic details of looking at what is described and seeing something else. There is a well-recognized problem, in psychology, of people seeing what they want or expect to see rather than what is. It might be me that is having that issue, but I am not the only one who has seen that sort of problem.

We had a full and persuasive analysis of FN and FS within a matter of a few weeks. BZ, if they cheated, appear to have used more complex methods, so it is understandable that the investigation is ongoing, but for now I am very much unconvinced that they cheat. I am not partisan in this dispute...my memories of playing relatively high-level bridge against some Polish pairs left me distinctly unimpressed with their ethics....somehow they knew almost no English when asked to explain their bidding, but had pretty good English when they wanted us to explain....I am not, btw, speaking of any of the current team. I mention it only to support my statement that I am no fan of Polish bridge.

As far as I can see so far, there is at least a reasonable possibility that the lynch mob has wrongly set its sights on BZ. That isn't to criticize the making of a complaint....one need not have 100% proof to ask for an investigation. I am not being at all critical of Brogeland et al. I am being critical of those who have pronounced BZ guilty and then attack all who say: wait a second, where's the proof?

Those who ask that question are all too commonly portrayed as deniers of guilt. Which leads to this horrible climate in which cobbling together videos, selected and analyzed to demonstrate a hypothesis, rather than to attempt to disprove it, is accepted by the mob as convincing, irrefutable evidence. That is what I think the WBF is concerned with, and rightly so.


I agree the WBF has to maintain certain degree of seriousness when it comes to accusing pairs, etc. However, don't you think the WBF statement was badly made? Don't you think there should be an acknowledgement of the damage caused by the cheating and the good in Boye's crusade?

View Postwyman, on 2012-May-04, 09:48, said:

Also, he rates to not have a heart void when he leads the 3.


View Postrbforster, on 2012-May-20, 21:04, said:

Besides playing for fun, most people also like to play bridge to win


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#673 User is offline   phil_20686 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 05:12

View Postmikeh, on 2015-October-12, 17:40, said:

For all we know, we have precisely this problem of mistaken accusations. I mean BZ. I have been following this on BW fairly closely, including looking at a few....not most...of the videos. I see profound methodological issues with the analyses I have read so far. Even such basic details of looking at what is described and seeing something else. There is a well-recognized problem, in psychology, of people seeing what they want or expect to see rather than what is. It might be me that is having that issue, but I am not the only one who has seen that sort of problem.

We had a full and persuasive analysis of FN and FS within a matter of a few weeks. BZ, if they cheated, appear to have used more complex methods, so it is understandable that the investigation is ongoing, but for now I am very much unconvinced that they cheat. I am not partisan in this dispute...my memories of playing relatively high-level bridge against some Polish pairs left me distinctly unimpressed with their ethics....somehow they knew almost no English when asked to explain their bidding, but had pretty good English when they wanted us to explain....I am not, btw, speaking of any of the current team. I mention it only to support my statement that I am no fan of Polish bridge.

As far as I can see so far, there is at least a reasonable possibility that the lynch mob has wrongly set its sights on BZ. That isn't to criticize the making of a complaint....one need not have 100% proof to ask for an investigation. I am not being at all critical of Brogeland et al. I am being critical of those who have pronounced BZ guilty and then attack all who say: wait a second, where's the proof?

Those who ask that question are all too commonly portrayed as deniers of guilt. Which leads to this horrible climate in which cobbling together videos, selected and analyzed to demonstrate a hypothesis, rather than to attempt to disprove it, is accepted by the mob as convincing, irrefutable evidence. That is what I think the WBF is concerned with, and rightly so.


So BZ is the pair which have been accused according to proper WBF protocol. As far as I know, none of the evidence that BB presented to the WBF has been made public, but when they were dis-invited people went looking for evidence. BB has only released evidence about 3 pairs FN, FS, and PS, and they all look obviously guilty. If you don't like what has happened with BZ, surely that means that you are being critical of the WBF, not the "lynch mob"? I took the "lynch mob" to refer to BB et al, but perhaps they were referring specifically to the people looking for evidence about BZ, in which case their statement was terribly worded.

I assume the other thing is the Polish pair, which I will not try to spell, who have an auction under review after England complained about a possible UI, but that isn't really the kind of cheating anyone was talking about. There is quite often UI type things in bridge, and the director has to make a ruling, and I do not think its anything remotely similar to what others are accused of. If what DG says in his BW interview is correct then it looks like some kind of mistake might have been made by a TD but that isn't really anything new or particularly noteworthy in sport!



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#674 User is offline   the hog 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 05:31

View PostHanoi5, on 2015-October-12, 19:15, said:

I agree the WBF has to maintain certain degree of seriousness when it comes to accusing pairs, etc. However, don't you think the WBF statement was badly made? Don't you think there should be an acknowledgement of the damage caused by the cheating and the good in Boye's crusade?


No. The WBF statement was totally correct and in order. The way this whole fiasco has been handled is appalling. Even if players are found guiliy by the WBF others involved in the lynch mob should also be penalised.
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#675 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 06:26

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-13, 05:12, said:

So BZ is the pair which have been accused according to proper WBF protocol. As far as I know, none of the evidence that BB presented to the WBF has been made public, but when they were dis-invited people went looking for evidence. BB has only released evidence about 3 pairs FN, FS, and PS, and they all look obviously guilty. If you don't like what has happened with BZ, surely that means that you are being critical of the WBF, not the "lynch mob"?


This is a very good point.

Also it is worth noting that in most people's minds there is a strong presumption of guilt when a pair are suspected by the most oblivious-to-cheating organisation in the world. I do not know how the WBF are justifying keeping their evidence secret instead of allowing it to be evaluated by experts.
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#676 User is offline   Vampyr 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 06:35

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-13, 05:12, said:

If what DG says in his BW interview is correct then it looks like some kind of mistake might have been made by a TD but that isn't really anything new or particularly noteworthy in sport!


It's somewhat new in bridge though, because previously TDs' decisions were subject to appeal. Now I have seen, and received, AC decisions that are real howlers, as I'm sure everyone has. But sometimes there are situations where something is very obvious to an expert player, and if this is one of those cases (which it seems to be), then England have been very hard done by.

I can understand how it was decided that sitting on an appeals committee is too much to ask a player who is playing a gruelling event, but perhaps exceptions should be made in late matches where there is a pool of people who have been knocked out? Or... those who ask for an appeal have to sit on the next committee?
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#677 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 09:38

View Postphil_20686, on 2015-October-13, 05:12, said:

So BZ is the pair which have been accused according to proper WBF protocol. As far as I know, none of the evidence that BB presented to the WBF has been made public, but when they were dis-invited people went looking for evidence. BB has only released evidence about 3 pairs FN, FS, and PS, and they all look obviously guilty. If you don't like what has happened with BZ, surely that means that you are being critical of the WBF, not the "lynch mob"? I took the "lynch mob" to refer to BB et al, but perhaps they were referring specifically to the people looking for evidence about BZ, in which case their statement was terribly worded.



Have you read what has been posted on BW about BZ? Brogeland has been silent since shortly after the credentials of BZ were withdrawn and Kit has been a voice of reason, but the lynch mob has been out in full force. Many have posted that Poland has no right to the BB title, as if BZ had been firmly convicted of cheating, yet there has been zero persuasive evidence so far (other than persuasive to those already convinced). I see that Ben has suggested, on this site, that a correlation has been tested with respect to showing a 5 card suit, but I also note that Helene has observed that the same gesture is used when declaring, which is either a very subtle way of covering for cheating or a sign that maybe the signal isn't a signal.

In any event, this alleged signal hypothesis is merely the latest in numerous ideas that have been proposed, all identified by looking at video with the certain pre-knowledge that cheating is going on, and thus every time there appears to be some correlation between a gesture and a holding, it is pronounced as evidence of cheating and then seized upon by some posters as proof of cheating.

The only possible criticism of the WBF in terms of BZ (note, I am not talking about the problems with FN or FS, about whom rumours and in the case of FS actual complaints had long been known and seemingly ignored or at least given insufficient attention) is that the process has not been transparent.

However, the WBF has procedures that, like it or not, need to be followed. It is virtually unheard-of for disciplinary investigations and initial prosecutorial decisions to be made publicly. This is for a number of sound policy reasons. The WBF can really do little more than tell us that it is looking into the situation. I hope and assume that it is.

If and when it turns out that the WBF has re-buried its head in the sand, then I will be critical of the WBF in re BZ. For now, I prefer to think/hope that the WBF has received and is reacting to a very loud wakeup call.

In the meantime, while people are welcome to spend countless hours of their time reviewing BZ video and testing hypotheses, I really wish that those who claim that BZ ARE cheaters would step back and realize the damage they are doing to the game, and BZ, should it turn out that BZ are not cheaters.

Btw, my views on this will not be altered should it turn out that there is convincing evidence of cheating. The problem I have is the attitude that it is sufficient, to ruin someone's life, to make the accusation. After all, it is entirely possible to say: we suspect cheating, we may be wrong, but here is how we are looking into it. What we get, on BW anyway, is a lot of 'BZ are obviously cheating and anyone who suggests that the evidence is lacking is a partisan advocate unwilling to recognize the truth'.

Ask: what evidence, and one is met with a deluge of contradictory, internally inconsistent anecdotes. That is wrong. That is what I criticize. That is what the WBF, which is organizationally ill-prepared to be open to the public on such matters, seems to be trying to cool down.
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#678 User is offline   gordontd 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 09:50

View PostVampyr, on 2015-October-13, 06:35, said:

I can understand how it was decided that sitting on an appeals committee is too much to ask a player who is playing a gruelling event, but perhaps exceptions should be made in late matches where there is a pool of people who have been knocked out? Or... those who ask for an appeal have to sit on the next committee?

I don't think WBF & EBL appeals were heard by players in the events. I thought they had committees appointed for each event. Can anyone confirm this?
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#679 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 10:02

View Postmikeh, on 2015-October-13, 09:38, said:

I see that Ben has suggested, on this site, that a correlation has been tested with respect to showing a 5 card suit, but I also note that Helene has observed that the same gesture is used when declaring, which is either a very subtle way of covering for cheating or a sign that maybe the signal isn't a signal.

Lol. You should write less and read more.

And yes, BZ ARE cheaters.
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#680 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-October-13, 10:13

View Postmikeh, on 2015-October-13, 09:38, said:

The problem I have is the attitude that it is sufficient, to ruin someone's life, to make the accusation. After all, it is entirely possible to say: we suspect cheating, we may be wrong, but here is how we are looking into it. What we get, on BW anyway, is a lot of 'BZ are obviously cheating and anyone who suggests that the evidence is lacking is a partisan advocate unwilling to recognize the truth'.

Ask: what evidence, and one is met with a deluge of contradictory, internally inconsistent anecdotes. That is wrong. That is what I criticize. That is what the WBF, which is organizationally ill-prepared to be open to the public on such matters, seems to be trying to cool down.

But isn't it the WBF who effectively made the matter of BZ public, by rescinding their invitation?
Life is long and beautiful, if bad things happen, good things will follow.
-gwnn
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