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Cheating allegations A new approach

#21 User is offline   lamford 

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Posted 2020-October-11, 04:51

View Postnige1, on 2020-September-29, 10:00, said:

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So, in my view, you could not possibly "consider that there was damage" until you saw both hands, and calling the TD before dummy hits is unnecessarily provocative and officious.

Gratuitously offensive. Lamford puts quotes round "consider that there was damage" as if it was something I wrote. Admittedly, I did think there might be damage. "Stop 5H" is a clear infraction, however. I called attention to it. So I was legally obliged to call the director.

You were not legally obliged to call attention to it. From the current ALT regulations, which are for the highest level of play:

"This tournament will of course be played in the most respectful way possible. Fun and good bridge are paramount. Netbridge relies on reluctance and restraint to call the Director."

So, I still maintain there was absolutely no reason to call the TD when someone bid "stop 5H" (where it was not a stop bid) until you felt that they gained an advantage. I repeat "provocative and officious" while agreeing that you were within your rights. So is SB always.
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#22 User is offline   naskippy 

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Posted 2020-October-19, 14:22

We have had several articles in the Bridge Bulletin addressing this topic recently and specifically in regard to BBO. You know, I know, Everyone knows there will be cheaters. They are sometimes hard to identify but BBO and the ACBL have been cracking down on such cases of which they can absolutely identify and have imposed appropriate disciplinary actions. But my guess is, for each they find there are at least a 200 or more they missed.

It gets very suspect in example of a husband and wife pair that do terrible at the club and rarely scratch suddenly online in Virtual Club games are some of the top performers...and playing at home in the same household on the same Internet connection. I have always said that pairs should be limited to play together from differing IPS Addresses which would cut out a lot of cheating possibilities. Personally I have a friend that comes to visit me about once a year. I set up a computer about 5 feet away from mine so he can use it while visiting. Sometimes we play on BBO together...but we do not cheat. That is hard for some players to do in the temptation. We also have situations of which you and I both now that a partnership will get on their phones or Skype or Face Book Messenger and cheat the entire time and tell what they have in their hands, what to lead, what they have for support of a contract, etc.. I am not so dumb to think this does not happen with frequency.

The question is how to stop it? This again being addressed in multiple issues of the Bridge Bulletin without any kind of possible solution to the issue other than monitoring by BBO and the ACBL. Monitoring is not the answer. I highly suggest one thing that will help, but very little. No two people playing together from the same IPS Address, period. Second, an advisory board that when there is obvious or highly suspect cheating taking place that members of BBO and the ACBL can write to for investigation without having fear of negative recourse.

The Cheating did not start at BBO, it started at the Club Games, Tournaments, World Championships etc. long before BBO was though of. This is not new...but with a new environment we have to think outside the box with new forms and ideas of catching these ashwholes that cheat and ruin the game for the rest of us.
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#23 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-October-19, 22:46

View Postlamford, on 2020-October-11, 04:51, said:

You were not legally obliged to call attention to it. From the current ALT regulations, which are for the highest level of play: "This tournament will of course be played in the most respectful way possible. Fun and good bridge are paramount. Netbridge relies on reluctance and restraint to call the Director." So, I still maintain there was absolutely no reason to call the TD when someone bid "stop 5H" (where it was not a stop bid) until you felt that they gained an advantage. I repeat "provocative and officious" while agreeing that you were within your rights. So is SB always.

It was a f2f competition long ago. When there was an infraction, we would call the director, rather than invent our own rulings. We left it to the director to determine damage (if any) and impose PPs (if any). If Lamford interprets the new ALT regulations correctly, then they seem inappropriate to a f2f context.
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#24 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 13:53

I don't imagine there are very many households with multiple IP addresses, save on their own internal networks.
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#25 User is offline   hrothgar 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 17:36

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-October-20, 13:53, said:

I don't imagine there are very many households with multiple IP addresses, save on their own internal networks.


Three years back, I might have agreed with you,but IPv6 uptake is increasing dramatically.
Its pervasive in Germany, for example.

As such, you don't need to play the same games with NATs and home gateways that IPv4 often requires.
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#26 User is online   sfi 

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Posted 2020-October-20, 17:54

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-October-20, 13:53, said:

I don't imagine there are very many households with multiple IP addresses, save on their own internal networks.

Running the internet off your phone is one way to do it. VPN is another. Both of these are quite common options.
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#27 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-October-21, 13:06

It certainly can be done. Doesn't mean it's common.
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#28 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 02:07

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-October-21, 13:06, said:

It certainly can be done. Doesn't mean it's common.

Cheating is not common.
That doesn't mean it doesn't occur, and "opportunity creates villains".
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#29 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 02:43

View Postpran, on 2020-October-22, 02:07, said:

Cheating is not common.
That doesn't mean it doesn't occur, and "opportunity creates villains".


What is your evidence that "cheating is not common"?

People seem capable of 'stealing' anything. The smaller the stakes, the meaner they get and the more pathetic the rationalisations become.
I was tired.
I was bored
I don't know what came over me
I was sad
My child wanted me to do it
My mother is dying of cancer
I had an argument with my dog
etc etc etc

Of course, people cheat. The internet just makes it possible in new ways.

If you want a good laugh google James Randi
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#30 User is offline   pran 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 08:24

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-October-22, 02:43, said:

What is your evidence that "cheating is not common"?

My own experience from the various events in which I have participated since I first learned about Bridge around 1947.

But I must add that I have little experience from events like national and international top level championships, however I believe that I share this lack of experience with a majority of bridge players around the world?
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#31 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 10:34

Frequency x Damage = Risk.

Cheating isn't common. We likely aren't even at 1% of players who deliberately, actively intend to violate the rules of the game for personal benefit. I would have put it lower than that, but unfortunately at least at the highest levels, I've been proven wrong.

The damage from cheating is very very high - much higher than I would have expected it would be. In the paid world, of course, it fractures the entire platform paid bridge is built on. In you-and-me land, it erodes confidence in everybody, and people stop playing if they think they're being cheated. It also induces paranoia, where every bad bridge action that works stops being "but it's not fair that novices get a good score against *me* by bidding like fish" and starts becoming "they must have a wire, nobody bids like that without one". Which, when not quashed, and even when quashed, still leaks out in the after-game conversations, and the implication that there's more cheating going on than actually is also counts as damage.

The other damage to me is that it drowns out the garbage that happens everywhere, where people are getting stolen blind by tempo nonsense, the interested question, "you're right, partner, I forgot we don't play that, I need to try to survive now", "oh you forgot Drury, I'm going to have to rebid the suit so you get it", and all the rest of the stuff that people literally don't realize they're doing and even if they did realize it, don't realize how illegal it is (after all, they just "do what they would always have done").

Therefore, even with cheating not being common, the risk cheating in bridge brings to the future of bridge is still high, and we should deal with it. But part of "dealing with it" is downplaying the hype, while still acknowledge that there's some "there" there.
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#32 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 14:22

View Postpran, on 2020-October-22, 08:24, said:

My own experience from the various events in which I have participated since I first learned about Bridge around 1947.

But I must add that I have little experience from events like national and international top level championships, however I believe that I share this lack of experience with a majority of bridge players around the world?


Then you are doing something called "arguing from anecdote" and your comment should be ignored.
It makes no difference how long you have been playing, where, or with whom.

Your experience or abilities give you no insight at all into the exact number of or proportion of people that may be cheating at any one time.

That would be like saying "shoplifting doesn't occur", or "people don't cross the road when they shouldn't".
How about, this one. "even though I know experts have told me it will save lives if people wear masks I'm not going to". (to paraphrase the philosophy of a segment of the Republican party in the USA)

Ethics is a tricky business, isn't it!
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#33 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 17:32

View Postpilowsky, on 2020-October-22, 14:22, said:

(to paraphrase the philosophy of a segment of the Republican party in the USA)

Ethics is a tricky business, isn't it!

Yeah. So maybe you shouldn't lay that "philosophy" on "a segment of the Republican Party".
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#34 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 17:38

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-22, 10:34, said:

Frequency x Damage = Risk.
Cheating isn't common. We likely aren't even at 1% of players who deliberately, actively intend to violate the rules of the game for personal benefit. I would have put it lower than that, but unfortunately at least at the highest levels, I've been proven wrong. ...

At International level, convicted cheats have won many recent championships. If we believe world-class Americans, the Italian Blue Team cheated their way to a long run of World Championships. Presumably there are many less skilful cheats.

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-22, 10:34, said:

... The other damage to me is that it drowns out the garbage that happens everywhere, where people are getting stolen blind by tempo nonsense, the interested question, "you're right, partner, I forgot we don't play that, I need to try to survive now", "oh you forgot Drury, I'm going to have to rebid the suit so you get it", and all the rest of the stuff that people literally don't realize they're doing and even if they did realize it, don't realize how illegal it is (after all, they just "do what they would always have done").

Mycroft points out that many ordinary players use UI. Only a mind-reader can tell whether such law-breaking is cheating, stupidity or ignorance, At the lowest levels, perhaps the problem isn't deliberate cheating --- just widespread indiscriminate, careless, and wanton law-breaking. Perhaps players are adept at rationalising their peccadillos. Perhaps they are unaware of what they're doing. Perhaps they don't understand the rules. Perhaps adverse rulings are so rare, penalties so paltry, and redress so inadequate, that players can't imagine the law-makers want their rules to be taken seriously.

This unhappy state of affairs will persist until law-makers simplify/clarify/unify the rules, abandoning "equity", in favour of deterrence; and directors start to enforce the rules, proactively.

View Postmycroft, on 2020-October-22, 10:34, said:

Therefore, even with cheating not being common, the risk cheating in bridge brings to the future of bridge is still high, and we should deal with it. But part of "dealing with it" is downplaying the hype, while still acknowledge that there's some "there" there.
Top level cheating seems common. In an attempt to restore the probity of Bridge, the WBF and NBOs belatedly need to assume their responsibilities i.e.
  • Investigate and prosecute alleged cheats, in a fair and transparent way;
  • Name and shame convicted cheats and confiscate their ill-gotten gains;
  • Reallocate their titles and placings to those whom they robbed.

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#35 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 18:38

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-October-22, 17:32, said:

Yeah. So maybe you shouldn't lay that "philosophy" on "a segment of the Republican Party".


Would you like to expand? There may be others that are not members of that particular 'segment of the Republican Party of the USA' that also subscribe to that idea of not wearing masks at appropriate times, my point is non-exclusive.
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#36 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 20:00

View Postblackshoe, on 2020-October-22, 17:32, said:

Yeah. So maybe you shouldn't lay that "philosophy" on "a segment of the Republican Party".

92% of Democrats or lean Democrat says they usually wear a mask in stores or businesses. 76% of Republicans or lean Republican say the same. In many states and local areas, masks are required so if you want entry, you have to wear a mask. That increases the number of people who say they wear masks by an unknown percentage. What can be said is that there is large difference in the percentage of mask wearers by party.

More Americans say they are regularly wearing masks in stores and other businesses
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#37 User is online   pilowsky 

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Posted 2020-October-22, 20:51

In other words, AT LEAST 92/76 *100 = 20% more Democrats than Republicans are in favour of masks from that single study.
Interestingly, it does not say anything about the proportion (segment) of the Republican Party that is or isn't in favour (sic, excuse my non-American spelling).
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#38 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 06:31

This Guardian article about cheating at Chess has been quoted several times on BridgeWinners. Sophisticated surveillance with computer analysis by Prof Kenneth Regan, shows that thousands of chess-players suddenly surpassed Carlson (or, more likely, started cheating).

Similar to the recent BBO scandal, where Nicolas Hammond's clever statistical analysis revealed dozens of suspect on-line cheats in recent top-level competition.

Some of the latter suspects confessed to the ACBL and EBU. But also included in Hammond's group are world-champions and senior tournament directors. Apparently (in contrast to Chess's FIDE), Bridge's WBF and NBOs are reluctant to grasp this hot potato. A pity, because top-level alleged cheats have hired lawyers. Some can enjoy the opportunity to hone their techniques, with relative impunity.

Encouraged by official apathy, effective cheating is likely to become the key Bridge-skill. :(
Worse -- perhaps it always has been :(
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#39 User is offline   mycroft 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 09:30

"dozens". "A few".

Sure, those are only the ones that are reported and investigated, but there are what, 10 000 players on BBO right now? And maybe 30 000 daily players?

The paranoia being generated is much worse than the actual cheating.

If you listen to "some Americans", *every* non-American team that has won a world championship was cheating. And a couple of the US teams that beat "some Americans", too. There is an alternative explanation for this, even if there was (or still is!) a lot of cheating going on.

And yes. I'm saying that players don't know their legal requirements (and therefore their opponents' legal requirements), and as a result, there's an awful lot of non-wilful, non-deliberate irregularities. Much of that is *education*, not enforcement. Players don't know, and we don't care to educate. "Some Americans" are proud of not knowing the Laws, and some of them are proud of "doing what they think is right" over following the Law. Not to denigrate those people, whose judgement and bridge skill is high enough that they probably are right, but there aren't many people I would put in that class, and the leaders doing it - and publicising that they do it - encourages the people who listen to or read them to do the same thing. With their less-refined judgement and lower skill, they are less likely to be "right". And the newer players learn from these people...

And the paranoia about the C-word is overshadowing any effort going into fixing this - and in fact an awful lot of "random use of UI" is being reported as "they must have a wire" or "they're deliberately passing and using information with their tempo". Which was my previous point; yes, we do have to work on actual cheating, but we really have to work on teaching people what they and their opponents shouldn't be doing. If for no other reason than "we can't call it cheating if you didn't know. Guess what? Now you know."...
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#40 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2020-October-23, 10:28

This is not the place to discuss politics.
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