Before I go into depth about what happened in the quarter final match between Schwartz and Cayne I would like you to consider the concept of “chance” or “likelihood” of something happening. This is often what’s thrown back at you when you try to connect a dubious action with cheating; it’s just one board – you would need a whole lot more boards to prove that they are cheating.
Well, you pick up this hand:
K Q J 10 9
x x x
x x x
The opponents bid 1 NT on your right and 3 NT on your left. What would you lead?
Not that difficult, was it? If you line up a million (1.000.000) bridge players – or even a billion (1.000.000.000) of them – we would all lead the king of spades unless we pulled the wrong card or a card fell out of our hand. If you were number 867.354 in that line of bridge players and you led the king of diamonds, I would say you lost your mind (and some of us in that line would probably be raving lunatics). But if you at the same time hit your partner with AQJxx of diamonds I would say that you are a cheater. This is just not happening. Unless you have some extra information which you are not entitled to.
All cheating is bad, but when you do it at the top level and with sophisticated methods it’s destroying the game. The top level is our window to the world and it’s where we can show how great a game bridge is to new generations. When a pair which is almost as good as the other pairs gets a huge edge by cheating, they can hardly be beat. The other world class pairs will recognize this because you can’t beat bridge logic.
When the governing bodies, which are supposed to work in the best interest of the game, don’t do anything to solve the problem, what would happen? Why would you or I bother to go to these tournaments where we can’t win? And who wants to put their everything into a game where you know you can only fight for second place unless you cheat yourself. And when other players/teams cheat, why shouldn’t you be allowed a short cut or two?