Serious International Cheating Allegations


Serious International Cheating Allegations

What’s the issue?

The laws of bridge make clear: communication between partners during bidding and play shall be only via calls and plays. The gravest possible offence is for a partnership to exchange information through any other prearranged methods of communication.

Allegations have been made that some very successful international players have been breaching this rule to tell their partners what cards they hold or what action they want partner to take.

What happens now?

We expect hearings will be held in the jurisdictions in which the alleged breaches occurred. It is important to give the accused players a fair hearing. Any findings of guilt could involve serious consequences, given the nature of the allegations. Meanwhile, some countries have withdrawn teams from the World Bridge Teams championships in Chennai starting in late September.

At this stage, it is not appropriate for the ABF to comment on the specifics of the allegations. We will be monitoring the situation as events unfold.

What’s the situation in Australia?

I firmly believe that the vast majority of top Australian players are very ethical, but it would only need one or two rotten apples from here or overseas to do serious harm, so we would be foolish to assume it couldn’t happen here.

The ABF will do all we can to ensure that proper procedures are in place to detect cheating, deal with allegations, and protect the vast majority of players who respect and follow the rules. It is heartening that Australians appear to have had a big part in exposing the allegations that have come to light overseas, and I hope we can draw on that passion and expertise to help protect the integrity of the game here.

This is not just an issue at the national and international level. State and Territory bridge associations and individual clubs will also need to consider what measures they should take.

The ABF Management Committee will be reviewing our procedures for national events. We will also see whether we help other parts of the Australian bridge community, for example by providing guidance on procedures etc for clubs to adopt if they wish.

We will say more later as things develop.


Bruce Neill
ABF President
21 September, 2015


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