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Online Bridge Events (4): World Bridge Tour

Due to the pandemic restrictions, all live bridge events have been canceled. As result, several organisations were created to run online events. In this article we introduce you the World Bridge Tour (WBT)

WBT History

“Being a partnership game and based on concealed information, bridge is a fragile game. Unless it is played by integrity, the game won’t be fair. History has shown that quite a few players, unfortunately, have been willing to break and/or bend the rules in order to gain an edge.

When bridge moved from physical tables to virtual tables in March 2020 (due to the Covid-19 pandemic), it soon became clear that cheating had a sad impact on the online game. With the bridge organizations putting themselves on the sidelines, it was up to the tournament organizers and players to solve the rampant cheating problem.

Boye Brogeland, who was instrumental in exposing the 2015 Bridge cheating scandal, became involved with combatting online bridge cheating in June 2020. He became part of the Credentials Advisory Team (CAT), which recommended who could play in ALT and OCBL events. As in 2015, Brogeland had great help from Thomas Charlsen in analysing bridge hands of suspected players.

Charlsen had the idea of making an umbrella organization which could licence players for online bridge tournaments. Organizers like ALT and OCBL seemed very interested in receiving similar help as they had asked CAT for by the summer of 2020. This lead to World Bridge Holding AS (WBH) being established in October 2020, with the launch of the World Bridge Tour in January 2021.” (World Bridge Tour)

WBT webpage: https://www.worldbridgetour.org/

 

WBT Fair Play Committee: Fiona Brown (England), David Burn (England), Per-Ola Cullin (Sweden), Allan Graves (USA), Michael Rosenberg (USA), Chris Willenken (USA), Meike Wortel (The Netherlands).

WBT Investigation Committee: Sabine Auken (Germany), Eldad Ginossar (USA), David Gold (England), Nicolas Hammond (USA), Tom Hanlon (Ireland), Michael Kamil (USA), Jerry Li (China).

Anti-cheating policies

“Our Detection Staff will constantly monitor all play at the World Bridge Tour. If suspicions are raised against a player or pair, WBT Investigation Committee will conduct a thorough investigation, gathering statistics and reports on the said player or pair. Our investigation will include data analysis and manual judgment. To remain effective, other aspects of our detection methods are confidential. The WBT Investigation Committee will provide a complete and anonymized report on the said player or pair to the WBT Fair Play Committee. They will make a ruling based on the report provided by the WBT Investigation Committee. At this stage, the said player or pair will be informed in writing about the ruling. The said player or pair are entitled to request an appeal meeting with WBH via video-call (e.g. Teams or Zoom) within 14 days after notification for suspensions lasting more than one month. The identity of a person that has filed a report on any player to WBT will not be revealed.” (WBT)

Updated 27/12/2020. ALT left WBT. Boye Brogeland stated: “We had hoped to include also the popular ALT tournaments in the World Bridge Tour, but our agreement fell through in the last minute due to different principles regarding who would be eligible to play. The tournament calendar on our website will soon be updated to reflect this.” (BridgeWinners December 26, 2020).

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