USBF: Curtis Cheek Suspended for online cheating

The  United States Bridge Federation  (USBF) has posted the followings:

The USBF and Curtis Cheek have reached a Negotiated Resolution based upon Cheek’s confession that he cheated during the USBF INV-1. Accordingly, the USBF has imposed the following discipline:

1. Curtis Cheek is not eligible to compete in any United States Bridge Championship or to represent the USBF in any World Bridge Championship until January 1, 2024.

2. Curtis Cheek is not eligible to compete in the Open United States Bridge Championship until January 1, 2025.

3. Curtis Cheek is suspended by the USBF from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2022, and is not eligible to compete in any other online or in-person USBF events during this time (e.g., JLALL or Invitational events).

4. Curtis Cheek is on probation with the USBF from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2025.

5. Curtis Cheek is not eligible to serve as a non-playing captain of any USBF Bridge team until January 1, 2025.



An apology to fellow competitors

In June, 2020 I played in an online tournament hosted by the USBF, now called INV-1 I cheated and would like to apologize to my fellow competitors. Daniel Korbel and I had a history of playing on the same teams with common partners, just not with each other. This tournament was open notes and was originally called a Practice Trials so Daniel and I did not take our preparation as seriously as we should have. The outcrop of this was that rather than dig through my notes when I couldn’t remember our agreements or if we even had one I occasionally yelled at my vugraph junkie wife, Phyllis, to make sure we were on the same page. While I was playing she would typically be watching my match on her phone, cycling through every other match on her laptop, and be watching three recorded TV shows at the same time.

In one instance I remember Daniel overcalling LHO’s 1NT with 2S. Although I was sure we’d discussed it I couldn’t remember if we had agreed to change from 2D showing a good 2M overcall and 2M showing a bad one to 2D showing any major 1-suiter and 2M showing a Major-minor 2-suiter (which we soon did). Instead of searching my notes I yelled at Phyllis 2 rooms away, “is he 1-suited or 2-suited?”. When she answered 1-suited I knew he was playing the former. I had a 3-card limit raise, so passed, and Daniel went plus. Had I been unsure of his hand type I probably would have raised and gone minus. I never went through our notes to see if they reflected that agreement, but the point is I didn’t have to. Nor did I take the risk that Daniel had gotten it wrong.

Unfortunately, these indiscretions paved the way to looking at some deals in real time (self-kibitzing), though in no way did I cheat on every hand. I took advantage of unauthorized information in the event, and I am really sorry. The bridge world has been my second family for over 40 years, and I deeply apologize for my actions, which do not represent who I am.

Given my actions, I also voluntarily relinquish the 2019 Lazard Sportsmanship Award that I was honored with.

I apologize to my competitors for having taken advantage of illegal knowledge of the hands. Again, I realize this was cheating and I’m sorry it took this long to come clean.


Souce: USBF

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