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Stick Challenge

Posted By: Bill Phipps
Date: Thursday, 30 August 2012, at 7:47 p.m.

In Response To: Stick Challenge (Timothy Chow)

If Stick plays 2.05 I will consider that the best possible result. I do not have to pay the 10k, and the matter is settled once and for all. Clearly he is vindicated.

Some people have called this a witchhunt. As if I am out to get Stick, regardless of the truth of the matter. This simply isnít the case. All I want is to get to the bottom of this.

I understand that Stick has rights, and accusing someone of cheating should not be done lightly. However, I feel that many people have lost sight of the fact that he is not the only one who has rights. - I have a right to not get cheated when I play. - David Wells has a right to not get cheated when he plays. - Mochy, Falafel, MCG and the rest of the top players have a right to not have their accomplishmennts diluted by fraudulent results. - People paying for lessons have a right not to be misled as to the strength of their instructor. - The backgammon community has a right to know where the bar is set on how well a human can play this game. They also have the right to know that they can trust the upper echelon of the game to police itself. That cheaters will not be tolerated.

The question is, how do we respect the rights of Stick, while not neglecting these other rights. If there is a 50% probability that Stick has cheated, should we all remain quiet? At what probability am I allowed to speak up? It is almost impossible to collect the evidence needed to be 100% confident in situations like this. I believe we have reached a point where I can make a reasonable case that there may have been cheating. And I think that what I am proposing is a sensible way of trying to resolve the matter. Certainly if Stick plays a 2.1, all insinuations of cheating will end. However, if Stick plays a 4.3, there are very good reasons to call his results into question. If he performs at a 3.0 or so, there will still be a grey area concerning the 2.0 results he posted. Some may take that as proof that he cheated. Others may feel it is still unresolved. But at least we will have better information on which to base an opinion.

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