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Elegant Solution as relates to legal moves

Posted By: David Levy
Date: Tuesday, 25 March 2014, at 3:47 p.m.

In Response To: Elegant Solution, thanks. (phil simborg)

Phil wrote something in the chouette context that I think bears on the (never-ending, and thus I bring it up with some reluctance) legal-moves-in-tournaments discussion:

And when you do identify someone who you feel does not live up to the gentleman's code, you can make your own decisions about whether to play with this person or how to conduct yourself when he is in the game.

In a tournament, I don't have the choice whether to play a particular opponent. When I first played backgammon in the late 1970s and early 1980s, ethics were not what they are now. 90+% of illegal moves favored the transgressor and I felt the need to pounce on the rare 10-% and condone the illegal move if only to work my way back to even for the illegal moves I might have missed (especially against some very skilled checker shufflers).

Today's players are much more ethical and I feel less a need to punish. A premise that underlies all the remedies for violations in contract bridge is that the remedies are not designed to punish deliberate cheating, but to accommodate accidental infractions. I find that attractive, but a necessary corollary is that deliberate cheating is punished by expulsion from the game. In a chouette, an offending player can be kicked out or the ethical player can decide not to play in the chouette.

But what about in tournaments? Even today, I've played players whom I am certain are deliberately making illegal moves. Do I report them to the director? Is there any chance of sanction? Handling such situations is, in my opinion, an essential part of playing legal moves and until tournament directors can fulfill their obligation, I will remain hesitant about legal moves.

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