The Saga Continues: Regarding the WBF Decision


bridgewinnerschRegarding the WBF Decision by Darren Wolpert and Daniel Korbel en Bridgewinners

As most are aware the WBF has not only allowed Poland to stay in the event but is planning to also allow them to add another pair. As competitors in this event we feel uncomfortable with this turn of events. The reason we feel uncomfortable is because of the climate of secrecy surrounding the events. There has been no explanation given by the WBF as to why B-Z were uninvited to the Bermuda Bowl. Is it because of cheating in the Europeans? In other events? Misbehaviour? A failed drug test? Failure to pay WBF dues? How is it possible to expect the players on the other 21 teams to be expected to accept Poland’s entry into the event given all the buzzing?

To quote Boye, «the evidences are from the European championships 2014 in Opatija.» And, «if the WBF and Poland did the right thing I would be fast asleep on my holiday instead of working 15 hours a day.» The implication is the Polish pair removed has been removed because of evidence of cheating (if not, then the WBF has done this pair a major disservice). How can that Team be allowed to play when they may not have qualified without the cheating pair?

Unfortunately, the WBF has been very tight-lipped about why exactly Z-B were uninvited. This secrecy does not do bridge any good. If the transgression was minor, or not cheating related, or not related to the European champinship, the public deserve to know. If it is a major allegation, why allow Poland to continue? Either way, secrecy does no good and can only do harm.

Adding a pair in the middle of the event is unfair to the field. Imagine you would need to play against Poland in the first two days, with a theoretically weaker or more fatigued lineup, or imagine having to play them later in the event when they Are stronger or more rested. The deadline for systems to be submitted was months ago, in order that other teams could prepare adequately. Now we are asked to face a new system at the last moment. It seems unfair to the rest of the field.

We are not arguing that the decision by the WBF to allow Poland to continue in the event and add a pair is definitely wrong. We feel very strongly, however, that the failure to disclose the facts that led to this decision is inexcusable. If the decision is sensible, put the other competitors at ease: you have nothing to hide. If the decision is unfair or politically motivated, the truth will come out soon enough and bridge will have another debacle on its hands. Our worst fears are that the Polish team is tainted by B-Z (although we do not know for sure) and that If they do well In the event, I fear that instead of cleaning up the game, we may end up with yet another in a long string of tainted bridge results.

Darren Wolpert Daniel Korbel

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