A BRIDGE WORLD GONE MAD........ ( Article by Carp )
Can you imagine turning up for a tournament only to be told by the organisers " Sorry, we're not having any winners this year , you're only here for the ride ". Such an action represents in my mind a flagrant breach of contract , which is both immoral and unjust. A competition must never be allowed to become a non-event by virtue of having no winners.
So in the event of stripping a trophy from a pair of cheats , and then having the audacity to declare that there are no substitute winners , the same degree of injustice , insanity and incompetence is there to be seen.
In any other sport , when title winning cheats have been stripped of their honours , the runners up are declared as rightful winners. On that basis alone , competition organisers are under a contractual and moral duty to all those paying participants, to apply a just and equitable way to find alternative winners.
However , because bridge is not a race where all the participants actually get the opportunity to compete against each other , there are good grounds for not automatically promoting the runners up as trophy winners , when the cheats have been exposed. Those who played against the cheats may have suffered adversely : those who missed out against the cheats were obviously unaffected by their antics.
Therefore , any pairs in the top six are all legitimately in with a chance of being declared the new winners. Let's imagine , for instance , the second pair were blessed at not having come up against the cheats : their final score will obviously still stand. Yet unfortunately the 3rd , 4th and 6th placed pairs did encounter the cheats , perhaps falling victim to their shameless antics.
On the premise that none of matches in which the cheats participated can the scores be allowed to count , revised scoring becomes mandatory. Consequently, these three other pairs are all given a substitute score based upon their overall average from their other results. A similar situation to when pairs arrive at a "sit out " table.
So when the 3rd placed pair re-score the " miss out " table , their 30% result against the cheats is now substituted with their 60% average. This may ( if margins were tight ) leapfrog them over the runners up. Similarly , the 6th place pair who obtained a 10% result against the cheats will also benefit substantially by being awarded their average of 58%, which might again leapfrog them above all the others in the top placings. A small problem arises say if the 4th placed pair actually beat the cheats gaining an 80% result , then it might seem unfair to substitute that score with their inferior average of say 59%. Nevertheless , if all boards against the cheats are to be scrubbed , then the universal application of the rule lends itself to providing a level playing field , justice and equity.
Although this simple approach to determining new winners might not be perfect , then so be it.
But I firmly believe it is a far far superior option : a proper , decent , honest and genuine attempt to overcome the sheer madness , abuse and shame brought about by those who feel that doing nothing and having no winners is ok.
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