The Anti-Cheating Commission, the ACBL’s latest weapon in its arsenal against collusive cheating, is powered up and ready for action. Serving as commissioners are Boye Brogeland, Norway; John Carruthers, Canada; Eric Laurant, Netherlands; Brad Moss, U.S.A. and Howard Weinstein, U.S.A.

“I cannot emphasize enough the importance of this committee,” says ACBL chief executive Robert Hartman. “I am grateful that players and administrators of such high caliber have volunteered to accept this challenge.”

Brogeland boldly spearheaded campaigns last fall that, among other things, made bridge organizations seriously reevaluate and retool their methodologies for identifying and prosecuting cheats. Moss’s bridge analysis was instrumental in supporting Brogeland’s investigations. Laurant chairs the European Bridge League’s (EBL) investigation committee. Carruthers, a member of the Canadian Bridge Federation Hall of Fame, is a renowned bridge writer and editor of the International Bridge Press Association Bulletin. Weinstein chairs ACBL’s Bridge Integrity Task Force.

The concept of an expert-player-level, anti-cheating commission was created by the task force, formed in October by Hartman in the wake of the high-level cheating scandals that rocked the bridge community.

Weinstein says, “The ACC is one prong in the Bridge Integrity Task Force’s effort to better deter, detect and prosecute collusive cheating. This must be done while maintaining confidentiality.”

The ACC is charged with evaluating player memos and other evidence in conjunction with the National Recorder’s Office. The commission may investigate any situation where collusive cheating may be suspected. The commission will develop investigatory protocols and statistical models that will look at patterns that may suggest illegal methods of partnership communication.

Hartman says that the ACC may engage specialists in any field to assist the investigation. “For example, if a particular case demands the assistance of a technical expert or a professional statistician, the commission’s investigatory team will have access to those services.”

The ACC will be coordinating with the EBL in these efforts, says Hartman, pointing out that the multinational coordination is good not just for the ACBL, but for the global bridge community as well.

“We will be able to more effectively share information,” he says. “Our goal is that by working together, we will rid bridge of those who malign the whole game with their unscrupulous actions.”