There's kind of a mini-scandal brewing in the bridge community right now. If you want to read about it in detail, start with this post on Bridgewinners
and follow its links to go further down the rabbit hole, as I find myself doing right now. But here's the short version:
Some events at the fall nationals are named as memorial events for a recently-deceased player who confessed to cheating in 1979. He was suspended for a while, but then came back to the game an really reformed himself, gave a lot to the league, etc, etc...there is some debate as to whether this reform is enough to deserve the honor he's being given.
So there's that debate, but the article and its subsequent links go on to discuss the issue of the 1979 affair -- the confessed and convicted cheaters won a national event that year. Suspicious observers cracked their code during the event in question and brought it to the attention of league officials, and a shocking little was done about it. In 2008, some bridge blogger I don't know did some pretty in-depth investigation of the whole thing to find out why the fuck the league never made it right -- I'm unclear on whether the cheaters' title was vacated, but the 2nd place team was never named winners, even though they asked for a committee to investigate a hand that the cheaters played against them in the event. (The members of the 2nd place team were not the same people who cracked the cheating code and tattled on them.) I'm still going through the very long writeup about the league's actions (and lack thereof) regarding this incident, and it's glaringly obvious that the actions taken and not taken with regard to the cheating really screwed a lot of people over, most notably this 2nd place team that honestly earned a national title.
The author of the blog writes this as a call to action -- he is trying to call attention to the facts and get the league to act, or get the members to pressure the league to do more. At this point, action would be largely symbolic -- many of those involved in the 1979 scandal are dead. But I agree with the author that the league should do something. It is not too late to address what should have been addressed in 1979, and it's ridiculous how little was done. That is clear to me. BUT.
This blog is REALLY poorly written. It's very difficult to follow the story the author tells, and I can only do so because the names are already familiar to me and I'm reading every sentence three times before moving on. The guy who wrote it worked hard, and because the subject matter is
fascinating to me, I'm sticking with it and piecing it all together. But I really wonder if more would be done if only the story were more comprehensible. I don't know; I guess I can't say that if I'd written it, for example, it would have made some waves in the community (as it is, I'm reading it for the first time six years after it was written), but I can say that if it were clearer, more people would get past the introductory paragraph.
I do hope the league takes some action here. Bridge is a game that demands ethical conduct, and depends on strict enforcement thereof. I've been cheated in events of little consequence, and it boils my blood every time it happens; I can't imagine how it would hurt to be cheated out of a national title.
It's kind of ironic that I've taken as long as I have to roundaboutedly (totally a word) get to my point, which is that writing well is important!
It's hard to take a person seriously when their presentation is disjointed. How much more might have been accomplished on behalf of the would-be 1979 Men's BAM National Champions if only someone had published the facts clearly and concisely? It's not too late, and maybe one day I'll take up that cause, but right now I just want to bitch about terrible writing.
The bridge community is made up of geniuses, but I can't stomach reading the message boards and blogs because they're all just word vomit. It makes me angry that players way more accomplished than I can ever dream to be can't be bothered to use a fucking apostrophe correctly. Bridge comrades, we can do better.