There is cheating in the game of bridge. Oh, there has always been some type of cheating when players in contract bridge sat around the card table. The tapping foot, the position of pad and pencil, and other physical techniques to alert partners to “a good suit.” Just as in the halls of academe, when folks’ skills are tested online, cheating does go up. With online bridge you can’t observe everything that is going on in online competition– players could be on the phone, on the sofa together, or tapping into spectator visual lines. And apparently they have. Cheating in the American Contract Bridge League is so rampant that the disciplinary folks cannot keep up with the accusations.
The money in contract bridge is only in the six figures for a few souls at the top of the league. So, the cheating is not for results, money, or ranking. One top player said, “I did it because it was so, so easy, and so tempting.” With school, certification exams, and even on-the-job training, bring back live and in-person testing. Get those bridge players back in a room together, masked up, so that you can watch them like a hawk. Oh, and check to make sure there are no cheating tools underneath their masks before the games begin.