In the realm of competitive bridge, the emergence of EDGAR (Everyone Deserves a Game Above Reproach) marks a significant evolution, especially poignant in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This advanced software toolkit has not only embodied the legacy of Edgar Kaplan, a luminary in bridge ethics, but has also addressed a critical challenge that surged during the pandemic: the rise of cheating in online bridge.
The Pandemic and the Surge of Cheating in Online Bridge
The history of bridge has seen many shifts, but none as dramatic as during the COVID-19 lockdown. With in-person games halted, the bridge community turned to online platforms. This shift, while necessary, brought forth an unintended consequence: a spike in unethical practices. Cheating in online bridge became a significant concern, as the digital format made it easier for unscrupulous players to exploit the game, undermining the trust and integrity vital to bridge.
EDGAR: A Response to a Growing Challenge
The EDGAR Association, a non-profit organization, was formed in response to this growing concern. Its creation was driven by the need for a sophisticated system that could keep pace with the technological advancements of online bridge and provide a fair, efficient means of detecting and addressing cheating.
The Brain Trust Behind EDGAR
The team behind EDGAR includes individuals like Brian Platnick, President of The EDGAR Association, who brings a unique blend of engineering, legal, and bridge expertise. Franco Baseggio, a key architect of EDGAR’s software suite, contributes his mathematical and statistical skills. They are joined by Jack Oest and AJ Stephani, each bringing their legal and bridge-related acumen to the table, ensuring EDGAR’s approach is legally sound, technologically advanced, and deeply rooted in an understanding of bridge.
Innovative Technology: The Heart of EDGAR
EDGAR is a “software toolkit” meaning it is not just a single application but a suite of tools and functionalities bundled together to provide a robust solution for maintaining the integrity of the game of bridge. EDGAR comprises various components or modules, each tailored to address different aspects of game analysis and cheating detection in bridge.
Central to EDGAR’s toolkit is the “Kit-O-Matic” (KOM) detector, a system inspired by Kit Woolsey’s methodologies. KOM signifies a major advance over traditional double-dummy analysis, offering a more nuanced and bias-resistant approach to evaluating players’ decisions.
How EDGAR and KOM Function
EDGAR, with KOM at its core, analyzes extensive data from online bridge play. It identifies patterns of incriminating (‘hits’) and absolving (‘misses’) actions, aggregating them to form a reliable assessment of a player’s conduct. This process is essential in a landscape where cheating had become increasingly sophisticated during the pandemic.
The Impact of EDGAR on Online Bridge
It is hoped that EDGAR will transform the landscape of online bridge. By providing a fair, efficient, and comprehensive tool for detecting unethical play, it will restored trust in the game. EDGAR’s independent operation, free from any bridge organization affiliations, further ensures its unbiased and fair judgment.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Affiliation with Bridge Organizations: EDGAR operates independently of any bridge organizations, though it offers services to them.
- Reporting Cheating: EDGAR does not directly handle cheating reports. These should be directed through the channels provided by the game’s sponsor.
- Learning More About EDGAR: Information on EDGAR’s workings is available, with more details to be provided in the future. Interested individuals can refer to related pages for initial insights. See links at the bottom of this article.
- How does EDGAR differ from traditional cheating detection methods? EDGAR uses advanced algorithms to analyze patterns of play, rather than isolated instances, making its approach more comprehensive and less susceptible to bias.
- Can EDGAR be used for in-person bridge games? While primarily designed for online bridge, the principles and technology behind EDGAR can be adapted for in-person games, particularly those where detailed play records are available.
The Future of EDGAR
Looking ahead, EDGAR’s role in the bridge community is set to expand and evolve. A key milestone in this journey is the collaboration between The EDGAR Association and the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). This partnership is a testament to the shared commitment to upholding the integrity of bridge, especially in the digital realm.
The ACBL has expressed its enthusiasm about joining forces with The EDGAR Association, embracing the principle that “Everyone Deserves a Game Above Reproach.” Utilizing the tools provided by EDGAR, the ACBL is actively addressing the challenges of cheating in ACBL-sanctioned online games. This development is a significant stride towards protecting the integrity of bridge, a concern that has grown in importance in the era of online gaming.
Recognizing the dedication and patience of all who have contributed to safeguarding the game, the ACBL assures its members that an effective solution for detecting and deterring online cheating is on the horizon. With administrative procedures expected to be in place for the implementation of EDGAR by January 1, 2024, the bridge community can look forward to a new era of transparency and fairness in online bridge play. The ACBL’s commitment to this initiative underscores the crucial role of EDGAR in the future of bridge, promising a game that is not only challenging and enjoyable but also just and honorable.
Further details about this collaboration and its implications for the bridge community will be shared in forthcoming announcements. This partnership between EDGAR and the ACBL marks a pivotal moment in the history of bridge, heralding a future where technology and tradition converge to ensure the game’s integrity and enduring appeal.
EDGAR addresses the challenges posed by the digitalization of the game and ensures that bridge remains a testament to skill, strategy, and above all, integrity. The COVID-19 pandemic may have brought unprecedented challenges to the bridge community, but EDGAR has provided a robust solution, securing the game’s integrity for future generations.
The EDGAR team has been posting a series of articles on Bridge Winners: