Important announcement about blindfolded solving

Ron (2008-02-26 22:11:59 +0000)
Fellow members of our community, WCA board has come to the conclusion that there is proof beyond any doubt that the 2007 world record holder for blindfolded solving has cheated in the blindfolded events of several WCA competitions. The conclusion of WCA board has come after extensive investigations and a number of conversations with the competitor. The competitor has not confessed. [u:34jd4k3d]Proof[/u:34jd4k3d] Proof shows that the competitor cheated by peeking underneath the blindfold. The proof consists of the analysis of videos of several blindfolded solves in WCA competitions. Many videos gave a strong indication of cheating, because of the applied complex method combined with a flawless accuracy (77 correct solves out of 77 solves). The method had the effect that many edge and corner pieces changed positions and/or orientation while solving the corners of the cube. One video of the multiple blindfolded event in World Championship 2007 brought proof beyond any doubt. The video shows that the competitor made an error (incorrect undo of set-up moves) during the execution of a step, and that instead of correcting the error, the competitor started solving the cube again. This is only possible if the competitor would have seen that he had made a mistake. Otherwise he would either have undone his incorrect moves, or he would not have been able to solve the cube anymore. [u:34jd4k3d]Verdict[/u:34jd4k3d] WCA has come to the following verdict. [list:34jd4k3d]- WCA has banned the competitor for three years for all WCA competitions, starting today. The competitor may appeal for reinstatement after two years, if he fully cooperates with WCA. - WCA has changed all blindfolded solves of the competitor to the result DNF (did not finish). - WCA has requested the competitor to return his prize money in blindfolded events to the competition organisers. The organisers can then redistribute the prize money.[/list:u:34jd4k3d] [u:34jd4k3d]Other measurements[/u:34jd4k3d] WCA has come to the following measurement to prevent future cheating in the blindfolded event: [list:34jd4k3d]A temporary regulation must be applied for all competitions under WCA Regulations 2007. For WCA Regulations 2008 (expected March 2008) the additional regulation will be fully integrated, including some other preventive measurements. The regulation consists of placing a sheet of paper (or a similar object) between the face of a competitor and the cube during the solving phase. WCA is looking for a widely available multi-purpose (solving while sitting and while standing) device that would not require the judge to constantly hold the paper.[/list:u:34jd4k3d] WCA wants to honour: [list:34jd4k3d]- the new world record holders: Danyang Chen, Chris Hardwick (twice) and Dennis Strehlau. - the new world champions of World Championship 2007: Rafal Guzewicz (twice) and Chris Hardwick. - the new silver medal winners of World Championship 2007: Shotaro Makisumi, Dror Vomberg, Bernett Orlando - the new bronze medal winners of World Championship 2007: Tyson Mao, Yumu Tabuchi, Sinpei Araki - all others who were damaged by the cheating of the competitor.[/list:u:34jd4k3d] [u:34jd4k3d]Communication[/u:34jd4k3d] WCA will not use the competitor’s name in communication because the competitor is still under 18 years of age. For the same reason WCA distributed a detailed report on this matter only to a small number of involved parties. We kindly request our community to support the privacy of the competitor. WCA encourages members of our community who have suspicions of cheating by other members to contact the WCA board, instead of making public announcements and/or feeding unfriendly public discussions. The verdict is a very difficult decision by the WCA, but an organised sport is meaningless if its rules are not enforced. WCA would like to extend gratitude to everyone who assisted in this investigation. All members of our community are welcome to respond to this announcement on the WCA forum. All messages with personal references or hostile expressions will be moderated. [u:34jd4k3d]Mission of WCA[/u:34jd4k3d] The mission of WCA is: [i:34jd4k3d]more competitions in more countries with more people and more fun, under fair conditions.[/i:34jd4k3d] Kind regards, WCA Board [list:34jd4k3d]Gilles Roux (France) Masayuki Akimoto (Japan) Ron van Bruchem (Netherlands) Tyson Mao (USA)[/list:u:34jd4k3d]
jazzthief81 (2008-02-26 22:52:52 +0000)
I can't help but feeling very aggrieved by this whole matter. What a terrible shame...
pjk (2008-02-26 23:19:51 +0000)
I agree with Lars, a terrible shame.
pablobaluba (2008-02-27 10:11:03 +0000)
although i'm a newbie to cubing...a few months only and my opinion might not be so important as you said...this is really a shame. the same for any sport. and i lost all the respect i had for this guy. congratulations for the real winners
perfredlund (2008-02-27 12:44:18 +0000)
Hi :-) I see no reason to lose all respect for a competitor who has clearly shown exceptional skills also in other events than BLD. The cheating that has been "proven" has taken place only in BLD, not in any other events in which the competitor has participated. It is debatable whether the ban should be for ALL events and not solely BLD events, as the competitor was never caught cheating red-handed. But as i understand it the verdict is final and official! - Per
Guus Razoux Schultz (2008-02-27 12:45:25 +0000)
Dear WCA members, A very heavy verdict in my opinion. Would it be possible he enters non-blindfolding events earlier than march 2010? Is there any depedency between retruning the price money and re-entering competitions in 2010? Did any competitor on any price-money-event ever signed a statement for resepcting the WCA-rules? Would this be a could idea for the future? Regards Guus
salvadorean_cuber13 (2008-02-28 03:41:56 +0000)
What a shame, but this incident should have been investigaed a while back. Oh well atleast the person has been caught and we can all hope that nothing like this happens again.
Ron (2008-02-28 19:33:01 +0000)
Hi Guus, Thanks for your feedback. [quote:2sgfnfby]A very heavy verdict in my opinion.[/quote:2sgfnfby] WCA Board thinks that this verdict is suitable for the damage caused, for the severity and frequency of the cheating, and for the lack of cooperation. I think 'heavy' is hard to define universally, for example because of cultural differences and because some people are personally involved and some aren't. I think that this kind of cheating is not something that suddenly happens. It is premeditated and took practice. Our community is a community of friends. It should stay like that. Competitions should be like big reunions with a lot of fun and friendship. [quote:2sgfnfby]Would it be possible he enters non-blindfolding events earlier than march 2010?[/quote:2sgfnfby] "The competitor may appeal for reinstatement after two years, if he fully cooperates with WCA." That would be February 26, 2010. [quote:2sgfnfby]Is there any depedency between retruning the price money and re-entering competitions in 2010?[/quote:2sgfnfby] Yes, that is part of 'cooperation'. [quote:2sgfnfby]Did any competitor on any price-money-event ever signed a statement for resepcting the WCA-rules?[/quote:2sgfnfby] Art. 2a1 of WCA regulations. But mainly I think it is part of the unwritten rules of sportsmanship and friendship. [quote:2sgfnfby]I think we should also blame the WCA making such cheating possible.[/quote:2sgfnfby] WCA Board was already aware that cheating was possible. New blindfolds and other devices were investigated. Unfortunately we did not find a universal solution soon after. The use of paper in between face and cube was already applied. Now we know that doing this for some short periods is not enough. Personally I believed and still believe in the goodness of people, especially people in our community. [quote:2sgfnfby]I would have done it myself![/quote:2sgfnfby] I hope you are not serious about that. Regards, Ron
anders (2008-03-01 11:24:18 +0000)
I find your announcement about the ”blindfold incident” well-balanced and that your verdict was the only possible. I fully support your decision. As I stated in the Svekub forum, I will put this unfortunate incident behind me as quick as possible and instead be fascinated by great cubing achevements, by for instance Edouard Chambon, and continue to promote, to organise and to take part in cubing competitions for the fun of it. Keep on Cubing! Anders
OlivérNagy (2008-03-02 00:02:00 +0000)
Hi all! [b:3b6d0bxr]I think The whole so called "investigation" and the verdict was totally unfair![/b:3b6d0bxr] I said this not because the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] is my friend (Because he is not my friend, just I know him well)! I not telling this because I support cheating, or something like this! Please think about the following things: - We all know that the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] is a very talented boy! And I think maybe he is capable to realize that he made a mistake while doing the blindsolve, and he know that there is just a few peaces are gone, and he decide instead of doing back the whole algorithms, he can solve it a faster way! - Is it a sin that someone has a 100% accuracy? Come on! - Maybe he is a cheater! OK lets say, he is! But lets look where the hole thing started: Milán Had no proof that [the competitor] is a cheater, but he accused him with cheating! After this the whole cubers community started to look for some small evidence, just to proof this! I think this is very unfair! - If somebody is cheating in any sport event, he only disqualified from that event (or the event where there is proof for cheating) and not from all of the events he take part in his life! - If somebody is accused with cheating in any sport event, there must be an independent commission of inquiry! In here it wasn't very independent! I think the the WCA board is not independent! Why? Because if the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] cannot compete any more, the people who was in the WCA board and made the so called "conclusion" will have a better chance to win in any competitions, and getting closer to the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor's[/i:3b6d0bxr] WR-s! - I thought we (the WCA, and the speedcubers) do not accept video or photo proofs after the competitions (after the main judge made his decision), now it looks like we did! Ok it is not a problem! But then from now on the WCA must made Videos from every solve in every event, and analyze the whole video after the competition! It is only fair in this case! Because in the case of the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] the WCA (and the speedcubers who try to help the WCA board) only find a few videos where the competitor [b:3b6d0bxr]maybe[/b:3b6d0bxr] ceated! (Not in all of them!) What about the events where is no video from the solution? And the most important question: Why did not the WCA analyze all of the blindsolve videos and not just the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor's[/i:3b6d0bxr]? I think everyone knows that if someone is try to peeking underneath the blindfold, he is able to do it without any problem! From the beginning it was the meter of thrust! - Why did not the WCA board made the decision so quick? Why don't they let the the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] tho proof he's innocence? Ron said, that the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] did not went to Benelux Open, where he could proof he's innocence! Why did the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] do that? It is very simple: Around one week before the competition Ron said that the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] could not compete in any event till his innocence is not proofed! And at the night the day before the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor's[/i:3b6d0bxr] plane leave Ron called him, that he can go and compete! If I know it well it was a few hours before the plane leave! - The WCA said, that the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] was not cooperative! I heard the whole story! Ron called the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] and said: confess that you cheated! The [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] said that he did not cheat, so from that moment he was not cooperative! Congratulation! This is how it works! - Banning someone from competitions for 3 yeas, is too much! The WCA thinks that they have proof for the cheating! Let's say that the competitor cheated! But how many times? We don't know! The WCA had only proof for only a few solutions! How many? 3 or 4, not more! And till the competitor cannot proof he's innocence, we only can say he probably cheated, and we cannot be 100% sure! If we will know 100% sure that the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr] cheated, he can be banned! but I think the 3 years is too much! I think 1 year will be more than enough! - And one more about banning the competitor: Why he is banned from all events? Why not only from blindsolve events? It is totally unfair! I hope everyone will think about the things I written! And I hope there will be some cubers who will support me and the [i:3b6d0bxr]banned competitor[/i:3b6d0bxr]! I wish you all a POP free lucky case in competition! Olivér Nagy Hungary! PS.: Not all Hungarians are cheater!!! I said this, because we had some replys/ feedbacks where the the writer said that we all Hungarians are cheaters!
Ron (2008-03-02 09:37:33 +0000)
Dear Olivér, Thanks for your feedback. [quote:3j0sg0ch]We all know that the banned competitor is a very talented boy![/quote:3j0sg0ch] Yes, he definitely is. I do not think that should make a difference. [quote:3j0sg0ch]he know that there is just a few peaces are gone, and he decide instead of doing back the whole algorithms, he can solve it a faster way![/quote:3j0sg0ch] That is still cheating. And I think it was also premeditated cheating, not something that just happened. [quote:3j0sg0ch]Maybe he is a cheater![/quote:3j0sg0ch]Proof shows that he is. [quote:3j0sg0ch]After this the whole cubers community started to look for some small evidence[/quote:3j0sg0ch] That is not correct. I do believe though that the unpleasant discussion on the speedsolving forum sped up the process. Many of us did not like that discussion. [quote:3j0sg0ch]If somebody is cheating in any sport event, he only disqualified from that event (or the event where there is proof for cheating) and not from all of the events he take part in his life![/quote:3j0sg0ch] No. For example in tennis you cannot play doubles if you cheated in singles. Same for athletics, et cetera. [quote:3j0sg0ch]If somebody is accused with cheating in any sport event, there must be an independent commission of inquiry! In here it wasn't very independent! I think the the WCA board is not independent! Why? Because if the banned competitor cannot compete any more, the people who was in the WCA board and made the so called "conclusion" will have a better chance to win in any competitions, and getting closer to the banned competitor's WR-s![/quote:3j0sg0ch] That may be a good suggestion for future cases, thanks. Still I think we had independent investigations. You would insult me if you would say I would want to ban the competitor because he is better than me. [quote:3j0sg0ch]I thought we (the WCA, and the speedcubers) do not accept video or photo proofs after the competitions[/quote:3j0sg0ch] It does not say WCA board. [quote:3j0sg0ch]Why don't they let the the banned competitor tho proof he's innocence?[/quote:3j0sg0ch] Behind the screens the competitor had plenty of opportunities. [quote:3j0sg0ch]It is very simple: Around one week before the competition Ron said that the banned competitor could not compete in any event till his innocence is not proofed! And at the night the day before the banned competitor's plane leave Ron called him, that he can go and compete! I heard the whole story! Ron called the banned competitor and said: confess that you cheated! The banned competitor said that he did not cheat, so from that moment he was not cooperative![/quote:3j0sg0ch] There were talks to the competitor to make the competitor realise that it was a serious matter and to ask for cooperation. You make it sound like I did not want to help the competitor. There were several personal talks with the competitor to offer him help in case he cheated and in case he did not cheat. [quote:3j0sg0ch]And I hope there will be some cubers who will support me and the banned competitor![/quote:3j0sg0ch] I support you and the banned competitor. But there is a proof and there is a verdict. Regards, Ron
JohannesLaire (2008-03-02 14:11:55 +0000)
I think it's very good that some evidence was posted at speedsolving.com. If nobody outside WCA (and a few other people) had seen it, then of course a lot of people would be suspicious about all this and would doubt whether the [i:3ielkhwt]banned competitor[/i:3ielkhwt] really cheated. Now that everybody is pretending to protect the [i:3ielkhwt]banned competitor[/i:3ielkhwt]'s identity and the thread at speedsolving.com is hidden, it doesn't suprise me that many people keep believing in the [i:3ielkhwt]banned competitor[/i:3ielkhwt]'s BLD abilities. Why wouldn't they? [quote:3ielkhwt]Ron said, that the [i:3ielkhwt]banned competitor[/i:3ielkhwt] did not went to Benelux Open, where he could proof he's innocence! Why did the [i:3ielkhwt]banned competitor[/i:3ielkhwt] do that? It is very simple: Around one week before the competition Ron said that the banned competitor could not compete in any event till his innocence is not proofed! And at the night the day before the banned competitor's plane leave Ron called him, that he can go and compete! If I know it well it was a few hours before the plane leave![/quote:3ielkhwt] Is this true? [quote="OlivérNagy":3ielkhwt]And I think maybe he is capable to realize that he made a mistake while doing the blindsolve, and he know that there is just a few peaces are gone, and he decide instead of doing back the whole algorithms, he can solve it a faster way![/quote:3ielkhwt] No, he would've needed to go back just 4 moves. The way he solved it was not faster.
Ron (2008-03-02 16:08:27 +0000)
[quote:3mis13jk]Is this true?[/quote:3mis13jk] I don't know whether this is the reason why the competitor did not come to Benelux Open 2008. There were three phases of the investigation. - suspicion - strong evidence - 100% proof Somewhere in the 'strong evidence' phase the competitor confirmed that OLL system (and a 2x2 system) for corner orientations (as discovered on the videos) was his normal blindfolded system. Of course we asked him to prove this. But we discovered proving this online is impossible. If someone can cheat when you are there and he wears a blindfold, then he can easily cheat when you are not there. That is why we thought that coming to Benelux Open would be a good idea, so that he could prove his innocence. At that time we did not have the 100% proof. For the record: competitor had already registered, fully booked the trip including a plane ticket. At the beginning of the conversation that Olivér refers to, the competitor said that he was already coming to Benelux Open, so then he could prove his abilities and speed in the blindfolded event. When confronted that before the competition first he should prove that he could consistently solve using the OLL system, he suddenly refused to come. The point is that there was no need to prove that the competitor could solve fast in a competition. I have no doubt the competitor can solve pretty fast blindfolded. We needed a proof that he was fast and consistent [u:3mis13jk]with the OLL system[/u:3mis13jk]. Olivér picked two things from a long procedure. There is much more to tell, but I think it doesn't help anyone, so I will stop revealing more details about the investigations. Regards, Ron
StefanPochmann (2008-03-02 16:30:31 +0000)
National pride is so annoying. There are now two people publicly doubting the proof, both from Hungary, and one of them I believe being the one who encircled the Hungarian victories on the result sheets at German Open 2007 and pointed out to people how superior Hungary was (when in fact of course it wasn't Hungary but mostly one person).
perfredlund (2008-03-02 18:58:59 +0000)
Hi :-) WCA, congratulations on destroying a great cubing career. The competitor will probably never come back to cubing internationally. Why not remove all his outside BLD results achieved also? I am not Hungarian, but i doubt the so-called evidence is 100% water proof. I am, like Oliver, also critical that the whole investigation seems to have been led by WCA itself ... I think more than BLD rules needs to be changed in the WCA regulations to justify such radical actions in the future. How does such actions lead to more fun for competitors and competitions ?? Ron, would YOU really have come to Benelux Open under such circumstances - the pressure upon you would simply be too big. If the competitor had done well there, would the verdict really have been any different. I strongly doubt so ... - Per
StefanPochmann (2008-03-02 20:07:32 +0000)
[quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]WCA, congratulations on destroying a great cubing career.[/quote:2dga6rxx] Please blame the offender, not the victims. [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]The competitor will probably never come back to cubing internationally.[/quote:2dga6rxx] How do you know? And why do you say that? [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]Why not remove all his outside BLD results achieved also?[/quote:2dga6rxx] Why should they? [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]i doubt the so-called evidence is 100% water proof.[/quote:2dga6rxx] You "doubt"? Like in, you haven't seen it? You just like to fuel conspiracy theories? Your doubt is an insult to the WCA. Request to see the evidence, or keep quiet. Don't attack something you don't know. [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]I am, like Oliver, also critical that the whole investigation seems to have been led by WCA itself[/quote:2dga6rxx] Was that claimed? And does it matter? [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]I think more than BLD rules needs to be changed in the WCA regulations to justify such radical actions in the future.[/quote:2dga6rxx] I fail to see the connection. [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]How does such actions lead to more fun for competitors and competitions ??[/quote:2dga6rxx] What are they supposed to do? Tolerating cheating? Now that would remove the fun for me. Also, where was that claimed? And why do you omit the "fair conditions" goal of Ron's statement? [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]Ron, would YOU really have come to Benelux Open under such circumstances - the pressure upon you would simply be too big.[/quote:2dga6rxx] How can you claim you know what Ron would do? Plus, how is Ron supposed to know what he'd do if he were a cheater? Useless question. [quote="perfredlund":2dga6rxx]If the competitor had done well there, would the verdict really have been any different. [b:2dga6rxx]I strongly doubt so[/b:2dga6rxx][/quote:2dga6rxx] Yippie, another insult to other people's integrity. You're a moron. [b:2dga6rxx]In summary:[/b:2dga6rxx] Elvis is dead. Get used to it.
StefanPochmann (2008-03-02 20:48:46 +0000)
Clarification: When I said "Request to see the evidence" I didn't mean they'd actually show you. There's no reason to give it to every uninvolved bystander who happens to want to see it. On the other hand, there *is* reason to *not* make it public, to somewhat protect the competitor, as mentioned in Ron's initial message. I believe if the competitor himself asked them to make it public, they'd do so. Or he could simply do it himself. But apparently he doesn't want to. And to not give a wrong impression: It's not like everything has been kept secret. The most important piece of evidence, pretty much standing as a proof on its own, was published for everybody to see.
perfredlund (2008-03-02 21:32:36 +0000)
Hi :-) My previous post was meant as a counter weight to many of the other comments who totally agree with the outcome of the verdict. Therefore it was a bit more harsh than really necessary. But i do believe that at least some more evidence should be made public here. One shouldn't have to frequent other forums for the evidence. This is the official WCA forum. And people should really stop to totally bash the competitor. Most of his big achievements have been outside BLD cubing. The verdict is not a conspiracy, but too harsh for my liking nonetheless. The WCA needs clear rules for dealing with such matters. The rules as they stand deal almost entirely with competition organisation. I hope the WCA and cubing will continue to grow despite this very unfortunate incidence. All the best! - Per
Schwarz (2008-03-03 22:51:50 +0000)
Dear Friends, I only want to share with you my very strong opinion about the verdict. Please read it carefully. *********** This is my first post to the forum, so a few words about me (Nandor Fekete): In 1981, as a 12 year old boy got 4 golden medals for Rubik's Cube competitions in Yugoslavia, and then made a pause untill the end of 2005. Then I noticed the new revolution and started to learn new algs. I have two children and one wife. :wink: ************ 1. If someody could cheat, then theoretically everybody could cheat. So, the most important thing is to eliminate the possibility of cheating. You have proof for only one solving, but he is punished as you have proof for all solvings! Nobody can proof that noone else cheated!!! 2. Erasing all the BLD results with proof for only one solving is in my opinion much more than enough verdict. The additional 3 years is very brutal. If he is not so good as we thought, we would have the chance (and (almost) all of as would like to see) how he's trying to achive the good results again after their erasing! His near-future results would proof everything. But with exclusing him this is impossibile. If somebody would like to be a cynic he could say that the verdict-makers said to each other: „OK, we have to erase all his BLD results, but what will happen if already on the next competition he'll really solve with such good results? Hm... we must excluse him for 2-3 years!” 3. For a 14-15 years old boy 3 years are much more than for as, older people! Such a talented boy will hopefully find (or has already) some technical-science-hobby which will occupy him and maybe we can't see him on the competitions anymore. Eric Akkersdijk! Please, tell me: „Are you happier to win the 4x4 and 5x5 when you beat the big concurrent competitor or when nobody is near your results?” I think for all of us are the competitions much more interesting with a very-good puzzler than without him. 4. When you talk about non-cooperativity, you have to consider that he's 14-15 old and not an adult. We cannot expect from him to behave and cooperate as an adult, especially in this situation when his BLD results are erased and he is considered as a cheater. This is not easy to suffer. About the financial aspects maybe his parents are competent! 5. PLEASE, THIS IS ONLY A HOBBY AND NOT A SERIOUS SPORT WITH MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! This is only a game and even if he cheated, in my opinion it's much less serious than the football-goal which Diego Maradona gave with his hand against England! And then, nodody was punished! In my opinion the verdict-makers took their job too serious! Nobody is killed or something like this! 6. My Resume: Erasing all his BLD results is quite enough verdict. If we are a communion, why don't we vote about this question in this forum? The question is: „should we excluse (caranteen) a member who made a sin against the community or it's enough to humble him with erasing all his BLD results?” If this decide only a few people than we have power-holders and dependants which is not a real characteristic of a community. (No problem if I don't have to vote yet, let's „use” only the older members.) I thoroughly believe that the verdict-makers wanted to be maximally righteous! I only had to say that my sence of justice is different and that MAYBE more people think like me than in another way. And maybe you didn't consider everything I mentioned in above lines. Sincerely, Schwarz
VooX (2008-03-03 22:58:24 +0000)
I wish that this were not the topic for my first post, but I feel it is an important one. The ban imposed upon the BC (banned competitor) is a fair one, and I support the WCA's decision and investigation. The punishment allows the BC to reflect upon his error and gives him time to learn from his mistakes and return to competition. Many institutions hold honour the most important personal attribute. Elite military squads immediately expel a recruit from training and impose a LIFETIME re-entry ban for being caught cheating. Their reason is important: a person who cheats, steals, or lies cannot be trusted and is a liability to the overall group. The WCA has imposed an appropriate penalty given speedcubing is not life and death, but fun and games. [b:2tiahmmo] In the spirit of fun and games competitors are asked to abide by an honour system. It would be costly and difficult to adjudicate cubing events with cameras and video judging as they do in the Olympics; we have to rely upon people playing fair and mostly having amateur videos of events. At sponsored events with cash prizes, there tends to be good video coverage, particularly of final round events. Given the size of our community and the fun atmosphere we want to keep around cubing, these are good measures. [/b:2tiahmmo] To uphold the reputation of the WCA, I am sure the board did not take their invesitigation into the BC's solves lightly. The board is comprised of some of today's most respected cubers and would have greater insight into BLD techniques than the average 3x3 speedcuber, like myself. The public stoning of the BC in the speedsolving forums is regrettable, but it must be noted that the WCA board was careful not to get involved while they were investigating the matter, and the OP did his best to provide evidence for his accusations. The WCA decision was fair and sends a message to all competitors that cheating, when discovered, is treated very seriously. I sincerely hope that the BC will compete (fairly) in competition following his ban, and show he has learned from his mistakes and has better personal character. Andrew VooX
Schwarz (2008-03-03 23:05:41 +0000)
[quote="StefanPochmann":3a8vjyoi]National pride is so annoying. There are now two people publicly doubting the proof, both from Hungary, and one of them I believe being the one who encircled the Hungarian victories on the result sheets at German Open 2007 and pointed out to people how superior Hungary was (when in fact of course it wasn't Hungary but mostly one person).[/quote:3a8vjyoi] Dear Stefan, Please, try to be a little more friendly and tolerant towards the Hungarian people! :? Don't forget that if a Hungarian man (a certain Rubik Ernő) wouldn't invent the Rubik's Cube, you would have to find another hobby! :wink: Sincerely, Nandi
StefanPochmann (2008-03-04 11:07:41 +0000)
[quote="Schwarz":o7t2nx5g]Please, try to be a little more friendly and tolerant towards the Hungarian people! :?[/quote:o7t2nx5g] What? I haven't said anything against the Hungarian people. I don't care about nationalities and condemn the concept of countries. Please read my message again, you ought to notice I explicitly complained about national thinking. I don't care who people are, particularly not where they come from, I only care about actions. When someone encircles Hungarian victories, that is an action I condemn, so I condemn the person doing it, and it has nothing to do with any other Hungarians unless they endorse it. And while it could be just a big coincidence that the two proof-doubters were from Hungary, I don't think so, mainly because of the mentioned encircling and because Oliver shouted "Hungary!" under his name. Oh and Oliver said there were people who said that all Hungarians are cheaters. If this is true, I'm fairly certain this must've been outside the forums, as in the forums I would've likely seen it and would've attacked it myself.
StefanPochmann (2008-03-04 11:35:46 +0000)
About the penalty: When you misbehave and hurt other people, it's obvious that you must not only undo what you gained unfairly, but be penalized beyond that. Otherwise wrongdoing would look like a good idea to some, because it could only win, not lose (except what you wouldn't have won in the first place). In this instance, prizes and blindsolves are what have to be undone, and the ban is the penalty beyond that. For the cheating as well as for the stealing and the lying. Why all blindsolves and not just the ones shown cheating? Like Ron has said, it appears to be planned methodical cheating. Not a rare "damn I forgot this little piece, let me have a short peek" cheating, but bold "I'm gonna peek the whole time" cheating. Several solves have been reconstructed and all suggest cheating (at least the about five reconstructions I know about). One or two are worth being called "proof", the others are highly suspicious. So with this, we must assume that most if not all his blindsolves were cheated, not just the ones we happened to pick for reconstruction. [b:2ypxb1am]And in general: Why do people try to make this their business, now that the issue is actually over and decided? Nobody is penalized besides the culprit, and he has been shown the evidence. WCA I think has no obligation to prove the cheating to anybody else. If the culprit thinks he has been judged wrongly and wants others to get in on this, he could request to make it public, which he doesn't.[/b:2ypxb1am] But I repeat myself...
perfredlund (2008-03-04 14:42:28 +0000)
[quote="StefanPochmann":3ubwhqvm] [b:3ubwhqvm]And in general: Why do people try to make this their business, now that the issue is actually over and decided? Nobody is penalized besides the culprit, and he has been shown the evidence. WCA I think has no obligation to prove the cheating to anybody else. If the culprit thinks he has been judged wrongly and wants others to get in on this, he could request to make it public, which he doesn't.[/b:3ubwhqvm] But I repeat myself...[/quote:3ubwhqvm] It is INDEED not only the WCA board business. The board is acting on behalf of all the cubing community. This is why quite a few of us still want to debate this sad issue. Just because there is a verdict does not mean we should stop all discussion. The discussion will not have as purpose to revert or soften this particular decision - but to form a sound basis for how to deal with similar cases in the future. This is actually IMPORTANT! Current regulations deal by and large with competition organisation. We need rules also for other matters that concern the cubing community as a whole. Like how to deal with cheating. How to elect WCA (Board) members. How long they should sit ... etc etc ... Every serious organisation has such rules/framework to work within. Though we are doing a mostly friendly and not-so-serious hobby/sport - our organisation must be professional. The bigger we grow the more important this will be. Without official world records this would become less important of course. We have to protect the integrity of our "sport". Best wishes, - Per
Tobi (2008-03-04 15:20:45 +0000)
Hi you all, I'd like to just say a few words about the mather, knowing that Ron likes some feedback from fellow cubers. Ever since the beginning of the discussion on the speedsolvingforum, I kept believing "competitor" and his achievements, together with lots of other people. But as the evidence grew, my suspicioun grew also. Therefor I was not really surpriced that the WCA board had found evidenve and made an official announcement. I now, without seeing the "100% evidence" belive that the "competitor" has made mistakes, whom I condemn also. I believe Ron, I don't know the others personally, when he says there certain evidence about the cheating. However, I can not help but feel a little surprised about the penalty given to "competitor". As a student sportjournalism, I have come across many cases of cheating in sports. Going from drugs over bribing to even gendercheating (man competing as women). But I've never seen a sport where an underaged competitor is punished in such proportion. Usually when a youngster is caught cheating, the maximum penalty's are around 1 year. Certainly not higher with 15 year-old sportsmen. Also in real life, minors are puniched less, due to their age and their lack of metureness. That's why we have child-courts. That's why I personally had rather seen a ban of 6 months to 1 year tops. I think the competitor would learn a lot in this period, regarding integraty and things like that. But like I said, that's my opinion, and it doesn't mean I lost respect towards the WCA board for having a different one. Greetings, Tobias Daneels, modest cuber
Andrea (2008-03-19 19:35:20 +0000)
Open Letter to Mr. Ron van Bruchem Mr. van Bruchem, I have patiently been waiting for you to contact me for the last couple of weeks, as you promised. I am the guardian of the minor being subject of your declaration above. You know me, as it was you approaching me on the phone, applying pressure on me to make my child “confess”. You might remember, when we first spoke in the morning of the thirteenth of February, a Wednesday, you said, my son was banned. When we spoke late in the afternoon the same day, you still insisted, my son was banned. During our last conversation after 9 o’clock in the evening, you said you – after thorough discussion with your peers and my son - had changed your mind during the evening of the 13th of February, and would still let my son travel to Holland, and undergo tests concerning his blindfold solving. (I explained to you during the conversations that my son has been training his memory since he was 8, also regularly completing special courses on the subject.The first in 2001, and the last one in 2007.) You also said your intention was if the tests are satisfactory, to let him compete during the Benelux Open that was due to start on February 16. You accepted our concern that my son was in the belief of being totally banned until late in the evening on the 13th, thus mentally and physically not prepared to head off for the airport the next morning when his flight was scheduled. Remember, we talk about a fifteen- year-old! When we last hung up on February 13 around 9.30 PM, we had an agreement, adult to adult, as requested by you. You declared, my son could only go to a next competition where one of the WCA board members was also present, to undergo the tests and represent his rights personally. The first competition of this kind would be the German Open in April. I promised you to accompany my son. You promised me that a decision by the WCA would be met after a face to face interaction. You also promised me you would inform me in case of any development until the time of the German Open. It was understood that my son’s rights for a fair treatment from all sides would be respected. Mr. van Buchem, I am afraid, there are some points for clarification: • Although we agreed to respect the right of a child to skip an event where he received green light some 9 hours before having to leave for the airport with a fairly short night in between, the belief arouse in the community that he did not dare to go. You as an adult would have had all the standing to stop this. Instead, skipping the competition was even brought up as evidence. • You as the face of the cubing community should have taken measures against all those humiliating posts/remarks/videos appearing online, hurting the basic human rights of a human being. It did not happen. You let all those emotions go. • Although we agreed that no decision would be made before a face to face meeting/tests, you accepted amateur video recordings as evidence (although I appreciate the time and efforts of the person who worked on them), and a definite declaration was posted on your WCA site on February 26. On the one hand, you made a decision before a personal meeting, on the other hand you forgot to inform me on your intention/decision. You took away the possibility from a child for a fair treatment with a fierce decisiveness I have never experienced before. You, an adult allow that a child is robbed of the right of fairness, of his dignity. (Nota bene: Giordano Bruno was burnt 408 years ago almost to the day of your decision, strongly simplified, because priests-inquisitors had “hard rock scientific evidence” that the sun turned around the earth and not the other way round. Although this was proven wrong, Bruno was only rehabilitated end of the twentieth century.) For now, I deliberately only talk about our agreement and do not touch the questions of how to conduct a disciplinary process in sports properly (especially against a minor), proxy of the decision makers, the application of your own regulations and the legal/evidence etc. side of your decision. There are people who have much more experience with this than I do. Let them do their job. As you are an international community, I only want to call your attention to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948 as basic rules for all inhabitants of our planet. It says among others that everyone has the right to a fair treatment by an independent body, and everyone has the right to represent his/her rights personally. Does a child not deserve this? Sincerely Andrea (Surname not included in protection of the privacy of the minor) Ps: Can someone, please tell me, if a competitor has to cheat already at the second cube, because he does not remember, how on Earth can he do the remaining 13???
Ron (2008-03-19 22:38:04 +0000)
Dear Andrea, Thanks for your message. First of all I want to correct some of your quotes. 1) I never asked you to make your child confess. We had 3 talks on the phone, which lasted almost 2 hours in total. I called you to talk to you about this serious matter. That your son needed your support. I was surprised that you did not know anything about it. You said that you had full belief in your son. You told me you were convinced your son was innocent. You told me that if he was guilty, he would confess to you. After talking to your son we had another conversation on the phone. You had come to the conclusion that he was innocent. I offered help to find proof to the community that indeed he was innocent. I also asked your son to confess if indeed he was guilty. 2) I cannot remember that I promised to contact you again. I do not think I promised that. 3) I never said your son was banned. What I did say was that your son could not compete in Benelux Open 2008 before he had shown that he could consistently solve blindfolded using the OLL method. It was not enough that he would solve blindfolded in Benelux Open 2008. Another option would be German Open 2008, when your son decided not to come to Benelux Open 2008. 4) I never promised you that a decision by WCA board would be done after face-to-face interaction. What I did say was that, given the evidence at that time, your son first had to show the blindfolded solving using the OLL method. This had to happen face-to-face, because if someone can cheat during a competition, he can easily cheat when not face-to-face. Later we found much stronger evidence that did not require face-to-face interaction. 5) I did make efforts to stop the online posts/remarks/videos. Of course we have to respect the freedom of speech. I kindly asked the involved persons and site owners to remove that content. Which was respected by most of the involved persons. I have to say though that I did not have internet access for one week during that time frame, a time frame during which a lot of things happened. In general your remarks are about the procedure. I agree with you that the procedure followed was far from perfect, let alone following a structured disciplinary process as seen by more professional organisations like IAAF and FINA. WCA (and also me personally) had never thought about these things to happen in our friendly and sportsmanlike community. We also know now how many emotions come up in our community when these things do happen. WCA does not have a disciplinary process at all. This weekend in Paris I talked to the Swedish WCA delegate (Anders Larsson) about this. We agreed that in future cases an independent disciplinary committee must be put in place. A practical thing to deal with in such cases is that WCA does not have budget. This means we cannot have people travel around the world to interview involved persons, or hire lawyers, et cetera. We had the plan to have your son reply to the report within two weeks before we would publish the verdict. I am ashamed we did not do that, for which I apologise to your son and you. I do not know why this crucial part went wrong. I think it was our intention to come to a conclusion so that we could put an end to the nasty discussions. Still, you of course always have the opportunity to come with a reaction to proof in the report. If you want support by an independent person, then I would like to recommend Anders Larsson to you. His e-mail address is anders@svekub.se. Also you are free to contact me and discuss the case and next steps. Kind regards, Ron
Andrea (2008-03-20 12:23:25 +0000)
Dear Ron, I appreciate your prompt reply. I really do. I wish this interaction had happened befor the 26th February. Well, it seems, we remember things differently. I understand you were busy with organising the Benelux Open, and my son’s case was just an „extra burden”. As I was busy, too, I made a couple of notes during our conversations, and used them in my letter. It’s OK, memory fades... I do not want to cut your mail into pieces and comment every remark separately, as my opinion is stated in my previous letter. I only want to react to the following: „We had the plan to have your son reply to the report within two weeks before we would publish the verdict. I am ashamed we did not do that, for which I apologise to your son and you. I do not know why this crucial part went wrong. I think it was our intention to come to a conclusion so that we could put an end to the nasty discussions.” I guess, you should have made that remark immediately after releasing your original post. I understand, you wanted to put an end to the issue as quickly as possible, but I am convinced you should have needed serious consultation before pushing the „post message” button. And I do not mean expensive lawyers, just common sense. You let the genie out of the bottle, and ran after the developments. AND, the nasty discussions still go on! I do not think humiliation, mobbing or bullying belongs to the freedom of speach. I truly appreciate your intentions and efforts to develop this community, and do not understate any bad intentions from your side, but this issue got completely out of measures. I do not think you had the foundation and powers to make such an abrupt verdict, and in such a hurried way. Well, let’s get structured: WCA • WCA is not a registered organisation. • WCA does not have any Articles of Association, Bylaws or comparable Founding Document regulating the operation of the Association. • WCA does not have an elected Board (the election of the Board should also be regulated in Articles of some kind). The „Board” Members are self-elected volunteers, who sacrifise their time in the interests of cubing and for the whole community. • The „Board” Members do not have any regulated powers, proxy etc. empowering them to adopt binding measures. WCA Regulations • Your Regulations seem to be discussed by active members of the community and are generally accepted by the cubers. Positive! • The Regulations mainly discuss competition organisation, management during competition, competition details etc. The main power lies with the main judge/WCA delegate to ban any competitor if caught cheating during the competition. • The regulations do not touch ex post measures in any way, do not contain details of disciplinary processes, do not touch the question of accepting „evidence” after competitions, and do not speak about measures/size of penalties. I appreciate, you want to introduce them in the future, but in February 2008 these rules were non-existent. Generally accepted basics of disciplinary processes of any kind (This is just a structured summary of what we have already touched before) • An independent body has to be formed to investigate the issue. • The independent body applies previously accepted rules of conducting the process. • Any evidence has to be investigated by an independent expert. • There are general rules on what kind of evidence can be accepted as such. • The accused party has to be heard in person. In case of a minor, the legal guardian has to be present. • The accusing party has to be heard in person. • Even in case of a first verdict, the possibility of an appeal is secured. The present issue • No independent body was formed. • Accepted rules of the process were non-existent. • Your only „regulations” do not contain any rules on banning competitors ex post. • There was no formal hearing. The accused party had no possibility to represent his rights personally. The legal guardian was not present either. • „Evidence” was investigated by a non-independent party, a fellow competitor. • The „evidence” consisted of amateur video recordings gathered from different, partly second-hand sources. • The „verdict” was spoken by a group of people without powers to make such verdicts. • The „verdict” was spoken by 4 people; at least two thereof directly benefit from banning the competitor, being fellow competitors themselves. It means, at least 50 % of the self-composed body was non-neutral from a formal point of view. • The measure of „punishment” lacked any basics. • No possibility of appeal was provided, you immediately eradicated his history. • It lacked respect to the rights of the minor concerned (except for not naming him in your announcement). These are only some remarks regarding the formal side of the issue. Concerning the content: how do you know what memory is capable of without having tested its boundaries? You could have proceeded differently. If you told me you went to the French Open, this whole issue could have satisfactorily been solved there without causing so much upheaval and burden. Regards Andrea P.s. Thank you for the contact!
Tyson (2008-03-24 09:49:35 +0000)
Dear Andrea, There are still many easy steps that the accused competitor could have taken and can still take to prove us all wrong, but time and time again, he has refused to do so. 1. Why was he so uncooperative during the investigation? 2. Why are there so many inconsistencies in his testimony? 3. Why did he directly lie to me about his solving method? 4. Why does he refuse to prove that he can do what he claims to do? Number 4, a test on his supposed method could easily be carried out. If the competitor has any desire to compete again, he would allow himself to be tested. However, the air travel was booked, and he had every intention of going to the competition. The moment that a test was mentioned, he said he would not go. I would still be open to such a test. Do you understand the proof against him? I mean no disrespect towards you, but I don't think you actually understand much about what's going on. In the method of cheating that we have illustrated, someone making a mistake on the second solve the way he did, and then continuing to solve 13 cubes after that is the expected result. This evidence you cite doesn't actually lend supporting evidence to the accused. My best advice to you is to learn how to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. I'm not sure you understand the proof or the method of blindfold solving, and I feel with a greater understanding of the sport, you would see why WCA has arrived at this result. In terms of benefiting from this, let me assure you the last thing I wanted was for something like this to happen. This was an administrative nightmare for me, it was a headache for the entire WCA. I have a job, and I work very hard, and I lost a lot of sleep over this. I have nothing to gain. What's the point of advancing a place in the rankings? I, for all intents and purposes, am really retired from competitive speed cubing. I cannot compete on the level that these new blindfold cubers are doing. I know as time goes on, I will gradually fall from the rankings. If I do benefit, I really don't care anymore. I used to care when I held the world record, and when I had a chance of holding the world record again. I lack the desire and the time to pursue this goal now. My skills are better spent on promoting the community and the sport. Again, the accused could end this all by proving to us that he can do what he claims to do. He would be competing again, and he would have his reputation again. Why, with so much at stake, would he refuse to do this? For honor? I think the stakes are too high here. If you honestly believe that the accused is innocent, the I propose the following: 1. A WCA member will travel to your home. You will pay the travel expenses. If the accused is innocent, I will refund all your expenses. 2. You can appoint a committee of cubers to oversee the test. The condition is that these cubers must be knowledgeable in blindfold solving. 3. We will conduct a test. The accused has claimed he can do something. We will test this claim. If WCA had money, we would be able to fund this test ourselves, but we do not. Again, if he wishes, he could request to travel to a tournament and submit to testing. If he passes, I would imagine he could compete right away. It's such a simple request, and he would have his reputation back, and his records. Can you explain why he would refuse to submit to a test? Thank you for your time.
Tyson (2008-03-24 10:08:07 +0000)
• No independent body was formed. Can you identify any blindfold cuber who disputes the verdict and the evidence? An independent body of qualified people examining the evidence would have said the exact same thing. If you can find a blindfold cuber who disagrees with the evidence, I will be happy to discuss this with them. • Accepted rules of the process were non-existent. • Your only „regulations” do not contain any rules on banning competitors ex post. We never anticipated this would happen. Are we supposed to not deal with anything, because its procedure wasn't written out step by step? The spirit of the competition was violated. • There was no formal hearing. The accused party had no possibility to represent his rights personally. The legal guardian was not present either. This requires money. The accused party hasn't given a response following the verdict. He may do so at any time. We are waiting. • „Evidence” was investigated by a non-independent party, a fellow competitor. No, evidence was investigated by a team of qualified blindfold cubers and WCA. The evidence you mention here actually was not crucial to the investigation. • The „evidence” consisted of amateur video recordings gathered from different, partly second-hand sources. Accused has admitted that the amateur video recording is correct. It was not a second-hand source. It was direct video taken with a physical presence at the competition. • The „verdict” was spoken by a group of people without powers to make such verdicts. Why not? • The „verdict” was spoken by 4 people; at least two thereof directly benefit from banning the competitor, being fellow competitors themselves. It means, at least 50 % of the self-composed body was non-neutral from a formal point of view. Again, I would welcome you to ask anyone who wants to disagree on the evidence to contact us. Please find someone to disagree on the evidence, and not someone who wants to raise additional speculation. The evidence needs to be addressed. Ron hardly benefits from this verdict. I would be the only person who benefits, and I assure you I have resigned that the new talent today has more motivation to succeed then I will ever have again. • The measure of „punishment” lacked any basics. The first incident of anything will always lack basics. • No possibility of appeal was provided, you immediately eradicated his history. He could appeal by submitting to the test. He could appeal by providing evidence that we are wrong, which is submitting to a test. • It lacked respect to the rights of the minor concerned (except for not naming him in your announcement). This is a very subjective statement. What rights do the minor have? We gave him an opportunity to prove himself. We gave him an opportunity to help with the investigation, but he was uncooperative in every manner. The minor did not give our organization respect, and at times was mocking the process. If the minor submits to a test and does what he claims he can do, you would have the result you desire. I am convinced that it won't happen to the point that I would be willing to travel to Budapest and administer this test, risking that, if I am proven wrong, I would reimburse you for my travel fees, which I would estimate to be around $1,000 USD. Please answer the question: Will he submit to the test? If not, then why not? Why would he avoid such a simple act to clear his name if he can indeed do what he claims he can do?
Crashdummy (2008-03-24 19:16:01 +0000)
Interesting posts. I am not involved in speedcubing, but as a Hungarian proud of Mr. Rubik's invention I follow the happenings of Rubik cube events. I am not in the position to judge, if the methods used by the "banned competitor" are correct and doable or not. I just had a look of his track records, which are amazing. Do you people really think, that all of his blindfond results over the past two years were cheats? Especially considering his other results in non blindfold events. Do you really think, that a 13 years old kid systemathicaly and knowingly cheats for years? And only in blindfold events. Isn't this whole scandal more about envy and jealousy of someone more talented? The whole scandal was originated by a fellow competitor. By "Mr. I am always the second while he is in the game", and the judgement was also made by fellow competitors like Ron van Bruchem and Tyson Mao, who just benefit of the banning of the competitor. Such thing is not possible in any other sports. There decesions are made by independent and disinterested bodies, always with the possibility to appeal. A lot of sports has post competition doping tests. But no sport allows the overruling of on-site referee judgement by post competition video analysis. Someone cited the goal of Maradona by hand. If the rules of WCA would apply there, then world champinon title of Argentina was taken away, the team and Maradona were banned for years. But as you all know in football the judgment of the referee on the field overrule everything. Altough hundrends of millions of people worldwide have seen, that Maradona was cheating. You guys refer to videos. But there were official judges and many spectacors present on all competitions. And many months passed without any complaints. And suddenly some people started to cry cheating. If it is true, it means, that all spectacors are blind and all official judges are unsuitable on the WCA events. Which would be also a judgement of WCA how to delegate judges.
Gilles (2008-03-24 22:42:50 +0000)
Mister Crashdummy, I don't know who you are, but you obviously don't know all the evidence the WCA analyzed in this case. If you're not involved in speedcubing, please don't conclude too fast it's only a matter of envy and jealousy of someone more talented. We all want to see people of our community, whoever they are, break fantastic records and achieve unbelievable results, in an atmosphere of fun and trust. Trust was precisely the reason why it took time to realize the competitor was cheating. And let me add a personal opinion: Fun and nationalistic pride do not mix well. Gilles Roux
Tyson (2008-03-25 20:05:07 +0000)
Mister Crashdummy, You declaring yourself a Hungarian and proud of the invention of the Rubik's Cube I feel puts you at a less objective position than me. Why does it matter where you are from, or what country you are born in? If the competitor was American, French, Dutch, or Japanese, we would have done exactly the same thing. It is a waste of time for you to hypothesize if this can happen or if we believe this or that. It's not necessary any more. The accused has claimed he can do something. We will all give him the chance to prove it, but he declines. Instead of speculating on whether or not he cheats, why don't you simply ask the question if he can do what he claims to do? And if he can, why won't he prove it?
Andrea (2008-03-28 18:51:29 +0000)
Tyson, You are a cubing icon, and you will remain one. You gave an unprecedented boost to speedcubing, no one doubts it. As you might see, in my previous post I almost exclusively dealt with structures and formalities, sorry you felt it personal as a top speedcuber. I did not mean to hurt your cubing achievements. It seems you do not want to get what it is all about. It is not about OLL or freestyle; blindfolds or sheets of paper... It is not about having you to fly somewhere sacrificing even more of your time, either. It is about whether individuals have the right to adopt binding decisions in the name of a non-existing organisation, on the basis of non-existing powers. A “World Association” has to regulate at least the following (usually Articles of Association or a comparable founding document contain them) • Purpose of the organisation • Seat • Membership (who can become members, how, what are their roles, responsibilities, benefits, decision making process etc.) • Leadership/Representation (who are the decision makers of the organisation, who represent the organisation to third parties, what are their roles, duties, responsibilities, powers, how they can enter into commitments or make decisions on behalf of the organisation, how they are appointed/elected, for how long etc.) • Administration, budgetary issues (if any). • Applicable law etc. • “World Associations” are usually registered under a certain law, have court registration numbers, tax ids, account numbers, report on their activities etc. Can you present any of them? I translate it into common sense: I am member of a service club (charity organisation consisting of volunteers). We have Articles of Association, we have a President, who represents the club, and can legally be made responsible for any activity of the club. We are registered at court, we have a tax id, we submit tax declarations, we submit reports on our activities, etc, etc. And it is only 25 men and women serving people in need. For the average cuber, supporter or partner, it is made to believe, “WCA” is an existing organisation that is established, organised and managed as a professional association with regulated roles, duties, responsibilities and all the other formalities required from such organisations. No one ever questioned their existence, as everyone assumed “WCA” have them. No one ever questioned whether the “Board” has the right to represent “WCA”, as everyone assumed, it has. No one ever even questioned whether “WCA” is an existing organisation, as everyone assumed, it is. I do not question you efforts and good intentions. I never did. Still, you are only a group of respected people, who sacrifice their time for a purpose you believe in. Nothing less, but nothing more. “WCA” is you four people plus a website. You can advise, but you cannot make the whole world believe you are the ultimate authority. Because you are not. I understand it is a great challenge to develop a community, organise as many competitions as you can, travel the world, talk to people of reference, enter into commitments, have the limelight… Seriously, have you never thought of the consequences? What is it compared to a youngster allegedly peeking from under a blindfold? Andrea P.s. 1: Why the accused competitor did not ask you for a test? Because you banned him for three years on February 26th, although it had previously been agreed that he would do the tests before the German Open (I do not want to repeat myself, please see my first post for details). You also published an announcement about it on your website without giving him the possibility to appeal (as Ron also confirmed it in his reaction to my first post). AND at that time it was believed by many of us “WCA” IS the authority. P.s. 2: In happier times I could have supported you pro bono to come out of this trap.
BryanLogan (2008-03-28 22:57:50 +0000)
[quote="Andrea":388ckz35]A “World Association” has to regulate at least the following [/quote:388ckz35] Where is this requirement? [quote="Andrea":388ckz35] I do not question you efforts and good intentions. I never did. Still, you are only a group of respected people, who sacrifice their time for a purpose you believe in. Nothing less, but nothing more. “WCA” is you four people plus a website. You can advise, but you cannot make the whole world believe you are the ultimate authority. Because you are not. [/quote:388ckz35] I agree, they are not. If I want to hold a Rubik's cube competition, the WCA can't stop me. Average of 4, drop the lowest and keep the rest. +1 for DNF's. +5 for really bad DNF's. If I have big enough prizes, I'm guessing I'd get a few famous speedcubers to show up, and they'd glady accept the strange rules if they wanted to win the prizes. Now, the only thing the WCA has the authority to do is to not treat the recognize the results as valid WCA results. Tyson isn't going to show up and stop the competition. Ron isn't going to petition YouTube to remove the videos. Because the board has no control over that. So, if I wanted to, I could form the World Puzzle Federation (WPF) to compete with the WCA. Read the discussion on the regulations, you'll see that I wish some regulations were different. Of course, the WPF would be a lot like the ABA, XFL, and other dead leagues. But most people agree that the WCA is a well-established organization with a lot of support behind it, and having events that weren't WCA-recognized would have less popularity. So yes, the WCA has as much authority over cubing as the NBA has over basketball. They can regulate their own competitions, but they can't prevent competitions outside of their rules from happening.
Pedro_S (2008-03-29 04:21:12 +0000)
I didn't see this recent posts until today...so, let me say some things Andrea, you mentioned an "indenpendent body" to investigate... what would be an independent body on this issue? people outside the cubing community? cubers, that don't know/do blindfolded cubing? how can they judge if someone is cheating or not if they don't have a clue about the issue? you also said something about him forgetting info on the 2nd cube and still managing to do the remaining 13... well, if he was cheating, that's exactly what should happen...and, sometimes it happens to me...I forget some info on a cube, but can remember the other ones perfectly... I don't know if you saw the final evidence, but I agree with Tyson...I didn't find any blindfolded cuber who doesn't agree with the evidence... I have more to say, but I'll do it tomorrow...I'm sleepy now
Tyson (2008-03-31 07:03:26 +0000)
Why do you keep side-stepping the issue? It isn't about being a legal entity or anything. Again, WCA owns cubing like NBA owns basketball. If you want to start your own league, go right ahead. The reason why WCA seems to own cubing is because the international community respects what it does. If WCA starts to abuse its power, I assure you another group would step in and form something else. But that's besides the point. Let's keep this simple. Do you believe that the accused cheated or not. Yes or no? Or are you not sure? If the answer is not yes, then why won't he submit to a test and clear his name? You know very well that the accused cheated. The world knows he cheated. He makes no effort to clear his name, so there is no reason to doubt that the evidence provided is wrong. The evidence is solid, and can be tested, but he refuses to cooperate. I cannot help clear his name if he will not help me clear his name. He knows very well he cheated as well. I wait for him to return 2,000 Euros to Seventowns, and until that happens, he will never compete again. As far as I know, his reputation is beyond repair. He could save face by admitting he made a mistake. A 15-year-old is fully capable of taking responsibility for his actions. Honestly, I am quite disappointed that his guardians are trying to defend him in a subject that they do not understand. His guardians should be instilling good moral and honest character in him. His guardians need to tell them that it's okay, that people make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. But the difference between someone of high character, and someone without character is how they react to the mistake afterwards. He needs to learn that people make mistakes, and when we do make mistakes, we take responsibility for these mistakes. We learn from these mistakes. Instead, I feel his guardians are missing the opportunity to teach the accused a very important life lesson. You're trying to pick on these points that really do not matter. You can have a very significant impact on the moral development of this boy. Instead, he's going to learn that whenever he cheats, his mom will come in and defend him, even when he's wrong. If my son ever makes a mistake, he will take responsibility for it. I will defend him if he is right, but if he is wrong, and if he cheats, he will need to learn that cheating is not okay. And I will be there to support him, but he will face the facts and he will apologize for what he did. And he will learn that cheating is not okay, and that because I love him, I cannot and will not defend his cheating by trying to find some legal loophole.
Claesson (2008-04-01 15:48:21 +0000)
Well said Tyson!
Andrea (2008-04-07 11:15:00 +0000)
Tyson, by all respect, I do not remember having requested you to advise us on family-internal issues. I do not remember having solicited you to consult us on psychological issues, either. You do not have information on what is going on outside this forum, so please, refrain from making judgements of this sort. Please, keep your remarks within certain borders. Thank you! Andrea
Tyson (2008-04-09 06:37:22 +0000)
Andrea, I am tired of this. Stop side-stepping the issue. You brought this on yourself. What in the world are you doing trying to pick apart my organization by legal means? What do you want to do? Hire a lawyer? The mere fact that you do this shows that you don't understand the community whatsoever. People listen to WCA because we have earned respect of the community. If this judgment in banning a competitor was unfair, there would have been outrage all across the board. Instead, everyone is respecting our decision. But that's beside the point. You can dislike me for stating what I observe, but you still are AVOIDING THE ISSUE! 1. Competitor cheated. Do you disagree? If so, do you have evidence? Because if you don't, you're wasting my time. "Competitor took memory classes since he was 8..." is not evidence. And I played the violin since I was 4. 2. Competitor will not prove himself. Why? You could make me look very silly if he did prove himself. But he doesn't, and as a trader, I'd be willing to give some pretty good odds. 3. Competitor does not take responsibility for his actions. If said competitor wishes EVER to have a future in cubing, he will return 2,000 Euros, and issue a public apology to the entire community, because everyone was hurt by this. Look at you. You're not even defending him anymore. Instead, you go after the legality of proceedings. You go after 'family issues.' You can't defend him, because you can't find evidence. And if you have evidence and you haven't produced it, it's pretty clear you don't have the evidence. Take some responsibility, return the money, and apologize to everyone. Otherwise, you waste my time. Or, show me evidence. Until then, I'd rather be fishing.
StefanPochmann (2008-04-09 13:18:26 +0000)
[b:1wfjdhm2]A more fundamental question:[/b:1wfjdhm2] Andrea, what *do* you want? In other words, what is the purpose of your messages? Do you want the conviction overturned? Or do you merely want to comment on the past process and want to give suggestions for handling issues in the future?
Andrea (2008-04-23 12:44:14 +0000)
Tyson, The mere facts that I do not dissect every sentence of yours, do not react to each word, and avoid getting rude, personal or aggressive, do not mean that I agree with everything you say. The mere fact that I do not repeat like a mantra at the end of every sentence “I believe in my son”, does not mean that I do not feel so. My opinion is detailed in my previous posts. I have never questioned your achievements and good intentions in developing speedcubing. Still: Yes, it is my firm belief that you had no right to make a “verdict” like the one you made, and want you to acknowledge it. Yes, I do want that no intimidated minors are lynched/overkilled out of a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of competencies. I do not think I can be clearer. Sincerely Andrea
Andrea (2008-04-23 13:03:58 +0000)
Stefan, thank you for your post. As for my son, my intentions are clear. As for the cubing community: you have become so huge and popular. I guess, being professionally organised is a must. Regards Andea
Tyson (2008-04-24 05:43:21 +0000)
Andrea, Just because you believe in something doesn't make it true. If I want to believe the Panama Canal was built in 1941, that's my right as a citizen of the world. I believe this with all my heart, but it doesn't make it true. Your belief in your son is a religion. You are blinded by assumptions you have made, which simply aren't true. Your son is human, just like the rest of us. And humans make mistakes. He is nothing more than a person. I don't understand why you tell my I don't have the right to do what I've done. I am a citizen of the world. WCA has the right to do what it's done. It's done it, and I don't see a regulatory body coming after us. You ignore the facts. And as long as you ignore the facts, every word you write brings laughter at you from every corner of the world. Address the facts of what happened, but you refuse, because you are blinded by the belief that your son is perfect and incapable of doing any wrong. No one is like this. Why is your son any different? He is a person, just like the rest of us. And good people take responsibility for their actions. Still waiting until you do the same. Keep in mind the 3 years ban will not start until the money is returned and your son takes full responsibility for what happens.
StefanPochmann (2008-04-24 10:45:49 +0000)
[quote="Andrea":2yer5tlq]As for my son, my intentions are clear.[/quote:2yer5tlq] No they're not. That's why I asked. As far as I see, you never even said you believe him. Not once. The closest I saw is this: [quote="Andrea":2yer5tlq]The mere fact that I do not repeat like a mantra at the end of every sentence “I believe in my son”, does not mean that I do not feel so.[/quote:2yer5tlq] You can't "repeat" what you haven't said at least once. And what you actually want is still an open question (unless I really missed something). [quote="Tyson":2yer5tlq]Keep in mind the 3 years ban will not start until the money is returned and your son takes full responsibility for what happens.[/quote:2yer5tlq] That's not what the published verdict says, though ("WCA has banned the competitor for three years for all WCA competitions, starting today").
Tyson (2008-04-25 01:45:03 +0000)
This is a mistake. The original report sent to everyone involved clearly states that the three year ban does not start counting down until the money is returned. These were the conditioned discussed with the other board members and agreed upon by all of us. If necessary, I will search for the e-mail correspondence and chat logging that proves this.
Bobby Fisher (2008-05-19 18:14:38 +0000)
[Message removed because of mentioning the name of the involved competitor.]
goldenboy (2008-06-15 17:50:10 +0000)
Sorry I know this matter is already over, but just curious about something. Has the WCA considered a possible solution of making competitors solve the cube with their hands behind their back and get blindfolded at the same time? I don't know. Maybe this idea is lame. But just a thought only. I don't see how cheating is possible if the cube itself and hands are behind the competitor's back.
Pedro_S (2008-06-15 18:01:12 +0000)
[quote="goldenboy":12zjqjzg]Sorry I know this matter is already over, but just curious about something. Has the WCA considered a possible solution of making competitors solve the cube with their hands behind their back and get blindfolded at the same time? I don't know. Maybe this idea is lame. But just a thought only. I don't see how cheating is possible if the cube itself and hands are behind the competitor's back.[/quote:12zjqjzg] I believe that idea was thought, but it's unpractical solving behind the back is unconfortable and may even cause injuries
edwardb (2008-06-22 22:43:14 +0000)
Regarding the issue with the blindfolds, my friend suggested using goggles, like those used in a chemistry lab or skiing. You could paint those black, and with the suction-like fitting of the googles, the bottom would be blocked in all circumstances, unless you propped it on your nose, which would be quite impractical. The only problem with doing that would be purchasing all of the goggles and painting them, though you could probably replace the lenses and make the suctioning rim black. -Edward
Tyson (2008-08-01 19:35:06 +0000)
In line with what Pedro said, having to solve the cube behind your back greatly reduces your mobility. I adds in a limitation into the event, which isn't really a part of the event to begin with. Though, it is an interesting thing. We solve the Rubik's Cube by sight, and... I sound a bit stupid right now, but that sight is the main forum of information gathering we have. Whereas solving behind the back accomplishes the same thing, it introduces a new complication. (I also think people of certain body types would be unfairly disadvantaged.)
dsreinker (2008-12-11 05:56:01 +0000)
I don't know if it has been suggested before, but one possibility to prevent cheating in blindfolded solving would be to have the solved state be other than the traditional one-color-per-side state. A sample cube could be shown to the competitor for them to memorize. When they are ready to proceed, they are blindfolded and given their own cube, different from the sample cube, which has been given the same scramble as the sample cube, but with a few additional moves at the beginning of the scramble. It could be something short, such as R U R' U'. When the competitor solves the cube, they would solve it as if it was the sample cube they memorized, and so if they are successful, the result will be a cube that has been altered with the R U R' U'. The competitor would not be able to cheat by peeking, because they would not know the initial set of moves (R U R' U' or whatever)... if they solved it to the usual one-color-per-side, it will not be a successful solve. Dan