March 5th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 23 Comments
Much of this was said earlier .. but so necessary! For those serious players who follow the international scene, it has become obvious that Zone 2 has lost much of its stature .. being overshadowed by the bridge heroes of our foreign adversaries. I was privileged to have been exposed to the early greats of our game. The original driving forces of bridge (Culbertson, Vanderbilt, Work, Hazen, Landy, Goren and so many other heralded supporters) would turn over in their graves if they saw the direction in which our once sensational game has been moving. Instead of exerting so much time, money, labor and misdirected efforts (zeroing in on attracting new members with accompanying dues and card fees and deflating the once meaningful value of the earning of masterpoints by lowered standards) .. perhaps our administration should direct their efforts toward lobbying to get bridge into the schools .. AT ANY COST!
To the unknowledgeable general public, bridge is just an entertaining card game and a way to wile away leisure time. Perhaps the time has come for a rude awakening by lighting that proverbial candle under a naive public as well as our educational ministers. We, who have been weaned on clubs, diamonds, hearts and spades know, love and appreciate the majesty, beauty, fun and excitement of the game. True, it has taken on a new twist, with the introduction of professionalism and sponsorship, but as long it is conducted on an ethical level .. no harm — no foul. Just take a step back and compare the innovations and astronomical success and reflected achievement of European and Asian educational programs whose curricula include bridge. As I alluded to a few weeks ago on this site .. over TWO HUNDRED MILLION children in China alone are learning bridge as I write! Enjoyment is only a delightful byproduct. However, consider the other cascading side effects: the learning of logic, reasoning, numeracy, problem solving, etc. .. all great attributes that will serve the students in the practical betterment of their personal and later professional life. If you agree with this premise, please talk to your District Representative or your Delegate to the Board of Governors. Someone has to start the ball rolling! If the reasons above are not a convincing reason to "get bridge into OUR schools" … I don’t know what is!!!
February 21st, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 25 Comments
Because of modern technology’s ever increasing availability to Internet sites the world over and the need for the subscribers to maintain their composure, it is a necessary evil to control inappropriate, caustic remarks which have no place on an enjoyable and constructive bridge site. I have seen little or none of this here where I have blogged since 2008, but another venue has found it necessary to properly employ the ‘flagging’ process which allows its readers to place a checkmark indicating any or all of the following objections: Inappropriate, Offensive, Spam and Other (asking for an explanation). It also encourages an offended reader to write directly (privately) to the author stating his or her grievance/s in a dignified, polite and tactful manner. What a sensational improvement to any open forum!! I noted the announcement under the timely category of Community Guidelines. I am not certain when this procedure became available to the public, but Bobby and I recently did mention to one of the gentlemen active in the administration that some control must be initiated over incivility as freedom of speech only goes so far. Hopefully, this upgrade will go a long way toward adding positive vibes in the interest of furthering our wonderful game! The subject site could offer a marvelous opportunity to improve the game and bring the world closer together, but in my opinion, it was veering off course.
Perhaps the problems that ensued over an extended period of time arose because the several thousand contributors and readers who made up the nucleus of the group enjoyed diverse cultures, standards, histories and methods of dealing with bridge problems, episodes and allied issues. I, myself, was not a happy camper and had a problem with some of the retorts a while back. There were several factions of the bridge populace speaking their minds. Some were justified, respectful and with suitable knowledge and experience; others just vented their spleen with personal reflections and enjoyed the attention. I can tell you from a close vantage point, I’ve been privy to so many unsavory goings on for close to six decades, beginning in the early 1960′s after I was wed to Norman Kay who passed away in 2002. Two years later I married Bobby and my exposure became even more eye-opening. I guess you could say — been there, done that. Thus, I am no ‘newbie’ to the Mad World of Bridge and little shocks me.
In “The Lone Wolff” published by Masterpoint Press in 2008, Bobby opened his heart to the public, relating the many disturbing incidents he encountered over a span of sixty plus years involving local, sectional, regional, national and international happenings. As most are aware, he has been bridge-oriented since he was ‘discovered’ in San Antonio as a youth in the late fifties and was taken under the wing of many world class players. That enabled him to expand his horizons in innumerable directions and he has put his knowledge and experience to great advantage — dedicating much of his life to honoring the majesty and maintaining the beauty of the game .. and not being intimidated by those who feared he stood in their way. No denying .. there were cobblestones on the Yellow Brick Road. His adventures engulfed him in administration (up and through the Presidency of both the ACBL and the WBF). His years of national and international experiences qualified him as both Chairman and Consultant on hundreds (yes, hundreds) of Appeals Committees where his primary consideration was equity — regardless of the wrongful interpretation of some ill-advised or misworded rules or laws. He has encountered and prosecuted unethical performers and also those who were out and out cheats. Several were convicted and barred from the game. Others are still playing. He has championed the cause against letting one’s biases, prejudices, friendships and politics cloud one’s judgment and is strongly in favor of recusals when obvious (a subject which has been glossed over with closed eyes). I will not even touch upon his bridge triumphs as few can rival his accomplishments. Sorry to be blowing his horn so loudly, but a point is to be made. Bobby has contributed pro bono to our game with every ounce of strength within him .. and then some! He has nothing to prove!!!!! His record is out there for your surveillance and speaks for itself. He is deserving of respect.
Compare his resume with that of the average contributor to the site. Yes .. no doubt there are a few top notch accomplished players with many scalps on the wall and know their time and place. Hats off to them! However, it takes years and years to put it all together and exhibit continuing distinguished performances time after time after time. Many super up-and-coming players are on their way .. but one must perform for a couple of decades with great consistency before he or she rises to the recognized rank of the world class expert which many strive to be .. but have not yet attained. However, some of Bobby’s views on occasion were challenged because his critics had no clue from where he was coming and the ugliness, sarcasm and rantings of a select few were despicable. Sadly, at that time no attempt was made to put a halt to the blathering. It was a case of ‘anything goes’ and I find it so very consoling and uplifting that stronger stances have been adopted by the management to halt the uncalled-for comments by individuals who are not necessarily qualified to make a call!
I could go on and on about the naivete and misconceptions of the public. In fact, the Bermuda Incident involving the infamous Foot Soldiers in 1975 is the classic example. History will credit an unnamed person for discovering and exposing the two culprits .. when in fact, it was Bobby who researched and engineered the entire production and briefed and prepped his unknowing delegate of the facts while on a flight to the tournament. Because word prematurely leaked out about the net devised for catching the bad guys in the act, the plan was thwarted. Nothing was officially done though Bobby’s airplane acquaintance brazenly took credit for unearthing the evil doers’ ploys though he had only become acquainted with their sordid background a couple hours before touching down in Bermuda. The League, the WBF and the local dignitaries did not want a worldwide incident made and hushed it up. Who could blame them? Bobby never said a word.
My point?? There is so much of which the public is not aware .. and yet many individuals spout their mouths off professing to be authorities. I suppose I am just sick and tired of some bridge players trying to pass themselves off as experts with opinions and views – without being qualified. Perhaps it is time for the public to take a step backward and make a reality check. One must have the background, credentials and integrity to fit the bill. Otherwise, learn from others better versed. Inflated egos and need for attention are a huge part of the problem. Bridge is a wondrous game. Let all of us join together and keep it that way.
Mutual respect must get back on track and “Flagging” is a great way to start!
February 17th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 5 Comments
At first glance, my caption appears to be the introduction to an obituary of one of our beloved and respected bridge cronies. However, the only relationship to our incredible game is that the cold facts you are about to read below were sent to Bobby by one of his long-time friends – World Class Brazilian Bridge Champion Gabriel Chagas who reigns supreme in our book in another category as well – his unparalleled humor. I’d like to share the following:
Did you ever wonder why there are no dead penguins on the ice in Antarctica ? Where do they go?
Wonder no more! It is a known fact that the penguin is a very ritualistic bird which lives an extremely ordered and complex life. The penguin is very committed to its family and will mate for life, as well as maintain a form of compassionate contact with its offspring throughout its life. If a penguin is found dead on the ice surface, other members of the family and social circle have been known to dig holes in the ice, using their vestigial wings and beaks, until the hole is deep enough for the dead bird to be rolled into, and buried. The male penguins then gather in a circle around the fresh grave and sing:
“Freeze a jolly good fellow.”
“Freeze a jolly good fellow.”
Sorry, I couldn’t resist!
February 6th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 22 Comments
“Getting the HOF Back on Track” was a blog penned by me in February of 2010 and in my mind, the considerations still hold true four years later.
To my recollection only Kyle Larsen, a few years ago, deservedly earned the distinction of being recognized by his peers. Few recent ones, if any, have joined the ranks. Being so selective enhances the importance of the unique honor.
Following the recent appeals, pep talks, pleas, plaudits, rave notices and efforts to lead the accredited voters to cast a vote for his or her own personal favorites is an abuse of the power of the press and, in effect, employs a bully pulpit to influence the voters. No one has to lead the witness. If the electorate is not competent to make independent decisions without prodding, perhaps they are not qualified to serve,
And… the current urging to allow many more individuals to infiltrate such a revered assortment of bridge icons is like opening the floodgates and diminishing the majesty and elegance of our Ultimate Bridge Society.
I might add I feel that the recent leanings to merge the electees of the Primary Hall of Fame, The Blackwood and the Von Zedtwitz as one big conglomeration is a blemish on the purpose of the original tributes to the BEST OF THE BEST. Others should be celebrated, but it is imperative to distinguish in which realm their contributions made their mark! Understand, the Blackwood and Von Zedtwitz awards are very necessary categories to enable most deserving personalities to receive honors for their sterling impact on our game.
I shall be interested to see the final tabulation!
January 30th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 18 Comments
Ever since my husband Bobby got involved in the early 90s (convincing influential high profile Asian Powers-That-Be to institute bridge into their educational curriculum), the lives of 200,000,000 children have been enhanced by teaching them to think!! Even if you say it fast, it encompasses a huge number of children who will have their brain cells stimulated by exposure to our wonderful game. For an account of what happened and why it was temporarily thwarted, refer to ‘The Lone Wolff’ for the gory, self-serving details. In a nutshell, the ill-fated reason for the delay (though a done deal) was because Bobby should have taken the bull by the horns and authorized Audrey Grant and her staff to head for the Far East and get the program underway immediately. However, due to his wanting to play by the rules (and never suspecting a problem), he chaired a WBF Management Session in Aspen as President and proudly presented the proposal that the Chinese Ministry agreed to authorize teaching bridge in the schools and all hell broke loose. Several factions (rather than delightedly going along with the groundbreaking advancement of bridge by the Chinese government) vied to have the teaching process emanate from their own respective countries and each insisted that they (for obvious monetary reasons) oversee the educational process. Thus, after a big hoopla, in disgust, the deal fell through and Bobby’s plan was deferred for several years. Yet, it is blossoming now and many other European nations have followed suit!
To further emphasize how strongly Bobby feels that the inclusion of bridge in the schools is a major failing of the American Bridge Process, I refer you to his plea which appeared on bridgeblogging.com in a recent daily Aces on Bridge Column commentary:
… My most important message: Our great game is all about problem solving (as well as mental discipline, legal partnership communication with bidding and defense, numeric logic, and intense concentration) making it PERFECT (well almost) for teaching in our early schools. China and much of Europe are doing just that and why North America does not, lies only in the fault of our current chief bridge administrators not working long and hard in convincing our department of education to do so. Sure it would take long hours and hard work to do it, but without doing so, we will fall further behind other more adventurous and creative nations in teaching our youngsters to think rather than just loaf along with teaching other much less practical enterprises. Teaching bridge in other countries, particularly in Europe where they have been doing it for double digit years has produced rave notices in those countries. Why we have not responded, I cannot understand.
Under whom do we light the candle (or preferably the proverbial keg of dynamite)? The Marketing Department? The Board of Directors? or … The ACBL Administration at Horn Lake? How can we get this dream off the ground? It is better advised for our organization to concentrate less on master points and more on bridge education! How can anyone not envision how imperative it is to get Zone 2 to follow the lead of Asia and Europe? Our goals are selfish and narrow minded — overlooking the unparalleled benefits of introducing Bridge into the school system.
Bobby may never see the fulfillment of that dream during his own lifetime, but he will have gone down fighting!! His efforts should not fall by the wayside. If accomplished, U. S. bridge will eventually recover from its sinking status in universal competition and — of much greater consequence, by developing their minds, it will heighten the quality of the lives of our future citizens in the real world!
Any suggestions about how to attain his ever pending and never ending aspirations???
January 27th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 2 Comments
It is difficult to believe that a young man I met about twenty-five years ago through Larry Cohen when he was living in Little Falls, New Jersey has reached the half century mark. This special event was to be celebrated at a party being held (today I believe) in Las Vegas following the Regional which ends here this afternoon. My daughter who had stopped in at the tournament commented that Stevie deserves credit for drawing so many people to the site who might not ordinarily have visited Sin City. Not only did the head count rise, but the quality of the birthday party attendees was living proof. Some of the notable out-of-towners who might not ordinarily have come to Bally’s were …. Jan and Chip Martel, Debbie and Michael Rosenberg, Joanna and Lew Stansby, Mike Kamil and Marty Fleisher, Ralph Katz, Brad Moss, Justin Lall, Joe Grue and too many others to name. Steve is unquestionably one of the most beloved bridge personalities whom I have had the pleasure of knowing. Please forgive the many omissions I am certain I made but I just returned home exhausted after a long week and the laundry is waiting.
January 22nd, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 11 Comments
Here it is — midweek at the LV Regional — with attendance much better than expected (a deterrent being the upcoming Sectional at The Flamingo in exactly two months and of course, the Summer NABC). There is only so much bridge the area can handle and with the state of the economy, the early anticipation of attendance was bleak. However, it seems to be a rather packed house with many local and traveling dignitaries here and an abundance of pros and sponsors. The playing room is sensational — huge, brightly lit and up to the standards of a top National. The site itself is a healthy hike from the main thrust but it is a straight walk and hard to get lost because of all the directional signs. The Directing Staff appears to be top notch and the games have been running smoothly. Food is not cheap — but nowadays it is usually intolerable in most casinos. There are oodles of eateries in the walkway between Bally’s and Paris and endless high end shops on either side with unceasing hawking of customers who are making their way to feed the belly. I hate being preyed upon and they are soooo insistent and undaunted, you actually have to ward them off by ignoring or pushing off on them. The casino attendance in the early part of the day is almost non-existent with few dealers (going hand in hand with few gamblers). In the evening, things seem to perk up but the exhaustion from the long walk to the playing space and the intensity caused by the very competitive bridge atmosphere is a deterrent to find one’s way back to the gambling area after the evening session. I, for one, make a bee-line to our lovely room just happy to go beddy bye. I remember the lure and excitement of the midnight games of yore but those times are alas no more. Kudos to the head honchos and their volunteers for a well run event (with marvelous mouth satisfying goodies after the night sessions). Last evening we enjoyed chocolate covered popsicles sprinkled with luscious nut chunks. A great way to end the day, though not good for the diet, but beats going to bed on an empty stomach. Looking forward to the rest of the week with hugs, kisses and handshakes from old friends.
January 19th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 6 Comments
It feels like I have ‘talked bridge’ for an eternity first with Norman and now with Bobby. Despite my enormous ongoing exposure to the marvelous players of my day, I never professed to be an expert (far from it) but I’ve been there — done that — and could pen ‘The Lone Wolffess’ from what I have gleaned over the years.
When I began playing bridge (or at least what my friends and I considered it back in the fifties), it was a conglomeration of learning, studying, watching and participating. It provided the social access to meet and get to know one’s peers with a common interest — which I have treasured. I have maintained friendships for decades both here and abroad, but sadly life takes its toll, even on the bridge scene (and surprisingly not more at the table)! It was a thrill to meet so many famous personalities who shared my penchant for this incredible pastime. To many, though they achieved great success in other venues, they shared our addiction, in some cases more than life itself. Though one may not want to admit it, most of us are consumed by our love for the game. I often wonder in which direction my life would have veered if I hadn’t seen some fellas screaming and throwing cards at each other back at Columbia when I opted for a summer in New York before graduation.
In the hero category (of course excluding my two spouses), Edgar Kaplan would have to take First Place. I got to know and love him when he played with Norman (for a total of about forty-three years though there was a parting of the ways when Sidney Silodor snatched Norman away for a bit — but after Sidney’s untimely passing in 1963, they resumed what appeared to be one of the most successful longstanding partnerships of all time). Edgar had it all — brains, knowledge, humor, eloquence, know-how, personality, charm, unequaled articulation and great devotion to the people close to him. I was one of those privileged friends to be in his inner circle and though he passed away from cancer in 1997, never does a day go by when I don’t think of him or utter his name.
In the last decade, since Bobby came into my life, we have discussed bridge hands, conventions, styles, situations, incidents, personalities, admirable issues, naughty happenings — and ‘what ifs’ both ad infinitum and ad nauseam. It goes with the territory and I have been enlightened so much not only from his prowess and successes at the table but his being at the helm of local, national and international administrations and his participation in striving for equity in all situations. Sadly, his greatest desire may never come to fruition during his lifetime .. and that is ‘getting bridge into the schools here in America’ as it has been introduced into the educational programs and is thriving in Asia and much of Europe for over a decade. We need someone to step up to the plate and promote it … but I fear that is merely a pipe dream!
It seems we are always engaged in stimulating conversations about the expert bridge community of today as compared to yesteryear. What genuinely qualifies one to fall into that category? “X” number of Victories? Master Points (heavens no)? Partnerships? Systems? Dispositions? Consistency? Concentration? Though I am hardly a fledgling, I am not in a position to even venture a guess as to what personalities would be considered. Bobby takes bridge and its majesty as seriously as anyone I have ever met. He finds it disappointing that for a variety of reasons, it is on the skids here with little hope of escalating to its former Place in the Sun.
I asked him, in his opinion, who was the greatest bridge player that ever lived. Without faltering or batting an eye, he vehemently ventured … Benito!!!!! with Giorgio being the runner up. I guess he should know as he played so much against them (winning some but losing most). Alas, that is all history and with everything else aside … it will take a long time (if ever) for anyone, in his opinion, to rival Benito Garozzo as The Best of the Best.
January 12th, 2014 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 10 Comments
Someone recently called to my attention an article by Allan Stauber which appeared on a popular bridge site concerning goings-on at a tournament. There followed a series of varied replies (a mixture of sarcasm and skepticism). I read and re-read both the post and the comments and had difficulty deciphering what actually occurred. Was this written in jest or did it actually take place? If true, it makes a sham of the game. It is hard to believe that the writer could create such an absurd series of actions without some credibility. Can anyone clarify?
December 30th, 2013 ~ Judy Kay-Wolff ~ 20 Comments
Ask different people .. you’ll get different answers. Reflecting on the days of Vanderbilt, Culbertson, Goren and others, I salute them as bridge icons who introduced the game and pursued its beauty and majesty above all else. I recall a gentleman from the Fifties by the name of Lee Hazen, one time counsel for the League — but first and foremost .. the administrator who promoted and sustained the game and frequently (unknown to many) lightened his own pocket until the ACBL could financially stand on its own two feet. Bridge was still in its embryonic stages and personal motivation and politics had not reared their ugly heads. All those involved. including the dedicated bridge playing/working staff at Greenwich (Nat Cohen, Peggy Adams, Tommy Harris. et al — whom I can still envision) labored tirelessly assisting with the formation of what is recognized today as the ACBL.
It is hardly the same game to which I was introduced in 1957. Zone 2 was in the limelight with its sensational players continually making their mark in international play. You may remember the names Johnny Crawford, Johnny Gerber, Oswald Jacoby, Boris Koychou, Harold Ogust, Al Roth, Howard Schenken, Sidney Silodor, Tobias Stone … for starters. Money was not a factor. They participated without remuneration .. just for the love and glory of this rapidly developing fascination. Many had daytime jobs and were not dependent upon bridge to support themselves and their families. The Board of Directors was honored by the participation of top level representatives like Sidney Silodor, Tommy Sanders, Don Oakie, Eric Murray and Edgar Kaplan and in 1963 was joined by an up-and-coming newbie named Bobby Wolff. They shared a common goal — the furtherance and improvement of the bridge venues which were beginning to come upon the scene. They voluntarily (without pay) dedicated their minds and time to promoting our game to take it to another level and have it recognized as the greatest mind sport in the world. Today, the direction is not the same. In lieu of striving to elevate bridge to the highest strata .. in some bridge environs .. it equates to High Card Wins.
On another subject, other continents (such as Asia and Europe) have introduced a curriculum into the schools for teaching bridge (some starting back in the nineties). Bridge zeroes in on mathematics, logic, understanding, concentration, problem solving and even more — which will serve the students in greater and more practical areas as they mature. There are millions, yes millions, of children abroad who have been blessed to have bridge already on their rosters. We are light years behind, despite the continuing efforts of many energetic individuals who have been (and still are) giving their all to enlighten the public that we are missing a chip (or a card) by not giving serious consideration to such an upgrade. Easier said than done.
Playing bridge at clubs and tournaments was a popular source of enjoyment, learning and accomplishment. Seeing oneself improve and achieve was the focal point. Aside from rubber bridge games, monetary gains were not in the picture. Master points were issued for winning — an incidental means of recognition for topping one’s rivals. It was awarded for scoring higher than one’s competitors and was an intriguing incentive. Today they are often awarded to players in different classifications (especially the lower ones like ‘C’) — even for coming in below average. Why should we settle for mediocrity or worse? To what depths are we sinking? The original McKenney Trophy (renamed for Barry Crane) saluted those at the helm in the master point race. Master points were much harder to garner .. unlike today — when in many cases they are jestingly equated to an attendance record. Their attraction may ‘up the ante’ in the way of ACBL membership and club attendance, but does not say much for furthering the importance and unequalled electricity of the game.
Directing (in most cases) is a far cry from the standards exhibited by such legends as Harry Goldwater, Maury Braunstein and their peers as well as more current standard bearers like Solly Weinstein and Chris Patrias (and others I have overlooked). They knew the game inside and out and had the courage of their convictions, not being subjected to outside influences. Same is true of some Appeals Committees. Too many other distractions and home invasions have tainted the thinking of some at the helm. There is no denying other enormous stumbling blocks .. distance of venues, cost of travel, availability and willingness of qualified experts to serve, the resorting to telephone committees and more. I have no answer .. but it must be addressed.
Back to participation at the table. What are the reasons for playing? They are manifold. To some it serves to pass idle time, socialize, see old friends and meet new ones, chat, entertain oneself, etc. Great — whatever floats your boat! However, organized bridge which includes sanctioned clubs, tournaments and NABCs has the responsibility to hire, educate and dutifully train their directing staff to respectfully guide the players from veering off the straight and narrow. It is understandable that people new on the scene get caught up in the exuberance of their new found toy. I often suspect that individuals go astray by not being groomed and educated how to conduct themselves at ‘Lesson One.’ The ethics and manners of the participants go a long way toward making it enjoyable for all and assuring the game is conducted on a level playing field. Being a beginner or a ‘social player’ are poor excuses. No one is beyond teaching or above learning.
Now to professionalism and sponsorship.
Few people know that though Charlie Goren, who undisputedly was responsible for putting bridge on the map, was a “sponsor.” Charlie was a superb promoter and without him — who knows if I would have met Norman or Bobby .. or even be here now typing away. He was a popular personality and revered by the general public as an expert .. but not judged so by his peers. Fifty years ago this year, Charlie appeared at my wedding to Norman. Most of my guests were bridge players and when he came into view, traffic stopped. It was like the Pope or President of the United States was making an unscheduled guest appearance. Charlie earned his reputation in spades .. but not in the field of expertise! Sponsors are not to be knocked, but recognized for what they represent. In some special cases, though thought of as playing sponsors, a couple current players more than hold their own and in certain instances are as good as some of their teammates. Two of the most high profile players who come to mind are Nick Nickell and Marty Fleisher .. experts in their own right.
Now on to professionalism which has enveloped the world in which we live. Few of these pros have ‘real’ nine to five jobs .. and who can blame them? Certainly not I! Nothing beats getting paid to play the game you adore. When the economy was booming, there was no limit to what some of the very top pros were receiving. No doubt the very best still are. However, now in 2013, many paychecks have been reduced considerably and oft-seen sponsors have disappeared .. making some of the lesser known pros scratch and claw for business. Understandable! I find no fault with paying to learn from, and play with, a top bridge star, but feel strongly it should be kept in its proper perspective. If you can afford it .. go for it. That’s what money is for.
However, at some point, I believe the powers-that-be must draw a line. How??? The answer to me is obvious .. by not allowing mediocre playing sponsors to buy a berth on an international team to represent one’s country. I think the buck should stop there. World competition should be about sending the very best a country or zone has to offer! From recent performances by Zone 2, the results are disappointing. Our stature in world bridge is on the decline and I find it sad since I remember the good old days when, though we didn’t always win, we were in contention and never far behind.
I had intended to address another matter in detail (the social aspects of bridge as opposed to the serious side) .. but I got caught up in this rant and will save my original thoughts for another time. Enuf!!!