Judy Kay-Wolff

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MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY OCTOBER 23—27, 2017 Read the rest of this entry »

Where Is the Elegance of High Level Bridge Going?

Pardon my direct and somewhat crude response .. but as it appears obvious to me .. into the crapper. Before I elaborate on my sad reaction, let us examine the following truths:

There are many contributing factors.

Obviously, one of the reasons (despite increasing longevity) is .. there has been little effort to replace the disappearance act (ala death), by failure to go all-out to get bridge into Zone 2 schools as exists in eleven European nations (and more so in Asia) where shockingly 200,000,000 children are learning bridge as I write .. with plaudits from children, parents and faculty! Look on line in our recent ACBL re Toronto at the successes especially in China where the eyes on the winning faces of the juniors say it all!

Before I progress to the next factor (IMO) .. let me preface my thinking by reiterating my non-debatable view that no doubt the greatest modern ingenious contribution into the realm of bridge was the introduction of BBO to bring this geographically huge bridge universe together. I can think of ‘no close second.’ I repeat .. no close second!/p>

However, with the introduction, initial appreciation, recognition and applause of the robot system .. it may/will have a devastating effect on the future of serious high level bridge. Normal on-line bridge serves as a sensational venue for people practicing with partners either for sociability or to pass the time of day. Admittedly, the robot system solves the problems of recruiting one, two or three to complete a table and afford enjoyment to those who want to play for fun but has little to do with enhancement of the learning process and preserving the high level game. No denying .. it does offer huge joy and strong satisfaction to many.

I am focusing on the continuance of the high level game and my realistic fear and trepidation that the majesty of the world’s most mind challenging game will fade away into nothingness! Can you blame me? Playing bridge for pure fun is marvelous. On the other hand, our top administration (the ACBL) should turn their minds and objectives toward preserving high level bridge rather than zeroing in on flooding the market with meaningless master points and robot tournaments!

Just one candid old fashioned woman’s disappointment stemming from her introduction in the 1960s to the regal, exciting, mind-boggling, challenging experiences of watching America’s greatest .. despite their being subjected to the cheating ploys of others recently exposed over half a decade later. My regrets to serious future bridge enthusiasts!

Great Misconception:       “ Bridge is Just Another Card Game! ”

HARDLY!!! I know my serious followers will agree!

Bobby has always heralded the numerous areas of our lives, outlooks and achievements (logic, reasoning, predicability, etc.) which have strengthened our thinking trends! I wanted to share with you the following tribute to the many assets of bridge learning with those who do not read Bobby’s daily Internet Column Aces on Bridge which appears on the same bridgeblogging.com site as mine (courtesy of Master Point Press).

The following was his thinking and reflections upon the learning process.

…. While some people feel that card playing is, at best a waste of time, in truth and at least as far as bridge is concerned, becomes a tremendous exercise in psychology; it delves deep into what adversaries (whether it be cards, business or even love) are thinking and so (in old times during wartime) hastened the building of walls, moats, mined areas and barbed wire fences as well as developing whatever amounted to counter espionage during those time periods.

I believe what he is alluding to is .. one must consider the many possibilities in bidding, declaring and defending! Bridge is an all-consuming game if we want to succeed!

Congratulations to The Winning DIAMOND 2017 Spingold Team

It was an exhilarating well-played, grueling week-long national Championship that was contested to the bitter end! The popular victors were Captain John Diamond and longtime partner, Brian Platnick with world renowned Norwegian celebrities Boye Brogeland and Espen Lindqvist. You might enjoy getting your hands on a copy of “The Lone Wolff” and checking out page 259. The chapter is entitled “What’s to Become of America’s Talented Youth.” You will see some familiar names that Bobby spotted back in 1991. A true bridge Clairvoyant!

Changing times — An egregious underbid!

No doubt, the world has fallen from grace. It is obvious from the downtrodden state of the universal economy with skyrocketing pricing everywhere, homeless people .. and even more frightening .. the threat of terrorism .. any time/any place.

There are many venues in life that contribute to fear, danger, disappointment, doom and gloom, sadness and serious concern .. but absolutely minuscule in relation to the above.

Moving on to a much lighter subject (sometimes) .. no one can argue that the scene is soooo different when we old timers were captivated and intrigued when introduced to a challenging game and fascinating enterprise known simply as ‘bridge.’ It opened an intriguing horizon. How little we knew about the unexpected realms of frustration, disappointment, aggravation, glumness and doom and gloom, until the light began to shine. Few are born ‘naturals.’ Most of us struggled at a first. No one ever said it was a ‘piece of cake’! We worked hard until we reached the point where we derived pleasure and satisfaction of recognizing improvement!

For me, that is all history. I will be forever grateful for my exposure to the game and treasure my memories of over fifty years of making treasured friends, attending countless NABCs and World Championships and traversing the globe, seeing many of the wonders of the world with Norman and Bobby. I am one lucky girl!!!

Life in Vegas is good and I am more than content with local duplicates and tournaments. Best of all .. NO airplanes (direct or indirect flights), mandatory security checks, mail or newspaper temporary holds, packing and unpacking et al. Old age is not as bad as one would suspect!

The above interlude was triggered after reading the problems being faced (and reportedly well-handled by the tons of capable volunteers) for the upcoming Toronto Nationals. Believe me, these events don’t just happen on their own. I was active in Philadelphia for forty years and can testify it is an all-consuming job (and more)! I feel for them and hope they will be rewarded by tremendous success! Aces all the way!

On the Sunny Side of the Street

Not everything was doom and gloom last week. Bobby and I just learned that one of our favorite friends and teammates, Jack Hibbs, enjoyed a banner week at the Regional — winning 86.49 MPs (with frequent partner and classy gentleman, Dennis Scholl, close behind with 82.24).

Jack was raised in Northern New York (along the St. Lawrence River), attended University of Arizona, served in the USAF (and is too modest to discuss being awarded The Silver Star)… so forget I mentioned it! He has indeed enjoyed a many-faceted life; after moving to Vegas, became a stockbroker with a major company, worked in the retail computer industry for several years… but since 1999 has devoted his time to enjoying his golden years as a Realtor (when not at the bridge table) and continuing to be a loving husband, proud dad and grand-dad!

Return of the Zombies

Never before (over a sixty year span) do I recall ever vacating a bridge locale before the planned checkout day. It is a gross understatement to note the world has changed drastically and in many aspects it has been reflected in the bridge atmosphere.

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Las Vegas Bally’s Regional Monday, JUNE 19th SESSION TIMES CHANGED!

Although MONDAY starting time corrections were made earlier (FROM 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.) TO 1 p.m. And 7:30 p.m. — many participants are/were not aware of it.


See you there!

What’s in a Name?

Following the two-week 2017 Marathon Bridge Team Trials produced on BBO … when Bobby saw the final scores being posted, I overheard him humming a tune I recall from the days of that antiquated medium of radio. The melody may have been the most popular marketing advertising tool ever carried over the airwaves. It went something like…

Pepsi Cola … hits the spot;
Twelve full ounces … that a lot!
Twice as much … for a nickel, too;
Pepsi Cola … is the drink for you.

However, Bobby was thinking more in terms of the victorious Fleisher Teams’s popular recruit “Pepsi” (aka Jacek Pszcola) … a great addition to any group vying for a spot to represent one of the U.S.A. teams in Lyon.

He remarked…

“A belated Welcome to America, Pepsi! At least while I was watching BBO, it became obvious to me that players of your caliber, expertise, and continuing stability under pressure are few and far between … including what I consider the most important asset of all … high-level quality judgment!”

Good luck to all our teams in France. We are indeed proud!!!!

The Many Faces/Phases of Bridge (Part II)

I am beginning to understand the older one gets, how earlier recollections can be so biased.  In the early sixties, my life had been jam-packed with countless non-stop activities (particularly enraptured by bridge) and I never realized how really narrow and sheltered my life experiences were until my trip to the World Championships in 1968 to Deauville with Norman.  It was the first time I ventured off U. S. soil in over thirty years.  But, heaven knows, I surely made up for lost time.  

Because of some temporary political unrest in France at the time, Dame Fortune diverted us to London for a three day stay before crossing the English Channel and motoring down the coast to our final destination for the start of play.  I was in awe as I visited Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, The Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace .. monuments I read about but never saw; but .. you would not believe what really captivated me … of all things …  personally seeing Winston Churchill’s bunker in which he was sheltered during the World War II air raids .. though we were told he often ventured to the rooftop to see what was happening around the city.  

Didn’t get to see much of Deauville.  Two memories: hearing the bombs from World War II still being detonated in the harbor as I kibitzed the world championships, and getting to meet Omar Sharif for the first time (although I saw more of him when I officially oversaw and publicized the touring Sharif Circus when they visited Philly a few years later).   I must add .. I never met a more modest, friendlier, non-assuming individual than Omar.

Four years following the French trip, we had a two day layover in Hawaii, took an excursion to Pearl Harbor and eventually on to our final jaunt in Taiwan for another WBF outing.  That was an eternity ago and we continued attending all the NABCs  with one or two exceptions until Norman slowed down and passed on soon after.  It was an exhilarating way of life and I savored looking  back through many photo albums which captured the highlights of those years!   I soon awakened to the reality the time had come for me to slow down, savor the memories and enjoy those so-called ‘golden years’ without long flights, endless intrusive (though necessary) security checks and frequent layovers .. spending idle hours in airports.

Surprise, surprise!  One day in the Fall of 2003, I looked up and there I was on a plane to Monaco accompanying Bobby Wolff (whom I married two months later).  He was still actively participating in countless ACBLs, International Invitational Events and more World Championships (and definitely in possession of all his marbles even now approaching 85 in October).  It was constant packing and unpacking for the first eight years of our married life. At this juncture I stopped counting .. but it included three trips to Far East (Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan), two to Italy, one each to Istanbul, The Netherlands (Veldhoven) and San Paulo!  We are now settled down, relaxed and ecstatic with an idyllic life here in Vegas .. going wherever we want .. whenever we want .. with no time guidelines.  I told Bobby the next airline venture I make (hopefully not too soon) figures to me in a brown box to Philadelphia.   However, as I am constantly reminded  ..  NEVER SAY NEVER!

Enough tripping the light fantastic.  My final chapter and verse of the Many Faces/Phases of Bridge deals with more serious matters .. the nitty-gritty of what exists today and the uncertain future of bridge in the coming years. You might need a drink or tranquilizer before reading it!!