Judy Kay-Wolff

Lack of Knowledge/Expertise is a Dangerous Thing!!


The above proclamation is especially applicable regarding bridge.   Let us target first .. cheating.  Why do players cheat?   I believe it starts with the realization that the subjects’ talents are inferior to others and without ‘help,’ they cannot achieve.  They may be good .. but others are better.   Many (though not all) of the well-known teams targeted for cheating over decades (heretofore not yet officially proven .. but just you wait) ..  for the most part, were no better than pretty good club players*)!

My primary concern is not cheating .. but rather honor, ethics, freedom from political influence plus expert BRIDGE KNOWLEDGE, UNBIASED JUDGMENT and TOTAL FAMILIARITY with the Game of Bridge.  This rant has been incited by the ridiculousness of unqualified sources (such as the Olympic Committee** making a determination regarding the Fantoni-Nunes Lawsuit).  It also applies to random make-shift Appeals Committees which have little bearing on the following.

    *I received this information from a very reliable and experienced source.               

**The Olympic Committee does not state that they were not cheating .. but rather that could not glean enough evidential information to find the accused parties guilty. 

        HOW COULD THEY (when the body as a whole has no familiarity with the high level game) qualify to distinguish actions considered consistent/thereby possible from the practices of those off-the-beaten path maneuvers that amazingly seemed to often work – to the advantage of the accused.

Another Type of Bridge Challenge

If you are into word games and Bridge ‘Plays on Words,” you will love this.   The clues are directly related to Bridge Terminology such as .. Names of Conventions,  Famous Players,  Declarer Play or Defensive Tactics, Signals, etc., etc., etc.

For instance:     CAFFEINE RESIDENCE = Coffeehouse

A bit of background:  Back in the seventies I taught and coached a few Suburban Philadelphia Women’s Country Club Teams competing in a league.  I must confess I was probably only one page (not even a chapter) ahead of them at the time, but I zeroed in on card combos, safety plays, etc. which was much easier for me than what I was about to be exposed to (and overwhelmed by) in the next forty years.  At the end of the season, we would have a Closing Luncheon and I tried to feature some unique entertainment.  Last week, as I was trying to downsize my storage unit, I came upon an applauded presentation I want to share with you.  I was always  creating amateur bridge shows and games .. something like what you are about to see, but I cannot take credit for this particular one as I am uncertain if I or someone else originated the script .. as it was so long, long ago.

I will begin with three of the ‘easier ones’ and give you two days to play around with them; then provide the answers and take it from there.  I must confess .. they do get much more difficult as we move forward.  Have fun!
       

Here goes:
       

        DARK TIMBER
        FEEBLE PAIRS
        MIDGET  BASEBALL BAT

BRIDGE CONVENTIONS (then and now)

     When I first learned to play bridge (or so I thought) back in ancient times .. Stayman, Blackwood and Gerber loomed before me.   I gradually cluttered my convention card with countless more, of necessity.   Today, from what I read, the assortment is contained in a menagerie with variations too lengthy to count.   I have to admit I am ultra spoiled playing with Bobby as he keeps the do-dads to a minimum .. thus less likely for me to forget!  And, bear if mind, as one ages, sometimes it take a toll on ones memory .. not necessarily one’s mind.   I can personally attest to that.

     If forced to specify my favorite three most successful conventions .. it   would not take long to produce:   Weak NT (NV only); Two-Way Stayman (casting transfers aside);  and Flannery.  We play several others (including Wolff Signoff, of course) .. but few enough to seriously hinder my retention span.  Over six decades, I found the fewer time-consuming conventions I employed, the more time I could devote to the other vital aspects of the game .. which are ever so demanding.

     Out of curiosity, what are your favorite three .. and why? 

Where Do We Go From Here?

Being absent from non-local NABCs for several years, I have not kept abreast of the gradual changes with which bridge loving devotees have been facing. Sadly, many long-time friends have passed on… with fewer on the horizon to keep the game going. Where does the ACBL expect to find their replacements? I know it is beating an extremely dead horse, but without introduction of our game into our school curricula, forget it!!!! It will gradually die out.

Add to that: Exorbitant hotel fees (often PLUS parking), air travel delays because of necessary/mandatory security checks and… what I just spotted: Entry fees for all major events of $25.00 per person. Thus, if couples play either together or with others in major events for the entire tournament… the card fees could total close to a thousand bucks. It matters not to wealthy sponsors… but how about the loyal average income bridge devotees who have been attending year after year? How can it not take its toll on their bottom line! Soon NABC attendance will be unaffordable.

Where is all of this money going, I ask you???


P. S. On another topic, there is so much talk about Slow Play… not taking into consideration, we are dealing with an aging population with gradually failing memories or who are, of necessity, on many meds. Perhaps, a new event should be introduced… The Senile Pairs.

A Bridge Treasure!

Being on the scene for generations and content with a delightful choice of residence in Las Vegas twelve years ago, we do little traveling. However, though we now only attend local Sectionals and Regionals (and play together weekly/with no divorce proceedings in view), we have far from lost touch with the overall bridge happenings. And, of course, Bobby is active a great part of each day with his Internet Aces on Bridge Column, courtesy of Masterpoint Press.

When the San Diego NABC surfaced, I immediately went to my Ipad to check out the schedules on BBO where I can relax in bed and savor every moment. When I tried to turn it on, I went absolutely ballistic as I noted my BBO App had disappeared! After contacting their support center, I was instructed how to resurrect it. Something I did, no doubt, to trigger the problem. Just turned it on… and I am ecstatic!

I have stated this before on my blogsite, but I must reiterate I feel Bridge Base Online is undoubtedly the greatest contribution to modern universal bridge togetherness. We appreciate all the work entailed. THANK YOU FRED!

A Milestone — With Continual Surprises!

Much against my better judgment (as Bobby deliberately shuns the limelight), I arranged a double Birthday celebration at the Las Vegas Bridge World for my dear friend, Carol Pincus (let’s say — her 39th), and Bobby's 85th! The Birthday Greetings were memorable and the delicious cake fattening.

Read the rest of this entry »

From the A C B L

Today, I (and as I understand .. all ACBL members via the Internet) received a list called ‘10 BIG IDEAS’ expressing ways to promote the game and suggestions how to reach that goal via their promotion. Bobby and I have already received a few emails and reactions. If it has reached you (and you've had an opportunity to absorb it), please share your views with me before I give you my ‘take’ on the subject.

Fabulous Las Vegas Glitter Gulch October Sectional — Coming Soon!

We are delighted to return to the
PLAZA HOTEL & CASINO
(1 South Main Street)
Downtown Las Vegas, NV 89101
702-386-2110 800-634-6575

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!

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