Judy Kay-Wolff

Bridge Hanky – Panky

This blog was inspired by our good friend from the United Kingdom .. “Howard Bigot Johnson” .. who via his humorous tongue and creative mind has, for years, tried to right the ship.  HBJ’s frequent renderings are listed at the very bottom of bridgeblogging.com’s main page on the lower right hand side.   I suggest you begin with his February 8 contribution captioned “I’ll Tell You What Constitutes Unfriendly and Anti-Social Behaviour .. and  It  isn’t Foul-Mouthed Criticism and Rudeness.” It will help you to understand how the indifference of unqualified and unconcerned bridge administrations are destroying our once-wonderful game.  From what I have been reading on other sites, it has become universal.  Cheating (whether out of naivete or ignorance) is in a class by itself.  I remember in my early exposure to our game, those with the credentials and authority to stop it here in the States, deliberately closed their eyes for fear that official finger pointing and punishment (temporary banning or permanent expulsion) would generate lawsuits.   I understand their concerns as juries do not house knowledgeable bridge players and the verdict might have been in favor of the cheats — because of lack of sophisticated knowledge of those in decision making positions who may not have any clue about the protocol of our game.  HBJ covers cheating and other unethical behavior (deliberate or unintentional) and how it affects everyone participating in the event by distorting their scores and invalidating the final standings.  From his vantage point, club committees and governing  bodies turn a blind eye to the culprit and turn their attention to the accusers.  He goes on to discuss the realms of acceptable behavior versus venomous actions as decided by committees.  His tales are portrayed with exaggeration and humor .. but if “kidding on the level” ever applied, HBJ would  (with no close second) win the award for telling it like it is!
More to come ….

W B F Luminaries….


Sorry for my tardiness, but lacking skills as a computer techie (among other things), I finally was able to reproduce this beautiful assemblage of the five WBF Presidents taken in 2011 in Veldhoven.  From left to right:  Bobby, Jose Damiani, James Ortiz Patino, current WBF President Gianarrigo Rona and Ernesto.  I  also wanted to share with you a touching one liner from fellow Brazilian bridge legend Gabriel Chagas who was a close friend of Ernesto .. “Indeed a very sad moment in my life.”  I met Gabriel back in the early seventies when he visited New York and bunked out at Edgar’s.   Then decades passed and he came back into my life as he was in continual touch with Bobby via the Internet.   No one has a larger repertoire of humorous articles and stories than Gabriel and Bobby and I look forward to his weekly renderings.

Benevolent Brazilian Bridge Icon Passes On

I read with extreme sadness that Ernesto d’Orsi, one of the most respected and beloved Administrators in the annals of international bridge, died today.  Before Bobby came into my life, Ernesto’s name represented merely a friendly wave or warm smile.  After 2003, when I began to accompany Bobby to a multitude of exciting world championships (mostly on foreign soil),  l got to know and adore Ernesto and his charming wife, Cecilia.  Our hearts go out to her at this very sad time as well as the entire d’Orsi family and thousands of his bridge friends all over the globe.   Bobby and Ernesto worked together several decades for the betterment and perpetuation of our incredible game via The World Bridge Federation.  You might enjoy reading Bobby’s heartwarming tribute on Bridge Winners to a man whose friendship he cherished … and deservedly so!

Exactly where is the A C B L Heading?


Effusive remarks concerning the above are continuing to surface on the Internet .. with strong opinions on both sides. There is much room for improvement on these issues despite many vociferous protesting contributors (some qualified and others not!). The subject is delicate indeed, as it involves specific individual personalities, likings, hang ups, their knowledge (or lack of it), their stature, livelihood and leanings, card fees, master points, committees, directors’ aptitudes and qualifications, sensitivity, resentment of criticism, challenged egos, losing valued customers at local clubs and so on. No one can deny bridge is heading in the wrong direction and without a concerted effort, it will continue sinking here in Zone 2.

It brings to mind a very costly refused pro bono offer which I have mentioned before … and it has sadly come back to haunt us. Over two decades ago Bobby offered the head directing honcho (then in Memphis) to allow him to travel to headquarters (all on his own dime) to deliver a seminar to the directors, educating them on the salient points involved which were (and still are) in dire need of understanding and improvement. He was told in no uncertain terms It was too much of an inconvenience to the ACBL (and its directors), and Bobby was flatly refused. Some twenty or more years later, we are dearly paying the price for their refusal to recognize the dire need for some direction. Bear in mind, no one was in a better position or more knowledgeable on the subject which has immersed him for close to sixty years in countless capacities. Not only did he serve on the BOD early in his career, he but later became President of both the ACBL and WBF, head of countless Appeals Committees, created the Recorder System for weeding out suspected cheats, was elected Chairman Emeritus of the WBF Appeals Committee and was unanimously elected to the WBF Committee of Honor.

Let us begin by turning our attention to the club level. Some proprietors/owners/directors are in business because of love of the game, their innate nature of being ‘people persons,’ pure interest in productivity and last but not least (and not applicable to all) … dependency on it for a livelihood which is understandable in today’s economy. Their incentive is not the issue — but rather — the perpetuation (or restoration) of the dignity and equity of the game. I don’t know what the current requirements for franchised directorships are, but I can recall in my day it was the ludicrous ‘open book test.’ Everyone has their own personal motives for playing … be it sociability, making new friends, boredom, master points, a desire to improve — or just trying to kill time to make the day go faster. Their reasons matter not .. but learning the rules of ethics and insisting upon acceptable behavior at the table ARE CRUCIAL!!

Whether a newbie or experienced participant, EVERYONE must play according to the same standards. I see no reason to relax the rules for neophytes. It is the responsibility of a director to explain at the outset in a pleasant, non-confrontational, respectful manner, that everyone must follow protocol in order to be accepted and move forward. Bear in mind that every game has its rules. The participants must be aware of their responsibility to the game and the directors must be knowledgeable, qualified and polite to resolve situations which may alter the scores in favor of the non-offenders. To me, the failure of directors to both understand the rules, the possible infraction and the equitable adjudication of the alleged protest is the root of many ugly occurrences. ALL DECISIONS SHOULD BE TRANSPARENT AND THE ONES AT THE HELM SHOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PUBLIC. The solution at the duplicates is not handled best by instructing the contestants to continue play and stating he or she will adjust the scores at the conclusion of the session if appropriate. With this suggested manner of disposition, often I have noticed (and challenged) the fact that the particular board result is not visibly included in the scoring sheet … but later appears to be quietly taken into account without informing the foursome involved and making no further waves. No one can play God. Volunteer Committees of a few of the better players should be gathered at the conclusion of the game and allow them to fairly resolve the problem. If you don’t teach them (both the players and the director), we will never ascend to a higher plain. I have all too often heard the protests that newcomers will be scared off by such restraints. If that is their persona … who needs them? This game is not about pampering or soothing hurt egos … but of greater consequence — the perpetuation of a uniquely magnificent game. And, I can think of no more beneficial place to begin than at the club level!

Another club problem (at least in my eyes) is the distribution of master points for under average results. I believe that is governed by the ACBL and recognizing mediocrity (or worse) is a means to attract players who are obsessed with such ridiculous bonuses (and false gods). I recently saw a 30+% game hailed in a “C” category … which to me is ludicrous and disgraceful. It is just a way of encouraging the person to come back and pay a card fee, both to the club and the ACBL. Why should someone attempt to move onward and upward if there are no goals to achieve and a mind set of acceptance of mediocrity and worse. Perhaps if the score was recognized for what it really was (awful!), the player’s would exert efforts to improve their methods by reading basic bridge publications, taking lessons or learning by playing with better players. I have always believed in hitching your wagon to a star or striving for a higher ground rather than falling prey to distorted goals.

On a related issue, Appeals Committees (although performing an important and indispensable service to the game) must be comprised of true (not wanna-be) experts, devoid of politics and personal leanings. In my opinion, (if at all possible) pros should not serve on these bodies as their leanings could be influenced if the accused was asked to rule upon sponsors (perspective clients) or fellow pros with whom they have a kinship and benefit by referrals. These temptations should be avoided as everyone is ‘human’ and often it is impossible and understandable not to be swayed by personal associations or potential benefits. Also recusals (a dirty word) should be absolutely mandatory if the committee members are in any way involved (pro or con). There have been many infamous cases where personal motivation was the driving force. In fact, in international play, biases and prejudices involving certain players and nations have entered the picture. We are all familiar with some of these egregious, warped, influenced mishandled issues. Probably the premier one to go down in history at (or near) the top of the list is Bobby’s infamous “Oh, Shit” case. If you don’t know the details, you are in the wee minority. It was the most absurd decision which had no bearing whatsoever on the facts, actions, rules, laws or sensible reasoning and it will be a long time (I hope and pray) before justice will be ravaged to such a nauseating degree in the future.

My attention this past week has been occupied by the Bridge Winners site. BW has come a very long way from their early beginnings and they serve as a strong and fair venue where the bridge players state their views (mostly strong ones) in a civil, respectable tone … in an effort to right the many alleged wrongs which have been surfacing. Intervention by the BW administrators has insisted on non-offensive remarks encouraging the contributors to express their individual views and responses politely. It has been very educational.

The brouhaha involving the 1.9 million dollar ACBL ordeal over an unsuccessful computer programming system has drawn national (and even universal) flack and this week over two hundred comments have accumulated on a particular BW blog entitled ACBL SCORE UPDATE … mostly from concerned, caring players (in both bridge and computer programming) with all sorts of explanations, recommendations and suggestions how to resolve the problem. Of course, the big stink all stemmed from authorizations by the ACBL Board of Directors and CEO — but no one seems to be owning up to the despicable aftermath and enormous loss from the debacle. No one can deny we, the members, are indirectly footing the bills. Are we not entitled to know ALL the facts!!! We have often heard the trite expression about the animals running the zoo. Here it strikes much closer to home because WE are the financial support of the ACBL … akin to moneybags. Where is the money earmarked for the treasury going? Inquiring minds want to know. I think it is our entitlement to learn how it is being disbursed! Salaries? Perks? Raises? Bonuses? Equipment? Whatever!!! Since no direct official answers have been forthcoming, perhaps the only way this can be resolved is to have an independent investigation of where we all stand. If nothing was out of line, there should be nary a refusal to detail facts, figures and names from the outset.  I believe every ACBL member is entitled to an answer.



Perhaps my reading comprehension is on the wane as I could not fathom the article in Sunday’s NABC Bulletin entitled “Screen Surcharge Approved” beginning in the Spring of 2015 (unanimously passed by the Board of Directors).    It applies to all NABC+ Events that use screens.  Thus, each player who participates in a session that uses screens pays a $20 entry fee plus $10 surcharge per session.  Where is the money going? Salaries of personnel? Perks? Expenses?  Pensions?  Bonuses?  I should think that having a treasury of over six million dollars should suffice.   I do believe the dues paying members are entitled to know.  I would love to see the difference in salaries over the years of management, office personnel, directors and travel allowances.

How Different It Might Have Been!

Bobby and I were discussing the cascading effects of bridge on its enthusiasts when he offered, “Bridge has governed your life.” My initial reaction was one of offense — especially since he, of all people, should be the last person in the world to point a finger on that subject. However, after a few seconds’ reflection, I thought to myself: He is so right .. and in my case, it has been a super positive influence (although there is no denying how frustrating, depressing and aggravating it has been at times).
Bridge has affected just about every facet of my own existence. I might have chosen a more “normal” way of life .. especially after college but that was not to be. Instead, I sought social activities far from the norm of girls my age and traveled with individuals of all ages (and backgrounds) who shared with me exciting goals and pleasures. As my mother often apologetically described my way of life to her friends: “Judy is obsessed with ‘that travelling circus’ — running to a different locale each week — expounding upon her remorse with ‘How’s she gonna meet a nice man’?” Of course, when she met Norman, she did a total about face (and would have exhibited the same reaction if she had the pleasure of meeting Bobby). In my case, learning bridge forced me to overwork and challenge my brain as I was not blessed with (as Bobby labels it) ‘numeracy.’ I had to strive harder to improve my chosen hobby but marital guidance served as a big ‘upper.’ I have made cherished lifetime friends all over the world on a course that encompassed over fifty years. Bridge has introduced me to different cultures and afforded me the opportunity of seeing (up close and personal) important historic landmarks which I had only heard of, or read about, in college. As much as I love my hometown, I have enjoyed my past eleven years with Bobby after leaving Philadelphia ( with a brief stay in historic Dallas and over nine years in Las Vegas). I suppose bedding down here makes me aware that cards (in this instance .. blackjack) are more a part of my life than I realized and it is a great venue of relaxation as long as you don’t check your brains (and lucre) at the casino door.
Bridge and its many disciples blessed Bobby with a unique existence. I can confidently predict his life’s experiences and travels (plus his incredible disposition to remember names, places, dates, bridge hands and numbers) could provide sequels to The Lone Wolff (ala Parts II and III). However, been there — done that.   Time marches on.
I’d love to hear how you feel that the game has affected your own existence (for better or for worse) and where you project you might be today .. without it?

Falling from Grace

The introduction of the Internet to the universe probably tops the list of “the best things since… sliced bread, chopped liver, hula hoops …. whatever.” Feel free to name your own poison. No doubt cyberspace has changed our difficult, tedious, time consuming process of communication and has brought the world so much closer together. However, as I see it concerning our once-incredible game, quite a few users have haphazardly overstepped their bounds.

An old adage attributed to Oliver Wendell Homes, Jr. states: “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.” It is applicable in bridge (both at the table, in elected or appointed high level positions and as adjudicators of what is essential to keep our game at the top of the sphere). It is one thing to express one’s thoughts (pro or contra) privately and politely to a friend (or foe) but to have the gall to unleash unfounded, sarcastic, ugly public comments when some of the accusers are far from versed to do so is reprehensible and insulting to the erudite, well informed and long-time experienced volunteers who understand what is best for the game and equitable to all players. (In Bobby’s case, he is not swayed or influenced, and rarely does he know which individuals allegedly did what to whom. His only concern is to uphold the standards of the game as best as humanly possible).

Sometimes, though not often enough, one is privy to the opportunity of hearing from a respected individual who has definitely earned the distinction of being consulted with, having been there, done that, and is qualified (by anyone’s objective standards) to be closely listened to in an effort to determine correct answers to an important subject. When that happens (and the individual does not necessarily agree), it may be classified as pure, unadulterated foolishness and more importantly, a wasted opportunity, to not even try to understand. Unfortunately this happens all too often within the bridge world, where people from the four corners of the earth (usually via the Internet) are concerned with the same subject, but, at least at this point, have different ideologies, as to which direction the specific facts lead. When that occurs, it is certainly acceptable to disagree as to the overall result in a polite manner, but then to condemn and insult the well known messenger is downright rude and completely out of line. Those are the surroundings in which a supposedly learning neophyte sometimes finds himself. However, instead he should feel gratitude for the learning experience and understand the lack of knowledge background from which he, himself, is coming. To not accept that fact wreaks from lack of humility and no understanding of the magnitude of his or her indiscretion. It is a major violation of social intercourse with which today’s world is damned.

Bridge has changed immensely since I came upon the scene in the mid fifties. I was a newbie and the only icon whose name I recognized was Charles Goren. He put our game on the map (thank heavens!) but I later learned that although he was beloved by the public, he was far from a top ’expert’ though a celebrated and respected PR person. His accomplishment of introducing bridge to our hemisphere was unrivaled. In fact, he was a good friend of my late husband, Norman Kay, and when he made his grand appearance at our wedding in 1963, our other guests (especially my mother’s Thursday Night neighborhood bridge clique) froze up in disbelief that it was Mr. Bridge in the flesh! He certainly earned his distinguished reputation before that star struck audience!

Another difference was the composition of the Board of Directors. I am not casting any aspersions on our present representatives as I know most by name only, and I have no doubt they are hard working, devoted players who are totally dedicated to our game. However, I envision an earlier cast (listed strictly in alphabetical order) who were knowledgeable, experienced world class experts with an enormous number of scalps on the wall as well as administrative and judicial prowess which favorably shaped the progress of bridge. You may recognize some of these revered old timers .. Johnny Gerber, Edgar Kaplan, Lew Mathe, Eric Murray, Tommy Sanders, Sidney Silodor, Margaret Wagar and Bobby Wolff… with apologies to those I overlooked.

The old standards seem to have changed since personal alliances, biases, prejudices and politics have taken over and the honor and best interest of the game are no longer priorities. Everyone adheres to his or her own agenda and, IMO, professionalism has affected the thinking of many where money plays such an overwhelming role.

Nowadays, respect for the justifiably informed opinions of others (based on performance and administration) appears to have been scrapped. Everyone is an expert. Just ask them. I yearn for the ’good old days’ where the focal point was the beauty and majesty of the game. Outside influences and personal motivation have caused them to fall from grace! Hopefully, it is not too late to pick up the pieces… or is it?

Las Vegas Bridge World Shocks Bobby Wolff!

Unbeknownst to Bobby, with permission from with the gracious owners of the LVBW and the engagement of an independent catering duo (who had performed sensationally on several occasions prior to yesterday) — an unbelievable luncheon feast was awaiting the Tuesday Game in honor of his 82nd!! Announcement of the event was made at the club on the days we were not in attendance and a sign-up sheet was available to get some idea of how many mouths were eager to be fed. Our estimate for the number of attendees was pretty much on target with sixteen tables in play and several others whom I had invited for lunch whether or not they were able to stay for the game. About seventy bridge lovers were on hand to scream “Surprise” as he staggered through the door in disbelief. We usually arrive a minute or two before game time (having eaten at a nearby Wendy’s beforehand). However, I had to find a way to coax him to the party by 11:50 without eating first (as the guests were already there waiting to attack the spread) and the game was starting at 12:30. I trumped up a story that it was our friend Carol Pincus’s birthday (which was actually three days prior to his) and insisted we be there early not to spoil the surprise. He quizzically asked the day before .. “Are you sure this party is not for me?” I assured him that knowing how much he hated to be the center of attention and do a lot of socializing in light of his steadily failing hearing, that I would NEVER violate his strong feelings of privacy and he was convinced his hunch was wrong. When he entered the door to shouts of “SURPRISE,” he looked at me but before he could utter a word, I said “So, I lied!!!” Although he would never admit it, I could see he was enjoying everyone coming over to his table with beaming smiles.

This was no easy task as Bobby despises (and is embarrassed by being the center of attention) and is basically very shy and modest despite a huge laundry list of achievements for over six decades. Had I asked his permission, it would have been a flat “NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” so as a loving wife, I took matters into my own hands (no pun intended) and went undercover for about three weeks. However, I enlisted help of our supreme caterer (Barbara Lotief) and her able assistant, Evelyn Dahl, who doubles as the President of Unit 373. I gave them the number of guests expected and left most of the decisions as to menu up to them .. as I had seen their handy work on many prior celebrations and sadly some memorial tributes as well. One of the owners, Dixie Perkinson, worked tirelessly with me sanding down the rough edges, and my daughter Robin (who commutes between Scottsdale and Las Vegas) did a lot of scut work, including ordering, picking up and delivering some scrumptious bakery goodies to round off the catered array which adorned a mammoth table in the middle of the room. Of course, there was no better or more appropriate site to host a bridge event than the lovely, huge facility of the LVBW and Dixie’s two other partners (Joanne Euler and Jane Rubin) were very happy to provide the site for Bobby’s shindig.

Both before and after the duplicate, it was very gratifying to see a steady stream of visitors either kissing Bobby’s cheek or shaking his hand (you can figure out which sex did what) .. and thanking me for the delicious lunch. Regardless of his protests, it was so obvious how much he was savoring the love-in in his honor. Thanks to all who made Tuesday, October 14th such a special day for The Wolves!!

Those Were The Days!!

I am reminded of the excitement associated with the ACBL, the organization to which I was first introduced in the mid fifties. Discovering the game of bridge to me was like dying and going to heaven. I will be forever grateful as it has enriched my life with love, friendships, fun, challenges and joy … more than anyone could imagine! Read the rest of this entry »

Straight From the Horse’s Mouth …

 or more descriptively  “………. the Wolff’s Mouth.”

Both Bobby (via Aces on Bridge) and I (on judy.bridgeblogging.com) have always enjoyed the refreshing inference of the words ..  freedom of the press (as long as certain boundaries are observed and honored).  The owners of this site have afforded us the privilege of blogging to the bridge playing public.  For the most part, civility has reigned supreme with the exception of the owner stepping in on one occasion in the last seven years when outside comments became offensive, insulting and ugly.   The dignity of this site speaks for itself and has been maintained ever since (and no doubt long before) Bobby and I began contributing.   A few years ago, when Bridge Winners came to the fore,  we both became actively involved, but early on I felt that insulting remarks and jabs were out of place and issues could have been presented without ill-favor and sarcasm.  At that point I personally bowed out and, for the most part, (upon my urging) Bobby followed suit (with a recent exception or two when he felt he might be able to clarify a factual misconception of which others were unaware). 

In any event, a recent discussion on BW has evoked dozens of comments (some innocent and well intended but many dogmatically made without full knowledge and understanding of the actual background and wrongful adaptations of passages from “The Lone Wolff”).   References were made to Bobby’s role (mostly inaccurate remarks with a hodgepodge of fallacious views, statements and criticism).   For that reason, I have decided (against my better judgment) to educate the readers as to what really happened in the age-old Allan Cokin/Steve Sion cheating incident from 1979.  Let me further clarify that my only participation in this discussion is in the unsolicited role as Bobby’s Boswell, elaborating on his involvement in this distorted saga and its ongoing rants based on a plethora of hearsay and misinformation.   I have imposed upon Bobby to set the records straight and he has agreed to relate what actually happened from his first hand experience, being on the scene and very much involved in the resolution of the matter.  I think the public is entitled to have the documented facts .. to which few were privy though many blather about!

“A bit of personal background .. before detailing the Cokin issue:”

“I have had the dubious challenge of serving as the messenger in ridding the ACBL of dishonest players which led up to my creating the position of Recorder back in Montreal in 1985.  The Cokin/Sion issue manifested itself during my ACBL presidency when Cokin confessed his role of cheating with Steve Sion in front of the entire ACBL BOD in the Spring of 1987 in St. Louis.  Then, after signing his confession (drafted by me), it forced his partner to do the same.   Both documents were turned over to Jeff Polisner, ACBL Attorney at the time, and were held in his office in San Francisco.”

“In the late 1980’s the ACBL In-House Committee had selected a celebrated expert to be chosen Honorary Member of the Year.  The Committee was unaware (though I was) that this individual had been convicted of employing stealthy cheating signals (with the code being indelibly broken) and was immediately barred from playing and collaborating further with said partner.   Upon learning of this, said Committee withdrew the candidate’s name and substituted another for this august position.”

“I was also instrumental in processing a number of cheats out of the League.  Some were married couples; others were simply individuals who had various cheating partnerships with pre-arranged signals.  Lesser offenses (though still unacceptable) were copping boards by peeking at the opponents’ scorecards and/or hands; others were known to waltz up and down the aisles while other tables were still in play.  They all plied their ugly trades but nothing was as criminal as pre-arranged signals.  Another incident in which I interceded was preventing a convicted cheat from serving as captain of one of NABC Teams who was favored for the position.  A meeting was arranged wherein the Dean of the proposed captain’s Law School was asked to appear on his behalf, but after a meeting which included the accused culprit, the Dean, ACBL Attorney Jeff Polisner and myself, the captaincy was denied.”

“And now, turning to the world bridge scene, it is commonly known (and the accompanying reasons) why deliberate unethical behavior permeated the international tournaments starting back in the Fifties.  Both I and several sets of teammates (as well as Judy’s late husband Norman and his groups) were subjected to similar deliberate ‘indiscretions’ (for lack of a more pungent word).  There is no going back.  The only comforting aspect of these heartbreaking experiences was a teary confession offered to me privately a few years ago that my suspicions were well conceived and on target.   It didn’t justify the undeserved victories (and painful losses), but it did soothe the pain and disappointment of losing and finally having the satisfaction of confirmation and admission of guilt (albeit privately).”

“I am not an advocate of second place finishers ascending to the throne when the winners of record have been proven to be cheating.   The reason:  since no one can be certain which team or pair would have played whom earlier in the contest and, especially in the knockout events, who would have fallen by the wayside .. leaving an entirely different cast of characters vying as they ascend (or fall from) the ladder.  It is only my opinion, but whatever is eventually done should serve as a future precedent for what should follow and to not consider that crucial is a delusional fantasy of the worst order.”

“These are merely my personal thoughts gleaned from six decades of experience in both national and international competition.  However, before agendas are discussed, the ones doing the talking should try and research the issues prior to declaring evil intent since every case is different and that is why I believe an ironclad rule should be in force.  Also, I proposed a WBF rule (which was passed) that if a pair (or even one person) has been convicted of stealthy cheating, then all of his/her past victories should be thrown out along with partner’s and his/her teammate’s.  This would result in the winner/s vacating their title/s, but NOT moving anyone up.   Such a policy would amount to my teams (1972-1975) being prevented from moving up .. regardless of what (if anything) the WBF plans to do with the current issues.  Personal wins and losses are of little consequence here.   It is the broader picture and the betterment of our game that should be the focal point of this discussion!”

“And finally .. to the actual subject at hand from an eye witness:”

“Allan Cokin was not a particularly good friend of mine and the following is a factual (and I feel objective and sincere) appraisal of our relationship.  Our liaison was more representative of a hoped-to-be reformed criminal and his parole officer who were allied to further his possible rehabilitation.  Allan graciously hosted a very expensive catered dinner (at his own expense) for the three North American Junior Teams (2 USA, 1 Canadian) in 1999 in Ft. Lauderdale.   It was held at his nearby home where he spent time with the Juniors (along with me as Coach and Bob Rosen as Captain).  Much time was devoted to trying to teach them to learn and concentrate on their systems in order to be fully prepared to play at that particular world championship.  One of those teams finished second, but the event was dominated by Italy and Europe, finishing 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th.   Cokin at other times always (at least to me) was deeply regretful of his past behavior unlike his seemingly non-repenting partner.  Allan then volunteered to give his copious bridge notes to whomever I suggested .. all as an obvious attempt at trying to make amends and repay his debt to bridge.  Whenever our paths crossed (mostly at the three NABCs), he was willing to do whatever it took to repent for his behavior, in no uncertain terms acknowledging how terrible it was!  incidentally, Willenken, Greco, Woolridge and Carmichael were all present and will bear witness to Allan’s actions.  Bob Rosen performed sensationally as usual and handled the many thorny problems that always seem to arise at WCs .. Junior or otherwise.”

“While Bridgewinners is a marvelous concept and an everyday vehicle for constructive, lively bridge discussions which lead to great accomplishments, some of  those participating should realize that sometimes their lack of experience and knowledge should serve to tone down their misplaced zeal and strong stances until they ascertain the actual factual background necessary to be accurate in their descriptions and opinions.  I have had some frustrating times trying to separate the wheat from the chaff after having to listen to several unknowledgeable (but very vocal) players blurt pretty radical and incorrect happenings — resulting in far out, improper assumptions.  However, BW has enormous potential, but until management requires even more grace and goodwill for which they strive .. it (at least IMO) will not rise to the heights it deserves.  Discipline, courtesy and respect are a better means to an end!”