Judy Kay-Wolff

SOME EGREGIOUS BRIDGE HAPPENINGS OVER THE YEARS!

1.   In first place, WITH NO CLOSE SECOND, must be the infamous ‘OH, SHIT’ case which made the U. S. the laughing stock of the entire bridge world.   Basically, Bobby’s team got screwed in spades by the worst ruling in history — partially due to the involvement of Co-Chairs, Doug Heron and Bob Gookin, Director Henry Cukoff and a few other peripherally involved who were known enemies of Bobby Wolff — all of whom should have immediately recused themselves from being involved in the decision.   You can read about it in The Lone Wolff (TLW) in great detail.  This one is a real doozy!

The remainder, not in any special order, but nevertheless still appalling, are the following:

2.  The firing of Bob Rosen, as Recorder, a position Bobby Wolff created out of whole cloth in 1985 to educate the bridge public, right the wrongs and even on occasion challenge stealthy cheating and other untoward behavior.  For the initial three years, Bobby worked overtime performing this difficult task having several assistant recorders available to help him, but it wasn’t until sometime later that Bob Rosen, from Florida, came onto the scene.  Bob turned out to be (and according to Bobby’s own admission) perhaps twice as effective as Bobby had been. Rosen had a genuine love for the game; was both bold and subtle when necessary and at the appropriate time; confronted evil with no backing off; and always was fair as well as engagingly conscientious with legal principles.  But, after Bobby stepped down in Bob’s favor, Rosen was fired by Cecil Cook for taking a position against Howard Piltch in the famous Ace of Spades Case — obviously a personal vendetta to protect the "honor" of said offender Piltch.   Later, Richard Colker and others followed as Recorders but the ACBL was (and is possibly still) afraid of scandals and law suits, so they down pedal what is necessary to maintain the integrity of the game.    One of the ACBL personnel who is now retired once said to Bobby … "Don’t get so upset — it’s only a game."   Truthfully, bridge is not even a game worth playing unless the time honored active ethics and unusual nature of partnership communication which is indigenous to bridge are executed properly.

3.  The "Losing Team Wins’ (again in TLW) where Germany wrongly (and consciously) won the match against Canada when a technical scoring error was discovered in the middle of the night, LONG BEFORE the next match was to begin (and easily correctable).  However, the politics and forces arranged for it not to be overturned although there were rampant believable rumors about the witnessed haughtiness of the team that were declared winners but since the details cannot be substantiated, we will leave it at that.

4.  My own "An Appeal to Remember" (Chapter 20 of TLW), admittedly not an earth shattering piece of history, took the cake for inefficiency, complacency, bias and ignorance of the law, etc.  However, it is still worthy of making this list if only to show what did happen to relative unsuspecting and non-famous bridge players and it could happen to others of you as well.   STAND UP AND PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS!

This is what caused the brouhaha:    I opened 1S. Lefty with 4/3/4/2 and 13 high card points (plus very good spot cards) studied an enormous amount of time and finally decided to pass (and threw his right hand up in despair because he couldn’t come up with a bid).   My partner, Jane was busily preparing the slips for the round and paid no attention to the histrionics before passing while East rose to the occasion after about 40 seconds of wrestling with his conscience (and losing) and balanced with Q2  J104  J43  Q10752 — eking out a 2C call.   You had to be dumb, deaf and blind to have missed their dog and pony act!

I immediately called the director (before I saw either opponent’s hands) and he never even looked at their holdings – merely asking if there was any time irregularity.   East and West denied it and Jane admitted she was not paying it any mind.   We were told to routinely continue.  They made either +90 or +110 while most allowed South to play 1S for –50.  We lost the appeal in a pathetic pretense of a court, with Ron Gerard presiding over the committee – consisting of Bill Passell (though his wife was listed as the appeal member), Dick Budd (oft time partner of Howard Piltch), Eddie Wold, Mike Kovalchic, and Doug Daub.  Curiously, Lefty never appeared at the meeting but allowed his wealthy glib-tongued partner (owner of some minor league baseball teams) to soft soap the panel.  Not only did we lose the appeal, but were given an outrageous AWMW (AWARD WITHOUT MERIT WARNING).   I fought tooth and nail and Jane and I were so wild, we engaged an attorney and would stop short of nothing until our names were cleared.     It was not until then (fifteen months later) that I was told we couldn’t sue until we had a hearing on the AWMW before the Appeals and Charges Committee.  We had been fighting it from Day One but it took all that time to be advised of our rights according to the reigning body. A bit tardy in retrospect, don’t you think?

Jane could not be there and under doctor’s advice, I was instructed to not attend.   (In those last sixteen months I had developed high blood pressure which suddenly appeared with no warning — no doubt from the humiliation of character assassination and an insulting warning not to do it again).  NOT TO DO WHAT?   PROTECT MY RIGHTS FROM THIEVING OPPONENTS?.   Bobby represented us and we won easily (unanimously, in fact) before the A&C Committee and also when presented to the BOD it was just about unanimously vacated (with one dissenting vote).   It took 16 months off my life, believe me, but I wasn’t letting those cocky animals get away with such a miscarriage of justice.   Our AWMW was history.

However, the story doesn’t end there.   There were other miscues.   Jane and I were never read our rights prior to the hearing (not that we would have withdrawn our appeal — not on your life!); the reports in the Daily Bulletin were incorrect;  but the most interesting of all was the after-shock that the BOARD OF DIRECTORS voted that AWMW’s can no longer be challenged.   It made them look so bad, it was time to eliminate such human rights.  So, (1) If you can’t protest your innocence in an appeal; and (2) You cannot appeal an AWMW;  THEN .. (3) It leaves you no choice but to go into a court of law to seek justice.   Is this what the ACBL is all about??

Oh yes, one last thing –  Rick Beye, then CTD, accidentally on purpose omitted our case from the last Case Book to be printed live so the public could not see the embarrassing position of the Appeal Committee, although I forced them to print it on the internet along with the others.  In addition to the actual case, the Case Book includes the analyses of the reviewing panel.   Amazingly, all but one of the appeals gurus, thought we had been injured without cause and obviously were against the AWMW as well.  The Appeals Committees are in dire need of alteration, revision, revamping, etc.    Whatever they are doing — something else (anything else) would be an improvement.

5.  Another issue is ZERO TOLERANCE.  After the blog I wrote explaining what happened at our regular Las Vegas
Sectional on October 22nd entitled THE BASTARDIZATION OF BRIDGE (with several follow ups) (and still no official word from the league as of today, December 14th), I think it is time to seriously consider all the improper actions of the directing staffs and set up a ZERO TOLERANCE STRUCTURE for them as well. You know what they say about ‘what’s sauce for the goose …………………….”  They must be better trained and educated to the proper rulings in all different situations, speak with respect to the members who pay their salaries and learn to get it right every now and then. The situation we experienced over six weeks ago (with the right hand not knowing what the left was doing) was a sequel to Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors and despite several letters from Tournament Chairman, Tom Shulman; Pam Stratton, one of the victims; Bobby and myself, no one at the ACBL cared enough to want to respond.  No wonder.  What can they say?   Just another screw up!

6.  The catering of Appeal Committees to the experts is rather sickening.   Somehow, the big mahoffs always seem to win their appeal by powerful intimidation.  Often the members are such wimps and don’t want to appear stupid by challenging the top experts.  Another reason for their submission and dropping of the appeal has to do with sponsorship.  Today almost all top players are professionals.   If you were sitting on the AC (and were a pro as well), if you voted against them, what do you think your chances would be of being recommended to a sponsor if the big guys were not available.  Forget it!!!!

7.  One of the greatest indignities involves the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee listing names of mediocre paying sponsors who had been drawn to the finish line by dogsled with five others at the helm.   Thank heavens for small favors because for the first time in a while, I see no sponsors’ names, who have less than world class playing credentials, on the slate for next year.   A step in the right direction.   Finally a positive note. 

8.  Another grievance with the HOF is the presence of known bridge cheats, acknowledged by the ACBL, who adorn the list of honorees. These include people who have been brought before a Conduct and Ethics Committee, proven and judged guilty, and told to stop playing together (without the embarrassment of releasing the story to the public).  However, unlike the recent Heisman Awards,  their names still appear among the list of Bridge Immortals.   Heavens, Pete Rose who on a daily basis bet on baseball (including his home team) was an angel, compared to these lowlifes. 

A quick reference to the exalted Blue Team and the Bermuda Foot Soldiers would seem appropriate, but that is old hat and I believe everyone gets the gist.   They all fall into the same macabre category and I am still hoping for deathbed confessions from those still alive.

9.  Catering to the wealthy seems to get my dander up.   Did you know a few years ago, a rich sponsor engaged a bridge player doubling as an attorney to see if he could change the date (and locale) of one of the Trials because she and her spouse were planning to entertain at their estate and the Trials would cause a conflict.   As a result, the Trials were moved to some obscure spot, where the nearest  airport was an hour away and the farther one was an hour and a half from the site.   Consider the cab expense and inconvenience; there was one restaurant open for breakfast and lunch which closed following lunch and one adequate dinner facility on the premises within walking distance.    Therefore, rather than be held captive, you had to rent a car or find a cab (rather difficult in a tiny tourist town) to be able to locate an eatery rather than the confinement to the site.  To me the effort to change the site and dates were the height of selfishness and self aggrandizement.  Of course, since there was a Regional going on at the same time, it was wonderful for the local organizers and it brought more people to the tournament because as soon as a team got knocked out instead of changing their plane reservations,  they stayed and played in the next day’s regional event.   The fact that many people had to fly from the West Coast to Sturbridge, MA (via Hartford or Logan International) did not seem to concern the planners and the inconvenience was outweighed by accommodating the wealthy sponsor, the lawyer and the local people running the Regional.   Site selection should have zeroed in on the comfort and convenience of the Trials Contestants – no more – no less.    Once again, a  rather selfish move by many peering in from the outside.

10.  Last, but hardly least, is the pilfering of money from a dead man by either the ACBL or the EF (Educational Foundation).  Take your choice.  The victim was PETER PENDER and his total bequest was a hefty $77,500 – nothing to sneeze at.   Here is the scenario and you can judge for yourself: 

Peter was a Philadelphian before he migrated to the West Coast.   Both Norman and I were close to Peter as was Bobby.   It was no secret Peter was dying of AIDS and together with Becky Rogers, Bobby convinced Peter to ‘remember the ACBL.’    Wanting to have his name perpetuated by his friends and associates, Peter (who died in 1990) arranged two separate sums of money to be left to the ACBL/EF.   It is suspected because of the tax consequences, the money was handled by the EF — but certainly both ACBL and EF should have served as watchdogs to make sure the money was spent as Peter intended and that THE NAME OF PETER PENDER was COMMEMORATED BY HIS FRIENDS AND FANS FOR YEARS TO COME.

IT IS 20 YEARS LATER AND HERE IS THE STATUS:

(a)  THE $27,500 specifically bequeathed to the Juniors was for the purpose of having replica trophies made, inscribed and distributed every second year to the winners of the Junior Bridge Trials held at twenty-four month intervals.   The group included the six winners, the coach and captain and was to be presented to them.   It began back in 1991 and according to confirmation by CEO Jay Baum, it was honored until about 1995 leaving 15 years where it fell by the wayside.  As soon as Jay learned of the lethargy of those in charge, he had someone research the winners, have the trophies made and brought them up to date — with the promise he would make it current.   Had it not been for my prying, the $28,300 (having gathered more moss than interest in all these years) remained in the account but now some has been spent according to Peter’s intention — with two more Junior Events to be reckoned with.  I have faith Jay will follow it up.

b)  The piece de resistance is yet to come.  The $50,000 was talked about and agreed by Peter to be used for the changing of the name and the improvement of the current Vugraph renaming it the Pendergraph, keeping Peter’s name before the public.   Though he died in 1990, no record in the account is shown before 1992 as getting the project off the ground.  Why the delay?  No one can say.   Fred Gitelman, cyberspace genius, was commissioned to develop an improved program which would be called The Pendergraph.   Fred was paid, did his job and made great improvements to the project.  No one has any beef with Fred.   However, the  amounts of money and the  sources paid were astronomical.  Though, for some reason (probably the greatly successful BBO), the Pendergraph flew into cyberspace never to be heard again after about 2000.   That did not deter those who were suppose to be minding the store to use money (about $10,000 for various and sundry products from about 2002 to 2005) which had nothing to do with the vanished Pendergraph.   There is now $10,700 left (bearing in mind that the $50,000 should have accrued much interest in a twenty-year period).

Obviously, no one was there minding the store to protect Peter’s wishes and money.   According to Peter Rank, not only ACBL counsel, but a dear friend of Peter’s, when questioned about who was in charge, I learned about the money being turned over to the EF (for tax purposes stated above) but that the ACBL and EF are totally separate entities and neither has any connection with, or jurisdiction over, the other.   THEN, PRAY TELL, WHO WAS SUPPOSED TO BE ISSUING THE ORDERS FOR THE MONEY DISBURSEMENT FOR THE VARIOUS EXPENSES????.   The EF says they paid whatever ACBL instructed them to pay out and the ACBL (via Peter Rank) denies it.  It’s the old story of pointing fingers in different directions suggesting "they went thataway!"

Meanwhile, Peter Pender did not get the bang for his buck for far less than the twenty years since the bequest.   In fairness, rather than make this a legal issue, Bobby and I would prefer that the two groups make up to Peter for the reviling joint attitudes of those designated to handle the Pendergraph, restore the balance of the money to the amount of $25,000 as the Pendergraph disappeared ten years after Peter died — but the money was going out without perpetuating his name.  

WHOMEVER IS RESPONSIBLE (and I am not naming names as I was not on the scene throughout this horrific disaster), I suggest we go back to the halfway mark (the year 2000) and restore the difference ($13,300) and set the books at the $25,000 mark.   THEN, NAME SOMETHING MEANINGFUL AFTER PETER SO THAT HIS BEQUEST WOULD BE HONORED AND HE WOULD NOT BE FORGOTTEN.    It would have been an easy solution to place over the entrance to the vugraph entrance something like:   THE PENDERGRAPH THEATER FEATURING BBO.  Everyone would have gotten their due and this disgusting situation would not have gotten to this stage.

Picking a dead man’s pocket is shameful and beneath the dignity of the ACBL and EF.   Incidentally, I was referred to EF Secretary Gene Kales who generously supplied me with all the records, but did nothing more.   However, last week he wrote that he was no longer Secretary of the EF and suggested I contact Linda Mamula, his replacement.   It is one week later and I have received no reply.

Peter was wronged by the recipients.    Meanwhile everyone is looking the other way.  If satisfactory amends are not made,  I would sooner see the money go back to the residuary heirs of the Pender Estate than be used by the non-entitled holders of the remaining money (both the Juniors and The Pendergraph).

Put yourself in the shoes of either the Chairman of the Educational Foundation or the CEO of the ACBL.  Although they may not have been around at the time of the wrongdoing, they certainly have a responsibility to cut the spending, find a way to make amends, restore the misspent fund and honor Peter’s request.   Twenty years later the onus falls upon their shoulders to rectify the wrongdoing of  their predecessors.  WHAT WOULD YOU DO IN THEIR POSITION???

I’d like to have your thoughts!!!!


19 Comments

JordanDecember 14th, 2010 at 10:09 pm

Lots of egregious appeals/rulings over the years. quarter-final in spingold in Vegas in ’91 or ’92 where Jaggy and Ghose(?) were penalized 3 imps and and had the board thrown out [another 3 imps] for not alerting stayman [against 2 world champions] leading to a dead heat. Jaggy’s team then lost the 8 board play-off

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 14th, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Jordan:

That is about as bizarre as a ruling can get. I could understand if it were two-way Stayman or some other variation — but Regular Stayman? No way! However, as unbelievable as your story is, I’ll bet others have their own favorite horror stories.

Thanks for sharing.

Judy

ReneDecember 14th, 2010 at 10:49 pm

Jordan:

Today with the confusion as to what is alertable and what is not, it is no wonder these things don’t happen more often. Judy’s description above (calling it bizarre) is a tremendous understatement. How can such a severe penalty have been imposed??

ChuckDecember 14th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I find Nos. 7 and 8 quite distressing. If world bridge championships are equated to the world olympics, it seems out of place for paying sponsors to claw their way onto the team by buying a place. I think sponsorship is a fantastic learning experience and should be encouraged (if you can afford it) — but it should go only so far. IMHO, world championship teams should be composed of the best of the best to make it a supreme event.

As far as a HOF slate, why don’t they have a Sponsor’s Hall of Fame. Some players have achieved great heights with the help of fine professionals. It is no sin to be recognized as a sponsor, but it is farcical to be thought of as a world class player.

As far as No. 8, I don’t even want to think about it.

Hats off to Judy for being so forthright and bringing all these situations to the forefront.

John Howard GibsonDecember 15th, 2010 at 6:46 am

HBJ speaking : That was the most amazing blog I’ve ever read or am ever likely to read. It made riveting reading. You certainly don’t fire from one barrel…… but both barrels from several guns simultaneously. To name names like you do convinces me the utter truth behind these astonishing revelations. There seems to be so many cancerous problems endemic in the higher echelons of the bridge world, which require radical surgery to put them right. Indeed, it is so sad to see a beautiful game like bridge corrupted so badly by such outrageous prejudice, and by the selfish, underhand politics of greedy, power obsessed, unscrupulous men .

JSDecember 15th, 2010 at 7:20 am

Judy:

Your list certainly doesn’t leave much to the imagination. They are all really so bad. To my way of thinking, the worst is this PETER PENDER situation and the lethargy of the league by ignoring the situation although they appear to be guilt-ridden.

As a director myself, I agree with the varying degrees of knowledge, experience and responsibility and feel the ACBL must do something to upgrade the standards of the group in general. In many instances, there should be some kind of training. Lastly, partiality to ‘regulars’ in club games is the very worst.

Keep punchin’! You done good.

Bobby WolffDecember 15th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Hi Jordan,

Yes, I remember that Las Vegas Nationals incident well and although I do not want to rekindle those nothing short of horrible feelings then present, perhaps a brief anatomy of what happened will ward off the bogey man in the future.

1. The failure to alert Stayman was based only on whether or not Stayman promised or did not promise holding a 4 card major. The 2 world class experts (who were defending) might have asked, but didn’t, and the appeal concerned itself with whether it was an obligation of the Stayman bidders to volunteer that information without being asked.

2. A visiting foreign expert named Schroeder somehow was asked to appear on the committee and according to my reports, greatly influenced the rest of an inexperienced and benign committee (many are waiting to be led) into the final decision.

3. That committee determined a mid round (perhaps 3rd or 4th) Spingold match between two good teams by deciding that Stayman, and its implications, needs to be volunteeringly thoroughly explained instead of just alerted (at least to me, a very doubtful practice).

4. The end result of that decision, at least in this one case, caused such a severe rift between two former highest level former world championship partners, that they didn’t speak to each

other for years after that.

Root causes (at least in my opinion):

1. All committees are important, but ones who decide important matches should be totally accountable, with all names mentioned, their individual opinions and why in neon, and worthwhile precedents set for the future. Little, dropping to none, of the above is seldom ever done!

2. Bridge morality should play a larger part than it does, e.g. IMO simple conventions like Stayman should be the responsibility of the opponents to ask simple questions, rather than wait for TDs and then committees to bail them out.

3. It seems, probably because of the power it seems to transfer to a particular committee, apparently do not want precedents to cloud their ability to render special decisions in favor of or against certain individuals therefore, and in turn, allowing being on a committee, to result in being in a power position to significantly influence the result of a match.

4. All of the above, at least to me, shows a lack of leadership by the appeals process, enabling (in this case), a foreign, different cultured, bridge expert, to over exert his influence, thereby help causing a disastrous result.

5. Rather than considering appeals committees relatively unimportant (and in many cases they aren’t), care needs to be taken to always (even if they need to be paid for their time), have an accountable, highest-level committee available, otherwise the ACBL resorts to the morality and intelligence of a banana republic in what they are doing.

PROFESSIONALIZE MY DEAR WATSON, PROFESSIONALIZE or, if not, expect these results from time to time.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 15th, 2010 at 10:36 am

HBJ:

I guess I am just an activist at heart. While married to Norman, everything was peaches and cream, everybody was honest, the world was perfect. Suddenly, in 2003 I woke up to what the bridge world was really like (and getting worse and worse with all personal motives at the forefront). I have grown to see the objective as ME, ME, ME not only with individuals but with organizations as well.

I started my rampage on the Pendergraph six months ago and I have yet to get an official answer as to why all the money went down the tubes long after the Pendergraph was gone. Where are these people’s consciences, I ask you? And after 7 weeks, we have no official response on the disgraceful carryings on at the LV sectional by the directorial staff. I hear it is on its way. But, it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to investigate the facts, come up with a decision or solution and respond to the inquiring parties – not waiting seven weeks for an explanation. That’s not the way it works

apparently.

How can a member have faith in the governing body when they refused to stand up and be heard. The handling of the Peter Pender issue would certainly not be the poster child for being a reason to donate to the ACBL or EF unless something very mysterious occurred which is not being shared with the public.

I appreciate your caring. Sadly, very few people (even when they agree) rarely speak up.

Cheers,

Judy

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 15th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Chuck:

Your idea of a HOF for the sponsors has been nixed as well as a Women’s Hall of Fame. The women (regardless of comparable or incomparable talent and success) want to be considered on a par with the men. So be it.

At one time, after Norman’s death, I was invited to serve on the Hall of Fame Committee and joyfully accepted until I realized it was not all it was cracked up to be. At that time, it was almost all top players but I came to realize that politics played an important role in their function.

There was a lot of bad blood between the BOD and the HOFC when the BOD overruled our election of a Chairman and replaced him without even conferring with us. I then realized that the HOFC was not really an independent organization. Rich deMartino was appointed to serve as a liaison between the HOFC and the BOD — in fact more like a referee — but he did a good job and took no nonsense from either group. However, I lost track of them after I resigned.

So in answer to your suggestion of a sponsor’s HOF,

it figures not to happen as it is a step down and they are unwilling to accept that demeaning role.

Good thought — but no go!

dannyDecember 15th, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Bobby

As a member of the NAC, let me answer some of your ideas.

1. All national appeals generate a report with each and every name of the committee members on it.

2. When there is a dissenting opinion, that person is expected to explain their dissent.

3. As to the notion of ‘precedent setting’ I consider that idea extremely dangerous. Each case needs to be judged, not only on the facts, but the players involved. Even a slight difference in style,system, etc. may change the proper ruling.

4. We seldom, if ever, have foreigners ruling on our appeals committees.

5. In many cases, it is very difficult to seat a committee of the highest level, due to obvious conflicts, including but not limited to friendship, professionalism (sorry, that is fact of life) or continued interest in the event. Frankly, there are not enough of the top level experts who do serve.

6. Committees are paid a nominal amount for their time. If you want to have a standing committee of fully paid experts available for all NABC’s, that is just not practical, as those most competent already are excluded for the conflicts I mentioned above.

Bobby WolffDecember 16th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Thanks Danny for your time and effort to speak up about some of the questions raised about National Appeals Committees.

The result of your explanations should help determine what the problems are and why they occur, but, at the same time, offers little hope in upgrading and correcting them in the future to what we all aspire to what they should be.

1. While a report is generated by the committee chairman, usually it becomes a perfunctory one, is hastily composed, and then submitted. Remember, unlike Groucho Marx’s old time but popular TV show, “You Bet Your Life” no duck comes down from the ceiling which reminds everyone what the secret word is and calls attention to what is then important.

2. When someone writes a dissenting opinion, he is doing everyone a service by delving deeper, rendering an opinion, and, most importantly, making us all think. However, how about others who sit on their hands, but nevertheless by their vote help determine the result. I would also like to know why and by what particulars and margin they decided what they did.

3. While you consider acting on previous precedents a highly dangerous exercise, no one compels anyone to not speak up, particularly when some controversial bridge fact should lead to a different emphasis. The problem again is when appeals members do not take the time to explain why and then offer the needed education to make us all wiser.

4. It is unusual to include foreigners on Zone 2 Appeals committees, but in the subject case it did, in spades, resulting in causing the losing side much unnecessary and hideous suffering.

5. We both agree to the difficulty of having top level committees available, but by not doing so, the predictable poor result will continue to happen. If anything is worth doing, it seems to me that it should be worth doing right, particularly so when a bad result always becomes so palpably visible, not to mention remaining with us for what seems an eternity (in this case 19+ years and still counting).

6. Danny, you seem to have a handle on the problems, but unless we bite the bullet, go to higher extremes to right wrongs and then take pride in doing so, we will forever remain in the shadows and morass of our failures.

And, BTW the Jordan who originally wrote in almost certainly is Jordan Cohen (Ralph’s son and Billy’s brother) who has suffered all of these years and finally has found a forum for his vent. If I am correct in my assumption, at least we can be happy for him to be able to achieve some solace for, what I think was nothing short of an abominable appeals decision.

Again, thanks for taking the time to write and acquaint others with the difficulty in getting it right.

DGDecember 16th, 2010 at 8:51 am

Judy:

I remember your writing up the Sturbridge incident when it happened and sympathized with the West Coasters who had to fly cross country AND THEN take an hour to an hour and a half cab ride to the hotel.

Just think how many people were inconvenienced to satisfy one wealthy person is just sickening.

You always said Money is in first place and Bridge is in second and here, once again, your vibes seem to be coming true.

I enjoyed learning of the many other exposures, most of which I did not know about. Thanks for keeping the public abreast. I sure hope the Pender Debacle is resolved.

Something went awry and Peter Pender got shafted. What a story to come out twenty years after the bequest.

DG

Robert E. HarrisDecember 16th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

Could you give a reference to the Ace of Spades Case? I don’t recall reading anything about this in either the Bridge World or the Bulletin.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 16th, 2010 at 9:54 pm

Dear Robert:

It is covered in Chapter 22 (Restoring Equity and Meting Out Punishment) of Bobby’s book, The Lone Wolff. If you don’t have a copy, borrow it from a friend. There are thousands of copies around! Incidentally, it also details the “Oh Shit” case and others.

JordanDecember 19th, 2010 at 9:19 am

For many years NABC appeals casebooks were published that included post-mortem commentary by a panel knowledgeable in the laws, and in many instances included individuals who had sat on the original committees. They rated the efforts of both the directors and the committees and seemed designed to educate future committees and engender debate on difficult areas. I haven’t see one of these lately, and it seems unless one reads the Daily Bulletin at NABC’s one doesn’t see the outcomes of appeals. I somehow recall that some of the egregious rulings to which you refer got some level of vindication in the casebooks.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 19th, 2010 at 10:02 am

Jordan:

It is good you have come out of the bushes after years of my

blogging. Jordan, as you may know, is Jordan Cohen, son of the late Joan and Ralph Cohen, close friends of Norman and mine (and Edgar Kaplan, as well). They were very special people and died much too early in their productive careers.

Jordan doesn’t pull any punches — but tells it as he sees it. The fact is the Case Book was started by Bobby but

organized and produced by another active player who, by coincidence, fell from grace and left the league. However, that was not the reason the Case Books ceased to be published. The cost of the printing became out of sight and therefore was continued via the internet where the same information can

be found.

Boy, Jordan, I wish you were not North of the Border. We should could use bright, conscientious, objective, intelligent people like you working our side of the fence. We are in desperate need of them. Thanks for writing.

Judy

Georgiana GatesDecember 22nd, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Regarding the “Oh Shit” episode, has Ed Lazarus ever talked about this? I’m an occasional partner of his, and I remember him saying “With the death of Bob Schwartz, I’m the only dissenter left from that committee”. The dissent was quite strongly worded, IIRC.

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 23rd, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Hi Georgiana:

That is some claim to fame and I am sure Bobby appreciates it. I just can’t imagine there being a worse ruling. If there was, remind me.

Regards,

Judy

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