Judy Kay-Wolff

Life Before Computers et al!

I am dumbfounded when I reflect upon my bridge involvement prior to the Internet Era. In fact, it is hard to fathom how much it has affected my entire way of life. In the ‘olden days’ when I was young and eager to attend tournaments, especially the Nationals, I would count the minutes till the plane left. I was packed two days in advance and raring to go. That seems like an eternity ago to me… and in reality, it was! If you were forced to pass up a tournament or two, there was usually a time delay learning what was going on. Luckily, by some magic stroke of fate (or a technical miracle), along came BBO and enriched our lives beyond anyone’s imagination. I will always consider it the greatest bridge achievement which has engulfed us in luxury and comfort by the flick of a button and tap of a key.

I loved the sociability of the NABCs (and world championships, courtesy of two exceptionally talented husbands); but nowadays the inconvenience and cost of travel (especially airport security which is a mandatory evil) has made me appreciate even more how much less stress we endure with the introduction of so many brilliant modern facilities now available. Better yet… insignificant costs attached to the upgrade allows us to savor the joy of the game from the confines of one’s own dwelling. Who would ever have thunk world championships could be kibitzed via one’s iPad… merely lying in bed?

Another incredible technique, of which bridge devotees were not aware (including yours truly) was introduced to us in conjunction with the alleged cheating incidents. The great advancement relates to monitoring by effective videotaping… particularly enabling great detective work by our finest expert players/technicians to help prove or disprove recent accusations… which is an unbelievable contribution toward ridding the bridge scene of unwelcome happenings.

This week, with two US teams in contention in the Bermuda Bowl, I found myself glued to either my office computer or bedroom iPad rooting for their survival with the chance of meeting one another in the semi-finals. Alas, no more… but USA2 is in for the long haul and has some exciting and challenging match ups ahead of them. Of course, my view of world championships is far removed from Bobby’s as he has performed in more of these ultra high-level mind battles than you can shake a stick at. We began reminiscing about his international encounters before I appeared on the scene in 2003. In fact, the last Bermuda Bowl in which he played was my first experience kibitzing him in Monaco. Out of curiosity, since I knew the BB was such a prestigious contest for which one must qualify, I naively asked: “In how many did you participate as a contender?” “Twelve,” he replied, “but that was a long time ago” he added. I inquired, “how did you do?” Looking down modestly, he replied: “Won seven, with four seconds and ended up third when you kibitzed.” Guess I was not his lucky charm… but I must admit that is one helluva record in spite of me!


JordanOctober 6th, 2015 at 4:56 am

And I thought it was the Canadian captain they had in Monaco; as well as being one of the last “unsponsored” teams, if i recall correctly.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 6th, 2015 at 4:04 pm

Gotcha, Jordan. I remember that Monaco Captain quite well (as of course you should) and also vividly recall the team. I had to return to the States before the conclusion of the event, but I do recollect how disappointed I was that they did not finish higher.
On an appropriate allied subject, I have been watching the present Bermuda Bowl and after the last two day's performances (especially by some of the so-called experts), it was a nightmare which just proves even the best (or allegedly so) can go off the wall at any given moment. Winding down — it has been a huge disappointment.

SamOctober 6th, 2015 at 5:16 pm

Ditto! Reminiscent of ding, dang, dong.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 6th, 2015 at 5:19 pm

Sam ..

That’s one way of putting it.

Bill CubleyOctober 7th, 2015 at 8:18 pm


You did capture his heart. Maybe that is why he was third.

I met Shannon Cappelletti in Reno when she was my true opponent. Every time I looked up I saw her great legs as she fiddled with her shoe. I could not concentrate. So I looked up her name on the results sheet and introduced myself and explained my problem. Somehow she thought I was charming and continues to think so.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 7th, 2015 at 10:24 pm


Flattery rarely fails to get attention. Seriously, Shannon is lovely and I still remember her as a talented young woman growing up.

Where, oh where, has the time gone?

MarthaOctober 8th, 2015 at 7:22 pm

Have you been keeping up with the winding down of the Bermuda Bowl? If so, what has been happening?

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 8th, 2015 at 7:41 pm

Well, Martha, the answer is YES and NO.
Obviously, the site selection was not determined based on the convenience of the watchers. This year, as you may know, it is being held in Chennai, India .. and I am not unhappy to not have made that long trip. And, for the last several weeks the big issue has been cheating, disqualification of certain pairs, voluntary stepping down and replacement at the last minute by other nations not planning to go (or who were not eligible). It has been all-consuming and then it finally got underway .. but not without a lot of ugly internet exchanges on BW.

I do enjoy watching BBO .. especially with two US teams vying to make the finals. Unfortunately, that did not happen .. but it didn't prevent me from hanging in for the finishes (somewhat)!

Why did I answer YES and NO? The time scenario was a NIGHTMARE (and I do mean NIGHT)! The matches began at 10:30 p.m. Pacific Time and ended about seven hours later .. about sixish our time. I could stay up only so long, then fell asleep and awakened .. usually to learn the result after the final board was played. Not conducive to kibitzing — but it was a choice of take it or leave it. Should be an interesting European finish. I must confess the Bermuda Bowl was the only event I watched and even that has exhausted me.
I think I gave you my answer in No Trump!

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