Judy Kay-Wolff

Procrastination is not the Solution

It is very refreshing and encouraging that so many qualified and determined worldwide recognized and respected bridge players have recently stepped up to the plate in the name of furthering honorable bridge competition. They have volunteered to work unyieldingly to (1) EXPOSE AND DETAIL BOTH CHEATING AND PROVEN UNETHICAL CONDUCT … especially at the higher levels; and (2) TO PUT IN PLACE FAIR, UNCHALLENGEABLE METHODS OF PROVING BEYOND A DOUBT THAT THE ACCUSED ARE FOUND GUILTY OF SPECIFIC CHARGES AND PUNISHED ACCORDINGLY. Wishy-washy excuses won’t cut it!

Although I consider outright, deliberate swindling at any level abominable, we will all agree that punishment must be meted out fairly. It should be determined (1) DEPENDENT UPON THE DEGREE OF INTENT AND SEVERITY; and (2) THE EXTENT OF THE CRIME OR MISDEMEANOR in relation to the violation of the rules or serious and deliberate attempts to defraud their opponents (often affecting the entire field). Add to that the already humiliating universal publicity that the game has recently suffered … and not without due cause. Don’t delude yourself. These are not new tactics of despicable deceit (and they keep on improving and refined them as we speak). There is NO JUSTIFICATION for such behavior. If you want to learn about similar improprieties, check out ‘The Lone Wolff” which details another disgraceful method of deception called “Double IMPS.” Subterfuge in bridge has existed for decades but attempts early on were made to hush them up and not give our game a bad name (mostly for fear of lawsuits). Though it is painful and humiliating … the only solution at this point in time is to RECOGNIZE ITS EXISTENCE and LINE UP THE CULPRITS — with the ultimate goal being: TO STOP AND DESIST.

I will conclude my rant of disgust and furor by adding that neither Bobby nor I know who the individuals involved in the current scandalous ‘reporting of imaginary scores’ actually are … but that is immaterial. Stopping the fires from spreading are our only concern. 

For further details (if you can spare an hour), check out:


Bill CubleyAugust 3rd, 2016 at 2:19 pm

I did a Player Memo at the Jacksonville Regional on a slow pair. I thought if they could play on time for the rest of the session after being 2-3 minutes behind on the first three rounds, that their behavior is controllable. It was as if a switch were turned. Of course, telling the director we wanted a refund and would demand a committee if there were further delays which they overheard might have helped. It is clear their slow play is clearly something they can do about but choose to play on time only when there is a director call.

Playing against cheaters, you still are playing and have a chance to score well. You cannot play at all waiting on slow players and you are under ethical constraints to play faster to keep on schedule.

bobbywolffAugust 3rd, 2016 at 2:58 pm

Hi Bill,

Duly noted, but just think if pairs who cheat (hoping there are none (left), but then waking and realizing there still may), what if one that was, also started playing very slowly, what could be worse?

Similar to one who complains about not having money to buy shoes, but then seeing others who have no feet.

However it is never pleasant to talk about defeet.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 3rd, 2016 at 3:05 pm


I am not so much concerned about slow play (which can be caused by aging, medications and a variety of other uncontrollable factors). No doubt it is annoying .. but not in the same category as the situation occurring at a recent official ACBL tournament team game.

However, the issue involved (to which I allude) is the handling (by whomever was officially in charge) of the recognized fact that deliberately inaccurate scores were designed and entered deceitfully and intentionally — which can affect not only the teams involved, the field as well but most important … the eventual winner.

What is even worse is that it appears some of the culprits may be about to represent Zone 2 in the championships scheduled in Poland in October. How can the officials even consider not dealing with the accusations until after the event is beyond me. Postponement in dealing with this problem does not seem to be a rational approach … but like they say .. Go Fight City Hall.

Jane AAugust 3rd, 2016 at 3:09 pm

I find that interesting about doing a player memo for slow play. From what I read, it is normal and even acceptable in elite events when players take as long as they wish (just about) to make decisions on bidding and play. I have heard some take five minutes or more at times. I don’t compete at this level so have not personally witnessed it. I realize that at elite levels of play, thought processes could take longer, but this long? I don’t know what is considered allowable however. Are there rules in place to determine how long a player can take at any level?

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 3rd, 2016 at 3:35 pm

Jane A,

I think it is obvious rules sometimes apply and sometimes don’t. It all depends … especially at clubs … upon the individual/s in charge and the variations in approach have always boggled my mind.

The above comments (Bill’s, Bobby’s and yours) are dealing with a separate issue of slow play — as opposed to tampering with results, inventing final scores, stealthily avoiding the rules and laws of bridge and more. However, this is the place to ‘let it all out’ and I am happy to hear other problems in the hope of putting an end to them in the proper way (if there is such a manner).

Concerning a ‘legal’ time limit, I have never been made aware of it .. and it figures to vary from clubs to Sectionals, Regionals, NABCs and certainly world championships. World class players have more to consider than the average rank and file duplicate player .. so rules may (and should) vary. But like most people say .. It is only a game! Funny!

Jane AAugust 3rd, 2016 at 4:00 pm

I read about the issue regarding the team event and it just continues to amaze me. How can all four pairs not realize they are sitting the wrong direction? I have played in team events when my opponents show up and want to sit my direction. I inform them that we are the north south pair and they are the east west pair but they should check with their team mates to be sure they are even at the right table. But even then, if all four pairs did not realize what they had done until too late, call the director and let the director in charge handle the situation. Once again, rules were not followed by experienced players. It is really sad to see another potentially big problem which could have so easily been avoided.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 3rd, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Hi again Jane,

Unfortunately, the problems seems to stem back to either lack of qualification for the job or unfamiliarity with the game of bridge. Over sixty years, I have been privileged to know some of the greatest directors (perhaps not the best players) … but endowed with a great working knowledge of the rules, regulations, proprieties and endowed with tact. At one time, half of the employees in Memphis (who were lovely and polite) were hired for their business skills in running an office .. but were not necessarily familiar with our game.

I know I have told this story multiple times … but it is soooo incredible, I will never forget it. About a decade or so ago, Bobby got a call from an ACBL employee who wanted to interview him (for what purpose I am not certain). It began with routine questions and at one point, Bobby eluded to Charlie Goren. The lady on the other end of the phone politely inquired: "Who is Charlie Goren?" If that doesn't say it all, I don't know what does.

There is definitely something gravely the matter with the necessary issue of qualifications, responsibilities and the necessity of toeing the line. Bobby has tried so often over the years to suggest better training and offered himself pro bono … but his requests have fallen upon deaf ears. Probably the most irresponsible citing of shirking of responsibility was back in the early two thousands (2003 — I think). He reported with almost 100% certainty that a certain ultra successful celebrated foreign pair were cheating. The person in charge listened and assured him it would be taken care of. However, at their next contact, when asked for details of the confrontation, the one at the helm refused to respond. Thus, Bobby never knew the results of the meeting. Thirteen years later, this same pair under marked suspicion WAS BARRED BY THE ACBL but not before being allowed to continue their evil ways and screw dozens of others out of deserving world championships.

So, as you can see, this subject is old hat to me. Hopefully, this new breed will have the guts to stand firm and do what is necessary to resurrect the honor of the game. I pray it is not too late.

LiaAugust 4th, 2016 at 12:37 pm

Talking about procrastination, I’ve been struggling with mine for the last 10 years and read countless books and self help methods. Here is what I’m having best results with. First of all, procrastination bulldozer method has worked wonders for me. I highly recommend you apply it. Secondly, whenever you have a task that takes less than 5 minutes to do, do it right away. No delays. I’m really starting to take control of my life now.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 4th, 2016 at 1:14 pm


Procrastination is not MY problem. I don’t pull any punches. My reference was to the coverup by others and not admitting the truth for fear of the consequences which all came out eventually.

Jane AAugust 4th, 2016 at 1:32 pm

This team event problem brought back a situation that happened years ago at one of our tournaments. I had totally forgotten about it. I was playing in a knockout (I rarely play in knockouts) and we were going to start our second round. We went to the table we were supposed to be at, we thought, but the pair that was sitting there said we were at the wrong table. OK, that was certainly possible, so we checked the assignment sheet and it said we were supposed to be at that table. But my partner, who knew a lot more about knockouts than I did said it did not seem right, so she asked the director. The director, a very experienced one, said yes, that was the right table and rather gruffly told us to sit down and stay playing even though my partner and the other pair thought the assignment was wrong. Well, guess what, the director had made an error when making the assignments and my partner and the other pair were right! We played the entire round and were just about finished when another director came up and said opps!

There was nothing that could be done about it at that point but the directors came up with scores they thought would be fair. It was a small knockout and not an elite event by any means. Thus time the players were not at fault but at least we had asked a director. I am not trying to say that the directors have to be perfect, we are all human and make mistakes, but it is up to the players to summon a director when there is a problem and let them make the determination on what to do. In this case, I suggested we all be given a refund but of course that did not happen.

ANWAugust 4th, 2016 at 2:06 pm

Lia, above, is spamming your site.

You can find similar comments on many other sites… it’s a low-key sales pitch.

Bill CubleyAugust 4th, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Maybe the charged players will be uninvited as were Zmudzinski and Balicki. Perhaps the WBF will ask why the ACBL knowingly sent a unethical player without resolving the issue.

We can hope.

Judy Kay-WolffAugust 4th, 2016 at 11:41 pm

Hi Bill:

I am as upset with the secretive, unpopular handling of the situation as you are. Agreed, it was indiscreet and hopefully precedents will be established as to meting out punishment (if any) … God Forbid history repeats itself. However, in bridge, there are countless ways of gaining advantage; but I would hardly classify the alleged culprit as unethical (and remember neither you nor I witnessed the incident first hand). Besides … I don’t even know to whom you were referring as ‘the’ unethical player. Moreover, I have no doubt that he did not do it on his own. He had to have had the blessing/s of others. It did not sound like a one-man job.

Incidents like these come in all sizes and shapes in team events and it has happened countless times previously.

No doubt, it would not have gotten the approval of Miss Manners .. and there are worse varieties of “unethicality.” It boils down to each team trying to steal ten victory points they don’t deserve .. with the actual victim being the event itself!

In light of all the publicity. I don’t expect to be hearing about many repeat performances in the future!

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