Judy Kay-Wolff

RE: BRIDGEVARIA (“Bob helps Bobby”) … just for the record!

There is nothing more insulting to the public than to make erroneous authoritative statements.  To me, it is even more unconscionable to make so many incorrect ‘statements of fact’  in one paragraph — let alone an article, professing to be so knowledgeable.    I  strongly urge if you are giving statistics, you do some research beforehand and get your facts right!   First, Bobby has won ELEVEN (not ten) world championships; Second, he has won SEVEN (not six) Bermuda Bowls; and Third, he did not play and win ALL of his world championships with Hamman.   One was the Mixed Teams and the other was the Seniors.   Furthermore, it may interest you to know he has the distinction of having won world cups in FIVE different categories — something that has never been done before or since.


LindaNovember 4th, 2009 at 6:26 am

No doubt about it who would not want a partner like Bob Hamman! Of course who would not want a partner like Bobby Wolff. They did have a great partnership, maybe one of the best that ever has been. There is certainly no doubt that this is a partnership game and players in long standing partnership have an advantage, as they should.

Both of them have gone on to have great results with other partners too. But that does not diminish the wonderful years they had together.

It would be fun to hear about some of their personal favorite hands together.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 4th, 2009 at 11:50 am


I am speaking of apples and you are discussing oranges. I read no further than the original erroneous recap by Bridgevaria of Bobby’s world title accomplishments and found it appalling that an alleged reporter could write a piece replete with so many glaring incorrect facts. I fail to see the relevance of your suggesting reviewing “some of their personal favorite hands together.” You seem to have forgotten reading a chapter in a book called The Lone Wolff which discusses the hurtful one-sided, ugly, deceitfully handled breakup of the partnership.

You totally avoided the main issue of an allegedly responsible blogging reporter making three egregiously outstanding errors concerning a bridge legend’s incredible record of world championships. I was outraged that he spoke off the top of his head, trusting to fallacious memory, without bothering to document his facts. Thus, I feel your above issues are totally off point, irrelevant and skirt the issue. People must be accountable for their factual errors and make amends to the public for them. I was merely asking the author to set the record straight. Little enough to request from a responsible individual!


Phil HernandezNovember 5th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

And you, Judy, seemed to have missed Linda’s point that the number, categorization, and partner with which Mr. Wolff won the championships was not the point of Bridgevaria’s blog entry but rather that Hamman made a nice defensive play and wouldn’t it be nice to see some of the other great hands they played.

I see no evidence of Bridgevaria “professing to be so knowledgable”. Did he misremember the number of championships? Yes. Did he credit Mr. Hamman with an extras world championship as Mr. Wolff’s partner? Sure. Was any of that the point? No. Do any of us mere mortals think any less of Mr. Wolff given the error? Of course not. Do we think that trumpeting Mr. Wolff’s accomplishments in detail while expressing outrage at an internet blogger’s lack of alleged responsibility is a touch crass? Well, I do.

You, however, seem so caught up in the details that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Add to that the fact that the forest being depicted focuses on Mr. Hamman rather than Mr. Wolff and it is easy to see why this might outrage you. I assure you, Judy, no one thinks any less of Mr. Wolff’s accomplishments even if the quantity, category, and partners were misstated.

And as for Bridgevaria, I personally would not consider a “blogging reporter” capable of “egregiously outstanding errors” within the context of journalism since I am aware that blogging is not the same as writing for the NYT, say, and the credentials of the two groups are hardly comparable. Blogging reporters are simply not held to the same standard and are therefore never going to (have to) be “responsible” no matter how much you may want it to be so.

Linda was indeed skirting the (your) issue because I believe she was trying to find something positive not only in Bridgevaria’s article but in your post as well, something you seemed to have been incapable of. Perhaps a polite explanatory note correcting the information presented would have sufficed instead of a full blown rant.



JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 5th, 2009 at 7:23 pm

To: Phil Hernandez

You talk of Linda and her good intentions to divert attention from the subject issue. Neither you nor Linda are in any position to judge the ridiculous prospect of Hamman and Wolff putting their heads together to produce hands for their readers. Much over a decade has passed since their split and they have moved in different directions. Both are very busy men and have more important items on their agenda than the suggested unproductive, distasteful waste of time. What disturbed me about Linda’s remarks was that she deliberately made no comment on the subject blog but went off on some extraneous tangent — avoiding the issue — trying to protect the careless writer. If he can’t get the facts right, say nothing.

I am going to focus on you and your cohorts. My first exposure to Bridgevaria (whomever or whatever it represents) was with the deification of the Blue Team which caused a flood of replies from rude, nasty, unqualified commentors — causing Ray Lee, of bridgeblogging.com., to declare the blog site denigrated and made a unilateral decision to shut the blog down.

It became painfully apparent that the person/s involved in the original blog had absolutely no FIRST HAND knowledge (nor should they have) of events such as accuracy on the history of the Blue Team nor when subjects such as abilities of other well known players are discussed to even consider rendering their own very uneducated opinions. However, those making the statements, still considered themselves reputable and definitely knowledgeable, in spite of coming from ground zero. They were not present at the time and didn’t have a clue. However, an individual who has lived through it thinks and knows differently and realizes how brainwashed and biased others are and the original Bridgevaria blog was a negative reflection on all journalism — based on hearsay.

In the near future (when James Ortiz-Patino’s book, The History of World Bridge, hits the shelves) much more substantive disclosure will prove to anyone who is not willfully self-deceptive what actually has happened in regard to some of the subject matter.

If I had one thing to say, it would be that journalism and communication reek from power. It can and often does become a form of abuse. Study your history about dictators first needing control of the media in order to continue their evil plans, and perhaps you will begin to understand what a journalist in any capacity should be morally bound to prevent. That is what accurate and responsible journalism should be about.

As far as blogging or writing for the New York Times, London Times, USA Today or any other prestigious publicaton (or even a school newspaper), I see no difference in accountability or accuracy. When one chooses to make a public (blog) statement read by thousands of readers all over the globe on the internet, he or she should have enough self respect for himself or herself as well as their reading audience to be 100% positive of the information released — not some willly-nilly, half-assed guesswork made in passing. It has nothing to do with one’s accomplishments — but rather the lack of desire or interest to release the accurate information –especially on such unique achievements.

Obviously, many people find it hard to recognize their imperfections. I, personally, would be

the first one to issue a retraction, correction and apology had I released even one (let alone several) fallacious statements that were of public record had he bothered to check it out. It has nothing to do with credit to Hamman or Wolff — but rather presenting accurate information. Perhaps such lethargy in trusting to memory is attributable to an individual’s ego, laziness, being overburdened with work — or maybe even the culture and environment in which he or she were raised. I was taught to own up to one’s errors front and center — not ignore them — but I am not responsible for anyone’s action but my own.

I suppose the issue just boils down to one’s personal standards, pride and self-respect.

Judy Kay-Wolff

SteveNovember 6th, 2009 at 1:00 am

Judy, don’t hold your breath waiting for an apology or correction. Some people never admit they are wrong. But it is troubling when a bridge columnist make easily verifiable

factual mistakes in this day and age when there is the internet and the Bridge Encyclopedia

to verify the facts (in this case Bobby’s world championship victories and who was on the

team). I “Googled” Bobby’s name and found over a half million references, the third of which was Wikipedia. There I found Eleven World Championships. In two events, one of which was the 1972 Olympiad Mixed Teams, Bob Hamman(no disrespect intended or implied) was not on the winning team.

I have to take issue with Phil Hernandez’s statement regarding not holding blogging reporters to the same standard as journalists. I think we have a right to expect accuracy when someone makes a statement like ten championships. If you really don’t know how many it is and don’t wish to expend the effort to find out, just write many world championships and take the easy way out. To give a number is to imply accuracy and fact. I’d like to believe that people still strive for excellence in their personal endeavors bridge blogging included. Hope I’m not too naive.

James HornerNovember 7th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Thank you for your post. Bridgevaria has some good hands.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 7th, 2009 at 6:04 pm


I never get as far as the hands as there always seems to be some disputable commentary in the introduction to which I and others take exception.

Jason WarthmanNovember 8th, 2009 at 5:43 am

Frankly, don’t care about the ‘disputable commentary’.

You seem to be making a big deal about nothing, Judy. You seem to be too sensitive, which is surprising given your age (hence expected ‘wisdom’).

BridgeVaria site does have some good hands, have to agree with James.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 8th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

Mr. Warthman:

As Rhett Butler once said, ‘FRANKLY, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” That is how I view your opening remarks. FRANKLY, I DO CARE ABOUT DISPUTABLE COMMENTARY — as far as both hearsay and erroneous information. The Fourth Estate must be ACCURATE, ACCOUNTABLE, RESPONSIBLE, FORTHRIGHT AND CORRECT or else they should not be privileged to be a member of the media!

Interesting bridge hands are a dime a dozen! That is not the issue. Sensitivity (and “hence expected wisdom’) have nothing to do with age. I was taught very early in my life to be responsible for my own actions and have lived by that adage all my life. I cannot control other persons’ moral fiber and I experience sheer disgust seeing erroneous statements in print — with no attempt to set the record straight. Upon further thought, perhaps the site is called Bridgevaria, as the author takes the liberty of ‘varying’ from the straight and narrow and feels no accountability to acknowledge his errors. It’s a sad day for both bridge and journalism.

AlexNovember 14th, 2009 at 11:11 am

Please keep up the good work Judy. I haven’t laughed so much at a rant like this for ages. In fact I haven’t read one as good as yours since I stopped reading the rants of some of the ultra-left sects denouncing each other. I think even they would feel a pang of jealousy at your supreme efforts.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 17th, 2009 at 12:59 am

Hi Alex:

I charge for entertainment. You’ll get a bill. Seriously, I’m far from an angel and have made quite a few mistakes in my lifetime. Who hasn’t???? I just feel it is unconscionable to use the power of the media and when proven in error, not make immediate amends. I would hope they would have the good taste and conscience to initiate the corrections without ‘in vain’ prompting.

Blogging needs more people like you — who burst forth out of nowhere (especially after things seems to have died down) with a delightful sense of humor. Never thought I’d be laughing after reading a comment on the subject blog following some of the so-called reprimands that have been issued to me!

AlexNovember 18th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

Glad to have been of service -;)

Denis KristandaJanuary 12th, 2010 at 7:32 am

Agree with you Judy. I am still a little bid upset though with the break up of the legendary Wolff/Hamman partnership…

I remember vividly when still learning playing bridge with my first partner during university time. We keep playing and playing together and people start calling us “Bob” and “Bobby” in honor of the pair ! (we were both chubby young fellow with glasses just like Bob and Bobby, although the technique were much much much lower)

Anyway, keep bridging !