Judy Kay-Wolff


Over the last couple of years (since the release of The Lone Wolff), Bobby has received hundreds of emails, personal letters and handshakes applauding his candor for discussing a flood of subjects deliberately passed over and buried at the time by those at the helm.  However, in fairness to the public and to set the record straight for posterity, he boldly unearthed dozens of incidents which had been cloaked — some for over half a century.    Because Bobby felt a responsibility to the bridge loving public, some thirteen years after he began the manuscript, he produced TLW in an effort to set bridge back on its rightful, honorable course — as intended by its founding fathers.   The early ‘protectors’ of the game feared a scandal (and/or litigation which they were not prepared to deal with) and that may well have been the reason for their passivity, but if addressed at the time, perhaps many of the shenanigans of earlier years would not still be prevalent sixty years later!   And today, the beat continues with current issues:   alerts, failures to alert, private conventions, non-disclosures, club owners playing favorites, personal agendas, etc.   New problems always arise and there is no doubt our sport must be policed by qualified and fair-minded, objective people whose sole goal is to protect the honor and dignity of the game.  Easier said than done!

What prompted this blog was an email Bobby received yesterday (in response to an earlier correspondence) congratulating him for finally unlocking the skeletons from the closet and sweeping the dirt out from under the carpet.   I am withholding the identity of the writer — but it is a mixture of queries and humor and I felt it worthy of sharing:

Dear Bobby,

Thank you for taking the time to write to me.   If the ACBL management was asked by a newcomer to the tournament trail 3 questions:

1.   “What assurances can you give me that the bridge game will be of high ethical standards?”;

2    “Do you aggressively pursue wrongdoers or do you believe that it is better for your organization to shy away from potential litigation?”;

3.  “If the answers to both 1 and 2 are not a resounding vote of confidence for a fair contest, why should I be a member and spend many thousands of dollars chasing masterpoints just to lose an event to someone who knows when to cough or how to lay a pencil on the table?”

Please continue to look out for the game that we both love.

With much respect,


I feel the above is a very provocative email and certainly serves as food for thought!


ToddNovember 20th, 2009 at 4:26 pm

The questions posed above mirror my sentiments exactly!

Though I am new to bridge and currently can only play online, I feel my skills have advanced to the point where I can begin to make a foray into tournament bridge. After reading about many of the shenanigans that seem to be rampant, I have wondered…Should I?

I have been involved in competition in many sports and have always assumed that fairness was part of the fabric of the sport. The officials involved were of course charged with maintaining a level playing field. As competitors we KNEW that this was so.

Bridge, it seems, is somehow lacking in this regard.

Even armed with this knowledge I will still likely make the jump to tournament bridge. However, if I see evidence of unfairness…or worse yet experience it myself, I may leave it behind for some other pursuit. A loss to the world of bridge? Unlikely. BUT who is to say that someone with greater skills or potential than I possess could do the same and decide not to compete.

That would be a loss.


JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 20th, 2009 at 5:38 pm


You are far too modest. For someone with writing talent such as yours, you would be doing yourself an injustice by not giving tournament (or even duplicate) bridge a chance. There are many wonderful people (both young and old of both sexes) who indulge themselves rather regularly and it enriches their existence and fills in a lot of empty hours.

Playing on line is great experience and very convenient. I have hosts of friends who adore

it and that is how they got started — rather than by actual face to face combat. Some players commit violations innocently because they don’t know any better. Hoewever, when one becomes more experienced with the rules and regulations (and no-nos) — and realize they have been ‘violated’ — that is where a knowledgeable and fair director comes into play.

Don’t sell yourself short. Get in there and give it a shot!

PaulNovember 21st, 2009 at 6:33 pm

If you believe that bridge is really different in this regard from other sports then I think you are being a little naïve. It’s just that you have far more insight into the running of this game than you do into others.

All the sports really have the same cross-section of society playing and administrating the games.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFNovember 21st, 2009 at 10:19 pm

From my perspective, it is you, Paul, who is ‘being a little naive.’

Sports are subject to more scrutiny because of national telecasts and news media so that administrators are more accountable in the public view. Unlike sports, bridge is pretty much unto itself except the administrators who constitute the committees in charge (in many cases) have personal agendas, individual ties and allegiances — and worst of all cashing a professional pay check in the minds of most is more important than capturing the Trophy itself. Many decisions are made depending on what is best for the individual casting the vote — not necessarily what is best to maintain the fairest Conditions of Contest and preserve the equity of the game for posterity.

The sancity and dignity of Bridge have become secondary to the almighty dollar.