Judy Kay-Wolff


The 2011 von Zedtwitz Award went to one of the veterans of the game .. RUSS ARNOLD.   Russ, now living in Florida has been an exemplary inspiration as to what expert bridge should be about – talent, judgment, ethics and fine manners. 

Russ underwent a heartbreaking experience when he earned the right to play on my husband Bobby’s Senior Team (winning the Trials) for a trip to  Beijing.  He is far from destitute but the expenses for an octogenarian to go business class with his s.o. was out of sight and Russ had to decline (replaced by a very competent Ron Smith).  With all the money being taken in and so much thrown around by the sponsors, some way should be found to come up with a fund to subsidize those who cannot realistically afford such an enormously expensive trip overseas and don’t have sponsors to foot the bill.  

Perhaps the Peter Pender Fund originally intended for the defunct Pendergraph with the remaining balance now in dispute, should disburse some of its remaining money to help subsidize someone who has earned the right to represent the United States but needs some monetary assistance for the enormous bottom line!   Knowing Peter, he certainly would have been in favor of such a gesture.  Something to think about!

The 2011 Blackwood recipient was ERIC KOKISH, a Canadian, who has given so much of himself for the betterment of the game in countless capacities.  The selection is based primarily on outside contributions (not bridge victories) but Eric fills the bill at both ends. Kokish who is the celebrated Coach of the Nickell Team and others is, however, a  quite accomplished player, with two North American championships to his credit along with silver medals in the Bermuda Bowl and the World Open Pairs and has been second in the prestigious Reisinger/Spingold/Vanderbilt five times.

Congratulations to our newest deserving electees.


ChuckMarch 20th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

It is nice indeed that Russ Arnold lived to see himself elected .. unlike so many of the great players who were inducted posthumously.

AlanMarch 21st, 2011 at 5:22 am

It’s sad that Grant Baze never lived to see his honorable name emblazoned in the Living Hall of Fame. However, I understand that will be accomplished next year.

CPMarch 21st, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Is it true that no one garnered enough votes to make it into the regular Hall of Fame this year (2011)? If so, I can’t remember it happening before.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 21st, 2011 at 1:09 pm


To my knowledge you are right — and noticeably some of the sponsors did not even appear on the ballot this year.

I think it is harder and harder to lionize just ‘very good’ players and distinguish them from the old criteria of “world class.” There are so many gradations of skill and talent — a criteria unto itself.

I am still in favor of separating them into two categories (male and female) as I think some of the women have had very distingushed careers and records, but I am in the minority — and apparently the women are against the separate entities.