Judy Kay-Wolff


bridge players in the last 75 years.  Appearing in the October daily bridge bulletin  I answered Brent’s innovative editorial ..

I have always enjoyed Brent’s focus on different subjects and this month’s caught my eye – celebrating the 75th anniversary of the ACBL.      He continues “We have been tossing around ideas for coverage in this magazine, starting next  month and leading up to the observance in 2012.   One of the ideas I like a lot is a Top 52 list of influential bridge people over the last 75 years.” 

At  the time I suggested Lee Hazen, a pillar of the bridge community who reached into his own pocket in the mid thirties to keep the League going when funds were low or nil.   There may have been no ACBL today had it not been for Lee.   However, since reading some of the preposterous nominees (including proven or suspected cheats), I came up with another idea.   

Influential does not necessarily have to be positive.   We can cite dozens of negative influences on bridge, beginning with Carl Albert Perroux, notorious mastermind of the exalted Blue Team (and stop at that for fear of getting into a blood bath).   Then there were the plethora of proven cheaters (barred from playing) and those suspected ones who are still roaming the aisles and filling the tables.  And, don’t forget proven cheats who illuminate our own Hall of Fame?  How about the people who took credit for conventions they didn’t invent and whose name they still bear?   How about the administrators whose prime concern is glory and popularity rather than a concerted effort to better the league and keep it free from politics and money lust?  I could go on and on.   In fact, outside of the bridge world – how about the MVP from the National League just named, followed by the fact he couldn’t pass the drug test.

It isn’t only bridge that has these sleazy type of phonies.   Every sport and group has their own Peck’s Bad Boy (and Girl) List.  I’d be careful naming the “Top 52” before scrutinizing their backgrounds.


Howard Bigot-JohnsonDecember 11th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

HBJ : Perhaps you need a Hall Of Infamy to recognise the achievements and exploits of those who need to be named and shamed ? Or maybe a Rogues Gallery ? It beggars belief that there seems to be so many of them ?
How can these people live with themselves….or have a conscience…..or the brass neck to receive awards they clearly arn’t entitled to. Is all sounds too incredible and shocking.
Yours amazed at what I’ve just read, HBJ

Judy Kay-WolffDecember 12th, 2011 at 12:26 am


When you’ve been on the scene as long as I have, you get to hear a lot of tales. Of course, you must consider the source and what I believe comes from the mouths of people with whom I would trust my life.

The naivete and gullibility of some of the remarks on BW makes me shudder as they repeat what they hear and believe it as gospel. I’ve been fortunate to be associated with an array of knowledgeable , trustworthy and well-informed individuals so I am comfortable making these statements.

Thanks for your vote of confidence.


RKDecember 16th, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Yes, some of the names suggested on Bridge Winners are ridiculous — let alone inappropriate. I heard someone say maybe they should split the 52 into 26 famous and 26 infamous.

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 9th, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I received this today via Bridge Winners from an unknown source which I thought I would pass on for whatever it is worth (though a bit late as the list has been completed and will be published in the next issue of the Monthly Bulletin:

Replied Comment:
I know this sequence is old news by now, and the Bulletin has started publishing its list with acknowledgement of the value we provided.


But I’d like to add a few people:
Lou Gurvich. Lou became chairman of National Appeals when Freddy Sheinwold stepped down from that job and oversaw its transition from an “old boys’ network” to something with more members, a more professional approach, and less favoritism.
Rich Colker: Rich transformed the position of National Recorder into something meaningful and also made useful the booklets with commentary on appeals cases.
Roger Stern: One of his major contributions (in addition to co-inventing Astro, the parent of all the currently popular methods of interference over 1N) was codifying the procedures for District Judiciary Committees and helping (I believe) to establish guidelines for appropriate discipline.

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 9th, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I just learned that the earlier anonymous writer was Henry Bethe, certainly active and knowledgeable.