Judy Kay-Wolff


Since so many of you are not necessarily familiar with Bridge Winners, I am taking the liberty of reprinting two pieces connected to Brent Manley’s original editorial on the 52 most influential individuals in the last 75 years which was just printed in a current monthly bridge bulletin.   Bobby, now 79, has been involved in bridge play and administration (too involved to detail at this time) for the last 55 plus years.   He has comprehensive knowledge of information probably more so than anyone in the bridge world today.  I am taking the liberty of reprinting his last two renderings.


(NO. 1)

By mentioning Carl Albert Perroux as a major influence in bridge over the last so many years, we can now mention a Johnny come lately to major league baseball  who until yesterday, would have just been a minor footnote as any kind of  influence since his only highlight up to now was winning the National League most valuable player in 2011, and that is Ryan Braun.

It only proves what has already been alluded to, positive and negative both shake things up and create notoriety.  Perhaps it should be up to us to at least have asterisks (like Roger Maris’  famous season with 61 home runs which broke the Babe’s record but had more games to accomplish it).

Bobby Wolff


(NO. 2)

For a brief moment I considered doing a much too long article about what I  thought needed to be done in order to get an accurate history and therein tradition of our 75 years of tournament bridge.  Instead let me just offer a few caveats which some may take seriously and some not so.

1. Like all other competitions which last over a long period of time with all major sports acting as good examples, there are major differences of opinion between current (and therefore usually younger) opinions and also geezers who were there, some up close and some not so.

2. IMO the negatives (mostly cheating scandals, but also other political  squabbles) have been underestimated by too many with almost all of the more known ones actual and far from fantasy.

3. Bridge has improved greatly (IMO 90% bidding methods, 9% defensive carding and 1% declarer play) through the last 60 years, due to innovation, imagination and most important, understanding the strengths and difficulties of the game.

4. Professionalism has been very necessary as an enabler to bridge talent to remain 90%+ involved in the game as opposed to requiring difficult to obtain other economic means.  However, again IMO professionalism needs to be controlled at least to some extent and it is bad news that money too often is more important than our great game itself. Reality means something, but so does the
future of our game and its world competition.

5. BBO and its ramifications are the most important single happening in the future of bridge and might be the necessary solution to its perpetuation, but many other factors need to be considered such as the entwinement of professionalism and relationships between the WBF and its world members.

6. I’ll leave you with a question of, as an individual please render opinions on how you compare using performance enhancing drugs in physical sports to stealthy cheating in bridge and how should both be handled. As of today there is no real consensus to the way to handle both and it is important that we as a bridge group decide together the discipline we need to restore the glory of our game and how to keep it that way.

Thanks for listening and keep up your interest and opinions, but be careful giving them about eras which you did not experience personally. 

Bobby Wolff

Bobby would like to make an addendum ….

In Number 5 above, it should also be said that “up and coming heretofore basically unknown partnerships (usually young) should be afforded a better than less than 1% chance of having the opportunity to compete in a formal trials or some-such event in order to show off their skills and numeracy talent in order for the high-level community to be able to evaluate them as on the way to being world class’’.


Robb GordonDecember 13th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

It isn’t that germane to your point, but let’s reserve judgement on Ryan Braun. Something about this story doesn’t add up, and he might well beat the rap.

Bobby WolffDecember 14th, 2011 at 7:02 am

Hi Robb,

Yes, I agree, let’s reserve judgment on Ryan
Braun. During the baseball season, whenever I glanced at Milwaukee games, he was driving in key runs and being a tough out.

Let’s hope he was victimized and was not guilty of using illegal drugs.