Judy Kay-Wolff

FINALLY – The Resurrection of the Peter Pender Memorial Vugraph Theater

Thanks to the determination and effort of our new ACBL CEO Robert Hartman, the tribute to Peter has been restored.

Before he died in 1990, at Bobby’s urging, he bequeathed $27,500 to the Juniors, which was to be utilized for engraved trophies to be presented every two years to those young players who had achieved victories in special events. However, it was done for a year or two, but then it suddenly stopped.  Because of laxity and lethargy of those administrators in charge at the time, there was no further recognition of the juniors until a keg of dynamite was placed beneath them.

The other $50,000 left to the ACBL Educational Foundation for the perpetuation of his name was buried and forgotten because it seemed no one was appointed to oversee the money trail intended to commemorate Peter’s achievements in and contributions to the game. It was the responsibility of those in charge of the bequest to see to the proper use of his money.  Most of those on the Board now were not at fault for the irresponsibility of appropriately memorializing the legend of Peter Pender.  Soon after, the wonderfully revolutionary BBO came upon the scene and the tribute to Peter (via The Pendergraph Room and it’s spectacular commentators) was abruptly abandoned.

Many of his friends were saddened by this ACBL move, but no one had the determination to rectify it until the disgraceful lack of attention of the Educational Foundation was discovered.  Back in the sixties and seventies, my late husband Norman and I were very friendly with Peter.  Many a night after a local tournament he would join us at Bobby Jordan’s apartment and play Trivia and word games, in which he excelled.  Not only was he a fantastic bridge player but an Olympic Champion Figure Skater as well.  He was a model superstar to represent our country and won a World Championship in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1985 .. in addition to five Vanderbilts, two Men’s Pairs and two Reisingers – plus, plus. plus.  His achievements in life and bridge were ever remarkable despite his impending death.

The other day I received an email from Bob Hartman that my three year efforts were not in vain. The upcoming National in St. Louis will feature a permanent brass plaque at the entrance of the Peter Pender Memorial Vugraph Theater which displays a beautiful picture of Peter and an eloquent tribute to his accomplishments written by Tracy Yarboro, a talented member of the ACBL office in Horn Lake.



Jane from PhillyMarch 3rd, 2013 at 6:31 pm


You capsulized Peter as I remember him from afar during his days here when I was just starting to play. He was not only a super bridge player, but a modest gentleman as well.

Peter would be proud of you for pursuing the Pendergraph and achieving your goal. He deserved the recognition for his contributions to the game.

Jack MendelsohnMarch 3rd, 2013 at 10:21 pm

It certainly should not have taken so long but your persistance finally paid off. Peter Pender
would be very proud of you.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 4th, 2013 at 12:37 am

Hi Jane:

It’s hard to believe it’s over fifty years since we would socialize with Peter before he moved to the West Coast. Every time Norman and I had reason to visit the West Coast, we would contact Peter in advance and he was always so gracious. It should have been automatic for his money to be used as he designated. It took a long time to rectify the situation but it makes me feel good that I persisted. What’s right is right!


Judy Kay-WolffMarch 4th, 2013 at 12:48 am


Long time — no see (or hear from you). Hope you are doing well and have not lost your zest for the game. I have fond memories of the good old days in Philadelphia — the duplicates. sectionals, regionals and Nationals. It seems like a century ago but my recollection of the past seems so recent to me. I miss all my old buddies.

As far as following up on Peter’s endowment — as soon as I learned from Bobby about his bequest to the ACBL and how it was violated, I was hell bent on giving him his due. It did take quite a while — but I was adamant about making it right and refused to give up the ship.

Give my best to all the people at Yorktown.



Jordan CohenMarch 4th, 2013 at 3:56 pm

I remember Peter from his Montreal days; when he valiantly taught my mom bridge after she married Ralph; from his playing with Ralph occasionally until he departed for the States, and how they resurrected their partnership for the World Championships in Geneva in 1990 and managed to make the quarter-finals of the Rosenblum. He was always a classy guy.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 4th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Hi Jordan:

So many people I respected and enjoyed are gone. I knew your parents well. They even played at our place in Penn Valley when we ran a home team game. I have marvelous memories of them.

Your mother was indeed lucky to have him as a mentor!

I only knew Peter as a Philadelphian who actually lived on the Main Line (which you would never have known from Peter). In fact, Norman and I were at his home (quite impressive) but he was one of the most unpretentious persons whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I never associated him with Montreal and didn’t recall his playing with your dad in Geneva. However, at this stage in life I don’t pride myself on a keen memory.

Thanks for sharing!



Bill CubleyMarch 4th, 2013 at 6:32 pm

My team played against Peter Pender, Hugh Ross, Chip Martel and Lew Stansby in the district 21 GNT knockout phase. It was 1989 and they were seeded first and we were seeded 16th despite tying their score in the stage II event.

My partner claimed 10 tricks at 3NT. Hugh took 1 second to analyze the hand and conceded making 11 tricks on a squeeze. Peter leaned over with a frown and took some time before he grudgingly accpted. Me, I was delighted to tie the board.

The comparison went poorly on that board. Chip and Lew made 12 tricks and we LOST an IMP on that flat board! Damn one IMP still ticks me off. I guess Peter changed his mind on not liking the original concession.

They were great opponents and all 4 treated us with courtesy and respect as we competed. A great experience.

I ha d the pelasure of getting the local newspaper across the street to interlview nearby residents Lew and Joanna when they both won World Cahmpionships at the same WBF tournament.

Gary MugfordMarch 4th, 2013 at 11:00 pm


Congrats. I did this once prematurely, but it’s great to know I was just proclaiming faith in your tenacity. Kudos to you for these belated kudos to Peter. And to the current board of the ACBL.

Short and sweet. it’s rare for me, but this is a rare pleasure.

On to the next quest. Say hi to Bobby for me and keep enjoying what you do.

Judy Kay-WolffMarch 4th, 2013 at 11:20 pm

I enjoyed your tales of Peter and The Stansbys.
I happened to get to know all of them during the years, but of course knew Peter best.


Judy Kay-WolffMarch 4th, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Hi Gary:

I didn’t know so many people followed my tale of woe with the denial of recognition for Peter. It was a long, hard trail, but I had no intention of giving up till it was resolved at last. It really gives me a feeling of satisfaction because it took a lot of perseverance!


Jordan CohenMarch 5th, 2013 at 2:57 pm

I think bobby will remember playing against Ralp and Peter in Geneva.

David SmithMarch 20th, 2013 at 6:03 am

I had the privilege of playing with Peter in several tournaments during the 1970’s. He was the kindest and classiest person to everyone he played against

I am a minor investor in BBO …. and I feel great that there is a plaque at every national .. and his name is associated with vu-graph.

Thanks to everyone who made this happen!