Judy Kay-Wolff


is perhaps the greatest contribution toward bringing the universal world of bridge together.  The person responsible for this incredible facility is Fred Gitelman (a former Canadian, now residing in Vegas with his lovely wife, Sheri Winestock).  To look at him, you’d never suspect he is the fantastic computer programmer who put it all together.  He is quiet, modest, shy and despite his beneficence (while maintaining a low profile) — Fred stands apart from most of the bridge hoi polloi. 

It all began with Bridge Base, Inc. in 1990 and in 2001 BBO appeared.  It is definitely the most dominant and prominent bridge site which offers players the opportunity to play simple, social or serious bridge (with MPs available as sanctioned), practice on line or view NABCs, WBF championships and a multitude of alluring international happenings.    The greatest attraction is that they are available in the comfort of one’s own home.  However, I should not neglect to mention — the price is right — unlike much of the cannibalism that has surfaced in the bridge world today. 

Because of his originality and unequaled input, Fred was chosen as the No. 6 Honoree in the Top 52 Most Influential People in ACBL history.  Besides his computer genius from which we have all gleaned much pleasure,  he has captured several gold, silver and bronze medals in world events and owns seven North American titles.

We all thank you Fred –  for your unparalleled insight and continuing development of the world’s most mind boggling bridge venue!


AlexisOctober 4th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Thank you Judy for giving credit where credit is due. Fred’s contributions in terms of online bridge are truly unmatched. As a new mother of two I can honestly say that without the opportunity to play on BBO I would have to give up one of my favorite pastimes. As much as I love the fun and camaraderie I get from live bridge I just don’t have the time or energy to fit it into my hectic schedule. BBO affords me a luxury during my rare “me time.” I’m sure it is invaluable for many others who for whatever reason don’t have the time/ability to make it to their local club. It is also a God-sent for those wishing to play/practice with partners outside of one’s own locale. For all of that I want to repeat what Judy said : we all thank you Fred.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 5th, 2013 at 2:02 am

Hi Alexis

I believe in giving credit where credit is due. My personal experiences of last week, watching the Bali performers, was the perfect example.

I sat in bed with my Ipad, viewing the early sessions beginning at 8:00 p.m. my time and continued until the wee hours of the morning. I would fall asleep with my new-found toy on my lap and when I arose, Bobby would tell me the final results. Without BBO — none of this would have been possible. What was so marvelous was that it was simple to maneuver from one match to the other, check out the scores, learn what was transpiring in the other rooms — all with the greatest of ease.

It is similar in comparison to us wondering what we ever did before TV came upon the scene. Now it seems like we were living in the dark ages. We just seem to take everything for granted and that is why I spoke up. BBO was long in arriving — but well worth the wait.

Robb GordonOctober 5th, 2013 at 3:38 pm

I have known Fred since he was a kid from Toronto. He has always been a gentleman and he has always behaved with kindness and humility. It is wonderful to see a good person achieve such success both at the table and in the development of BBO. As you say, his contributions to bridge have been invaluable. Your tribute is most fitting.

BobOctober 5th, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I join Robb in praising Fred for his talents and humility. It is good for our wonderful game to have someone like you who takes the time to speak up (either negatively or positively)! The bridge world is composed of much criticism and too few plaudits.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 5th, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Hi Robb and Bob:

Sounds like the beginning of a play on words! Seriously, I feel very little (and hardly enough) recognition is given to the quiet, modest individuals who are the driving force behind our game. At forty-eight, Fred has a long time till his automatic entry into the Hall of Fame .. so why wait? Celebrate his contributions now.