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Bobby Wolff comes across as a complete cowboy in his autobiography. He believes it¿s my way or the highway. Just because he is a tactless person lacking political acumen doesn't mean all his positions are authentic and the only correct way of doing things.<BR/><BR/>Some of his positions are inconsistent. For example his wife was denied due process with the Appeal Without Merit Warning (AWMW) from the Pittsburgh National in 2005, yet he denied due process to someone accused of cheating. The alleged offender was overseas when the hearing took place and was not given an opportunity to respond to the allegations.<BR/><BR/>He is proud of the fact that he sabotaged a proposal to turn bridge into a major sport with a bridge being televised and a bridge tour being formed. Bridge would have been better off with the Grand Slam proposal than without it.<BR/><BR/>Some sections in the book indicate that Wolff doesn¿t understand bridge law. He openly believes in ignoring bridge laws and ruling according to how he feels. Some of his concepts have no place in bridge law, for example hesitation disruption (HD), convention disruption(CD) and protect the field (PTF). Also the 1990 Rosenblum scoring error case was correctly decided. There was no pro-German or anti-Canadian bias, the committee ruled according to the laws of bridge, as they should.<BR/><BR/>Wolff is against anything resembling moderately complicated conventions. He thinks we all should only be able to play to his strengths. This is a self-serving argument.<BR/><BR/>There is a chapter on youth in bridge. Well, one of the reasons there aren't many young people in bridge is because of harsh system restrictions. Wolff also thinks he should be able to tell another country how to choose their teams.<BR/><BR/>This is an extremely ego riddled book by someone who has no qualms about imposing his own outdated views on others.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2008
Bobby Wolff is a 70-something expert in contract bridge, specifically the duplicate version used in competition. He has spent the last 14 years writing a jeremiad about the state of the game, titling it 'The Lone Wolff.' Wolff sees himself as a kind of Don Quixote, unafraid to ruffle feathers among the bridge elite. The problems he cites include corporate sponsorship and its inevitable conflicts of interest, rampant cheating, jealousy among officials, and the disadvantages faced by less experienced competitors who encounter complex and often deliberately confusing bidding methods. Wolff tries hard and makes many excellent points, but he's too much the insider to be altogether credible. Imagine Alex Rodriguez, who pulls down eight figures a year from the Yankees for playing a kid's game, complaining about team owners, umpires, league officials, opponents, teammates, sportswriters, broadcasters, and everyone else connected to baseball, meanwhile offering himself as the solution to all its problems. One might fairly ask Bobby Wolff, 'Why don't you quit competitive bridge and just play for fun?' Wolff talks about how James Cayne, bridge expert and formerly head of the doomed brokerage firm Bear Stearns, saw through the smooth talk of a promoter who sought to make competitive bridge into a major sport. Because of Cayne, the would-be promoter and his grandiose plans were vetoed. How ironic that at the very time Bear Stearns went belly-up from disastrous mortgage investments, Cayne himself was away from the office...at a bridge tournament! The news came too late for Wolff to eliminate that chapter from his book, as he no doubt would have liked to do.
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