Cam French

So Hard Done By

                        The Tragically Hip – So Hard Done By



From: Robert S Wolff

Sent: Friday, February 12, 2010 8:47 PM

To: Cameron French

Cc: kay

Subject: Re: Kind Words


 Hi Cam,

 To merely just thank you for your kind words would not begin to do justice.

We, being kindred spirits, know or at least should know, feeling alone while espousing a spirited cause.  While the lonliness doing that might suggest that no one else agrees, in reality it, especially in current bridge related disputes, merely indicates that few in the middle of the storm can afford to agree because of the fear of personal and financial retribution. Such is now the norm in our corrupted professional bridge scene.

The ugliness will not last forever, but surviving until it abates is testing.  Is it worth it?—probably not. So will we surrender? Not even a blip on either of our radar screens!

Judy and I know we have great friends and total believers.  You are right at the top of our trenchmates.

Thanks for your special countenance.





Bobby – I hereby grant you the right to revoke any and all nice things you might have said about me. Like you – I have a passion. As far as I can tell, (talking as a writer) I owe no one, and if I agree with you or whoever, I reserve the right to disagree down the road too. That is the way it has to be.

Unfortunately the latest diatribe from your beloved was so far out in left field – I could no longer control myself. Forgive me, for I may have sinned. 

Judy – you are in a league of you own. When will you provide one shred of evidence to support any your allegations? You better skip to the end – reading those you disagree with is just not your cup of tea. Then you can spew forth hostile words, and say “get a life” and imagine that the reader does not just accept your word as a given.



Judy Kay-Wolff May 22nd, 2010 at 11:03 am writes:



Apparently Bobby had responded to your comment long after I had retired for the night. He was far too kind to you.

I guess that is a crime. Sorry Bobby – we are charging you with “excessive kindness”. (The good news is – you are unlikely to be convicted.)

So let me show how petty, mean and vindictive someone can be.

Since this was your first time blogging, I suggest in the future you get your facts straight.

Is that a fact or an opinion? And whether or not it is Michaels’s first time blogging is moot. He has been around the block, coached our National Ladies Team, played in World Championships and acquits himself with decorum – something you might learn from.

Bobby was talking about the eighties and nineties and you are philosophizing about recent times.

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


Bobby was born in Texas but has resided in Nevada for the last five years. Your reference to Texas BS couldn’t be farther from the truth. Bobby has never been guilty of BS as he shoots straight from the hip and has damn good aim. Ask anyone who knows him.

I vote with Michael on the Texas BS – and though I didn’t ask – people, connected ones like former team mates,  BOD members, friends, associates even more than one former President of the ACBL have all said the same to me. The message – Bobby is (surprise) not as pure as the driven snow and in fact is a manipulative, scheming SOB who has left a trail of enemies in his wake. One referred to Bobby’s “scorched earth policy”, another saying his psyche “snapped” when thrown overboard by Nickell and company. So your following sentence is hyperbole – hardly “fact”. Certainly his politics, if not personal and private actions have made enemies. Now no doubt some cheaters he helped boot (and re-admit) are on the enemies list, but so are former friends, team mates, associates, players, BOD executives and a barrage of individuals offended, mistreated, lied to, betrayed…I guess that is how one makes enemies.

He is more qualified to judge this subject than anyone in the world (emphasis added) as he has served as President of both the ACBL and WBF, being active since the sixties — maybe before you were born. I have no clue. (editor’s prerogative)

whom you are or your age.

And that speaks to knowing the “facts” I suppose.

There is no doubt Canada had great representation with Eric and Sami in the sixties and seventies when I first came on the scene, welcomed on U. S. teams by my late husband, Norman Kay and his partner, Edgar Kaplan.

I have news or “facts” if you prefer. Oddly neither American nor Canadian teams are anointed. Even back in the day, ERM and Sami earned their way on, often through pairs trails and were welcomed by most team mates as able competitors. Your choice of words “welcomed” would be better served with “qualified for North American Championships” (as they were known), not appended for their charming personalities.

No pair ever better represented their country as a partnership both in talent and ethics.

Which is why I guess you took great offence to the ERM “Stoney” yarn and ranted on and on about Sami’s “180 turn” about his testimony for his “mentor” at the Foster-Bourne committee. Your words ring hollow.

Unfortunately, they had other barriers to overcome.

What might those be? The partnership of Kaplan/Kay and/or others who qualified? Evidence please.

Drive up and say so, name some names; no better yet throw a tantrum, slag me.

My answer – screw the laws, (emphasis added) the rules and the unyielding, less-knowledgeable directors and re-write the format to reflect justice and equity.

You just have to look at the above and either laugh or cringe.

Oddly, the rules were designed to restore equity, and society not just bridge is founded upon laws. Without laws there can be no justice. So as for “screw the laws” – how about just the ones you don’t like – and which ones might they be? Too bad every director does not have Solomon-like wisdom and once he sees you (or Bobby) at the table – announces a verdict in your favour before bothering with any facts – heck- screw the laws! You must be right.

And while we’re on the subject of tired yarns, this “dog with a bone” grows weary of your whining about all your real or imagined directorial transgressions. Get over it. You imagine that you are the only one in the bridge universe who has had an adverse ruling, and of course, it was a gigantic conspiracy of malicious and vindictive directors/players/administrators and enemies. You make Oliver Stone sound like a conspiracy buff, and all against you and Bobby. Tired, old, passé.

The ruling against Bobby (as presented by you) is ludicrous. So what?

David Sacks asks for a committee when cheated out of a National title for a hand by the cheaters and does not get his even get his day in court! Tell Zeke and Capp next time you see them how offended you were or are you? Nah – it’s just a tired tale by a “dog with a bone”.

In baseball, umpires make mistakes, as they do in hockey, football, soccer and in life. Pilot error and navigator mistakes can result in air and marine disasters. Human beings make mistakes. Directors and by extension committees make mistakes. You are not alone, ask Fox Mulder.

Why is it so hard for so many to hear the real truth and accept what happened? How would I know or even begin to be sure that corruption occurred? All I do know are the results and sad though it may be, Canada’s bridge administrators should be ashamed for not getting more competent players (doing whatever it took) to get it done…

I think Michael and Fred (and I in the past) have addressed this. Those who represented our nation (Canada) did so through this archaic system we call “qualifying”. Like democracy, it’s not perfect and sometimes EOK, Silver, ERM, Gowdy, Kehela, Sheardown, Elliot, Mittleman, Gitelman, Graves, Molson, Baran, JC, Hampson, Wolpert did not prevail. So sue us – and get over it. Talk about a dog with a bone – you have the cajones to call it a disgrace. Well you were partly right – it is a disgrace the way you malign our representatives. The bottom line is – whoever emerged out of this country did so because they earned the right to do so.

For years, Bobby fought to have the Canadians field their best players in the International Events instead of filling the chairs with the lesser lights that included several political figures.

What a crock of crap. That sounds like our senators and parliamentarians hijacked the event to suit their needs. Maybe Bobby was right – our best did not always prevail. Meckwell doesn’t win every event. Neither does Hamman, or Zia or Fred or anyone. So what? Are there any names of “politicians” you can put forth? Maybe you should check some facts, name some names, and produce some evidence before shooting your mouth off. Na, you just prefer to quote Bobby’s resume as evidence. And as impressive as it may be – that is not evidence.

Fred, if he ever gives up bridge might join our diplomatic corps. He soft pedals delicately but if you read him you will see he feels no “shame” nor should he for our national representatives. So bury that bone. It’s over, Rover.

I will wager Michael and Fred and most Canadians will agree with this – whoever represented our country did so the old fashioned way – through qualifying and did so with pride. There is no shame in not winning at the world level and we do not share your anger nor feel the “shame” you seem to feel we so richly deserve. Get over it. 

I ask the Canadians – are you “ashamed”, like Bobby Wolff of our international representatives?

And I ask the others – should we be ashamed as Bobby claims?

(I will insert here that murray and Kehela were 2ND in three Burmuda Bowls (66/67/74) and World team Olympiads (1960, 7th, 1964, 4th, 1968, 3rd, 1972, 3rd) representing Canada. )

As for the laws – well Judy you can “screw them” all you like. Hope it makes you happy.

Now – I want my bone back.





geoff hampsonMay 26th, 2010 at 3:43 am

I regretted 2 things about the Canadian trials process while I was still a Canadian bridge player living in Canada…

1 The long delay after winning CNTC before playing World Championship

2. The face that I could only win that right once.

My recollection of what Bobby was doing then is more like “stealing away Canada’s spot in world championship” than “helping Canada field its best representatives.”


Judy Kay-WolffMay 26th, 2010 at 6:21 am


Obviously you are trying to say something, but your comments are unclear. Translation please!



Bobby WolffMay 26th, 2010 at 2:38 pm


If you were trying to hurt my feelings, you, of course, did, but how can you not, with your off the wall accusations? As I wrote you by email (not expecting you to publish it publicly) we both, being crusaders for bridge improvement (at least I thought you were), make many enemies by refusing to give in to their personal agendas. Now to quote unidentified sources with slanderous remarks about me makes me wonder who really “snapped”? For you to revert to such “trash talking” will always be a great disappointment to me.

From my point of view there are only 2 bones of contention:

1. The 45 year old Reese-Schapiro fiasco including the Foster Tribunals.

A. All of the particular discussions have documented evidence.

B. What Sami Kehela’s reasons for after gathering and presenting prosecution’s evidence, then choosing to testify to Reese’s proposed innocence at the Foster Tribunals

will probably forever be a mystery and thus unsolved. Rather than debate why, let us

accept his decision and go forward.

2. Canada’s role in International World Championship Bridge Competition contesting the Bermuda Bowl from the period of the middle l980’s (the time Canada, by beating two other small countries, now only one, was granted a cherished entry into the Bermuda Bowl) till at least the middle l990’s and even continuing up to the present (2010), but on a more sporadic basis, has been also documented, showing ineffective teams with predictable results of finishing at or near the bottom.

2. Canada has declared unofficially that it is unlikely that they will be able to change its team selection to guarantee that Canada will be represented by world class type players and partnerships (of which they have ample number) but rather they see more of the same type selection that they have had during the last 25 or so years.

3. This honest assessment should be delivered to the WBF for them to decide if they want Canada to continue to be in line to win the right to participate in the Bermuda Bowl or rather reduce Zone 2 to only 2 teams from the 3 they are now allotted.

4. If, in fact, Canada wants to change its selection process, and internal investigation reveals that by doing so, Canada and World Bridge will be rewarded by them producing a competitive team capable of very high finishes on a consistent basis.

By resolving this issue, World Bridge gains by increasing the quality of the Bermuda Bowl competition and BTW by doing so, Zone 2’s chances of winning rises considerably.

Bobby Wolff

Judy Kay-WolffMay 26th, 2010 at 3:11 pm


The reasons I am compelled to ‘skip to the end’ by scurrying over your blogs are that I have not the luxury of time, patience, desire, inclination, interest, or curiosity to plow through your never-ending, boring, skewed machinations, warped mindsets and mental aberrations. Some people just like to hear themselves talk and see their name in lights.

As I was once told, ” Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig.”

As far as Bobby, in 1994 he was the only member inducted into the World Bridge Federation’s Committee of Honour who was ever to receive its UNANIMOUS SUPPORT (garnering all 68 of the worldwide votes). His innumerable achievements and countless contributions to the game and the world of bridge have spoken mightily for themselves for almost half a century. I believe his honor and integrity to do what is best for the game are unparalleled.

Next time, try picking on some little guy your own size!

Judy Kay-Wolff

Michael RocheMay 26th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Mr. Wolff

I am not nearly as vitriolic as Cam, but I feel it is time to set the facts straight. For the record, I am only a Canadian player and am not affiliated with the CBF board or policy makers.

According to the WBF records Canada first played in the Bermuda Bowl in 1985. As a Canadian competitor I know every one of the players who won our National Championships. There is a combination of players whose names you would recognize as well as others who don’t travel to many US tournaments, and as a result you wouldn’t know them at all. It is interesting to see that there are many repeating representations – a fair indication of consistency and continuing efforts bridge-wise.

Your point number 2 about “ineffective teams with predictable results of finishing at or near the bottom” smacks of elitism and quite frankly offends me. I hold the Bermuda Bowl as Bridge’s highest prize. How dare you belittle me and others in our attemps to grasp that brass ring? According to your thinking David would not have been allowed on the field to have his day with Goliath.

Your second point #2 is, I believe, uninformed. Our selection method has changed from the original version outlined by Gary Mugford. Teams form amongst any interested partnerships without geographic restrictions. There are no “hardships” or logistic impediments other than availablility to play on the chosen dates. From this year’s 23 entrants, 8 teams will emerge from a round robin and commence a K/O stage. Win 3 matches and you are the National Champion. In prior years there were some additional obstacles which included a K/O stage from only the top 4 teams. It would be easy to see how a favoured team might not make it to the K/O’s. So as you can see, progress has been made to allow additional access to the playoff format – which in theory will give favoured “name” teams some breathing room for an occasional mis-step during the round robin.

Number 3 and 4 – Unofficially I have given you some insight into how our International selection process works. I would like to point out a key word in the above sentence. The word is “our”. Canada’s process. It is not Zone 2’s, it is not Bobby Wolff’s. The right to select a team is Canada’s alone as represented by the Canadian Bridge Federation.

May the best team win….and then go on to carry our banner as best they can.

Michael Roche

Bobby WolffMay 26th, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Hi Michael,

There continues to be a failure to communicate.

No one, least of all I, want to suggest to Canada how to run their International team trials. That is entirely up to them, however, Europe is improving. Recently I failed to mention Germany as a fast rising up and coming bridge nation which are now on the cusp of being able to take home the gold medal. Europe will now have seven to ten countries with that improved ability to, as you suggest, to take on the role of Goliath as one of the favorites. Their fast growing bridge population, which caters to youth, at least bridge youth, has served them quite well in their competitive growth, along with their intense desire to take over the bridge leadership from the West.

Canada has the wherewithall to win the whole magilla, but in order to do so must send one of their more experienced teams, otherwise they go from some chance to win gold to practically none. Slingshots might have worked OK in biblical times, but excellent bidding, superior play and above all, practical experience, are now the required weapons of choice.

This is not about Michael Roche, Cameron French, Bobby Wolff or any individual, it is about Zone 2 having the ability to compete and preferably win. When Canada prefers to exhibit their kind of fairness and ethics, it might make many proud for their freedom of choice, but if Zone 2 doesn’t also increase their chances of winning, those above qualities get lost in the naming and become nothingness.

Bridge is now a serious competitive sport and with the superior qualities of the game, there is no upper limit we cannot make it become.

I am sincerely asking for Canada’s help in allowing Zone 2 to stand face to face with our primarily European competition, keeping in mind that the Far East (and even other geographical areas) are also improving by bounds and leaps.

From the WBF’s standpoint, it is the Zone, not particularly the individual country which should get and does actually get the major credit for scoring high. If one has doubts about it just read my chapter on “Losing Team Wins” in The Lone Wolff and the political factors which, at least appeared, to sally forth.

Thanks for writing, but you and some of our other northern neighbors need to open your minds and expand your ideas, to realize what is now necessary. We’ve waited a long time to now have to face this problem.

Please, do not make the wait unsuccessful.

DiogenesMay 26th, 2010 at 8:43 pm

Mr. French —

It is very sad that a person has nothing better to do with his time than blather incessantly about world bridge matters from which he is so far removed. What possesses a person to froth at the mouth and never come up for air? When I first read your blogs (though they were non-stop and inimitable via your strange rhetoric), I thought you were one of the good guys. But since then, I realize obviously I was mistaken.

Further, it is naive (though amusing) for you to cite “Bobby’s enemies” based on their versions of happenings, having self-appointed yourself as the roving reporter or census taker to satisfy your own blurred vision. Among them you allude generally to cheaters, former cheaters, earlier friends who go behind one’s back, teammates, jealous players, BOD “executives,” CEOS and a barrage of individual offenders who allege for personal reasons to have been mistreated and are now ‘enemies.’ How would you feel if you were exposed for unsavory ways, low moral standards and ethics, conniving of the highest order, personal agendas and getting caught with your hand in the cookie jar? I wouldn’t be a happy camper either! Would you?????

I suggest you don’t believe everything you hear without knowing the facts. Second hand doesn’t cut it with me! It seems your bridge life is a vicarious excuse for always delving into the affairs of others to make yourself feel like one of the gang. Your ego, self-defensive tactics and need to be on center stage have gotten the best of you — and I agree with Judy who told you “to get a life.”

Cam FrenchMay 28th, 2010 at 3:28 am

Dear Diogenes,

You name yourself after the famed Greek philospher? Why is that?

ANONYMOUS doesn’t cut it with anyone. It is so easy to hide behind a fake identity.

How do you imagine you know “how far removed” I may or may not be? You have no clue.

You could be the maid for all we know. At least have the courage to show your name, or is that too much to ask?



BTW, that is good luck – not get a life.


DiogenesMay 29th, 2010 at 2:17 pm

To Cameron French;

I am shocked that anyone professing to be as informed as you and allegedly so on top of what is going on, especially in the bridge world (which it appears you view from afar) — cannot possibly know that a blogger, by editing his own site, can ascertain the email address of the one making the comment?

I use the moniker Diogenes as I try to seek the truth — and one thing is for damn sure — you were not even in left field for your ugly appraisal of Bobby Wolff (more like the upper centerfield bleachers on a cloudy day with little or no visibility). However, it is no secret who I am.

Just check out my email address which, in case you didn’t know, is required to be included if a comment is to be left and accepted! How could anyone expect a long-time blogger to know that???????

Although many of us think you have been a kook ever since you entered the scene (with Bobby oft times defending you), what possessed you to make up such a pack of lies which were tantamount to character assassination. It seems in Bobby’s last blog to you, he told you exactly what his beliefs were about all the possibly controversial subjects. Which one of these made YOU snap and go off half-cocked?


Cam FrenchMay 29th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Just check out my email address which, in case you didn’t know, is required to be included if a comment is to be left and accepted! How could anyone expect a long-time blogger to know that???????


News Flash:

You put in your email when you submit a comment which is seen ONLY by the site.

It it invisible (to protect anoymous users and people who don’t want it seen) unless you post it.

Mine is should you care to email me directly.

“Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”


GaL 🙂


BlairMay 30th, 2010 at 7:58 am

TDB is my Last Word

Judy Kay-WolffMay 30th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

Come up for air — Blair!

BlairMay 30th, 2010 at 10:15 pm

More sugar?

Judy Kay-WolffMay 30th, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Only when deserving!

Sometimes you have to let it all hang out to get both sides of the story.

BlairMay 30th, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Which one are we on now? The stuff about Bobby written by Cam is so out of line that will reflect poorly upon his ( Cam’s ) future blockbuster 1979 expose, as you can’t write crap and then try to recover by writing about facts. That’s why I suggested it would benefit him to remove the trash talk. But that is his call. I assume that the arguement that has transpired over Canada and its World teams fielded has been answered quite well by Bobby, who also did a very nice job of discussing the problems with bridge in Zone 2…How’s that for breath of fresh air?

Judy Kay-WolffMay 31st, 2010 at 12:23 am


The problem is that people, not witnessing the actual incident personally, who get stuff second or third hand — especially not from impartial parties — take joy in spreading malicious gossip and untrue accounts. Much of the original megillah is a crock, seen through bitter eyes.

I vote for it not being removed so that the readers can decide for themselves whom they choose to believe. Simple enough! That’s journalism at its best.

Your intentions are no doubt lofty, but I don’t agree.

Leave a comment

Your comment