Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

More Decade Awards

A couple of readers have suggested that I include Master Point Press and to be honest  Ray has done a remarkable job of creating a successful bridge book business so I hope you don’t mind me adding that to my list.  So modesty aside:

Best Bridge Book Publisher: Master Point Press

Ray has done a remarkable job of taking a tiny micropress and making it into the world’s leading bridge book publisher.  Master Point Press has published more than 160 bridge books, imagine that.  Some are published to serve a mass market but some are published with no thought of significant profit, because they should be.  I could say a lot more but that is enough.  Thanks Ray.  You really did it.


Ray in Shanghai

Bridge Personality Of The Decade: The Sponsor

Time magazine does this all the time so I guess I can too.  The bridge sponsors have been around for a long time.  They have taken the place of other types of funding in many cases to become the prime funders of many national teams.  Some have done it as financial supporters providing leadership and team sport (Lavazza) and some have been team members in some cases almost as good as the professionals and in some cases not very good at all.  They provide an income for bridge professionals.   They have also provided support for a number of other bridge activities.   Most of the top 16 in U,S, major team events are sponsored.  They have a lot of say in what happens to bridge.  For good and not so good they have changed the game.

Bridge Writer Of The Decade: Barbara Seagram and Audrey Grant


Barbara  and Audrey                        

Oh my goodness this is a tough one.  There have been some very impressive books (Roy Hughes for example), there have been some very prolific and talented authors (Julian Pottage, David Bird, Mark Horton are examples here) but perhaps the two greatest writers in terms of contribution to bridge this decade are two women bridge teachers.

25 Conventions You Should Know has become the best selling bridge book of modern times, translated into many languages.  Many more copies sold in Japanese then there are members of the Japanese Bridge League.  Barbara is author of many other equally fine books which have made bridge enjoyable for hundreds of thousands of bridge players.  Audrey Grant authored the ACBL standard series for teaching beginners and many other fine books as well.  She teachers hunderds of bridge teachers through her bridge festivals, runs a successful bridge magazine, cruise ship teaching program and more.

Most Impressive Performance By A Country: China

Certainly Norway, the Netherlands, Italy and others have had a terrific decade but no country has come further, faster than China.  I love the fact that China takes bridge seriously.  They just won their first Venice Cup and successfully ran back to back world championships.


Great Wall of China

Bridge Man or Woman Of The Decade: ?

My nominations are

Bobby Wolff for his contribution to bridge administration, the laws and ethics, his writing and his accomplishments as a player

Jose Damini President for the WBF who advanced world bridge in many way including encouraging bridge in many countries, running some impressive world championships, bringing bridge to the Olympic movement and to the world mind sports and fostering youth bridge.

Jeff Meckstroth for his skills as a bridge player as part of Meckwell but also for his participation in bridge in many other ways

Bill Gates for his love of the game and his willingness to use his prestige to support bridge and his support of youth bridge.  (Warren Buffett could be a co-nominee).

Fred Gitelman for his writing, his software, development of bridge base online and all the ways he has contributed to bridge with his skills and his time

I am not going to pick this one alone.  I need help with this one.  Email is fine or post a comment.  I am sure I left some worthy people off the list so feel free to add other names.


Well that is my list.  It wasn’t done by committee (except I hope the last one, to be named Person Of The Decade).  It expresses my views only.  I hope you had fun with it.

And of course Happy happy happy New Year, New Decade… ring in the 10’s.,,, may they be roaring.


Dave (Memphis MOJO)December 31st, 2009 at 7:03 pm

You forgot to add a category for most frequent and imaginative blogger. That would be YOU. Thanks and HNY.

MARTHA BEECHERDecember 31st, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I have been a bridge player since the 1970s, active in local administration for many years and played at all levels — from club games to national championships. I am no stranger to bridge and have been following Bobby Wolff’s legendary career long before he moved to Las Vegas.

BOBBY WOLFF is uniquely qualified not to be named BRIDGE MAN OF THE DECADE — but rather BRIDGE MAN OF THE LAST FIFTY YEARS.

His contributions started in the Sixties and he has contributed in every imaginable capacity — teacher, club owner and manager, co-founder of the Aces, ACBL Board Member

from ’81-92 when he resigned as he felt it was a conflict of interest as he moved onto the Presidency of the WBF (where he later was unanimously elected to the WBF Committee of Honour). Bobby was also a lecturer, panelist, President of the ACBL and, of course, a member of the ACBL Hall-of-Fame, inducted in 1995 when it was resurrected after a hiatus of thirty years. He was the devoted mentor of the Zone Two Juniors in the early Nineties because, at the time, they had never finished higher than 5th in the Junior World Championship (including his preparation of bridge aptitude tests in order to scientifically choose who would best represent Zone 2 in the WC.). He served as Chairman of both ACBL and WBF Appeals Committees, long-time member of the Laws Commission and Conditions of Contest Committees, winner of eleven world championships (and the only one to hold the title in five different categories — Bermuda Bowl; World Team Olympiad — and the only time USA ever won it; World Open Pairs; Mixed Team and Senior Team). He also is an author, bridge columnist, sole creator of Active Ethics and an ACBL Recorder System, developed in 1985 by him to best serve the ACBL and the entire positive interests of bridge worldwide.

Most of all, Master Point Press, by the publishing of The Lone Wolff should know Bobby took a major hit by all those names mentioned in a controversial way. His constant vigil in the way of righting wrongs, reporting only 100% truths and putting himself directly in harm’s way, should result in some kind of overwhelming recognition.. Keep in mind there are many people directly involved (whether as top bridge players, leading administrators or individuals who depend upon the game to make a living) who will be reading this and not appreciating some of the positive results he has achieved which often broke up illegal, immoral and very self-serving bridge schemes.

At 77, he is still actively contributing to the betterment and honor of the game as witnessed by serving as one of your most conscientious and forthright bloggers and his Aces on Bridge Column (which he took over upon Ira Corn’s death in 1982) also appears on the site, attracting many avid readers from all over the world who cannot get it in their local newspapers.

Shame on you, Linda, for not even considering him for one of your earlier awards! It was the worst oversight imaginable!

Linda LeeJanuary 1st, 2010 at 5:58 am

This award is the big one. It is the best of the best and that is what Bobby Wolff is.

Cam FrenchJanuary 1st, 2010 at 8:16 pm


Great idea.

I guess it all depends of the criteria you are using. For example, I would 100% concur with Audrey and Barb as bridge teachers of the decade. They bring new people into the game like no others, and develop resources, books and options (cruises, novice forums) that swell our membership numbers. They are beacons of hope, optimism and work tirelessly to make our game as pleasurable, as enjoyable, as positive as it can be for all, especially the newcomers.

Perhaps that is my bias showing through because my day job is as a teacher of developmentally handicapped children. Barb and Audrey are first and foremost teachers, and we need more who share their perspective.

For bridge writers, I can think of no one more prolific than David Bird. I think we need to look at the totality of the writer’s contributions, and again Bird soars above the flock. Perhaps publishers might be included there, as a writer can only go so far without a publisher. Perhaps Ray could get his due consideration if the category parameters were expanded.

For Bridge Man or Woman of the decade I would vote for Fred Gitelman. Again, my bias may be showing through as I know Fred personally and his contributions through and his Vugraph have united players of the world under a common umbrella. The internet has been to bridge what TV ratings are to NFL football, and no one has led the way like Fred and his capable team.

Perhaps Warren and Bill can be recognized as Honoured Statesmen who advance the game in the public light. They are genuine philanthropists, not just to bridge but to the global community.

The hockey hall of fame (and other major sports) offers a “Builder” category. People whose longstanding contributions span decades. I think that is a place (like the Bridge Hall of Fame) where Bobby, Edgar and others might be recognized for their extended service and dedication. Other organizations have the Lifetime Achievement Award and again, this might be a place where Bobby can get his deserving recognition.

I am sure there might be other categories your readers can come up with. Warm regards and all the best to the community of writers, publishers and most importantly – readers.


Linda LeeJanuary 4th, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Great comment Cam.

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