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   Sept. 16/99






by Beverly Kraft -Eric Kokish

 October, 1929 will always be remembered for the devastating stock market crash that initiated the tragic depression years. Hardly a propitious moment to launch a publication catering to a game, you would think. At the nadir of public confidence, however, some were distracted from their troubles by The Bridge World, a magazine founded that very month by Ely Culbertson, a brash self-styled political scientist and one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history. Today's deal (modernised bidding) was among those discussed in the first issue:

Neither side vulnerable North deals

  A K 8

A K 8 6

A K J 10 8 2

J 9 6
10 8
J 9 5 4

Q 9 7 5

Q 3
K J 6 2
Q 10 7 3 2

6 4

  10 7 5 4 2
A Q 9 7 5 4 3


West North East South
  2 Pass 2
Pass 3 Pass 3
Pass 4 Pass 4
Pass 6 End  

Opening Lead:

 The declarer was Harold S. Vanderbilt, who contributed more than anyone else to the development of contract bridge, the form of the game that has been popular since that era. He realised that he needed a normal three-two trump break, and would have to develop dummy's powerful club suit. Although the North hand was very strong, entries were scarce, even with the opening diamond lead. Declarer, aiming to minimise the chance of interference with the establishment and use of dummy's clubs, discarded a club on dummy's
A, ruffed a club, crossed to dummy in spades, ruffed another club, and returned to the North hand with a second round of trumps. He then led winning clubs, and East-West could take only their high trump. Other approaches would have required at least a lucky guess in clubs. By trumping the first and second round of clubs rather than the second and third (East could ruff in profitably with the trump queen), declarer had improved his chances significantly.

 The Bridge World evolved from a Culbertson promotional vehicle into a respected international forum for new ideas, expert advice, instructional deals and interesting situations. Next month's seventieth anniversary issue, summarising highlights of the magazine's history, will be a special treat.