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Texans lead the way as the U.S. picks a team
Charles Goren
December 03, 1962
A tense, testing playoff in Phoenix produces a six-man World Championship squad that has a strong blend of youth and experience, likes simple bidding and could jolt the Europeans
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December 03, 1962

Texans Lead The Way As The U.s. Picks A Team

A tense, testing playoff in Phoenix produces a six-man World Championship squad that has a strong blend of youth and experience, likes simple bidding and could jolt the Europeans

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Nobody at the trials displayed quite the boldness of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Levitt of St. Louis, and for a long time it paid off. They were actually in first place, bidding with the kind of grand �lan shown at right, a hand in which Mrs. Levitt found herself playing a seven contract while holding only two jacks. The opponents were the able California pair, Marshall Miles and Edwin Kantar.

The spade opening forced dummy to ruff, but the ace-king of hearts luckily dropped South's queen. Declarer cashed dummy's club ace, trumped a club to gain the lead and drew North's remaining trump with her jack. Dummy's diamonds and remaining high club were now good for the needed tricks.

It would be nice to report that this carried the Levitt pair to new heights. The fact is, the Levitts lost this match 9-1, falling out of serious contention.

After this session Jacoby and Nail could coast, and Jordan and Robinson (at 26, the youngest player in the field) were hardly pressed to finish second. Meanwhile, Helen Sobel and I—buried deep among the also-rans—took about our only positive action in the tournament as we played a strong final match against Gerald Michaud and David Carter, enabling Schenken and Leventritt to edge into third.

With the addition of the experienced Schenken-Leventritt combination, which played for North America in Buenos Aires in 1961, the U.S. has a nicely balanced team of youth and experience. None of the six players uses any of the much too popular pseudomodern bidding systems. Schenken-Leventritt, although they have an artificial club convention, have actually reverted to one of the earliest of contract methods, originated by Harold S. Vanderbilt. Furthermore, all three pairs are experienced partnerships. They have several months of practice and matches ahead, during which they will be guided by the very able team captain, John Gerber of Houston, and they should be ready by June 1963. I have an idea that they will hand our European friends, with their highly artificial conventions, a few rather pleasing—from the American point of view—surprises.

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