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Twenty-five years ago Mike Vanderbilt was certainly one of the 10 best players in the United States. Today he plays less bridge with experts than he did then and his game has suffered slightly as a result.
Your article stressed his thoroughness and his desire to win. He possesses both those characteristics to the greatest possible degree. When he spends a couple of minutes trying to make an extra trick he does so because he just hates not to play the hand with the perfect technique.
As regards his tennis game, I must take some slight exception to your article. Like me, he is left-handed and clumsy on the tennis court. However, his will to win combined with the fact that he has extremely long arms enables him to make some of the most amazing recoveries I have ever seen. His trouble is with the easy ones and it might be that he forgets and relaxes for a second when given a setup. Then, when he misses, his cry is not really anguish, it is more utter horror at the idea that anyone could make such a bad shot.
?We never considered Mr. Jacoby anything but young ourselves until we read that he was eliminated by his own son in the '56 men's pairs bridge championship.—ED.
VANDERBILT: MR. SIMS'S MEMORY
Would not this ability to recall the previous order hinder Mr. Sims rather than help him? He can, after all, never be sure just when a sequence starts and when it will end. Basing his hand on anticipating cards could be as fatal as playing blindfolded.
?Mr. Sims derives his advantage primarily through an educated guess as to what cards his opponent is holding, provided he picks up his own cards in the order they were dealt. Mr. Sims then can refrain from discarding cards of use to his opponent.—ED.
HOT STOVE: SHAKESPEARE ON SHORTSTOPS