SI Vault
 
THE BEST IN BRIDGE
Charles Goren
April 10, 1961
Sports Illustrated's expert on cards introduces a gallery of famous players and reveals which profession produces the most consistent winners
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
April 10, 1961

The Best In Bridge

Sports Illustrated's expert on cards introduces a gallery of famous players and reveals which profession produces the most consistent winners

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

When I first got into bridge, I had little idea what a stimulating profession I had chosen. Because of the game I have been able to travel almost everywhere on earth and to meet both the leaders and the people of many nations. Bridge, I discovered early, was an interest I could share easily and pleasurably with men high in government, with schoolboys in Paris, or with professional baseball players. I have found surprisingly good players among all of them. But who, I am often asked, are the best players?

The question in a sense is unfair. With equal logic you might ask, who are the best beekeepers? Still, and perhaps recklessly, I have an answer. Lawyers are the best.

You may be surprised at this. There is a widely held belief that mathematicians as a group are superior players. They should be but, curiously, I have never known this to be so. It is the same with chess players. With their excellent training, I would have thought that they would make ideal raw material for the bridge table. Yet I have watched such world champions as Jos´┐Ż Capablanca and Dr. Emanuel Lasker, and I am certain that had they played chess as they played bridge their names would not be well known today. Musicians are said to have precise minds. The ones I have met have been great enthusiasts for bridge, but somehow they have all lacked the proper attitude to be really good.

No, in the end I am forced to conclude that among the professional men in the field of tournament bridge, the most successful have been those with legal training. This is a particularly difficult thing for me to say because I once practiced law myself. This, I hope, has not prejudiced my thinking. I suppose the reason why so many lawyers are good bridge players is that logic is the basis of their practice and, also, they are in close contact with people and are good judges of what behavior to expect.

Bobby Jones is an attorney in point. He took up bridge in his middle years after illness barred him from the golf course. Observe how he performed with the North cards below.

North-South vulnerable South dealer

NORTH

[King of Spades]
[Queen of Spades]
[8 of Spades]
[6 of Spades]
[2 of Spades]
[10 of Hearts]
[3 of Hearts]
[4 of Diamonds]
[King of Clubs]
[Queen of Clubs]
[10 of Clubs]
[7 of Clubs]
[5 of Clubs]

WEST

[5 of Spades]
[Queen of Hearts]
[8 of Hearts]
[4 of Hearts]
[Ace of Diamonds]
[King of Diamonds]
[Queen of Diamonds]
[Jack of Diamonds]
[9 of Diamonds]
[7 of Diamonds]
[9 of Clubs]
[8 of Clubs]
[3 of Clubs]

Continue Story
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14