Monday, March 16th 2015
The modern version of our game — contract bridge — occurred as a refinement to the rules of an older version called auction bridge. Harold S. Vanderbilt of Newport RI is the person responsible for this improvement.
In 1928, Vanderbilt presented the Harold S. Vanderbilt cup for the national team-of-four championship. This prestigious contest has been held annually to the present day. The Vanderbilt Knockout Teams is played at the Spring North American Bridge Championships. This became and remained for many years the most coveted American team trophy, mainly because the replicas were donated personally by Vanderbilt to the winners.
In 1960 Vanderbilt supplied the permanent trophy for the World Bridge Federation’s Olympiad Team tournaments, again adopting the policy of giving replicas to the winners. As a player, Vanderbilt always ranked high. In 1932 and 1940 he won his own Vanderbilt Cup. He played by choice only in the strongest money games and was a consistent winner. His regular partnership with Waldemar von Zedtwitz was among the strongest and most successful in the U.S.
In 1941 he retired from tournament bridge, but he continued to play in the most expert rubber bridge games, in clubs and at home. In 1968, Vanderbilt spent more than $50,000 to recreate the lost molds for the replicas of the American trophy and to provide a quantity of replicas of both trophies sufficient to last from 20 to 40 years.
To perpetuate this practice of awarding individual replicas, Vanderbilt further bequeathed to the ACBL a trust fund of $100,000, a gift that wisely foresaw the possibility of inflation, but provided that excess funds, if any, can be donated in Vanderbilt’s name to a charity of ACBL’s choice. In 1969, the World Bridge Federation made Vanderbilt its first honorary member. When a Bridge Hall of Fame was inaugurated in 1964, Vanderbilt was one of the first three persons elected.
Vanderbilt Knockout Team Roster
Mar 16, 2015 – Mar 22, 2015