Stanley Tomchin Learned to Master Bridge From Al Roth
August 5, 2014 - LAS VEGAS, NV
The world-famous bridge master Alvin Leon Roth would have turned 100 this year. He left behind a legacy in a form of the renowned "Roth-Stone system," a bridge playing method that is still used in bridge tournaments around the world today, such as five-card majors, a one-no-trump response to a one-heart or one-spade opening that is forcing for one round, and negative doubles. Roth was considered one of the greatest bridge players of all times and is known to be a fascinating theorist. This led to his publication of several books, the most famous one being "Al Roth on Bridge: The Roth-Stone System," which was released in 1953. Al Roth played in three Bermuda Bowl world team championships between 1955 and 1967 and won a silver medal with the US team in the 1968 World Team Olympiad. In 1995, he was inducted into the American Contract Bridge League Hall of Fame to honor his success.
Born in The Bronx, Roth attended Stuyvesant High School and went on to study at City College of New York where he learned how to play bridge. After graduating with a degree in mathematics he worked as a government statistician in Washington, D.C. before serving in the US Army during World War II, where he met his future bridge partner, Tobias Stone. Back in the United States, Roth opened a bridge club in Miami, which he ran for about five years. During his bridge career Roth partnered with numerous talented bridge players, many of whom considered him a mentor who would teach them a lot about the game. One of them, Stanley Tomchin, recalls: "I played with Al Roth, one of the best bridge players of the modern era; he was my partner for many years."
When Roth decided to return to the east coast to run the famous Mayfair Club in New York City, Stanley Tomchin followed him. "The club I played in was the Mayfair in New York," tells Tomchin. "I actually gave Al the money to open the Mayfair." The club would soon turn into the most touted card club in New York, attracting many professional bridge, backgammon and eventually poker players. While Tomchin mastered all of these games, he still has especially fond memories of his bridge-playing years: "Of all games I've played, I think bridge was probably the best. I won a bridge national. I represented the United States in the Olympiad."
Today both, the Mayfair Club and Stanley Tomchin's days as a professional games player, belong to the past. The Mayfair has closed its doors in 2000 and Tomchin, for the last two decades, has turned his entire focus onto charitable work. He is known in his community for supporting numerous local causes that help less privileged families with a special focus on children. At the same time, Tomchin is a passionate supporter of international causes and frequently donates considerable sums to organizations such as Greenpeace and Sea Shepherd.
Stanley Tomchin Blog: http://www.StanleyTomchin.com
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