Alvin Landy was Life Master #24 and a longtime ACBL chief executive. A Cleveland native, Landy was a graduate of Western Reserve University. He also earned a law degree from the school in 1927. He practiced law in Cleveland until 1943, when he served in the Army Transport Command during World War II.
Landy joined the ACBL as a tournament director in 1948. He had previously worked as a free-lance director for years and was referred to as a “national director” long before the position of a salaried national TD actually existed.
In 1951, Landy was named acting business manager of ACBL, when his predecessor, Russell Baldwin, was called for active duty during the Korean War. Landy, who was in charge of the day-to-day business of ACBL, worked with the legendary Al Sobel, who was named tournament manager in the same year. An article that appeared in a 1951 Bulletin noted that, “These top-flight national directors will continue to conduct tournaments despite their added responsibilities.”
In December 1952, Landy was named executive manager of the ACBL. He remained in that capacity until his unexpected death from a heart attack in 1967 at the age of 62.
Landy’s 16-year tenure as the top executive for the ACBL was marked by rapid growth in the membership and a stable administration. Landy was named ACBL Honorary Member of the Year in 1957.
In addition to these contributions, Landy served as secretary of the ACBL Charity Foundation from the time of its inception and was also a principal figure in its creation. Through his efforts, the Foundation grew to a $250,000 annual project by 1967.
Landy served as Secretary of the ACBL Laws Commission from 1956 until his death. He was also active in the World Bridge Federation. Landy was one of its founders and first officers, serving as secretary-treasurer from 1958 to 1966.
As a player, Landy was widely recognized for his skill and expert play. He won several major events. His first was the American Bridge League’s Knockout Team Challenge in 1936. He later scored four wins in the Fall NABC Men’s Teams, a record.
Landy was a member of the winning Spingold Knockout Team in 1949, playing with teammates Jeff Glick, Arthur Goldsmith, Bruce Gowdy and Sol Mogal. He was second in the event twice.
Landy was also the originator of the convention that bears his name: a 2*C* overcall of an opposing 1NT bid to request that partner bid a major. In fact, many bridge players are most familiar with the name of Landy because of this simple and effective two-suited overcall.