One of the world’s foremost bridge columnists, authors and analysts, Alfred (Freddy) Sheinwold is best known for a writing career that spanned nearly seven decades. But the champion player and famed international team captain had many other credits inside and outside the world of bridge.
Sheinwold was a Laws expert who served as chairman of the ACBL Laws Commission and of the Appeals Committee at North American Championships.
He was chairman of the ACBL Board of Governors in the early Seventies and was named ACBL Honorary Member in 1983.
Sheinwold wrote more than a dozen books as well as a series of Pocket Book of Bridge Quizzes.
He achieved fame as a lecturer and speaker with acclaim from many groups, including bridge teachers’ associations and the ACBL Intermediate/Novice program.
He was a story teller and raconteur without peer. A real audience pleaser, he had an amazing memory and an endless file of entertaining talks and anecdotes.
Of Sheinwold’s many popular books, the most successful, 5 Weeks to Winning Bridge, has gone through many editions and sold more than a million copies.
During World War II, he was chief code and cipher expert of the Office of Strategic Services. For a decade in the Forties and Fifties he was a singer with the Cantata Singers.
His writing and editing background is awesome, dating back to the Culbertson era, when he was technical editor, managing editor and senior editor of The Bridge World magazine. He was editor-in-chief of Autobridge since 1938.
He was editor of the ACBL Bulletin and edited the NABC Daily Bulletins.
He was the longtime bridge editor of The Los Angeles Times, was a contributing editor of Popular Bridge, and was the syndicated bridge and backgammon columnist for the Los Angeles Times Syndicate.
Sheinwold was a top-ranked player until he retired from competition. He won the Chicago (now the Reisinger) in 1958 and the Men’s Teams in 1964. He was second in the Vanderbilt in 1958 and the Chicago in 1959. He also won numerous regional championships.
Sheinwold’s partnership, friendship and collaboration with Edgar Kaplan is legendary. The two co-invented the Kaplan-Sheinwold system, which features the weak notrump and other features still widely played in tournament bridge.
Sheinwold was non-playing captain of the 1975 Bermuda Bowl team when two Italian players were caught sending foot signals during play.
Sheinwold strongly felt that his American team should not continue in the tournament unless the offenders were ejected, but he was overruled by ACBL officials.
The Americans lost to the Italians. Ten years later, after the rift with ACBL brass was repaired, Sheinwold captained another American team in the Bermuda Bowl world championships in Saõ Paulo, Brazil — this time they won.
Born in London England in 1912, Sheinwold lived in New York and graduated from City College of New York in 1933. He became associated with the Culbertson organization about that time — and that’s when one of the most remarkable careers in American bridge got under way.