ACBL Bridge Beat #106: Battle of the Sexes

The Marathon Bridge Battle of the Sexes was held April 1 – 15, 1989. The event was run as a team-of-four with one table of two men against two women was in play at the Cavendish Club in Manhattan. The other table, with men and women in the opposite directions, was at the Club de Bridgeur in Paris. Alan Truscott, assisted by Claire Tornay and Peter Secor, ran the play in New York while José Damiani coordinated the play in Paris.

The Battle set records for the longest continuous bridge event (2352 boards), the most players in a match (1000) and it was the first trans-Atlantic match. The Guinness Book of World Records had reported that the longest bridge match prior to this event was set by four students in Edinburgh in 1972. They played a total of 180 hours.

The opening guns in the match in New York were Kathie Wei-Sender and Judi Radin against Alan (Ace) Greenberg and Jimmy Cayne. Other contestants included world champions, a 12- year-old boy, 96-year-old Jay Feigus (who also competed in the first big contract bridge tournament held in 1929) and a few celebrities. Some of the celebrities on hand were Howard Head, inventor of the Head tennis racket; Malcolm Forbes and Lawrence Tisch, president of CBS.

The lead seesawed for most of the match. The men took and early lead, lost it, regained it, almost lost it again but held on at the finish with a hard-won 196 IMP victory . At the end of the match, Alan Truscott joked, “I’ve decided that sex wears me out.”

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