ACBL Bridge Beat #108: Corporate America vs Congress 1990

After the 1989 Corporate America vs. Congress Match, Congress team Captain Arlan Stangeland issued a challenge for a rematch the following year which was accepted.

The second match was held on May 10, 1990 at the Capital Hill Club in Washington DC. The match was dedicated to Malcolm Forbes.

Playing for Corporate America were Laurence Tisch, Warren Buffett, Jimmy Cayne, George Gillespie III, Alan Greenberg, Jack Dreyfus, founder of the Dreyfus Fund; and Milton Petrie, CEO of Petrie Stores Corp. Judi Radin served as their coach.

Playing for Congress were Arlan Stangeland, Sen. Rudy Boschwitz, Rep. Hank Brown, Rep. Jim Bunning, Sen. James Jeffords, Rep. Robert Kastenmeier, Rep. Jim Leach, Rep. Howard Nielson, Sen. Bob Packwood, Rep. Bob Smith, former Rep. Roger Zion and Judge Mel Wells. Their coach was Buck Buchanan.

When the match started it appeared that three Senators and two businessmen might miss a good part of the match. A major vote was taking place in the Senate and the weather prevented planes from landing. But everyone arrived by the end of the first four deals.

Corporate America got off to a fast start and ran away with the match winning, 104-27.

Congress finally broke into the scoring column on Board 17 when Boschwitz and Kastenmeier outbid the opponents.

Board: 17

Dlr: North ♠ Q J 2
Vul: None 6 5
A Q J 8 7 3 2
♣ 10
♠ K 8 4 ♠ A 7 5
J 9 8 7 3 A 10 4 2
9 10 6 5 4
♣ A 9 5 2 ♣ K J
♠ 10 9 6 3
♣ Q 8 7 6 4 3
Boschwitz Buffett Kastenmeier Gillespie
West North East South
3 3 Pass
4 All Pass

Strange – when there was a preempt, East-West got to game; when there was no preempt, East-West did not bid at all. That’s right – the hand was passed out at the other table.

Gillespie led his singleton diamond and switched to a spade. Kastenmeier won and set about ruffing dummy’s losing clubs. He got a rude shock when Buffett ruffed the second round. Buffett led a diamond and Gillespie scored his trump king while dummy pitched a losing spade. Kastenmeier won the next trick and led the trump ace. When the two remaining trumps fell, he had his game and 9 IMPs.

The biggest swing in the match came on this deal:

Board: 22

Dlr: East ♠ K J 4 3
Vul: E-W J 5 2
Q 10 8 2
♣ A 6
♠ — ♠ Q 9 7 5
9 8 7 6 4 K Q 10
9 A J 7 4
♣ K Q J 7 5 3 2 ♣ 10 9
♠ A 10 8 6 2
A 3
K 6 5 3
♣ 8 4
Tisch Nielson Dreyfus Kastenmeier
West North East South
1 1♠
2♣ 2♠ Pass Pass
3 3♠ Dbl Pass
4♣ Pass 4 Pass
Pass Dbl All Pass

There was nothing in the bidding to indicate just how wild Tisch’s distribution was. Nielson had some cards that looked like they would declarer trouble, so he doubled. But with a void in spades and a singleton diamond opposite the ace, Tisch had no problem taking 11 tricks for +990.

Things took a completely different turn at the other table.

Leach Cayne Wells Greenberg
West North East South
1NT 2♠
5♣ 5♠ Dbl All Pass

Wells opened a weak notrump and Leach leaped to 5♣ with his freak hand over Greenberg’s overcall. Cayne assessed the situation well and realized that his side’s defense would evaporate and 5♠ couldn’t be badly hurt. He was right – 5♣ would have come home and Greenberg was set only 300. A 12-IMP pickup.

Although Stangeland issue a challenge for a rematch the next year and Corporate Captain Tisch accepted, Corporate America and Congress did not meet up again until 1993.

The Zoom Room is available Monday through Friday, 3:30 pm-5:30 pm (Eastern).

The Zoom Room will be closed from November 22-24 in observance of US Thanksgiving.

Getting help is easier than ever with the ACBL Zoom Chat service.
Simply click the "Join Zoom Chat" button below to be taken to our dedicated zoom room.
Once there, click the "Launch Meeting" button to start your session. To hear us and vice-versa - don't forget to "Join with computer audio."

If the Zoom Room isn't available and you need answers, you can email us at

Join Zoom Chat