"Russ" è nato il 6 marzo del 1921 a Winnipeg in Canada ed ha imparato il Bridge quando aveva solo 5 anni dalla mamma. Laureatosi all'Università del Minnesota è stato un commercialista e partner in diverse imprese di successo, attività che gli ha lasciato poco spazio per il Bridge agonistico e che rende ancor più ragguardevoli i successi raggiunti.
Infatti Russ ha vinto un Campionato del Mondo nel 1981 e 9 titoli nazionali grazie alla sua straordinaria memoria e capacità di concentrazione.
Oggi è un World Grand Master che vive a Sunny Isles Beach non lontano da Miami e che viene chiamato da tutti affettuosamente "Il Padrino".
Russ, che ha anche vinto due argenti mondiali nella Categoria Senior (1990 e 1994), ha conquistato tra gli altri la Spingold nel 1963 e 1985, la Vanderbilt nel 1980 e nel 1993, il GNT del 1973 e la Reisinger nel 1979.
Nel 2011 ha ricevuto l'onore di essere eletto nella Hall of Fame prima di spegnersi il 27 gennaio del 2012 a Miami a causa di una crisi renale seguita ad una lunga battaglia con il cancro.
Russ was born in 1921 and taught by his mother, Arnold took up bridge at the tender age of five. Decades and many championships later, the cigar-chomping Grand Life Master is affectionately known as “the Godfather” to players in the Miami FL area, where he lives (Sunny Isles Beach).
Although not well known to contemporary players – he rarely plays at big tournaments these days – Arnold’s achievements in high-level competition speak for themselves: He is a world champion and winner of nine North American titles.
Arnold captured his first North American Championship in 1963, the Spingold Knockout Teams, but his favorite memory of playing in the event was in 1955, when it was known as the Master Knockout Teams and scored by total points.
Arnold played with Herschel Wolpert, Morris Freier, M.M. Goldman and Harold Harvey, and the underdog team defeated the defending champions – Lew Mathe, John Moran, Milton Ellenby, Meyer Schleifer and Manny Hochfield – by 540 points to make it to the round of eight.
With his favorite partner and protégé, Bobby Levin, Arnold won the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams (1979), the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams (1980) and the Bermuda Bowl (1981). Levin says of Arnold, “He always put ethical behavior first. He is a tremendous competitor, great declarer, fantastic player and a great guy. He has been like a brother and a father to me.”
Unlike many other Hall of Fame members, Arnold didn’t play bridge often. His winning record was achieved during the time of his life when he was running a successful major appliance business. Arnold’s aptitude for numbers and cards made him successful in both ventures. In addition to an encyclopedic knowledge of many subjects, Arnold also had instant and total recall for his store’s inventory and for phone numbers. He didn’t have much need of hand records as those are all stored in his head too.
He died on Jan 2012 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer and kidney failure.
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