Alan Fraser TRUSCOTT
Alan Fraser Truscott nacque il 16 aprile del 1925 a Brixton, nella periferia londinese e si trasferì definitivamente negli Stati Uniti nel 1966 andando a vivere a New York City, dove si spense il 4 settembre del 2005 mentre si trovava nella sua casa di vacanza a New Russia nelle Adirondack Mountains.
Alan frequentò la Whitgift School di Croydon dove imparò a giocare a scacchi e, all'età di 15 anni, a bridge
Dopo aver fatto il militare nella Royal Navy, frequentò il Magdalene College di Oxford dal 1944 al 1947 laureandosi in storia moderna e durante quegli anni fu campione universitario, sia di scacchi che di bridge.
Sposato in prime nozze con Gloria Gilling che gli ha dato due figli, Alan sposò in seconde nozze nel 1972 la celebre Dorothy, a sua volta scrittrice di bridge e giocatrice di tale notorietà da essere inserita nella Hall of Fame prima di lui, che vi riuscì solo nel 2001.
Come giocatore, con i colori britannici è stato Campione Europeo nel 1961 e vice campione europeo nel 1958.
Nel 1955 introdusse per primo, assieme a Hermann Filarski, il Bridge Bulletin ai Campionati europei.
Nel 1961 fece parte della Nazionale Britannica che disputò la Bermuda Bowl arrivando terza e, in quel di New York, ed ebbe modo di fiutare le rosee prospettive che il bridge d'Oltreoceano poteva offrire.
Poco dopo emigrò e negli USA sviluppò la sua carriera di giornalista, scrittore e amministratore delle cose del Bridge.
Nel 1965, era un giornalista al seguito della Squadra Americana e rimase coinvolto in quello che forse resta il più grande scandalo della Storia del Bridge. Qualche hanno più tardi, Alan scrisse un libro sulla faccenda che ebbe grande risonanza.
In seguito Alan, ha avuto modo di vincere 3 NABC's e di rappresentare gli Stati Uniti in molte competizioni internazionali fino al 1990.
Fu anche il più famoso articolista di bridge di ogni tempo, informando gli americani per 41 anni consecutivi di ogni accadimento correlato con il gioco, dalle colonne del New York Times, dopo esser subentrato nel 1964 all'americano Albert Morehead.
Presidente dell'IBPA dal 1981 al 1986, direttore della prestigiosa "The Bridge World", assiduo contributore del British Bridge World e del Bollettino dell'ACBL, ha collaborato in maniera sostanziale alla stesura di ben 5 edizioni dell'Enciclopedia Ufficiale del Bridge.
Alan è stato anche un teorico di fama mondiale che ha approfondito molto gli aspetti tecnici e statistici del gioco, ha teorizzando per primo la Scelta Ristretta ed ha ideato molte convenzioni licitative che sono ancor oggi in uso.
I suoi 13 libri di bridge, hanno fortemente contribuito a dare notorietà alle sue invenzioni licitative.
Truscott, che ha anche guidato rappresentative nazionali come capitano non giocatore, ha ricoperto per molti anni svariati incarichi federali in seno alla ACBL.
Alan Truscott of Surrey and New York, was the world’s leading bridge columnist and the principal witness in Britain’s most celebrated scandal of cheating at cards.
British-born Truscott was bridge correspondent of The New York Times from 1964 until his recent illness, the longest period of service for any of the distinguished newspaper’s correspondents. In 1965 Truscott was the key witness for the prosecution when Britain’s leading bridge partnership of the day, Terence Reese and Boris Schapiro, were accused of cheating at the World Bridge Championships in Buenos Aires.
A member of the American team, Dorothy Hayden and her bridge partner B. J. Becker claimed they had observed odd finger placings of Reese and Schapiro when holding their cards, and when comparing, with Truscott, these with the actual cards had found a correspondence with the number of hearts in the player’s hand. Mrs Hayden subsequently became Truscott’s wife.
A brief onsite hearing of the World Bridge Federation found Reese and Schapiro guilty of cheating and banned them from world bridge. However, when the matter was reported back to the British Bridge League it conducted a year-long investigation led by Sir John Foster QC. His finding was “not guilty” by the test of “beyond reasonable doubt”.
Earlier this year a publisher of Reese’s books claimed that some years later Reese had confessed to him that the allegations were true, but that he had only been conducting an experiment for a forthcoming book, and that the pair had agreed not to use the illicit information. Truscott claimed this justification was implausible.
Truscott was born on the 16th of April 1925 in Brixton, and learned bridge at the age of 15 at Whitgift School in Croydon whilst the Battle of Britain was in progress. Truscott was already an accomplished bridge player when he arrived at Oxford University in 1947 after a spell in the Royal Navy.
He represented the university at chess and bridge.
At the age of 26, Truscott and the partner he had met at University, the late Robert D’Unienville, won the British Bridge Trials and represented Great Britain in the European Championships the following year, with Reese and Schapiro in the team. Britain took the bronze medal.
Later D’Unienville returned to his home in Mauritius and Truscott had to find a new partner.
In 1955 Truscott and a Dutch bridge writer Herman Filarski edited the first Daily Newspaper for the European Bridge Championships, a practice in being to this day. In 1958 Truscott took up bridge fulltime, writing his first bridge book, and becoming secretary of the British Bridge League. The team took silver at the Europeans losing on a split tie with Italy.
At the 1960 World Team Olympiad Truscott, partnering Tony Priday, the future bridge correspondent of the Sunday Telegraph, first met the American woman who was later to become his wife. He was also head-hunted by a leading American player, Richard Frey, to ghost-write his newspaper column, write for his magazine, and co-edit an edition of the Encyclopedia of Bridge. At the time Truscott was organizing the European Championships held in Torquay in 1961.
He was in the British team for the event that won the title of European champions. Soon after, he moved to New York to work for Frey.
In 1964 Truscott became Bridge Editor of The New York Times. For forty years Truscott wrote a daily column, establishing himself as the world’s leading bridge columnist. At world championships, he would report a deal that, due to time zones, would often appear the same day in his newspaper.
In 1965 came the Buenos Aires affair with Truscott as the main witness against Reese and Schapiro.
His book on the subject, The Great Bridge Scandal, was not published in Britain whilst Reese and Schapiro were alive, for fear of legal proceedings.
In 1971 Truscott separated from his British wife Gloria and they then divorced.
She returned to England with their children. A year later he proposed to Dorothy Hayden at dawn in front of the Taj Mahal and she accepted.
They married in 1972.
Truscott was the author of thirteen bridge books and Executive Editor of the first three editions of the Encyclopedia of Bridge.
He had a prodigious recall of humorous songs and ditties with which he would entertain his friends.
He ran the New York Marathon at the age of 61.
He dead in 2005 in New York City and he leaves his widow, Dorothy, and three children by his first wife, one of whom, Philip, was a Liberal councilor before emigrating to the USA.
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