Truscott, Alan 1925–2005

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Truscott, Alan 1925–2005

(Alan Fraser Truscott)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born April 16, 1925, in London, England; died of cancer, September 4, 2005, in Riverdale, NY. Bridge player, columnist, and author. Truscott was a bridge champion and longtime bridge editor for the New York Times. He began playing the card game as a young man as a way to pass the time spent in air raid shelters during the London blitz. When he was older he joined the Royal Navy as an officer, serving from 1944 to 1947. By the time he was in college, Truscott was not only an avid bridge player but also an accomplished chess player. He graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1950, and by the next year was playing bridge professionally for Britain in international tournaments, winning a championship in 1961. By 1958 he was able to leave his job as managerial assistant at Hulton Press in London to focus on the game. Truscott was secretary of the British Bridge League from 1957 until 1962, when he moved to the United States and became assistant editor for the American Contract Bridge League in New York City. He took the job of bridge editor for the New York Times in 1964, and wrote the newspaper's popular bridge column for the next forty-one years. Meanwhile, he continued to play bridge professionally, representing the American team on several occasions through 1990. In 1965 he gained attention for helping to reveal a cheating scandal at a world championship match in which the British team was thought to be using illegal hand signals. Although the guilt of the team was never proven beyond a doubt, the scandal resulted in the use of table screens at tournaments to prevent cheating. Truscott wrote about it in The Great Bridge Scandal (1969). He also made many other contributions to the game of bridge over the years, including inventing the Truscott Card, which prevented seating errors, and contributing significantly to bridge strategy theory. He edited six editions of The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge (1964–94), and authored such books as New York Times Guide to Practical Bridge (1970), Contract Bridge (1982), and Fell's Official Know-It-All Guide to Bridge (2001).



Chicago Tribune, September 6, 2005, section 3, p. 8.

New York Times, September 5, 2005, p. D10.

Times (London, England), September 9, 2005, p. 78.