Charles Henry Goren (March 4, 1901 – April 3, 1991) was a world champion American bridge player and bestselling author who contributed significantly to the development and popularization of the game following upon the heels of Ely Culbertson in the 1940s and rising to prominence in the 1950s to the early 1960s.
Goren was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Russian Jewish immigrants. He earned a law degree at McGill University in Montreal. While he was attending McGill, a girlfriend laughed at his ineptness at the game of bridge, motivating him to immerse himself in a study of existing bridge materials.
When he graduated, he briefly attempted a law career in Philadelphia. The growing fame of Ely Culbertson, however, prompted Goren to abandon his original career choice to pursue bridge competitions, where he attracted the attention of Milton Work, who had developed the Work Point Count system. Goren began helping Work with his bridge articles and columns, and eventually began ghostwriting some of his material.
By 1936 Goren had begun his own bridge career and published the first of his many books on playing bridge, Winning Bridge Made Easy. Drawing on his experience with Work's system, Goren quickly became popular as an instructor and lecturer. His subsequent lifetime of contributions to the game have made him one of the most important figures in the history of bridge.
Goren became world champion at the Bermuda Bowl in 1950. Goren's books have sold millions of copies (especially Winning Bridge Made Easy and Contract Bridge Complete); by 1958 his daily bridge column was appearing in 194 American newspapers. He also had a monthly column in McCall's and a weekly column in Sports Illustrated.
His television program, Championship Bridge with Charles Goren, was broadcast from 1959 to 1964 on the ABC network, and, in addition to numerous appearances by top players, included segments with celebrity guests such as Chico Marx, Alfred Drake and Forest Evashevski, among others.
Goren's longest partnership was with Helen Sobel, but he also famously partnered actor Omar Sharif. Sharif also wrote introductions to or co-authored several of Goren's bridge books, and was also co-author of Goren's newspaper column, eventually taking it over in collaboration with Tannah Hirsch.
Point count system
As he continued writing, Goren began to develop his high card point count system, based on the Milton Work point count, as an improvement over the existing system of counting "honor tricks." The high card point system represented a large step forward in bridge theory and quickly gained popularity due to its simplicity. Goren and others would later refine the system to account for hand distribution, as singletons and voids can greatly increase the strength of a hand.
Goren also worked to popularize the opening of four-card suits, in contrast to the well-known five card majors approach that has become a major feature of Standard American bidding. Opening a four-card suit can improve the chances of the partnership identifying a four-four trump fit, and the four-card approach is still used by some experts today and notably by most Acol players. The drawback of the four-card approach is that the Law of Total Tricks is more difficult to apply in cases where it is used.
In addition to his pioneering work in bringing simple and effective bridge to everyday players, Goren also worked to popularize the Precision bidding method, which is one of many variants of so-called big club or strong club systems (which use an opening bid of one club to indicate a strong hand).
Goren died in 1991 in Encino, California, at the age of 90. While few players "play Goren" exactly today, the point count approach he popularized remains the foundation for most bidding systems.
- ACBL Hall of Fame 1964
- ACBL Honorary Member of the Year 1959
- McKenney Trophy 1937, 1943, 1945, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951
- Precision Award (Best Article or Series on a System or Convention) 1974
- Bermuda Bowl (1) 1950
- North American Bridge Championships (32)
- Vanderbilt (2) 1944, 1945
- Asbury Park Trophy (now Spingold) (1) 1937
- Spingold (5) 1943, 1947, 1951, 1956, 1960
- Chicago (now Reisinger) (8) 1937, 1938, 1939, 1942, 1943, 1950, 1957, 1963
- Men's Board-a-Match Teams (1) 1952
- Master Mixed Teams (6) 1938, 1941, 1943, 1944, 1948, 1954
- Life Master Pairs (2) 1942, 1958
- Fall National Open Pairs (1) 1940
- Men's Pairs (3) 1938, 1943, 1949
- Rockwell Mixed Pairs (1) 1947
- Hilliard Mixed Pairs (1) 1943
- Master Individual (1) 1945
- Bermuda Bowl (2) 1956, 1957
- North American Bridge Championships (21)
- Point Count Bidding in Contract Bridge. New York: Simon & Schuster. 1949. pp. 150. First London edition published by Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1951. Title has been revised and reprinted numerous times to 1984.
- Contract Bridge for Beginners. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. 1953. pp. 152. OCLC 12428312. . First London edition published by Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1959. Title has been reprinted numerous times to 1972.
- with Jack Olsen: Bridge is My Life: Lessons of a Lifetime. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. 1965. pp. 190. LCCN 65-22040. . Paperback editions published by Cornerstone Library, NY in 1967 and 1970, pp. 190.
- 100 Challenging Bridge Hands
- An Entirely New Bridge Summary
- The A.B.C.'s of Contract Bridge
- Championship Bridge with Charles Goren
- Charles H. Goren's Bridge Quiz Book
- Contract Bridge Complete
- Contract Bridge Made Easy: A Self-Teacher
- Easy Steps: Eight Steps to Winning Bridge
- The Elements of Bridge
- The Fundamental of contract Bridge
- Goren on Play and Defense: All of Play: The Technique, the Logic, and the Challenge of Master Bridge
- Goren Presents the Italian Bridge System
- Goren Settles the Bridge Arguments
- Goren's Bridge Complete
- Goren's Bridge Quizzes
- Goren's Hoyle Encyclopedia of Bridge
- Goren's New Contract Bridge Complete
- Goren's Point Count Bidding Made Easy
- Goren's Winning Partnership Bridge
- Introduction to Bridge
- Introduction to Competitive Bidding
- Modern Backgammon Complete
- New Contract Bridge in a Nutshell
- Official Charles Goren Quick Reference to Winning Bridge
- Play and Defence
- Play As You Learn Bridge
- Play Bridge With Goren
- Play Winning Bridge With Any Partner: Even a Stranger
- Point Count Bidding In Contract Bridge
- Precision Bridge for Everyone
- The Precision System of Bidding
- Precision System of Contract Bridge Bidding: Charles H. Goren Presents
- Sports Illustrated Book of Bridge
- The Standard Book of Bidding
- The Standard Book of Play
- Winning Bridge Made Easy
- Goren, Charles; Olsen, Jack (1965). Bridge is My Life: Lessons of a Lifetime. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. LCCN 65-22040.
- Tim, Bourke; Sugden, John (2010). Bridge Books in English from 1886-2010: an annotated bibliography. Cheltenham, England: Bridge Book Buffs. ISBN 978-0-9566576-0-2.
- Goren, Charles; Olsen, Jack (1965). Bridge is My Life: Lessons of a Lifetime. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, Inc. pp. 190. LCCN 65-22040.
- ACBL Hall of Fame
- Charles Goren international record at the World Bridge Federation
- King of the Aces Time magazine (1958)
- Obituary by Alan Truscott in the New York Times
- Profile on bridgehands.com
- Turning Tricks: The Rise and Fall of Contract Bridge, by David Owen in The New Yorker
- Charles Goren, biography on bridgebum.com
Auction bridge • Bridge ethics • Bridge maxims • Bridge Murder case • Bridge scoring • Bridge whist • Bridgette (game) • Chicago (bridge card game) • Computer bridge • Contract bridge diagram • Duplicate bridge movements • Goulash (bridge) • History of contract bridge • Laws of Duplicate Bridge • Major suit • Masterpoints • Minibridge • Minor suit • Neuberg formula • Optimum contract and par contract • Screen (bridge) • Singaporean bridge • Single suiter • Suit (cards) • Traveling sheet • Two suiter • Void (cards) • Vugraph
Card play Introduction Declarer play
Coups: Alcatraz coup • Bath coup • Belladonna coup • Coup (bridge) • Coup en passant • Crocodile coup • Deschapelles coup • Devil's coup • Merrimac coup • Morton's fork coup • Scissors coup • Trump coup • Vienna coup • Squeezes: Backwash squeeze • Cannibal squeeze • Clash squeeze • Compound squeeze • Criss-cross squeeze • Double squeeze • Entry squeeze • Entry-shifting squeeze • Guard squeeze • Knockout squeeze • Non-simultaneous double squeeze • Progressive squeeze • Pseudo-squeeze • Saturated squeeze • Simple squeeze • Simultaneous double squeeze • Single-suit squeeze • Squeeze play (bridge) • Stepping-stone squeeze • Strip squeeze • Triple squeeze • Trump squeeze • Vice squeeze • Winkle squeeze • Suit combinations Suit combination • Suit combination – J missing • Suit combination – 10 missing • Suit combinations – K10 missing
Defender play See also People Administrators,
List of bridge people • A • Terje Aa • Pierre Albarran • Martin Andresen • Walter Avarelli • B • Cezary Balicki • Hermine Baron • Henry Beasley • Giorgio Belladonna • Richard Belton • Albert Benjamin • Marty A. Bergen • David Berkowitz (bridge) • Huub Bertens • David Bird • Easley Blackwood, Sr. • Blue Team (bridge) • Norberto Bocchi • Janet de Botton • Tim Bourke • Marcelo Branco • Tomas Brenning • Raymond Brock • Jane Bronstein • John Brown • David Bruce (bridge) • Michelle Brunner • Walter Buller (bridge) • Wesley Burrowes • C • Orlando Campos • Mike Cappelletti • Drew Casen • James Cayne • Gabriel Chagas • Paul Chemla • George Coffin • Larry Cohen (bridge) • Ben Cohen (bridge) • Barry Crane • John R. Crawford • Ely Culbertson • D • Massimo D'Alelio • Dallas Aces • Hugh Darwen • Mike Develin • Leslie Dodds • Giorgio Duboin • Michel Duguet • E • Billy Eisenberg • Bob Etter • F • Fulvio Fantoni • Martin Fleisher • Jeremy Flint • Pietro Forquet • Tony Forrester • Robert Frederick Foster • Richard Freeman (bridge) • G • Nico Gardener • Benito Garozzo • Piotr Gawryś • Pierre Ghestem • Eldad Ginossar • Fred Gitelman • Ramesh Gokhale • Bobby Goldman • Phil Gordon • Fritzi Gordon • Charles Goren • Audrey Grant • Alan Greenberg • Susanna Gross • Glenn Grøtheim • Ace Gutowsky • H • Bob Hamman • Nicolas Hammond • Maurice Harrison-Gray • Geir Helgemo • Walter Herbert (conductor) • Marc Hodler • Mark Horton (bridge) • Carl Hudecek • Roy Hughes (bridge) • I • J • Oswald Jacoby • Pierre Jaïs • K • Charles Kalme • Edwin Kantar • Edgar Kaplan • Ralph Katz • George S. Kaufman • Norman Kay (bridge) • Amalya Lyle Kearse • Sami Kehela • Hugh Kelsey • Ron Klinger • Martin de Knijff • Putte Kock • Kenneth Konstam • Janusz Korwin-Mikke • Michał Kwiecień • L • Harry Lampert • Michael Lawrence (bridge) • Peter Lee (chess player) • Linda Lee (bridge) • James Lemon • Bobby Levin • Irina Levitina • Clyde E. Love • Paul Lukacs • M • Iain Macleod • Zia Mahmood • Ronald Mansbridge • Rixi Markus • Jack Marx (bridge) • Jeff Meckstroth • Adam Meredith • Marshall Miles • Victor Mollo • Albert Hodges Morehead • Bauke Muller • Eric Murray (bridge) • N • Claudio Nunes • O • Jack Olsen • Aileen Osofsky • Géza Ottlik • P • Camillo Pabis Ticci • Richard Pavlicek • Jordanis Pavlides Leonard Pennario • Carl'Alberto Perroux • Hubert Phillips • Gary M. Pomerantz • Julian Pottage • R Prabhakar • Tony Priday • Tommy Prothro • Jacek Pszczoła • Q • R • Terence Reese • Doris Rhodes • Andrew Robson • Eric Rodwell • Bill Root (bridge) • Eunice Rosen • William Rosen • Michael Rosenberg • George Rosenkranz • Alvin Roth • Jeff Rubens • Ron Rubin (bridge) • S • Boris Schapiro • Howard Schenken • Peter Schneider (film executive) • A. J. Sefi • Martin Seligman • Omar Sharif • Alfred Sheinwold • Shen Chun-shan • Jaggy Shivdasani • S. J. Simon • P. Hal Sims • Helen Sobel Smith • Nicola Smith • Marc Smith (bridge) • Tobi Sokolow • Paul Soloway • Alan Sontag • Nathan B. Spingold • Samuel Stayman • Paul Stern • Ralph Swimer • Peter Swinnerton-Dyer • T • Roger Trézel • Dorothy Hayden Truscott • Alan Truscott • Harold Stirling Vanderbilt • U • V • Bep Vriend • W • Louis H. Watson • C. C. Wei • Roy Welland • Berry Westra • Charles Wigoder • Bobby Wolff • Kit Woolsey • Milton Work • X • Y • Z • Richard Zeckhauser • Jack Zhao • Adam Żmudziński
List of bridge competitions and awards
Bermuda Bowl • Bridge at the 1st World Mind Sports Games • Cavendish Invitational • McConnell Cup • Rosenblum Cup • Senior Bowl (bridge) • Triple crown of bridge • Venice Cup • World Bridge Championships • World IMP Pairs Championship • World Junior Pairs Championship • World Junior Teams Championship • World Mind Sports Games • World Mixed Pairs Championship • World Mixed Teams Championship • World Open Pairs Championship • World Senior Pairs Championship • World Senior Teams Championship • World Team Olympiad • World Transnational Open Teams Championship • World Women Pairs Championship
National and Zonal
Buffett Cup • Camrose Trophy • Commonwealth Nations Bridge Championships • Gold Cup (bridge) • North American bridge Championships: Blue Ribbon Pairs • Bruce LM-5000 Pairs • Chicago Mixed Board-a-Match • Fall National Open Pairs • Fast Open Pairs • Fishbein Trophy • Goren Trophy • Grand National Teams • Hilliard Mixed Pairs • Jacoby Open Swiss Teams • Keohane North American Swiss Teams • Lebhar IMP Pairs • Leventritt Silver Ribbon Pairs • Machlin Women's Swiss Teams • Manfield Non-Life Master Pairs • Master Individual • Mini-Blue Ribbon Pairs • Mini-Spingold • Mitchell Board-a-Match Teams • Mott-Smith Trophy • Nail Life Master Open Pairs • National 199er Pairs • National 49er Pairs • National 99er Pairs • Non-Life Master Swiss Teams • Norman Kay Platinum Pairs • North American Bridge Championships • North American Pairs • Red Ribbon Pairs • Reisinger • Rockwell Mixed Pairs • Roth Open Swiss Teams • Senior Knockout Teams • Silodor Open Pairs • Smith Life Master Women's Pairs • Spingold • Sternberg Women's Board-a-Match Teams • Truscott Senior Swiss Teams • Vanderbilt Trophy • Von Zedtwitz Life Master Pairs • Wagar Women's Knockout Teams • Wernher Open Pairs • Whitehead Women's Pairs • Young LM-1500 Pairs •
Organizations Clubs Governing bodies Resources Books Magazines External links Take me to the contract bridge project site or Take me to a
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