Mr. Willard S. Karn, of New York, New York, United States, born in the year 1898 and died in the year 1950, was a pioneer in the evolving game of bridge. He was an author of the bridge book Karn's Bridge Service (published in the year 1933, LC: 33035389) and also a contributor of bridge articles to the publication The Bridge World. He was also one of the original members of the famous Four Horsemen, a champion team of bridge players formed by Mr. Philip Hal Sims in the year 1931 and whose members included also Mr. David Burnstine (aka Bruce) and Mr. Oswald Jacoby. The champion team was formed to challenge the earlier success of Ely Culbertson's team of bridge players.

Mr. Willard S. Karn donated the Karn Trophy for the years 1931, 1932, and the year 1933, when it changed to the Steiner Trophy. The reasons for changing the name of the presented trophy deals with a dark page in the annals of the history of the evolving game of bridge and a race by certain groups to gain control for the governing authority.

Steiner Trophy Donation

The Steiner Trophy was donated by Mr. Albert Steiner, born in the year 1895, and Mr. Philip Steiner, born in the year 1901, of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. As brothers and owners (Mr. Albert Steiner as President and Mr. Philip Steiner as Vice President) of a toy manufacturing company and as successful bridge players in the early days of the evolving game of bridge they donated a trophy, which was conducted for the National Individual Masters Championship.

Note: For additional information the visitor is requested to view two published articles printed in The New York Times on March 19, 1938 and also on May 8, 1938.

The Steiner Trophy was donated by Mr. Albert Steiner, born in the year 1895, and Mr. Philip Steiner, born in the year 1901, of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. As brothers and owners ( Mr. Albert Steiner as President and Mr. Philip Steiner as Vice President) of a toy manufacturing company and as successful bridge players in the early days of the evolving game of bridge they donated a trophy, which was conducted for the National Individual Masters Championship.

 

 

Additional Information

In the very beginning Mr. Willard S. Karn and, beginning with the year 1934, Mr. Albert Steiner and Mr. Philip Steiner, stipulated that the event be conducted as an independent tournament. However, in the year 1958, owing to its popularity among the members of the bridge community, and twenty-seven years after its inception, the event was included in the Fall National Championships conducted by the American Contract Bridge League, where the event was listed as a Secondary Championship and played under the designation of Masters Individual.

The American Contract Bridge League made the decision that the tournament cease in the year 1960. However, the American Contract Bridge League revived this Masters Individual event in the year 1966 and was played as a two-session Open Event, which replaced the Masters Individual championships.

The descendants of Mr. Willard S. Karn, who died in the year 1950, and Mr. Albert Steiner and Mr. Philip Steiner did not wish to contribute their trophies to the revived tournament.

The Gold, Silver, and Bronze winners are listed below. Some of the bridge players must unfortunately remain without a first name since such information is presently unavailable and any contribution to complete the full name would be greatly appreciated.

 

           
Year Winners - Gold   Runners-Up - Silver   Third Place - Bronze
1931 Willard S. Karn   Richard Lincoln Frey   Oswald Jacoby
1932 Howard Schenken   David Burnstine   Richard Lincoln Frey
1933 David Burnstine   Elinor Murdoch   Waldemar K. von Zedtwitz
 
 
From 1934 the event became known as the Masters Individual and was an independent tournament until changed in the year 1958 by the American Contract Bridge League, which discontinued the event in 1960.
Year Winners - Gold   Runners-Up - Silver   Third Place - Bronze
1934 Elinor Murdoch   Merwyn D. Maier   Merwyn D. Maier
1935 Oswald Jacoby   David Burnstine   Charles H. Goren
1936 Waldemar K. von Zedtwitz   Merwyn D. Maier   B. Jay Becker
1937 B. Jay Becker   George Unger   Robert Appleyard
1938 Richard H. Ecker   Harry J. Fishbein   Edward Burns
1939 Merwyn D. Maier   Alvin Landy   Myron Field (nee Fuchs)
1940 Morrie Elis   Lee Hazen   Cecil L. Head
1941 Lee Hazen   B. Jay Becker   Harry J. Fishbein
1942 Harry J. Fishbein   Olive Peterson   Dr. A. Salasky
1943 Alvin Roth   Charles J. Solomon   Jefferson Glick (Jeff)
1944 George Rapee   Robert T. Chatkin   B. Jay Becker
1945 Charles H. Goren   Alexander Weiss   Mrs. W. J. Terry
1946 Robert A. McPherran   Morrie Elis   Ambrose Casner
1947 Charles J. Solomon   Jack Cushing   Dr. A. Steinberg
1948 B. Jay Becker   Myron Field   George Rapee
1949 George Rapee   B. Jay Becker   John R. Crawford
1950 Morrie Elis   Robert Appleyard   William Lipton
1951 Sidney Silodor   John R. Crawford   Harry J. Fishbein
1952 Harry J. Fishbein   Peter A. Leventritt   Cecil L. Head
1953 Tobias Stone   Larry Hirsch   Norman Kay
1954 Edward Burns   F. Ayres Bombeck   Mrs. R. A. Briggs
1955 Norman Kay   2/3. Alvin Roth   2/3. B. Jay Becker
1956 John R. Crawford   Robert Appleyard   Mrs. Ira Brall
1957 Edgar Kaplan   Dr. Ernest E. Karshmer   Dr. Robert H. Israel
           
Note: In the year 1958 this independent tournament for Individuals was incorporated by the American Contract Bridge League into a Secondary Championship conducted at the Fall National Championships. The American Contract Bridge League ceased conducting this event in the year 1960 and attempted a revival in the year 1966. Neither the Karn Trophy nor the Steiner Trophy was presented for the revival attempt. However, the Steiner Trophy was awarded for the three years following the incorporation by the American Contract Bridge League.
           
Year Winners - Gold   Runners-Up - Silver   Third Place - Bronze
1958 Sylvia Stein   John R. Crawford   Eric Rutherford Murray
1959 Leo Pressburg   Frank L. Jackson   Edward L. Rosen
1960 Robert Reynolds   Arthur Guy Robinson   Mary Bridgegroom
           
Note: In the year 1960 the Masters Individual was discontinued by the American Contract Bridge League. A revival attempt was conducted in the year 1966 and was conducted at the Fall National Championships as a Secondary Championship. This revival attempt did not meet the expected success and was discontinued after the final competition in the year 1978.
           
Year Winners   Runners-Up    
1966 Dr. Irvin M. Littman   C. Bavis    
1967 Bernard L. Tighe Jr.   Amelia Hurd - (Mrs. Russell Hurd)
1968 P. Mahoney   Roger Bates    
1969 Dr. Edward F. Gudgel   P. Woodworth    
1970 Jonnie Nix   2/3. L. DeWald - 2/3. T. Dix
1971 Mrs. Jane C. Thomas   M. Erickson    
1972 Emmanuel Hochberg   J. Wood    
1973 Robert Bishop   C. Williams    
1974 Irving Rasmussen   J. Rigopoulos    
1975 Michael Zerbini        
1976 William Cook        
1977 Barbara Johnson        
1978 Paul Boudreau        
           
           

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