Russell Arnold

March 5, 1921January 27, 2012

Russell Arnold, a Naval World War II veteran passed on Jan. 27 at the age 90. Preceded in death by Leona Arnold, Barry Arnold, Barbara Nowling, and Elaine Kleinbaum. Survived in death by Marcia Hope Greenstein, nephews and nieces. Russell was a long time champion bridge player and was inducted into the Bridge Hall of Fame in 2011. We will all miss this master bridge player and his great sense of humor.

One of the highly regarded veterans of tournament bridge, Russ Arnold of Miami, died on Jan. 27 at 90 after a prolonged battle with prostate cancer and kidney failure. The death was announced in an e-mail by Julie and Walter Murphy of Hendersonville, N.C., who were very close friends of Arnold’s.

He won the 1981 Bermuda Bowl world championship and nine national titles, including the Grand National Teams, the Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams, the Spingold Knockout Teams (twice) and the Vanderbilt Knockout Teams (twice). He is a member of the American Contract Bridge League’s Hall of Fame.

His girlfriend for the last 13 years, Marcia Greenstein of Miami, said that away from the bridge table he used to play a lot of tennis and loved football, supporting the Minnesota Vikings, because he came from Minneapolis, and the Miami Dolphins.

Arnold started to play bridge when he was 5, being taught by his mother. His favorite partner was Bobby Levin, now of Henderson, Nev., whom he had tutored from an early age. They met at a bridge tournament when Levin was only 15. And they were partners eight years later in the 1981 Bermuda Bowl.

The diagramed deal occurred during the semifinal match of that tournament, against Poland.

At the other table Krzysztof Martens (East for Poland) opened two diamonds, showing 5 to 10 high-card points and at least 5-5 in one major and another suit (maybe both majors). Eric Rodwell (South) overcalled two hearts, and Tomasz Przybora (West) doubled, which asked his partner to pass with hearts or to bid two spades with that major. East retreated to two spades, which ended the bidding.

South found the best lead of a low club. Declarer (East) won with dummy’s ace and played the spade queen, South winning and leading another club. After ruffing, declarer carefully allowed for the bad trump break by playing constantly on diamonds to lose only one heart and four spades.

In the given auction Levin (East) passed, Marek Kudla (South) opened one heart, Arnold (West) passed, Andrzej Milde (North) responded one spade, and Levin overcalled two diamonds. Now South thought it could not cost to rebid his six-card suit, but West happily doubled for penalty.

West led the diamond king and continued with his second diamond. East won with his ace and was tempted to shift to his singleton club. But he was not sure his partner had that ace. Instead East led the diamond deuce, a suit-preference signal for clubs.

West ruffed, cashed his club ace and gave his partner a club ruff. With two more trump tricks to come, the contract went down two.

Minus 110 and plus 500 gave the United States 9 international match points on the board.

Levin, during his speech at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, said that Arnold was a steady, disciplined player and the best declarer he ever saw.

Memorial Service held on Sunday, February 5, 2012 at Lakeside Memorial Park and Funeral Home 10301 NW 25th Street, Miami, FL 33172, in the Main Chapel with Rabbi Marrc Labowitz presiding. Inurnment to follow at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Miami Jewish Health System, 5200 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami FL 33137 in Russell's name.

Arrangements under the direction of Lakeside Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 10301 NW 25th Street, Miami FL 33172 305 592 0690


  • Memorial Service Sunday, February 5, 2012

Russell Arnold

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Bill Wisdom

February 4, 2012

Marcia: Russ was a giant in the bridge world, both literally and figureatively. More importantly, he was the epitome of ethical behavior. All bridge players should strive to be more like him. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

Marlene Passell

February 4, 2012

He was one of the good guys in the bridge world. Sorry to lose him.

February 2, 2012

Very sorry for your loss,
Alina Castells