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Alan Sontag

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Alan Sontag

Alan M. Sontag (born 1946) is an American bridge player and writer. Although he is a six-time world champion in contract bridge, winning the prestige Bermuda Bowl twice, Sontag is best known as the author of The Bridge Bum, a book "on everybody's list of the top ten bridge books ever written."[1]

Bridge career

Among his other victories are the Rosenblum Cup, Transnational Open Teams, Senior Bowl, numerous North American Bridge Championships, and twice winning the London Sunday Times and Cavendish Invitational Pairs.[2] In 1973, he and Steve Altman became the first American players to win the Sunday Times Pairs, at the time the premier invitational tournament in the world.[3] Two years later, Sontag returned to London and won the tournament again, this time with Peter Weichsel,[3] with whom he formed one of the strongest partnerships in the world from the 1970s until 2005.[2] The two were partners in 1983 Bermuda Bowl tournament in Stockholm, when the United States defeated Italy in one of its most exciting final matches.[3] Sontag returned to the final in 2001, in Paris, where team captain Rose Meltzer became the first woman to win the Bermuda Bowl winner.[3] Meltzer teams including Sontag won the odd-years Senior Bowl in 2005 and 2007, the open Rosenblum Cup in 2006.[4] (During this time Weichsel and Kyle Larsen have been Meltzer's partners in international competition.)[5]

Sontag was inducted into the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) Hall of Fame in 2007.[6]


Sontag was born in New York City. He and his wife, Robin, live in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with their son Robert.[2]

Widely regarded as one of the fastest players in the world,[3][6] he is known by his nickname Sonty.[2]

Bridge accomplishments



  • John E. Simon Award (Sportsman of the Year) 1974




  • The Bridge Bum: My Life and Play, Morrow, 1977, ISBN 0-688-03197-8, ISBN 978-0-688-03197-8
  • Power Precision: A Revolutionary Bridge System from a World Champion Player, Morrow, 1979 ISBN 0-688-03472-1, ISBN 978-0-688-03472-6
  • Championship Bridge: One No Trump Forcing No. 20, Bibliagora, 1982, ISBN 0-906031-31-1, ISBN 978-0-906031-31-5
  • Improve Your Bridge - Fast, Robert Hale Pub Co, 1982 (with Peter Steinberg), ISBN 0-7091-9892-2, ISBN 978-0-7091-9892-5
  • The Viking Precision Club: A Relay System for the 21st Century, 2000 (with Glenn Grøtheim)
  • The Bridge Bum: My Life and Play, 2nd Edition, Master Point Press, 2003, ISBN 1-894154-57-6, ISBN 978-1-894154-57-4


  1. ^ The Bridge Bum. Master Point Press.
  2. ^ a b c d "Meltzer Team". United States Bridge Federation. [2009]. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Alan Sontag". Hall of Fame Biography. ACBL. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  4. ^ "Alan Sontag". WBF. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  5. ^ "Rose Meltzer". WBF. Retrieved 2014-05-22.
  6. ^ a b "Bridge: 3 Champions Take Bows in Nashville". Phillip Alder. The New York Times. July 21, 2007.

External links

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