Tribute to Barry Crane


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Barry Crane Biography
            Born Barry Cohen in Detroit (11/10/1927 to 7/5/1985) and moved to Hollywood in the mid 1950's and
      changed his name for professional reasons. He was a prolific TV producer, director and writer. Some of the TV shows that
      he was involved with as producer, director, or writer were: Magician, Trapper John MD, Incredible Hulk,
      Hawaii Five-O, Chips, Dallas, Wonder Woman, Mission Impossible, Mannix, The Streets of San Francisco, 6-million dollar man.
            Barry's accomplishments at bridge were amazing. He accumulated 35,135.80 ACBL masterpoints. At his untimely death
      his nearest competation was Paul Soloway who was 11,000 points behind. He won 15 North American National events.
      He won the McKenney Trophy five times and more often than not, no one could win it unless they had his blessing.
      He won the World Championship Mixed Pairs in 1978 with Kerri Shuman and they won by the amazing margin of 5 boards.
      He was Grand Life Master in ACBL. He was in the ACBL Hall of Fame. The ACBL renamed the McKenney Trophy for winning the most
      masterpoints in one year, The Barry Crane Trophy.
            On 7/5/1985 Barry was murdered at his home in Studio City, a homicide still unsolved.
      After over 30 years the case is still open.
            There is no one who knew him or spent much time around him that would disagree with this statement.
      We'll never see the likes of him again.


Has the murder of Barry Crane been solved ??
       Here is a story in the Morganton North Carolina News Herald on 5/10/2019.
       FBI arrested Edwin Hiatt age 52. A man with long white hair and beard.
       He worked in an auto repair shop in Connelly Springs North Carolina Burke County.
       DNA and finger print evidence and confession linked him to the crime.
       He is charged with murder and will be returned to California said Los Angeles PD
       Court records say Crane was murdered by having been beaten with a large ceramic statue and strangled with a telephone cord.
       What will be the ultimate fate of this man after all these years ??


Here are "THE 12 COMMANDMENTS" by the incomparable and peerless Barry Crane
      1. Never pull partner's penalty double.
      2. Always take a sure profit.
      3. Watch out for the three level.
      4. The more you bid, the more you got. (No fast arrival here)
      5. 7's are singletons.
      6. Don't bid grand slams at Swiss Teams.
      7. Don't put cards in partner's hand.
      8. (Only) Jesus saves.
      9. Don't eat between sessions.
      10. Never ask "How's your game".
      11. Never gloat.
      12.The queen is over the jack in the minors and under the jack in the majors.


      Lightness is mandated.
      Any 11 point hand with an ace or a king must be opened.
      The practice of balancing is frowned upon.
      Get in, get out and get on with it.
      If our side cannot overcall or double then it is probably not our hand.
      Balancing doubles tend to be for penalties.
      Cuebids are strong takeouts, not Michaels.
      Beware of the odd numbered levels (three,five,seven).
      Don't save unless you are sure. Take a sure profit.
      Don't play partner for specific cards, (he never has them).
      In biddng and on defense, it is extremely important to show distribution.
      Don't bid nervous slams, especially grand slams.
      Open bidable (Q10xx or better) four card heart suits but you must have five to open one spade.
      A jump raise in either major is forcing to game.
      If 4-4 in the majors, open 1H.
      If open 1H and rebid 2c, you have five hearts.
      4333 and 3433 distributions are opened 1C.
      If 1444 distribution then open 1H and rebid 2D because a rebid of 2C would show five hearts.
      A diamond opening shows four card suit unless 4-4 in the majors and the heart suit is not bidable.
      Opening 1C promises three.
      Jump preferences in majors are forcing but in the minors highly invitational.
      Jump rebids by responder in his own suit are forcing.
      Opening leads are standard fourth best and attitude with 3 or 4 low ones. This means that without an honor then "top of nothing"
      Against NT the ace asks for unblock, the king asks for second highest, foster echo on opening lead.
      Two bids are strong in first two seats and 5-11 in 3rd and 4th seats.
      Preempts are sound and highly disciplined in 1st and 2nd seats. They follow the rule of 2 and 3.
      In the minors they promise 3 of top 4 honors and invite 3NT.
      Opening 1NT = 15-17, 2NT = 21-22, 3NT = 25-27 with no low doubletons unless you have a rebid problem.
      Stayman, transfers, minor suit stayman.
      Three of a major is a slam try. Three of a minor is weak and non-forcing.
      After stayman 2NT must be passed. This allows two level exploration for a fit with a weak hand.
      Stayman invitational hands start with 2NT. If accepted opener can then bid 3C stayman.
      Unpassed hand drury. No limit raises, so 2C is used as a temporizing bid after a major opening. The distribution is not relevant.
      The essence of Barry's system is "LIGHT WITH DISCIPLINE".

      Have you had enough ? If not then here is a link to much more.

       >Link to Kerri Sanborn Notes on Barry Crane System



My personal memories and thoughts of Barry Crane
            In all the years that I have played bridge, in my opinion there has never been anyone with the star power of Barry Crane.
      He lit up the room with his personality and presence. He was the greatest matchpoint bridge player of all time. Who knows how many masterpoints
      and titles he might have accumulated if he had not met his untimely death in 1985.
            He came to Kansas City circa 1980 with then Kerri Shuman now Sanborn to play at our regional held at the
      old Glenwood Manor Hotel. My partner was my ex wife Donna Magee. We played in a two session Masters Pairs and after the first session
      we were one board behind Barry and Kerri. We started the second session against them. The first board was flat. The second board I went after them
      by bidding a thin slam that could only be made by double dummy looking into our opponent's hands. It was clearly an aggressive slam
      that went down and I slumped into depression thinking we were out contention for first place. Nothing bad happened after that
      but not a great number of super boards came our way either. The scores were posted and there was a first beside our names.
      Wow wow wow what a thrill as we were three matchpoints ahead of Barry and Kerri. Barry and Kerri congratulated us.
      What a thrill to hear that from our bridge heros. Alas, alas wait, there is someone who had a 40% game posting a score correction in our section.
      We held our breath as they recalculated. When reposted it was a dead tie. Barry told us "it is only fitting", how gracious is that ?
            There was another time that Donna and I played against Barry and Dr John Fisher who was one of Barry's
      favorite partners and a tremendous bridge player. Barry opened 1NT and it went all pass. Dr John laid down a weak 5 card major and about 5 high card points.
      Barry went down two when they could have made two of the major. Barry put his hand on his hip and in a gently scolding manner chided his partner by saying.
      Dr John, Dr John, Dr John, "How many times have we gone over this ? We always transfer with a 5 card major. I will HAVE to take you to the wood shed".
            Another time long ago, when there was still such a thing as a "Men's Pairs", I was playing with a favorite partner of 50 years,
      Don Brooker. Barry was playing with another of his favorites, Ron Anderson. After the first session, we posted a 72% game. Every one was crowded around
      the sheets posted on the wall and I heard Barry say in a quite loud voice , "No one is going to catch them". I will never forget that simply because it was Barry who said it.
       No one did catch us.


A souvenir from Barry Crane

Barry Crane autograph
on back of pick up slip !!

Pick up slip with 2 results
against Barry Crane.


Enjoy The Barry Crane System