Saul and Roselyn Teukolsky: Triple Crown Winners!

In Major League baseball they call it the Triple Crown: Highest batting average; most home runs, most runs batted in. The achiever of that lofty goal in either major league is sure to win the Most Valuable Player award.

Well Unit 112 has its own Triple Crown Winners and Most Valuable Players…Saul and Roselyn Teukolsky of Ithaca and Pasadena. They won the pairs, team and overall competitions for 2016.

The couple, who are originally from South Africa, have been playing together for 40 years. They spend 6 months in the Ithaca area where Saul is an astrophysics professor at Cornell University and 6 months in Pasadena where he has a similar role at Caltech University.

The pair has achieved Diamond Life Master (nearly 6000 MPs). In addition to their success in Unit 112 playing at the Bridge Club of Ithaca they also play at the San Marino Bridge Club in Pasadena. Their most recent success was winning the Open Pairs at the Los Angeles Regional last month and in 2016.

While the couple usually play as a pair, Roselyn does have 3 other partners for occasional daytime and evening games, while Saul indulges his other passion: golf.

Saul and Roselyn met at the University of Witwatersrandin Johannesburg in 1966 where they were in the same math, chemistry, physics and applied math classes.

“We were chess opponents first,” says Roselyn, “and then later, bridge partners. I finally married the guy after chasing him to the USA in 1971 (where he had a scholarship for grad school at Caltech).“

Roselyn has had a separate career as a high school math and computer science teacher and is now trying her hand at mystery writing. Perhaps there is an intriguing story in the works revolving around the game of bridge.

Speaking of mystery…do they have any bridge tricks up their sleeves?

“Yes, we have a 2D opening bid which shows a strong 8 or 9 trick hand in an unspecified suit,” says Roselyn. “This is a terrific convention—helps to reach slams which are otherwise hard to bid.”

What advice would they give to someone who is considering learning to play bridge?

“Do it! It’s the most fabulous, frustrating, challenging, annoying, wonderful thing one can do. …when you get hooked on the game…play against players who are better than you. That’s how you improve your game—in self-defense.

“I would also say, be nice to your partners. In the final analysis, it’s not how good you are as a bridge player, but how nice you are as a person.”

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