The piece below was translated and slightly adapted from the Wikipedia entry in French on Pierre Albarran, which can be viewed here: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Albarran
Pierre Albarran was the son of Joaquín María Albarrán y Domínguez (1860-1912), the renowned Cuban-born urologist, and Paolina (Pauline) Albarran (née Ferri; b. 1868), who was a native of Italy. In 1910, Pierre Albarran received his baccalaureate from the École Saint-Elme, a school in Arcachon, a coastal commune in south-western France. He subsequently began medical studies, but then abandoned these to study philosophy at the Faculty of Letters at the Sorbonne in Paris. He later obtained a law degree and a diploma in political science.
Pierre Albarran sometimes partnered Suzanne Lenglen in mixed doubles events; they were also in a relationship for a while. Albarran enjoyed his greatest success at lawn tennis tournaments in the early 1920s, particularly in men’s doubles events at tournaments held on the French Riviera and in Paris, with his good friend Alain Gerbault. However, Pierre Albarran remains known mainly for having won a bronze medal at the Olympic Games of 1920, in Antwerp, Belgium. He won this medal alongside Max Decugis.
In 1921, together with Alain Gerbault, Pierre Albarran reached the final of the men’s doubles event at the World Hard Court Championships in Paris. They were beaten in the final by their compatriots André Gobert and William Laurentz, 6-4 6-2 6-8 6-2.
Pierre Albarran learned to play bridge during a stay of two years in Switzerland, where he was recovering from an illness. He started entering bridge competitions when he returned to France and quickly became the best bridge player in the country. He won 19 bridge competitions, including the Coupe de France in 1932. He was one of the best bridge players in Europe for three decades.
In 1933, Pierre Albarran competed against an American team led by Ely Culbertson. The meeting was declared a draw in the 102nd deal. In 1935, Albarran was the mastermind of the French victory at the fourth European bridge team championships in Brussels. His teammates were Adrien Aron, Joseph Broutin, Robert de Nexon, Georges Rousset, and Sophoklís Venizélos. Albarran represented France at 32 international competitions, and notably at the first world bridge championships, held in New York in 1935.
Pierre Albarran organised and ran the Monte Carlo bridge tournament for many years. A journalist who wrote for various newspapers, he also penned several reference works on bridge, including Our Method of Bridge (1935) and The Encyclopaedia of Modern Bridge (1957). He was also the inventor of the Albarran Method related to bidding theories, of the canapé sequence (in 1946) and of the 2♣ forcing hand. He made a large contribution to the development of contract bridge in France.
Pierre Albarran married four times; his fourth wife, Simonne Albarran (née Marthe Simone Cressier), took part in many tournaments with him. Pierre Albarran died of a heart attack in February 1960 at his home on 14 rue de Montévideo in Paris. He was 66.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *