(reprinted from the Daily Bulletin of the 12th World Bridge Olympiad, issue #10, Brent Manley editor)

Marshall Miles

Many, many years ago, Marshall Miles and Eddie Kantar were on an airplane heading for a tournament, and Kantar was giving Miles a bit of a hard time. Kantar knew Miles favored
weak 1NT openers, so Kantar asked Miles a question: "If you had a weak notrump opener but you knew that if you opened 1NT it would cost you a world championship, what would you do it?"

Miles, going along with the joke, said,"Open 1NT." Now that he has won a world championship, does that change his view?

"I guess it does," said Miles shortly after receiving his medal as part of the USA team that rallied on the final round of the 2nd International Senior Cup to edge the Netherlands for the championship.

At 77, Miles is one of the oldest players ever to win a world title. He is also highly respected and well known in the USA as a player and author, contributing regularly to the ACBL Bridge Bulletin. He has also written 10 bridge books.

Miles took an unusual route to his bridge expertise. His interest was piqued as a youngster
when he overheard his mother discussing the game with a friend. He went to the local library where he lived in California and retrieved old newspapers so that he could read the bridge columns, learning how to play without reading a book. He earned a law degree in 1954 and practiced in Southern California until he retired about 10 years ago.

He played a lot of bridge with his wife, Betty, until her death about four years ago. When he first got married, Miles said, he was afraid his bridge playing would be curtailed, "but Betty actually pushed me out the door to play with her."

Miles considers bidding his strong point as a player, "although my partners might not agree with me." Interestingly, Miles brought along one of his books - Reisinger Challenge - to read while at the tournament, "and I found the problems very difficult."

Miles isn't all that impressed with being one of the oldest players ever to win a world title. "I would rather be the youngest," he said. "I would like to have another 50 years to play bridge."

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