Aces on Bridge — Daily Columns

The Aces on Bridge: Tuesday, March 29th, 2022


Mircea GiurgeuApril 12th, 2022 at 8:35 pm

Hi Bobby,

I’m sure you’re aware that Eddie Kantar is no longer with us. If I’m not mistaken you were teammates on one of your BB wins. Have you partnered him in that competition?

I have admired his writing style very highly, he is my favorite bridge writer. I felt very privileged to speak to him a few times on the phone, he seemed to be a very kind person. His parents emigrated from my native Romania and I remember him telling me his experience going there to visit in the dark ’80. Not pleasant at all, I can fully understand having lived there in those times, but he did it nevertheless.

I’m sure you have tons of memories of him, would you mind sharing at least one when you feel bored, please?

Rest In Peace, Eddie. I will certainly miss you.

bobbywolffApril 12th, 2022 at 11:21 pm

Hi Mircea,

Yes, and even the year, 1977, when we won the Bermuda Bowl, (his partner was Billy Eisenburg and mine Bob Hamman making us teammates) held in Manila, Philippines. The only time two American teams played in the finals. It then became destined to be the only ever time, since the rules now state that if two American teams qualify for the semi-finals, they are required to play each other then, regardless of an ordinary conditions of contest which might state otherwise.

Eddie was a sensational (and BTW a very ethical) player who gave his all for whatever partner he had and/or team he represented.

His sense of humor was non-pareil and formed a marvelous personality which, and of course, came with. He was also very kind, polite and as sharp as can be every time I was fortunate to be in his company.

When we were both 22 years old (I am one month older) I played in an open pair with him in Los Angeles in 1955 during their bridge week. We defended some insignificant contract when the Kxx in diamonds was in the dummy and early in the defense Eddie, in front of the dummy switched to the queen of diamonds, catching me with 4 little ones. Declarer played the king, I followed suit and so did the declarer, He then knocked out an ace (in another suit) to which I had possession and now the lead. I, for want of anything better to return, led back a diamond catching Eddie with originally AQ10 and the declarer, of course, with Jxx.

It was the first time I had seen the “surrounding” play in operation, and it knocked me for a loop. From there on, I started taking bridge very seriously for all those years since then, but, at least at that time he was so very much more sophisticated about our beautiful game, that he became my role model to follow.

He was also very athletic and was excellent in many sports, not the least of which was table tennis to which he was truly great, at least through the years until old age probably set in.

A truly remarkable man, put together all the right way and a delight to know. What more may follow by others will only verify the above, at least in my judgment.

Thanks for asking, proving that you were definitely on the right track with your comments and descriptions.

BTW, I’ll never have anything but super positive feelings whenever his name is brought up, so it doesn’t surprise me at all for him to have gotten through that difficult Romanian experience positively and unharmed, to which, you related.

Judy Kay WolffApril 13th, 2022 at 1:09 am

Eddie Kantar was one of a kind. He will be greatly missed!!!