It is with sadness that I report the passing of Marshall Miles, at the age of 87. Always an original thinker, he was still making contributions to bidding ideas and theory up to the end of his life. His most recent book, More Accurate Bidding, was published only last year. Marshall won 5 North American Championships, most of them partnering Eddie Kantar, but his proudest achievement was winning the World Senior Teams in 2004, at the age of 78. His books include two that are classics of bridge literature: How to Win at Duplicate Bridge, and All 52 Cards.
Working with Marshall was always interesting — his ideas were often idiosyncratic and non-mainstream. While editing It’s Your Call a couple of years ago I mentioned to Marshall that I had given several of the problems in the book to Linda, and each time she had chosen the same bid he recommended — in each case one that most of the bidding panel had not. There was a pause. ‘Well’, he said, ‘She must be a very good player then.’ After that they played together a few times on BBO, but Linda told me that their styles were too dissimilar for them to mesh will as a partnership — and also that she felt somewhat intimidated playing with such an icon of the game.
The message I received this morning was from Marshall’s email address, and the first thing I noticed was that it had an attachment. My immediate assumption was that Marshall was sending me a new manuscript (roughly an annual event), but sadly that was not the case on this occasion.