Kaplan - Master Of The Microphone

Source: 69th Summer NABC - Number 6
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
Compiled by: Unknown



Over the course of many years a bridge player, who is devoted to the game, will play more roles that a compass direction. He or she will also become an author, an editor, a director, a teacher, an instructor, ....... or even a VuGraph Commentator.

Although not exactly a poem, the following comments and commentaries on the microphone by Edgar Kaplan rather have a poetic rhyme and ring, and are included on this basis. These are only a few recorded during his time at the mike.


From the 1980 Olympiad in The Netherlands

• I don't know what North was thinking of doing, but it's just as well he didn't.

• That’s unfair. North-South were just having a good time and suddenly East-West turned nasty and doubled.

• Four hearts is a very good bid -- but on some other hand.

• This is a contract that would be justified only by success -- and I have a feeling it will not be.

• West passed, hoping his partner would double, but that was too much to hope for in this world. It will happen all the time in the next world.

• They make a game. It wasn't a good game but still they won’t give it back on that account.

• He may bid and he may not. I believe that covers all possibilities.

• When in doubt, put the opponents on lead. Why should you make the mistakes?

• He's preserving his options to mis-guess the Diamonds.

• In order to let the contract make, the defenders must lead a Spade. No other line of play succeeds.

• The first duty of a contract is to make. If it doesn’t make, that’s a major flaw.

• South's bid implied: I have four Spades, four Hearts, six Clubs and the rest are Diamonds.

• Somebody said down one is good bridge. Making is perhaps better.

• Some people bid three notrump over their partner's three-level suit bids on the theory that it's more dignified to go down in game.

• To teach the opponents not to preempt against you, you must not only double them, you must also beat them.

• I don't think anyone in this tournament can bid Diamonds to show Diamonds. We lost the Club suit in the 1950s. Now Diamonds are gone and Hearts are sinking fast.

• Now his three Diamond bid shows a singleton Diamond. When he rebids Diamonds, it will confirm a singleton Diamond.

• East is wondering why he didn't pass one Spade. So am I.

• East-West can make a singular number of Hearts but not a plural number.


From the 1981 Bermuda Bowl and Venice Cup, played in Port Chester, New York

• It seems to me you should be able to make more in an eight-card fit than in a five-card fit. There's no justice in this world.

• The best one can say for this contract is that it has not yet gone down.

• Defenders hate to lead suits they have bid -- they like to surprise the declarer.

• Either team can make three notrump so long as they have the opening lead.


From the 1983 Bermuda Bowl in Stockholm

• The modern fashion in cuebids is not to show anything in particular but to cast a rosy glow over the whole auction.

• Declarer led the Ace of trumps and it held. So now he must reconsider his options.

• As you can see, neither pair had any difficulty reaching their 19-point game. The difficulty will come in the play.

• There are three right plays in bridge -- what's correct on analysis, what works and what I would do.

• North obeyed the old rule -- if you can't follow suit, follow color.

• An exchange between commentators Kaplan and Jean Besse.

Besse: Well, you must do a lot of things before you can endplay East.
Kaplan: Yes, but that's your job, Jean. If you don't want to do a lot of things, you must stay in Switzerland.

• No swing on a board that was touch and go at both tables. It touched and went.

• When partner asks for help in a side suit and you respond positively with three small, it is an insult to your partner. And if he's well-built and hefty, it is a poor idea to insult him.

• I think this hand should be played the way my mother would play it -- take your nine tricks. (When this is what declarer actually did, Edgar remarked, Yes, he's playing it the maternal way.)

• I know people who could go down on this hand, but I don't believe any of them are here.

• The only Americans who would get to six Hearts on that hand are sitting in the audience, so no fear.

• As long as the king is in the same place at the other table, you don't have to worry. It's when the King jumps from the West hand to the East hand that you must be concerned.

• To equal the result in the other room, he needs 16 overtricks.

• It's a question of intent: if you have a problem, you must think. If you hesitate to fool your opponent, that is unethical. If your heart is pure, your ethics are unsullied.

• North doubled fourHhearts to tell himself what to lead.

• He has left himself no flexibility. He can no longer go down.

• The Closed Room is playing faster than the Open Room. They have easier hands in there.

• It is well-known that in third seat, you must have 13 cards to open the bidding.

• The number of players who enjoy doubling the opponents into game can be counted on one toe.

• It does seem a little hard to sit here criticizing a man who has just collected 1100.