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In the Well: Eddie Wold

Eddie Wold can do it all. He is one of the few to have won a gold medal for an open event (the World Transnational Teams in Paris), a seniors' event (World Championships in Bali), and a women’s event (non-playing captain of the US Olympiad team in 1996). Eddie has also won 15 national championships, many with George Rosenkranz, who will be celebrating his 100th birthday later this year, but his favorite national championship is winning the Silodor with his life partner, Bob Morris.

Eddie is one of the top professional players around, frequently playing with sponsors, as his easy-going temperament makes him a great partner. When he does play with pros, he’s had enriching partnerships with Mark Lair, Mike Passell, Geoff Hampson, Marc Jacobus, Roger Bates, and Bobby Goldman. Although he has been very fortunate to have so many great partners in his life, Eddie particularly wants to acknowledge Paul Soloway for helping him understand the deeper parts of the game.

Eddie was also involved in two of the most unbelievable events in bridge history. In July, 1984, while he was playing in the Spingold with George, George’s wife (and Eddie’s bridge parent) Edith was kidnapped and held for $1 million ransom by another bridge player. Even though his team won the Spingold and came in second in the national mixed teams, it was one of the worst weeks of his life. Fortunately, she was recovered unharmed and the perpetrators were caught. Then, in 2013, Eddie identified that the “German Doctors” were coughing at unusual times in the Senior World Championships. Further investigation led to the cracking of their code, and their banishment from top-level play.  

For his many achievements at the bridge table, Eddie was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this year and will be inducted in Washington D.C. later this month. Today, he enters the Well to answer your questions.

Eddie grew up in Houston, Texas, and went to Rice University for college. He learned bridge by total chance when asked to be a fourth as he was walking into the mess hall there. He told them he didn’t play, and (luckily for bridge) they didn’t care. He was so totally taken by the game, he took a 3-year sabbatical before finally getting his degree in mathematics. Later in life, Eddie returned to Rice as a professor … of bridge! He was responsible for getting accreditation for a course on bridge, and taught there for two years. His wonderful experiences teaching novices at Rice spurred him to take on a mentoring role in the ACBL Junior program. Under his tutelage, many juniors have gone on to represent the US in international competition and participate in the ACBL Junior Bridge Camp.

Outside of bridge, Eddie is also talented at table tennis -- he played seriously for four years before he got bitten by the bridge bug. Other hobbies include tennis, skiing, piano (although not in Ron Smith’s league), and movies.

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