He’s got your back
Last night, between rounds I was walking around and saw this guy sitting on a chair, talking on his phone. But something seemed strange. Firstly, he’s too big in the chest, too muscled, too young and vigorous to fit in with most bridge players. And he’s sitting almost in the door way, facing the room–that’s sort of strange. Then I notice that his eyes were always on the room, not looking lazily around they way most people do when they’re talking to someone who isnt’ there.
Walking around behind him, I checked out where he might be looking.
Sure enough, I saw a tall redheaded man in a rust colored sweater, and the mystery was solved.
Bill Gates was playing, as he often does in the North American Swiss teams. The guy on the phone was part of his security team.
I’ve seen Gates at a number of tournaments. Playing in a world championship in Montreal some years ago I was right behind him and passing boards to him. He is a very modest man, and his security team reflects that–it becomes a game to try to figure out who they are. No big burly guys in suits surrounding Mr. G, he opts for people who blend in as unobtrusively as possible. I saw one guy in San Francisco; there were surely a couple more I couldn’t pick out of the crowd.
Here’s the good gossip—the phone the security man was using (or pretending to be using, to look less obvious) was an iPhone.