How did you get started in bridge? At what age? Who from?
About age 13 – with parents.
What do (did) you do professionally?
Qualified as a teacher then became a Software Engineer.
Who is your partner and for how long? Longest partnership?
Played with Anna St Clair for 11 years and still married to her!
If you had a choice who would you like to play with? Australia and Internationally- living or dead?
I’d like to face Glen McGrath’s bowling in the nets.
In your playing career, what is the bridge success that has the most meaning for you?
I taught maths in a state secondary school for 4 years. In year 1 I started a bridge club (very rare in state schools). In year 4 our school won the county bridge championship (against fee-paying schools galore). We were the only state school in the competition. Glorious.
And your worst moment in bridge?
Playing in a grand slam leading the trials and up in the last match. I conceived a plan, cash some blocking cards, cross to dummy in the long suit, discard on the established winner and then ruff the long suit good. I forgot to discard on the winner and led the long suit to ruff it, but then found that I had to follow suit!
What do you do between sessions to put you in the best frame of mind for the following session?
Take a walk and breathe!
Do you have a favourite and least favourite convention?
Gazzilli is good. Bad conventions are anything you can forget easily. Ghestem for example – (1♠) 3♣ shows ♦ and ♥. Raising partner to 5♣ is expensive!
Would you prefer to have more system or less?
Much less. Remembering extensive system has the cost of draining your brain, leaving nothing extra to do the important thing of playing the cards correctly.
What do you do to improve your game?
I write the Victorian Monthly Bulletin. Got to stay up with my readers. I also play a BBO 8 board challenge every single day with 4 other players.
Favourite bridge book?
Clyde E Love – Bridge Squeezes complete
What interests or hobbies do you have besides bridge?
Software, sudoku, sport.
What is the number one thing that bridge has done for you as a person and for your life?
Enabled me to marry Anna. Honeymoon in Philadelphia for the World championships.
Some titles in Scotland – not relevant here
Played for Victoria:
Seniors 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017
Open: 2018 2019 2021
Represented Scotland playing in Israel.
Represented Australian Seniors in Singapore in 2019