June 26, 2024
Ron Klinger

Ron Klinger

Chess was an early passion of Ron’s and he won both the NSW and Australian Junior Championships at 17. In his youth Ron was an avid soccer player with interests also in squash, tennis and golf. Nowadays he swims regularly. He graduated BA LLM from Sydney University, worked as a solicitor for a brief time before receiving a grant to study the impact of computers in the service of law, as well as lecture at Sydney University Law School.

It was during the Australian Junior Chess Championships in 1959 that one of the players taught him a simple version of Bridge and he played sporadically over the next few years. In 1967 he teamed up with an old school friend, Robert Grynberg, with whom he was to play for the next few years. It was through him and with him that Ron was invited to join the elite team of Tim Seres, Denis Howard, Dick Cummings, Roelof Smilde.

During the 1970s Ron played a lot of rubber Bridge and considers himself fortunate to have been taken under the wing of the great Tim Seres early in Ron’s playing career.  He won his first national title in 1969 and has been hooked ever since.

While neither of his two siblings are Bridge players, since switching from Chess to Bridge, Ron has won just about every national Australian title. Although a very fine Bridge player, it is as an author and teacher that Ron is best known internationally. While lecturing at SU Law School, Ron was invited to teach beginners at the NSW Bridge Association. At the end of his 5-year grant, he left Law to focus on Bridge as his career.

Ron credits Hugh Kelsey as being influential in developing his love of writing about Bridge.  He has penned over 60 Bridge books, one of which – ‘Guide to Better Card Play’ – was named Book of the Year in 1991 by the American Bridge Teachers Association.  Ron contributes to many Bridge magazines and was the editor of Australian Bridge from 1972-1984. He was the Bridge columnist for The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Daily Telegraph and The Australian until he became the daily Bridge columnist for The Sydney Morning Herald in 2002 until the present date.

Ron’s wife Suzie, who learnt Bridge not long after she and Ron met, travels with him on Bridge tours and they have had two children. His son Ari is founder of an investment company, specialising in internet and technology businesses. Tragically his daughter Keri died at age 20, and in her honour Ron & Suzie created the Keri Klinger Memorial Prize, which is awarded annually at the International Bridge Press Association awards.

Ron has won two BOLS Brilliancy Prizes – one as a player at the World Team Olympiad in 1976, and one as a journalist in 1980. However, it was the experience of playing in his first World Championship–the 1976 Bermuda Bowl and Olympiad–and the excitement of playing against the best players of the day which is most memorable to him.

Ron’s interests outside Bridge include movies and books. A more detailed biography of Ron can be found in ‘World Class‘, edited by Mark Horton and published in 1999.

International appearances: 

1976: Bermuda Bowl (5th) and World Teams Olympiad (with Les Longhurst). 
1978: World Pairs and Rosenblum World Open Teams (with Don Evans). 
1980: World Open Teams Olympiad (with Paul Lavings) 
1984: World Open Teams Olympiad (with Peter Gill). 
1986: World Open Pairs and Rosenblum Open Teams (with David Lilley) 
1988: World Open Teams Olympiad (with David Lilley)
1989: Bermuda Bowl, (with David Lilley), fourth, lost semi-final to USA
1993: Bermuda Bowl (David Lilley) 
2000: World Senior Teams (Alan Walsh)
2003: World Senior Teams (Zolly Nagy)
2004: World Open Teams (Bruce Neill)
2005: World Senior Teams (Bruce Neill)
2006: World Open Pairs and Rosenblum Open Teams (with Matt Mullamphy/Warren Lazer; topped datums in his section and team came equal first in qualifying section)
2007: World Senior Teams: (Zolly Nagy)
2008: World Open Teams (Matt Mullamphy)
2009: World Senior Teams: (Bill Haughie)
2010:  World Open Pairs and Rosenblum Open Teams (with Matt Mullamphy)
2011:  World Senior Teams (Bill Haughie), qualified sixth for quarter-finals, lost quarter-final.
2012: World Senior Teams (Bill Haughie), qualified seventh for Round of 16; lost quarter-final.
2013:  World Senior Teams (Bill Haughie)
2014:  World Open Teams (Matt Mullamphy)
2015:  World Senior Teams (Bill Haughie), qualified second for quarter-finals, lost quarter-final.
2016: World Senior Teams (Bill Haughie), qualified ninth for Round of 16; defeated Poland in Round of 16; lost to USA in quarter-finals.

1970 Far East Open Teams (now Asia-Pacific Open Teams): First (with Mary McMahon, Roelof Smilde, Tim Seres, Jessel Rothfield). Australia has not won this event since then.  
1985: Far East Open Pairs (with David Lilley), first
1987: Far East Open Teams (fifth) and won Far East Open Pairs (David Lilley)
2005: Asia-Pacific Open Teams (Bruce Neill), third
2006: Asia-Pacific Senior Teams (Zolly Nagy), first.
2011: Asia-Pacific Senior Teams (Bill Haughie) fourth
2014: Asia Cup (Andrew Peake), fourth 
2015:  Asia-Pacific Senior Teams (Bill Haughie) fourth

2006:  Commonwealth Nations Open Teams (Bruce Neill)
2018: Commonwealth Nations Open Teams (Ian Thomson), qualified second, lost quarter-final

Wins in national events:

Open Team Playoff: 1980, 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 2004, 2008, 2014.
Senior Team Playoff: 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018 
Autumn National Open Teams: 2008, 2014
Open Butler Trials: 1975, 1983, 1984, 1986, 2004, 2005, 2010 (most wins in this event to date)
Bobby Richman Open Pairs: 1987, 2003
Dick Cummings Open Swiss Pairs: 2005, 2015, 2017 
Gold Coast Open Teams: 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1980, 2003
Grand National Open Teams: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2015
Interstate Open Pairs: 1977
Interstate Open Teams: 1969, 1977, 1980
National Open Teams: 1975, 1984
South West Pacific Teams: 2011
Spring National Open Teams: 1990, 1991, 2008, 2012
Victor Champion Cup: 1989, 2005, 2011
Interstate Mixed Pairs: 1977
Senior Butler: 2000
Bobby Evans Senior Teams: 2001, 2006, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015
Interstate Senior Teams: 2003
McCance Trophy: 2010
National Senior Teams: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2015, 2018

Master Points: Emerald master; currently #6 on top 100 MP totals; #1 for number of Gold MPs won as at 2018; won McCutcheon Trophy twice.

PQPs: Most Open PQPs won in 10-year ranges from 2009-2015.