July 25, 2024
Stephen Burgess

Stephen Burgess

How did you get started in bridge? At what age? Who from?

At 15 years of age I often played a game of chess with my best mate on a Sunday. Arrived to find him playing cards with his mum and dad and uncle, watched for an hour or so and went home.

Following Sunday uncle not there and  they asked me if I wanted to have a game of what I watched previous week (Did not know it was Bridge). I said ok, played and they advised me that next Tuesday was the club championships that would run over 10 nights. Mate and I played and won. 

What do (did) you do professionally?

Banking, tax department, professional Bridge, rubber Bridge, horse bettor, option trader, taxi driver, publican among others.

Who is your partner and for how long? Longest partnership?

Gabi Lorentz 8 years. Paul Marston 10 years.

In your playing career, what is the bridge success that has the most meaning for you?

1986 World pairs Miami under unusual circumstances. Entered system card from Australia, when lining up for seat placement, tapped on shoulder by Edgar Kaplan and Ortis Pattino (WBF President) and advised not allowed to play relay for 1st two rounds of auction. Paul says we are stuffed. I say no we open and have Game force bid step which means what did you have for breakfast, next step by opener means bacon & eggs, now commence relay Plus 2.

Our opponents say never heard of it, what’s it called? Kaplan 2 Step😊

Result Bronze.

And your worst moment in bridge?

1983 Far East v Indonesia on view graph. I Pick up


I open 1 strong. Partner shows exactly

 KQxxx (No Jack)

with opponents doubling various Relays on way. Should I bid 6 or 7. What will they lead??? Finally settle on 6 because Spades may break 4/1. They lead Spade, Draw Trumps and lead a Spade, LHO shows out so I duck. RHO shakes his head and leads his non Ace suit for 1 down. Paul lifts screen and says Did you not have 12 top tricks?

Written up in book by Alan Truscott pointing out disadvantages of Relay

What do you do between sessions to put you in the best frame of mind for the following session?

Drink Wine

Do you have a favourite and least favourite convention?

Natural Count. Lebensohl.

Favourite Hand

1979 Playing with 1st wife to be.

My hand is


East says you have bid all suits and leads 10

Wife to be holds

With the Kx of trumps onside, making 7.

Written up by Paul Marston “Star Crossed Lovers” Retribution raise and Redouble.

To this date Wife to be wished she had pitched all Diamonds while drawing Trumps.

Would you prefer to have more system or less?


What do you do to improve your game?

Get partners to play my system, makes it easier for me.

Favourite bridge book?

Bridge in the Menagerie

What interests or hobbies do you have besides bridge?

Horse Racing

What is the number one thing that bridge has done for you as a person and for your life?

One big Bridge Family and travel

Bridge Results and Awards

National Titles

National Open Teams

Still the great Tim Seres and myself with 7 NOT’s each.
1983, 1984, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1998, 2003

Open Play Offs
1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1997, 2000

Autumn National Open Teams
1995, 1996, 2007

Gold Coast Open Teams
1984, 1988

Australian Seniors Play Offs
2016, 2020

State Representation

Twice only.
You can make National team in only 2 events. State used to take a hundred nights.

International Representation

1983,1984,1986,1988,1989,1990,1994,1997,2000,2003,2005,2006,2010,2014,2016,2020, 2021