A milestone once thought to be insurmountable was achieved this month when
Bobby Richman passed the 10,000 masterpoint barrier, having amassed 10,002.72
master points as at 8 September 2009. Bobby now holds the rank of Emerald Grand
At one stage it was thought that the late Tim Seres' huge lifetime masterpoint
tally of 8,370.48 would never be broken, but time marches on and records
Bobby first came to bridge prominence in the 1970s in Melbourne, and became a
bridge professional before that line of work was fashionable. His style is to
bid a lot, then in the card play he has the ability to visualise the only card
to make or break a contract.
Right now, he is playing in the Australian Seniors team in Brazil with George
Gaspar. Last year Bobby played in the Australian Open Team with Peter Gill, and
in 2008 Bobby also won the PABF Seniors Teams with George Gaspar. In 2005 and
2007 he played in the Australian Open Team with Zolly Nagy, winning bronze and
silver medals at the Pacific Asia Championships.
His biggest success representing Australia was 3rd in the 1979 World
Championships behind the Italians and Americans - as high as Australia has ever
come. Bobby doesn't earn masterpoints for overseas representation - that comes
from success at home.
Most of his masterpoints come from the ABF's main events. We think Bobby is the
only person to have won every major Open event in Australia at least once.
If our research is correct, he has won most of our majors exactly four times:
NOT (1975, 76, 77, 91), GNOT (2002, 03, 05, 08), SNOT (89, 98, 04, 08), ANOT
(94, 95, 96, 05) and Interstate Teams (76, 78, 79, 85).
His other national wins include: Gold Coast Teams nine times (76, 79, 80, 84,
88, 90, 93, 95, 97), GC Pairs seven times (81, 82, 86, 90, 91, 93, 98), Butler
(82), National Individual (77), Open Pairs six times (80, 84, 85, 86, 91, 95),
VCC six times (82, 85, 86, 92, 94, 02), Dick Cummings Pairs (04) and Swiss
Pairs in Tasmania (95).
One of Bobby's purple patches was Spring last year:
September 2008 Pacific Asia Senior Teams at the Gold Coast: won Semi Final from
NZ by 123 imps then won Grand Final from Thailand by 88 imps.
October 2008 SNOT: Bobby won the event after his opponents conceded the
semi-final when 115 imps behind
October 2008 Spring Nationals Seniors Teams: Bobby won, opponents conceding
Grand Final when down 88 imps.
November 2008 GNOT: Another win with the opponents conceding the Grand Final,
down 96 imps.
Summarising, in the three major events, his defeated opponents in Finals matches
didn't even complete the last 16 boards.
We include a bridge hand which is typical of Bobby's style - from the 2008
NSW State Teams Finals
This hand is typical of the Richman approach to bridge. Once an opponent opens,
placing the opponents high cards should be easier, so Bobby now needs only
about 23 points for the vulnerable game. Hence the decision to push with 2 instead of a mild 2
response to his partner's Double.
With unappetising lead choices, Bruce Neill found the dynamic lead of K
(low encourage), then came 10
to Andrew Peake's jack.
In some games, declarer might misplace Q,
thinking that the opening leader has it, after K
opening lead. Not Bobby. If Bruce Neill had KQ10x,
he wouldn't make an error by squandering 10
needlessly at Trick 2. Therefore, Bobby knew that Peake had Q.
Peake switched to a diamond to the king, followed by a heart to the ten and
queen. Another diamond went to the jack and Bobby rectified the count for the
impending major suit squeeze by cashing A
and the 13th club, then Q
to the ace, diamonds and Neill had to resign, squeezed. A neat 600 for a 10 imp
gain when Paul Gosney (North) played in 2
making three at the other table.