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Richard (Dick) Cummings


Richard John Cummings died of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 67.

Dick is regarded as the greatest Australian-born bridge player of all time. His ethics and demeanour set the very highest standards and he was a role model and mentor to many of Australia’s finest bridge players. Dick edited WBF News for some years and his daily bridge column has been widely and enthusiastically read for the last twenty years by bridge players ranging from social to the best players.

The foursome of Dick Cummings, Tim Seres, Roelof Smilde and Denis Howard put Australia on the world bridge map with a series of top placings in the World Championships of the 1960s and 1970s, culminating in a Bronze Medal in 1973. Cummings and Seres went on to become one of the world’s top pairs, and were described by Alan Truscott at the1981 Bermuda Bowl as “the world’s most experienced pair”, having added another Bronze Medal in the 1979 Bermuda Bowl after a stirring last round match against Italy to determine whether Australia or Italy met USA in the Final.

Watching the Vu-Graph at the 1980 Olympiad in Valkenburg, my young eyes looked in awe as Dick played a hand much better than the world-class commentators had envisaged. Dick won the Bols Brilliancy Prize for that play.

Unlike many world class players, Dick gave back as much as he got from the game which he loved. During the 1980s he organised the annual Herald Rubber Bridge Competition, which was at the time the world’s largest bridge event. Dick taught bridge, played bridge, wrote bridge, served bridge and most of all set a shining example of the standard of behaviour expected at the bridge table.

He will be greatly missed by the bridge community.

Peter Gill