The Bobby Richman Pairs – Gold Coast Congress
The principal pairs event at the Gold Coast Congress is the Bobby Richman Pairs, named after the first Australian player to become Emerald Grand Master (10,000+ master points) and who played extensively with our own George Gaspar in the later part of his remarkable career. This Matchpoint Pairs event is noted for being one of the toughest on the Australian calendar, with a cutthroat qualifying process that ends up dividing the field into multiple divisions and the cream then having to rise to the top in three hard-fought finals sessions.
This year Victorians featured prominently in the finals with Justin Mill and Ben Thompson a superb second in the Open A Final and James Coutts (playing with Sydney’s Liam Milne) finishing third. Also in the main final was Dee Harley playing with Elizabeth Havas (ACT) and the youth pairing of our own VBA Council Member Rebecca O’Reilly and S.A.’s David Gue, who very creditably qualified in the top category. Finally, in the A division, two VBA members, Simon Rose and Barry Rawicki, both well below Grand Master status (unlike the vast majority of the field) did extremely well to qualify for the A Division and performed very creditably throughout against top opponents. In the other Open finals, Jamie Thompson combined with Jo Haffer to win B Division, with Chris Hughes in second spot with Kim Morrison (NSW).
In the other divisions, the standout performance of Victorian participants was in the Restricted (<300 MP) division) with Diana Saul and Doug Harrah outstandingly winning the A Final of the event and earning themselves 12 Gold Points in the process. Matthew Tiplady (Berwick) managed second place in the Restricted B Final with a South Australian partner he met literally minutes before play began.
Congratulations to all Victorian participants and we look forward to good things in the Teams event running currently.
– Christopher Leach.