The IBPA Annual General Meeting and Awards Ceremony was held in Bali on Monday 23rd September

For the first time ever, two "Bridge Personality of the Year" awards were made, and for very good reason! The two recipients were both honoured by their country for their services to bridge.

In addition to the Bridge Personality Awards, all the usual IPBA Awards were made and the all the details can be read in this article by IBPA Editor John Carruthers. To find out more about the International Bridge Press Association, please go to their website


The Personality of the Year Awards

IBPA member Andrew Robson, bridge columnist for The Times, Money Week and Country Life, was appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in Queen Elizabeth of England’s 2013 New Year’s Day Honours List for his services to bridge and charity.

Robson obtained a B.Sc. at the University of Bristol in 1985, and a Cert. Ed. in the following year. In 2001 he suffered serious injuries when he slipped on ice when hill-walking in the Lake District and fell thirty feet. He broke many bones, spent two months in hospital and was in a wheelchair for much longer. Robson was able to return to the bridge table five months after the accident, the speed of his recovery astonishing his doctors. As a result, he received the IBPA Sportsmanship Award in 2002 "for his spectacular recovery from adversity". Robson also has the distinction of receiving the IBPA award for Best Defence of the Year both as a player (1999) and as a journalist (2002).

Robson has also written for The Oldie, The Spectator and the Express on Sunday. He has written books on bridge, produced instructional CDs and DVDs and, in 1995, opened his own bridge club, The Andrew Robson Bridge Club, in London. Robson has put his training as a schoolteacher to good use by heading many instructional seminars around the UK, as well as hosting master classes and charity bridge events and teaching at his club. Robson is married and has two daughters.

Robson’s bridge wins include:

  • Common Market Games Teams Championship
  • World Junior Teams Championship 1989
  • European Teams Championship
  • Cap Gemini Pairs (three times)
  • Sunday Times-Macallan Pairs
  • Gold Cup (five times)
  • Reisinger Board-a-Match Teams (twice)

At only 51 Bauke Muller is the oldest and most experienced player of the Dutch Open team. He is the only player who was also on the team the first time the Dutch team won the World Championships back  in 1993.

He then partnered Wubbo de Boer, who is nowadays the captain of the Dutch juniors. Bauke Muller and Simon de Wijs began their partnership in 2005. Since the beginning they have been the backbone of the Dutch Open team with two Open European championships (2005 and 2009) and rarely place outside the podium, the highlight of course being the Bermuda Bowl in 2011.

Bauke is married and the father of a grown-up daughter and has mysteriously managed both to finish an education and travel the world, winning the most prestigious tournaments, while still attending his daytime job.

In 2012, Bauke Muller received a Royal Decoration from Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. After the victory in the Bermuda Bowl in 2011 (Muller’s second), the Queen appointed Muller as a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau as the most successful bridge player of his country. His teammates can now refer to him as “Sir Bauke”.

Simon and Bauke play a highly-artificial system known as TARZAN. They employ many relays, making them less audience-friendly to watch than other pairs. However, the system usually gets them to the right spot - if they reach it before the clock runs out!

In addition to the two Bermuda Bowl wins and the two European Open Team Championships titles, Bauke Muller’s other bridge successes include a European Champions Cup and wins in both the Teams and Pairs at the 2012 SportAccord World Mind Games.