It was nearing the end of the 4th year of secondary school, (year 10 for the younger readers). I and few friends were playing knockout whist in a classroom. The head of maths walked in and caught us, was about to confiscate the cards then had second thoughts and said, ”I tell you what, if you’re going to play cards, I’ll teach you a proper game.” We already knew about tricks and trumps, so he gave is a lightning lesson on bidding, and the next day we were playing bridge.
My first serious competition was the schools cup, then sponsored by the Daily Mail and back in the seventies it was held over three stages, heats, semi-final and final. My school team entered a heat at Young Chelsea which is how I learnt about the club. We came just above half way but didn’t qualify, but I treasured the 18 local points I won! I started playing at YC and came last about the first ten times I played, but persevered and eventually after two more years I started adding to my tally of local points.
When I left school I went to Queen Mary College, London joined the bridge club there and that is where I met many of the players I would play with over the next 10 to 20 years, amongst them Geoff Hiller, my first serious partner, who sadly died in his late thirties, Alan Mayo my teammate in the Seniors, and Dick Shek, former British international, who moved to Malaysia and is now coaching and playing for the Malaysia International team.
I had a few minor placings in National events and then it all happened in 1984. Partnering Geoff Hiller my team won the Provost Cup (Spring 4’s Southern heat), and reached the Semi-final of the Gold Cup defeating the top seeds on the way in the Quarter Final. Then at Brighton in August we lost the play-off against the Northern winners of the Spring Foursomes, but bounced back to win the Brighton Teams.
Other major successes, I’ve twice won the Two Stars Pairs, and won the Young Chelsea Marathon.
After leaving University I joined British Airways IT department where I stayed for 23 years. Airline staff get cheap flights, and took advantage of that perk to attend many overseas tournaments in my holidays including many US Nationals. I took a team over to play in the 1993 Spring Nationals, and we entered the Vanderbilt. British players, unless they are internationals get very low seedings in American Nationals, and in the first round. we were drawn against a high seed captained by George Rapee. His team contained three former world Champions and two players who were in the previous year’s winning Vanderbilt team. Rapee was no doubt sponsoring the team, so he was not amused when his pros were overturned by us. It was such shock news that it made the New York Times.
On the admin side I have been on the LMBA for many years, and had spells on both the EBU Tournament and Selection Committees. I also enjoy being a BBO Operator and am often seen sitting begin the terminal when major EBU events are being broadcast. I recentIy received the Dimmie Flemming award for my services to bridge. I have also twice been coach for the England Under 26’s team.
I have been single most of my life, but that all changed when I met Lorinda in a chat room belonging to the jdate dating site. Lorinda was in Chicago so for several years we conducted a Long Distance Relationship, but we were married in Chicago in 2016, and after a lengthy battle with the Home Office she eventually was able to move here in October 2017. She wasn’t a bridge player when I met her, but she has started learning, with me as her teacher. We will be celebrating both my birthday and our second wedding anniversary while in Ostend.
Dimmie Fleming Award citation - 2017
David Muller is one of the “quiet men” of English bridge. An accomplished player who, after early retirement has run his own bridge club in North London, he has steadfastly supported his county for approximately three decades, serving on the committee since 1994, with only one or two short breaks, and before then as the County Youth Officer. He has also served on the EBU Selection Committee.
His current portfolio includes not only taking and keeping committee meeting minutes, but also running the LMBA web site, including a recent overhaul. Furthermore, he is organiser for several events (and has been in the past) and directs and scores without fee at London’s massively popular (but difficult to administer) Café Bridge events, after which large sums (in the thousands) are donated to charity.
He retains his interest as a tournament player, both in county and national events, and despite making his living from bridge, takes on the tuition of younger players without charge.
You would never know, as most London members don’t, how much, over the years David Muller has put back into the game of bridge. Perhaps a Dimmie Fleming Award would go some way to redressing this balance, and bestow some well-deserved recognition on this modest, but hard-working man.
Major International Appearances
Senior European Championships: 2018
Summer Meeting Four Stars Teams winner: 1984
Autumn Congress Two Stars Pairs Winner: 1988 and 2000