I have known Enzo Riolo in BBO in the early autumn of 2003; I played there since few weeks, coming from E-Bridge. I saw him (uh! Riolo is here!) and I invited him to enter a match against a strong Romanian team; he accepted, we won. Few minutes after the end, he called me: “The Rumanians want the revenge: can you?” “Yes, I feel I can afford it!” I replied heroically, but maybe he was just asking if I had enough time before the dinner.
Later, we become “bridge friends”, i.e. not true friends but pleased to play together, in the same table or in the same match, almost ever as opponents and often ironically commenting:
“Paolo” – he said a time – “I could be convinced that you’re a champion”.
“Did you sort out it by my playing?”
“No, I mean that it could happen if I listen to your talking, and avoiding to look your playing”
We played almost ever as opponents, I have said upon, rarely as partners: Enzo wasn’t an easy one. As many human beings, he often nagged fiercely the partner (the stories about great champions cheering up their partner sunk in easy contracts are fairy stuff tale). However, there was an exception: he never said anything against his beloved Gloria; whatever she did, it was always right or it always had right reasons for being wrong.
Enzo has published a new Italian standard bidding system with Franco Di Stefano; the old standard of 1987, by the same Di Stefano and Giorgio Belladonna, was a 4CM and strong 2’s system: not exactly the one you’d pick out today with a casual partner.
He has published also for teaching. He had a school, in Sicily: Eugenio e Giuseppe Mistretta, Massimiliano Di Franco, Giovanni Albamonte have came from there..
A school and a partnership aren’t two different things: that’s a complex, living framework with own sources for growing up. Let’s read Jeff Meckstroth [from “World Class” by Marc Smith -1999 Master Point Press]:
“It’s impossible to overstate the importance of partnership. Bridge is a partnership game, and although I play with people other than Eric these days [Eric Rodwell], I play with the same players regularly. I only have a group of about ten students/clients that I play with. Very occasionally, I take on a new person, but I’m about as busy as I want to be.”
Having both School and Partnership, Enzo Riolo has entered the Heaven even before to leave.
Paolo Enrico Garrisi (Turbin)