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Calf - by Krzysztof Martens Original Review by Eyhung

Poll: Review of "calf" by Krzysztof Martens (8 member(s) have cast votes)

What level of player is this material directed towards

  1. Beginner (0 votes [0.00%])

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  2. Beginner-Intermediate (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Intermediate (0 votes [0.00%])

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  4. Intermediate-Advanced (0 votes [0.00%])

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  5. Advanced (0 votes [0.00%])

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  6. Advanced-Expert (2 votes [25.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 25.00%

  7. Expert or above (6 votes [75.00%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 75.00%

I would rate this books material (out of four stars) for the intended audience as:

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  2. One Star (0 votes [0.00%])

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  4. Three Stars (3 votes [37.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 37.50%

  5. Four Stars (5 votes [62.50%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 62.50%

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Posted 2010-December-25, 20:37

A rough example of a nice review for this forum would be this one from Feb by eyhung. I think the polls should be public, so we can see how players we "respect" voted, and obviously, you should have read the book to vote. REMEMBER you are not voting for the REVIEW, but rather the material being reviewed.

eyhung, on Feb 10, 2010 02:08, said:

Calf. By Krzysztof Martens
Level = Expert - World Class

The theme of this book is about not defending too quickly, but carefully considering the clues about the unseen hands to find the right play. All of these hands were misdefended by the author at the table "like a calf" -- can you do better?

I do not recommend this book for intermediate (ACBL Flt C) or advanced (ACBL Flt B ) players, because much of the material in here verges on the spectacular. Like a mystery novel, the right answer is never the "obvious" answer. You will frequently make moves contrary to human nature, such as tossing winners away under declarer's winners, discarding unnaturally to give declarer a false impression of the hand, or shifting to unusual suits/cards in anticipation of future squeezes/endplays. I think an advanced player would be better off with a more traditional defense book so that they could identify more common patterns of defense -- but if your aim is to become a world-class player, you must read this book. Many of these problems seem easy to miss at the table, unless you are playing at the top of your game. Reading the book will broaden your thinking and emphasize the important lesson not to defend "on autopilot".

The presentation and layout are poor: all the hands have East as dummy and West as declarer, which is a bit jarring, and it's often too easy to skim the failed defense and jump straight to the answer. But the quality of material is high -- I was exposed to some concepts I had not seen before -- and that makes the book worth reading. I consider it the modern successor to Kelsey's KILLING DEFENSE.

--Ben--

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