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VIRTUAL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP Krzystof Martens

Poll: VIRTUAL EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP (21 member(s) have cast votes)

This books is suitable for which groups below (you can vote for more than one)

  1. Beginner (1 votes [2.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

  2. Intermediate (1 votes [2.17%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 2.17%

  3. Intermediate-Advanced (3 votes [6.52%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 6.52%

  4. Advanced (9 votes [19.57%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 19.57%

  5. Advanced-Expert (18 votes [39.13%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 39.13%

  6. Expert (14 votes [30.43%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 30.43%

How suited is the material for the targeted audience?

  1. No Stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  3. Two Stars (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  4. Three Stars (5 votes [23.81%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 23.81%

  5. Four Stars (16 votes [76.19%] - View)

    Percentage of vote: 76.19%

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#1 User is offline   inquiry 

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Posted 2011-February-06, 23:00

This book is a collection of 170 problems, arranged in a theoretical 17 rounds of the european championship. You play all 170. Not much discussion. Each chapter is one of the 17 matches. You are given the hands all at once, you have to solve them, then you read the result (think of it like an extended bridge movie kind of thing, BUT you have to figure out how to play the hand with it being presented only once.

I have to admit, I have not finished the book, but I will. TThe problems are challenging, but the explainations are skimpy. An advanced player or higher can work out why the right solution is right (after it is pointed out), so I don't mind the shorthand answers to the problems.

So if you like mental bridge puzzles, some very difficult, with minimal write-up this book is for you. If you want instructions, better explainations*, give this one a pass. I think the problems would be too difficult for intermediates, who would do better with an arrangement of problems based on themes. However, advanced and higher players would enjoy solving these. Just spend more time on the problem before you check your answer, because often the obvious line isn;t thre right one. Also, you need to be quite specific about your sequence of plays to get credit from the author. Note, I am only through chapter 3 of 17.

I give this book only 3 stars as to how well it fits it audience, but I am VERY glad I have it. I plan to purchase the virtual european championship 2, as well.

* = the explanation of why the "correct play" is the correct play (aka percentage calculations, etc) seem to be lacking even if the solution is correct.


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#2 User is offline   Aberlour10 

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Posted 2011-February-07, 04:15

Mr Martens describes on his site his intentions concerning this book, it seems, there are the answers why he has written it with this conception (lack of explainations )and not the other.

http://www.martensun...mpionship.html/
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#3 User is online   helene_t 

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Posted 2011-February-07, 05:54

Agree with Ben's assessment. I have both books. It was not always clear to me why the right solution was right. Usually I could work it out but even so, some discussion would be worthwhile. It's not so much about calculating the percentages, more about discussing pros and cons of different strategies.

The translation is extremely bad. Anyone with a basic understanding of Polish should go for the original.

That said, the problems are very good.
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#4 User is offline   bluecalm 

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Posted 2011-March-02, 20:29

I think this is the best book on declarer play which was ever written.
It's true that explanations are short and not for beginners.
It's true that English is bad.
It's also true that there are some rare mistakes in solutions.

Despite all that the problems are great and educational and very practical. Mix of pure technical plays with psychological ploys make this book a treasure.
I think that if you want to improve get those books (vol I and II), if you are lazy and like reading more than solving problems and improving go for tons of others written so far.
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#5 User is offline   jschafer 

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Posted 2011-March-03, 08:40

View Postbluecalm, on 2011-March-02, 20:29, said:

I think this is the best book on declarer play which was ever written.
It's true that explanations are short and not for beginners.
It's true that English is bad.
It's also true that there are some rare mistakes in solutions.

Despite all that the problems are great and educational and very practical. Mix of pure technical plays with psychological ploys make this book a treasure.
I think that if you want to improve get those books (vol I and II), if you are lazy and like reading more than solving problems and improving go for tons of others written so far.


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#6 User is offline   cherdano 

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Posted 2011-March-03, 08:43

I liked the book a lot. Buying the electronic copy is fine, btw, as you can just print out the problems for each chapter, and then check the solution on the screen once you think you have solved them.
Obviously we have a recall bias in favour of the assholes. -helene_t
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#7 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2011-March-03, 16:21

I found it very helpful for my declarer play, which I know is one of the areas which I need to work on. A world class player who is a good friend said he gets most of them right but still learned quite some things.

If you don't mind the simplified English used and are just there for the bridge, it's probably the best advanced course in declarer play. And BTW, I have both.
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#8 User is offline   neilkaz 

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Posted 2014-September-25, 12:41

My package from The Bridge World arrived last night so I spent some time with these two books and really like them. They are really not for those who's declarer play isn't a least solidly up to advanced or better standards. Yes, some of the explanations are skimpy, but with a bit of work I can understand them.

Good excerpts from all of Martens' books are available on Google Books. I was able to get some of these hands correct and others were quite educational so I decided to purchase the books and am glad that I did.

The hands are practical as well. I expect to be a better declarer after finishing the books and expect them to provide great review material for me in future years.

Yes, I think there's a couple of typos.

The English, while most certainly not from a native English speaking writer is definitely adequate to me.

.. neilkaz ..
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#9 User is offline   rhm 

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Posted 2014-September-27, 14:13

View Postneilkaz, on 2014-September-25, 12:41, said:

My package from The Bridge World arrived last night so I spent some time with these two books and really like them. They are really not for those who's declarer play isn't a least solidly up to advanced or better standards. Yes, some of the explanations are skimpy, but with a bit of work I can understand them.

Good excerpts from all of Martens' books are available on Google Books. I was able to get some of these hands correct and others were quite educational so I decided to purchase the books and am glad that I did.

The hands are practical as well. I expect to be a better declarer after finishing the books and expect them to provide great review material for me in future years.

Yes, I think there's a couple of typos.

The English, while most certainly not from a native English speaking writer is definitely adequate to me.

.. neilkaz ..

I agree these are good books, but claiming these are the best books on declarer play is really overdoing it.
Martens writes for advanced players and with that I do not mean the ones found on BBO.
Kelsey, Reese, Bourke among others have written excellent books on declarer play, their problems being as practical and sometimes harder and even more challenging.
One good thing about Martens books is, that they are relatively cheap for their amount of content.

Rainer Herrmann
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#10 User is offline   PhilKing 

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Posted 2014-September-27, 16:39

Most of the play problems are actually reproduced from Kelsey/Jannersten/Rubens etc - few are original.
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#11 User is offline   KurtGodel 

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Posted 2015-April-20, 07:26

I must say this book (and the sequel) is one of my favourites. Yes it's not perfect (some of the explanations require you to do a bit of leg work - and I think one or two of the hands are incorrect) but it is fantastic for introducing you to some plays you may not have seen before (not normally technical ones). Probably the best thing about it is the sheer number of problems given. If you do them all over and over again it will make a huge difference to your declarer play if you are advanced-expert. I was a bit surprised to hear that the problems have been borrowed from other sources, particularly Kelsey, as I'm fairly confident I have most of the books that he has written and cannot spot the duplicates. That being said all the hands probably fade into a blur when you've played so many.

I don't really mind that the explanations aren't that clear, I think it encourages you to think your way through them properly rather than to superficially skimp over them. I don't really have any problems with the quality of translation either. I think if you want a book that improves your card play and you are in one of the higher skill ranges then it is the best for getting the job done. I think little can replace the sheer volume and range of problems. Yes I will concede that there are some better written books, but most of them focus on specific themes (normally squeeze play) or are lacking in examples. Another thing I would say is that the problems seem quite applicable to actual play, and involve the sort of 'bread and butter' situations in bridge: managing entries, maintaining trump control, cutting the opponents' communication, arranging the timing of plays etc... rather than focusing on impractically rare plays (when was the last time any of you executed a smother play/compound guard squeeze/devil's coup?) or aesthetic plays.

In summary it is without a doubt one of the best books for the practical task of improving your card play, but if you are looking for something that is more organised or feels more didactic look elsewhere. I think in years to come it will be regarded as a classic. If you are an Advanced-expert+ player then I would point you in the direction of some of my favourites:
Bridge with the Blue Team - Pietro Forquet (also extremely good because there are so many hands, an extremely inspiring text, you can see some of the greatest players of all time make some truly spectacular plays, and the hands are for the most part doable as problems)
The Art of Declarer Play - Tim Bourke & Justin Corfield (very good for lots of the technical endings, makes you think a lot about more delicate endplays as well as going into great depth when it comes to counting out the hand/guessing the count of the hand)
Adventures in Card Play - Hugh Kelsey & Geza Ottlik (in my opinion the best bridge book ever written, it shows you just how much is possible in this game with by far and away the most beautiful hands ever composed, it is for the most part of limited practical use)
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#12 User is offline   PhilKing 

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Posted 2015-April-24, 16:25

View PostKurtGodel, on 2015-April-20, 07:26, said:

I must say this book (and the sequel) is one of my favourites. Yes it's not perfect (some of the explanations require you to do a bit of leg work - and I think one or two of the hands are incorrect) but it is fantastic for introducing you to some plays you may not have seen before (not normally technical ones). Probably the best thing about it is the sheer number of problems given. If you do them all over and over again it will make a huge difference to your declarer play if you are advanced-expert. I was a bit surprised to hear that the problems have been borrowed from other sources, particularly Kelsey, as I'm fairly confident I have most of the books that he has written and cannot spot the duplicates. That being said all the hands probably fade into a blur when you've played so many.

I don't really mind that the explanations aren't that clear, I think it encourages you to think your way through them properly rather than to superficially skimp over them. I don't really have any problems with the quality of translation either. I think if you want a book that improves your card play and you are in one of the higher skill ranges then it is the best for getting the job done. I think little can replace the sheer volume and range of problems. Yes I will concede that there are some better written books, but most of them focus on specific themes (normally squeeze play) or are lacking in examples. Another thing I would say is that the problems seem quite applicable to actual play, and involve the sort of 'bread and butter' situations in bridge: managing entries, maintaining trump control, cutting the opponents' communication, arranging the timing of plays etc... rather than focusing on impractically rare plays (when was the last time any of you executed a smother play/compound guard squeeze/devil's coup?) or aesthetic plays.

In summary it is without a doubt one of the best books for the practical task of improving your card play, but if you are looking for something that is more organised or feels more didactic look elsewhere. I think in years to come it will be regarded as a classic. If you are an Advanced-expert+ player then I would point you in the direction of some of my favourites:
Bridge with the Blue Team - Pietro Forquet (also extremely good because there are so many hands, an extremely inspiring text, you can see some of the greatest players of all time make some truly spectacular plays, and the hands are for the most part doable as problems)
The Art of Declarer Play - Tim Bourke & Justin Corfield (very good for lots of the technical endings, makes you think a lot about more delicate endplays as well as going into great depth when it comes to counting out the hand/guessing the count of the hand)
Adventures in Card Play - Hugh Kelsey & Geza Ottlik (in my opinion the best bridge book ever written, it shows you just how much is possible in this game with by far and away the most beautiful hands ever composed, it is for the most part of limited practical use)


I just spotted a few more that were, er, borrowed from The Most Puzzling Situations in Bridge, by Reese.
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#13 User is offline   Free 

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Posted 2015-May-03, 01:06

View PostPhilKing, on 2015-April-24, 16:25, said:

I just spotted a few more that were, er, borrowed from The Most Puzzling Situations in Bridge, by Reese.

Perhaps that's why full explanations aren't given ;)
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