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The Rodwell Files

#1 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 09:42

I know there was a thread on Bridge Books but my efforts to find it didn't pan out. Anyway, I just got my copy of The Rodwell Files, and have browsed bits and pieces of it over the past 24 hours.

It is all about cardplay....declarer and defence. I didn't read much of the introductory chapter or two because I wanted to get to the good stuff.

And there is a LOT of very good stuff here. Some of the more advanced topics touch on plays I had some basic familiarity with, but his exposition of the reasoning and his use of examples, usually from actual play, is first rate and I hope that I will now be better placed to actually recognize these situations at the table.

Other topics are either new to me or go into far greater depth than I had previously experienced. Thus I am familiar with most forms of the intrafinesse, but he gives suggestions on how defenders should counter these plays...his 'intrapop' play was an eye-opener.



I also felt that I knew most of the basic card combinations, but I would never have thought of the correct line to maximize one's chances for 3 tricks from A2 opposite J9876. I won't post it here....can you work it out?

And I would not have played A2 opposite K10876x in the optimum manner to win 5 tricks.

This is the best book on card play I have read since Watson's classic (which I read more than 30 years ago and which is still invaluable for basic card play).....and by far the best book on advanced technique I have seen. Adventures in Card Play was more esoteric, so if you want weird and wonderful ideas, go there....but if you want real life situations and a vastly expanded understanding of technique that you can apply every day, buy The Rodwell Files.


Don't go looking for quizzes.....I don't think there are any, so it's not like the Martens books (which are superb)...but it is chock full of well written, well illustrated ideas.

I think this is a book that can be enjoyed by a very wide audience. It isn't for beginners, but an eager intermediate would find a lot of useful material here, while advanced and all but the very best real life experts will learn a great deal as well. And for the intermediate or advanced....this is a book that they can re-read as they gain more experience and benefit still more.


I got mine through Amazon, and I will have read it several times by the end of the summer :D
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#2 User is offline   gwnn 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 09:45

I think you mean http://www.bridgebas...aterial-review/
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#3 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 09:54

View Postgwnn, on 2011-August-05, 09:45, said:


You're right...thanks....now if only I knew how to move the post :rolleyes:
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#4 User is offline   G_R__E_G 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 11:06

Rodwell was doing a book signing of this at the NABC with the book being sold for $20. I decided to not bother picking it up since I hadn't heard anything about the book yet. What a stupid decision that turned out to be.
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#5 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 11:45

View PostG_R__E_G, on 2011-August-05, 11:06, said:

Rodwell was doing a book signing of this at the NABC with the book being sold for $20. I decided to not bother picking it up since I hadn't heard anything about the book yet. What a stupid decision that turned out to be.


I picked it up, but didn't want to wait around for him to sign it...he was busy playing cards, and that's what I wanted to do too.
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#6 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 12:05

I have been reading this book for the last ten days and I am about 25% through it.


It starts out talking about double and triple squeezes and then gets into the hard stuff.

It is advertised as for intermediate/advanced but really this stuff is all expert/wc level stuff.
It is 400 pages and every page is full of good stuff regarding card play. I think if nonexperts can remember even a tiny percentage of what he talks about it will improve your cardplay.

If you could remember even 50% of what he writes about you would play the cards better than anyone on bbo.

Will try and give a fuller review when I finish it sometime in the Fall.
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#7 User is offline   wyman 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 12:07

:sigh: another bridge book in my queue. Thanks for the reviews!
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#8 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 16:20

View PostG_R__E_G, on 2011-August-05, 11:06, said:

Rodwell was doing a book signing of this at the NABC with the book being sold for $20. I decided to not bother picking it up since I hadn't heard anything about the book yet. What a stupid decision that turned out to be.

$20? I think I paid $28.

When he signed it, he wrote something like "To Barry -- glad your last name isn't Crane".

I still haven't looked inside it. I assumed it was more memoirs than instructional.

#9 User is offline   BunnyGo 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 17:59

View Postbarmar, on 2011-August-05, 16:20, said:

$20? I think I paid $28.

When he signed it, he wrote something like "To Barry -- glad your last name isn't Crane".

I still haven't looked inside it. I assumed it was more memoirs than instructional.


Actually, most of the example hands are from the past 2 years.
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#10 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 18:23

I would be surprised if KT87xx opp Ax and J9876 opp Ax had not been written on the forums in the previous suit combination threads.

Axx opp KT87x is also interesting.
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#11 User is offline   benlessard 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 21:16

I would like to know the general way on how expert remember or solve card combinations. I assume full time pro know them near perfectly. But for not full time players its not so easy.

My method is reading the card combo book by Roudinesco and trying to figured them out, the toughest ive made and extra effort to remember and write them down. Also those that seems easy but are not too, since those are the one i will get wrong if i play too fast. The not so hard but infrequent i didnt make any special effort to remember and I hope to find those at the table.

When i get one that i didnt remember. Like
A2 opposite J9876 need 3 tricks

3-3 im always ok. After that i look at the ennemy cards "KQT" in this case and count that if i capture one of them im ok.

Banging the A will capture a stiff ennemy card on both side but running a card to the A will capture a ennemy card stiff or doubleton if rightside. Running the J give an extra chance to capture the stiff T.

So this one is like a 3 step reasonning card combination. My guess is 3/4 reasonning step card combination are not worth make extra effort to remember by heart. But when you reach 5 steps or more its best to write them down and remember them in the hard way.
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#12 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 22:56

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-August-05, 21:16, said:

I assume full time pro know them near perfectly.


lol, good one!

Quote

Banging the A will capture a stiff ennemy card on both side but running a card to the A will capture a ennemy card stiff or doubleton if rightside. Running the J give an extra chance to capture the stiff T.


Incorrect, stiff ten is irrelevant. If you bang down the ace and the ten drops, you can force 3 tricks, and if you run the jack you will still lose to the K and Q and take 3 tricks.
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#13 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 23:17

View PostJLOGIC, on 2011-August-05, 18:23, said:

I would be surprised if KT87xx opp Ax and J9876 opp Ax had not been written on the forums in the previous suit combination threads.



Found one of them:

http://www.bridgebas...__1#entry113308
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#14 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-05, 23:28

View Postbenlessard, on 2011-August-05, 21:16, said:

I would like to know the general way on how expert remember or solve card combinations. I assume full time pro know them near perfectly.


On that note, here's fred:

http://www.bridgebas...dpost__p__49248

Can't agree more.
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#15 User is offline   FrancesHinden 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 04:04

View PostJLOGIC, on 2011-August-05, 18:23, said:

I would be surprised if KT87xx opp Ax and J9876 opp Ax had not been written on the forums in the previous suit combination threads.

Axx opp KT87x is also interesting.


I hadn't thought of the second one before. After a bit of thought, I realised it's obvious to start with running the jack* which is not something that's obvious without thought, if you see what I mean. You do need 3 entries to the long hand though.


*now someone will tell me I've got that wrong
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#16 User is offline   JLOGIC 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 05:10

Yeah I couldn't find it on the forums after searching briefly. Funny, I was just talking about it with Brad Moss at the last nationals, maybe that's why it's so fresh in my head.
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#17 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 08:52

Baron-Barclay sells a set of card combination flashcards that might be helpful. I think Alan Truscott put them together.
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#18 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 10:17

I guess I am convinced. I have bridge books that I have not yet read, and lots of math books I have not yet read, but a good book is a good book.

I very much agree with something Fred said in the valuable link provided above: It's not so much that the specific situation comes up that often but rather that studying such matters gets you thinking right. (My paraphrase)

Flashcards could be useful but I have always believed that there is an art in using them correctly. When I was first learning how to prove things in mathematics I would make up some cards of things to be proved. I would pull a card and see if I could go through the entire proof in my head. On the back I had some key ideas, not the whole proof, so that I could get some help if needed. Often flashcards are thought of strictly as a memory device. I find it more profitable to use them as a guide in how to think through a matter correctly. I have never tried it for bridge though.
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#19 User is offline   rogerclee 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 10:43

Why are you reading the forums? Eric Rodwell just wrote 400 pages about cardplay.
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#20 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2011-August-06, 14:11

View PostJLOGIC, on 2011-August-05, 23:28, said:

On that note, here's fred:

http://www.bridgebas...dpost__p__49248

Can't agree more.

That was very interesting. It makes me feel better about not being able to solve the Card Combination of the Month puzzles in TBW.

I'm more interested in safety plays. They seem to be more important than complicated card combinations, but I also find them difficult to figure out.

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