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Book Reviews

#81 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2005-August-31, 13:53

Loves book is pretty hardcore. It's a great book, tough to finish though.
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#82 User is offline   Double ! 

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Posted 2005-August-31, 14:51

I found Reese and Jourdain's "Squeeze Play Made Easy" to be relatively easy to read and, for me, to comprehend. I recall, several weeks after reading the book, my excellent partner put me in 7NT on a hand, and I was able quickly to recognize the hand as a double squeeze (with the 2 as one of the threat cards for trick 13). It made 7. I still can't recognize nor time a crisscross to save my life, but after reading the Reese-Jourdain book, my declarer play did improve. In contrast, I experienced Clyde Love's book to be rather difficult to read. I eventually put it away after several unsuccessful attempts to grasp the material, and wound up feeling rather BLUE about the whole situation. I recommend the Reese-Jourdain book.
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#83 User is offline   pigpenz 

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Posted 2005-August-31, 17:36

Jlall, on Aug 31 2005, 02:53 PM, said:

Loves book is pretty hardcore. It's a great book, tough to finish though.

yes but once you get through it its the best
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#84 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2005-September-01, 02:01

pigpenz, on Aug 31 2005, 11:36 PM, said:

Jlall, on Aug 31 2005, 02:53 PM, said:

Loves book is pretty hardcore. It's a great book, tough to finish though.

yes but once you get through it its the best


Are you sure it's the best ?

In my opinion Love's book is overrated: I would suspect that its big reputation comes from the fact that, for a long time, it was the only book about squeezes readily available on the market .
So, it was a "classic" because it was virtually the only one ! :)

But, out there, there are plenty of books , even older than Love's book , that are MUCH better organized.

Without having to think too much I can mention right away:

- Romanet's french book "Le squeeze au Bridge"
- 2 italian books from the 60's, by Giannuzzi, one specifically on squeezes ("La compressione nel bridge"), the other on elimination, endplays, and dealing also with squeezes/throwin (Eliminazioni e colpi")
- Hugh Kelsey's set of Bridge Squeezes
- Reese /Jourdain

and there are more (I am sure some fellow posters might add their likings to the above list).
All of these books explained in a much more detailed maner how to diagnose the possibility of the squeezes and how to prepare it: there are WHOLE chapters devoted to that, not just example hands.

Yes yes, I know the chapter of Love's on the "BLUE" requirements, but IMO this chapter is more superficial than the explanations given in any of the above books.

Ultimately, I think that Love's book earned the "classic" award only because there was no other books on the specific topic yet published (or sufficiently advertised) in english language on the market.
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#85 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2005-September-01, 14:20

I suspect that there are a number of excellent Bridge books I've never heard of because they have never been translated to English. For example, Chamaco recommended to me the excellent book on No Trump play by Robert Berthe and Norbert Lebely. Unfortunately that is their only work in English (I think they are French).

Probably Bridge books don't sell as well these days as they used to, so there is little chance I'll ever get to read:

> Romanet's french book "Le squeeze au Bridge"

>- 2 italian books from the 60's, by Giannuzzi, one specifically on squeezes ("La compressione nel bridge"), the other on elimination, endplays, and dealing also with squeezes/throwin (Eliminazioni e colpi")

What are some of the classics that have NOT been translated to English?
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#86 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-September-02, 13:25

Building A Bidding System, Hughes, R, 2005
17.95$ 148 pages.
Grade=B-

Not sure who the target market is for this book. System theorists will know most of this stuff and the rest of us will feel like we are reading a theory textbook.

From Author's Preface: "...this book is about: how to bid correctly to our own contracts while frustrating the aims of the enemy."

I did enjoy " A tour of the Systems World" chapter.
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#87 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2005-September-02, 13:28

ArcLight, on Sep 1 2005, 08:20 PM, said:

What are some of the classics that have NOT been translated to English?

Chiaradia's book on the Neapolitan club system is a TRUE Classic.
Its is not only a good system book, but also a book on hand evaluation.
Chiaradia was the "father" of the bidding school of the Blue Team.

I believe it was once translated in english, I ignore whether you can find it in your language nowadays.
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#88 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2005-September-11, 09:39

Card Play Technique (or the art of being lucky) by Victor Mollo.

Excellent, clear, concise book on the play of the hand. This is more advanced (and I think a lot better) than Watson "Play of the hand". It doesn't cover beginner topics like 2 way finesses. What it does do is cover most of the standard techniques, from both sides. How to perform a trump reduction/coup and how to defend against one. Squeeze play and defense against Squeezes. Endplays and defense against end plays (warning signs to look for). A good (short) chapetr on opening leads, card reading, defense, etc.

What I especially like is the book is concise and clear, several pages of teaching, some examples (both double dummy and with just 2 hands exposed unlike Watsons book which is all double dummy ), and finnaly some problems at the end of the chapter, allong with a 1 page summary of the techniques and warning signs to look for.

This is a great book for intermediate and advanced beginners. Even if you are familiar with all the techniques, its a nice review, and chances are you will pick up a few pointers. Its 350 pages long and will take a while to go through as you have to think.

I rate it an A.


Note 1: the chapter on Squeezes is not enough, I recommend Reeses book "Squeeze play made Simple".


Note 2: I'm not saying Watsons "Play of the Hand" is no good, just that this is a lot better. The Watson book is probably better for beginners as it covers other basics.
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#89 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-September-11, 10:02

Agree, was told by many very good players if you read just one Play book, read Card Play Technique. When I asked for a second choice, they told me, just reread this one, you need it :lol:.
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#90 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-September-16, 11:41

Modern Constructive Bidding, Miles, 2005
18.95$ 215 pages

Grade=B

Miles version of 2/1 which is close to BWS (Bridge World Standard). Chapters also on NT bidding and Precision.

He points out his preferred style but also presents opposing points of view.

Miles strongly advocates playing 2/1 promising a 5 card suit and 1nt be 100% forcing.
Picture bids and his exceptions to 2/1 game force are clearly written but other parts come across as muddled.

For those players who want a good primer on BWS and current expert thinking on 2/1, read this book.
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Posted 2005-September-16, 11:48

mike777, on Sep 16 2005, 12:41 PM, said:

Modern Constructive Bidding, Miles, 2005
18.95$ 215 pages

Thanks... just what I was looking for. I have a friend who is retiring soon and wants to learn 2/1 and play more with me. I will buy 2 of these.
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#92 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2005-September-16, 12:54

mike777, on Sep 16 2005, 05:41 PM, said:

Modern Constructive Bidding, Miles, 2005
18.95$ 215 pages

Book review REQUEST ! :-))

Did anyone read Miles' "Bridge from the top", which he quotes in "Modern constructive bidding "?

From the quotes it seems that in that book there should be quite a few of Miles' ideas about A Strong Club system built around the Blue Team Club framework.

I'd be happy if anyone could post a review about it.
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#93 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-September-16, 13:10

Bridge from the Top Book 1, Miles, 1987
11.95$ when I bought it 19 years ago :). 299 pages
Full of conventions and competitive bidding.

Book II, 1989, 260 pages, still only 11.95$

Forcing Club and Defense.

I have both books so they must have been OK, but not great.

I will read them both again and repost updated reviews.
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#94 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2005-September-28, 06:48

Squeeze Play Made Easy by Reese and Jourdain

Terrific book! For some reason I found this clearer than most others. I wish it didn't have so many double dummy examples, but I just covered up the East and West hands. The focus on the book is on recognizing squeeze posibilities and learning to execute the squeezes, rather than just being presented with many problems (the Clyde Love book).

Reese writes that Squeeze possibilities exist in one out of every 6 or 7 hands. Most of those will be simple squeezes, not exotic ones. Frequently there will be another technique you can use, such as an end play. Still, it seems that being comfortable with the simple squeezes should allow you to make an extra contract every 20 hands or so. Thats a huge increase in made contracts.

The book also explains how to defend against Squeezes and what to look for.

Reese also writes that Squeeze play needs to be studied, it can't be picked up. He advises rereading his book after some months. I agree.

This is a great book, I highly recommend it. I also recommend David Birds "Bridge Squeezes for Everyone". I much prefer it to the Clyde Love book.

(I still have Kelseys 4 volume set that I'll eventually get to)
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#95 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2005-September-30, 13:32

2004 World Bridge Championships, Istanbul. 336 pages.
Grade=A

A terrific book that only the numerous typos prevent it from getting an A+.
Must have book for any serious bridge player.
The analysis is wonderful.

I hear rumors that these books never make money. I only wish they do make money so they will create 2 volumes with more details of bidding systems and even more hands.

Great book that will provide hours of reading enjoyment for players at all levels.
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#96 Guest_Jlall_*

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Posted 2005-September-30, 13:45

I love world championship books in general. They are great.
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#97 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2005-September-30, 15:25

Many have already commented on Reese-Jourdain, and on Love. I like both books very much. R-J is more intuitive, L writes like a mathematician (which he was and I am).

Here is one piece of advice from Love, which anyone can learn and will often help even if the player finds the general study too much: Running your trumps, ALL of them, will often produce an extra trick. In many, many hands I watch my partner, the declarer, run all the trumps but one, cash the tops in the side suits, then the last trump, then give up the last trick. In quite a few of these hands, cashing the last trump earlier would cause a trick to simply fall into declarer's lap. Of course this isn't always right, maybe the tops in one of the side suits should be cashed first, but cashing all tops and then the last trump, hoping opponents will just toss wrong, seldom works.

I read Love a long time ago. It forced me to think about the play of the hand in a different way. This may be the most valuable feature of the book. I always enjoy Reese.

Ken
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#98 User is offline   Chamaco 

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Posted 2005-October-05, 08:49

"Opening lead" by Tony Sowter.

Much better than any other opening book I had read before:
- Ewen's book
- Blackwood's book
- Lawrence's book (Opening leads)
- Lebel's book (The killing lead)
- other card play/defense books (e.g. Kantar books on defense, Mollo, Bil Root's books, Watson's play of the hand, etc etc)


In particular, it is especially helpful the section designed to explain when to make an aggressive lead or a passive lead
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#99 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2005-October-06, 10:39

Uncontested Auction: Mike Lawrences Bidding Quizzes #1

Mike Lawrence has his own version of the 2/1 system, presented in his 2/1 CD and also in his 2/1 Workbook. 2/1 is complex and even with study you make not always make the right bids. (Lawrences methods have a few differences from those of Hardy)

This book has around 600 bidding sequences and hands and asks you what to bid. It explains why a bid is good and why others are bad. A great way to reinforce your understanding of the system. What makes the book valuable is it doesn't just show easy auctions, it shows someone in between hands. The reader learns how to interpret what an unusual bid can mean. The problems cover both declarer and responder bids, up to the 4 level.

Great book, I rate it an A (if you are interested in 2/1).
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#100 User is offline   ArcLight 

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Posted 2005-October-10, 21:23

Building a Bidding System by Roy Hughes

A good overview of bidding methodologies and theory.
It covers:
relays - one side, asking for info
transfers -
dialogs - balanced transfer of info

Frequency of occurences of bids and useful bidding spce. Hence you should design the system with the more frequent bids having a lower value.

Slam Bidding, Constructive bidding, Destructive bidding.
Modern things like transfer advances and preempts. Their strengths and weaknesses.

It also has a short discussion of several popular systems (MOSCITO, SA, PRECISION, Polish Club). The author also presents a home made system.

Its a decent book, and I rate it a B.

To earn an A it would have had to have a section like "Common problems" or "what to look out for" when you design your own system. The book doesn't give me enough knowledge to design a system. It gives just enough knowldge to be "dangerous". I would like to have seen things like:

1) how Precision was refined and what its early problems were (and how system designers could avoid them)

2) be taught enough to evaluate a new system with holes. (either my own or someone elses)

A while back ZAR presented his ZAR Backbone bidding system. Some of the members here felt there were problems. I think some of the things they didnt like were:

a) an in bewteen bid (1D) halfway bewteen an opening bid, and a strong bid (like a 2 Club in SAYC).

:P the vulnerability to this system to interverence because you hadn't yet determined shape and fit

c) perhaps some NT issue.

It would be nice to have the author take us through some evaluative steps.

3) A "Check list" of evaluative steps to see if a sytem is robust.

What I'm asking is A LOT and would require another book.
The current book is good, but its just an introduction, like Building A Bidding System 101. I want to see BABS 201 and 301 and 401.

I've not seen any book like it. I found it far better than "Theory of Bidding" by Norman Squire.
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