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The 2020 Master Point Press IBPA Book of the Year Shortlist

David Bird and Larry Cohen, Defense on the Other Hand; Master Point Press, Toronto; Paper, 213 pp; $19.95 This follow-up volume to On the Other Hand uses the same approach to defense as the first book used for declarer play: pairs of deals are shown – one described by Bird and the other by Cohen. The deals look similar (in some cases very similar) but an entirely different defense is necessary to defeat each of the contracts. By clearly understanding the defensive techniques involved, you will be able to defeat such contracts when you encounter them at the table.

Kim Frazer, Gaining the Mental Edge at Bridge; Master Point Press, Toronto; Paper, 182 pp; $18.95 Bridge players spend countless hours working on bidding conventions and card play techniques, yet give little attention to the mental side of the game. Maintaining focus and concentration, dealing with nerves, and other issues are largely ignored. In this book, Kim Frazer – an Olympian, winner of gold medals at three consecutive Commonwealth Games and an Australian international bridge player – has adapted the mental techniques that brought her success in shooting and explains in easily-understood terms how to use these at the bridge table.

Nicolas Hammond, Detecting Cheating in Bridge; Available from the author at www.cheatinginbridge.com; Paper, 220 pp; $39.95 This book describes how it is possible to detect cheating in bridge using statistical methods and mathematical models. The book has comparisons of data of cheating pairs and non-cheating pairs. It analyzes data from ACBL, EBL and WBF events and shows that there are still active cheating pairs at the top level. Charts depict the level of cheating in tournaments through 2015 and the sudden change in the amount of cheating after the summer of 2015 when some top-level pairs were caught. The data also shows that there were cheating pairs before 2015 that were not caught.

Mike Lawrence, Insights on Bridge, Part 2 (Bid, Play and Defend); Available from the author at www.michaelslawrence.com; Paper, 202 pp; $19.95 The latest installment of the “Insights on Bridge” series contains more carefully crafted mini-lessons designed to turn aspiring players into good players. The material in this book is devoted to situations and problems you will see at the table but not in other books. Mike Lawrence is one of bridge’s greats, a multi-talented master of the game. Lawrence has won three Bermuda Bowls and 16 North American Championships. This book is a follow-up to the winner of the 2019 ABTA Book of the Year Award.

Krzysztof Martens and Marek Wojcicki, Professional Competitive Bidding, Part 1 (Tactical Decisions) and Part 2 (Battle of the Titans); Available from the author at www.martensuniversity.com; Paper, 173 pp (Part 1) & 177 pp (Part 2); €25.00 each Part 1 presents bidding problems in contested auctions chosen from important championship events. The authors show how being active impacts both pairs. Using examples, they show what to do, how to do it, what not to do and why. Agreements that some of the top pairs in the world have for certain bidding decisions are described. Part 2 presents agreements that world-class pairs use in particular bidding sequences and gives an overview of how to treat most of these situations. Trying to create a complete set of agreements to handle every situation is practically impossible – rather, it is important to build an understanding within the partnership that is harmonious and that makes it possible for both partners to analyze situations and come up with bids that are along the same lines.

Mats Nilsland, 5-Card Majors the Scanian Way; Available from www.bridgeforlaget.se; Paper, 152 pp; €16.00 Mats Nilsland has devised bridge systems and conventions for fifty years. Here, he takes a look at everybody’s ‘standard system’ – five-card majors and strong notrump – and shows you how you can transform this natural base into an effective, modern bridge system. All ideas have been successfully tested in real life. 5-Card Majors the Scanian Way is the fifth volume in a series of books about new ideas in the bidding – Swedish Expert Methods – presented by some Swedish bridge experts living in the province of Scania.

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source: International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) Bulletin September 10, 2020

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