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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2011
I have owned at least one copy of all the previous editions of the Encyclopedia, and refer to the 6th ed. often. I was quite disappointed with the format of this new 7th edition. It is quite a hefty book with 633 pages at 8.5" by 11". I think that most all of the same information is there, but is no longer organized alphabetically. You have to go to the index and then get referred from there. It feels too ACBL-centric, with separate chapters on the "ACBL Hall of Fame", the "ACBL Museum", the "ACBL How it Works", and other chapters organized around ACBL personalities. They have pictures of the players this time, and that is nice, but they separate the stars into the Hall of Fame chapter, and into a "Bridge at the Top" chapter. They arrange this second chapter in order by their masterpoint holdings, so it is very hard to find a specific person.

The Suit Combinations chapter that caused me to buy the original encyclopedias is still there. Various editions of the Encyclopedia Have recommended selected bridge books for a good bridge library. I thought that the list lost much of its usefulness when he list swelled to 58 pages of titles in Ed. 6. I am glad to see that they have cut the list down to one page (52 books) in this edition. They still include many of the old faithfuls (Watson's "Play of the Hand", Simon's "Why You Lose at Bridge", and my all-time favorite Love's "Bridge Squeezes Complete". But newer authors are included, such as Bergen, Bird, Cohen, Pottage, and also Rodwell ("The Rodwell Files").

One useful aspect of the new chapter organization is that the mathematical articles have been pulled together into one chapter. I had found a few errors in the tables in the 6th Ed, and those that I had found have been fixed. There is a whole separate chapter on squeezes! There is a chapter on "Bridge and the Digital Age". It was short and terse, but it was nice to see that the Encyclopedia addressed the changes to bridge caused by this computerized age.

I think that the Index leaves much to be desired. In my first attempt to use it, I looked up Clyde Love, but he was not in the Index. When I scanned the included PDF file though, I found that he had been mentioned several times in multiple articles. The book includes two CDs. The first CD contains a full copy of the encyclopedia itself! It takes a little time to open an 18.6 MB PDF file, but once it is open, you can search around in it easily. Also they have gone to the work to make links work properly in the PDF file. The second CD contains a whole extra book as a PDF file of 399 pages, that gives all ACBL members that are Diamond Life Masters and above, many biographies, and all major tournament results. I have to admit that these two CDs, in addition to the encyclopedia itself, makes it a great value.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2011
The previous (sixth) edition contains much more material; it has 800+ pages with about 70 lines of type to the page. This edition has 600+ pages with 60 lines of type to the page; it is heavier, physically more cumbersome to use, and less conveniently arranged.

The new arrangement requires the use of the index to find an entry since subjects are broken down into chapters instead of being in one alphabetical sequence. "Bidding," "Competitive Bidding," and "Systems" are each separate chapters with their own alphabetical sequences.

I tested the book for new material by trying to look up "SEF," the basic French standardized system developed in 2006 that is widely used in the same manner as the SAYC card in North America. "SEF" is not in the encyclopedia under that heading, nor under any expanded version of it that I could think of. I then tried looking up "SAYC," which is a term frequently used on internet sites. It is not in the index; you have to know that you should be looking up "Standard American Yellow Card" to find it.

Since biographies in the printed book are now limited to the ACBL Hall of Fame, there are no main biographical entries for such important bridge players as Terence Reese and Benito Garozzo, nor are there entries for the authors of two of the most widely read bridge classics, S.J. Simon ("Why You Lose at Bridge") and Louis Watson ("Play of the Hand"). On the accompanying CD, the biographies are also annoyingly arranged in several different alphabetical sequences. If you want to find Reese, you have to search and click through a number of mentions of his name before you get to the main entry.

A minor irritation to me is that the "Bridge Whist" article perpetuates the inaccurate information that the term was invented by later bridge historians when there are several books by that title published pre-1905.

The sixth edition will continue to be my "go to" book that sits with easy reach; this new edition will be relegated to a more distant bookshelf. There is a lot of useful information in this book, but you can get a better reference more cheaply by buying the earlier edition.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
Such a shame, I own(ed) several previous editions, and they were splendid books with an abundance of well organized (alphabetical) information, but still of manageable size.

This latest edition is worse in almost every way. The organization is now by chapter, and I can tell you, it is hard to find anything. The book has become heavier and considerably larger, and critical information such as the very extensive bridge bibliography has been omitted (I stumbled on one page with 'recommended books' but the content is worthless). The three advantages of this edition are 1) it includes an electronic version 2) it is more recent and 3) thankfully most of the previous material is still there, if you search for it.

Depressing that we will probably have to wait for another 10 years before the next (hopefully better) edition. (edit: List_of_bridge_books in the wikipedia says 2014 is the planned date for the 8th edition, nice!)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2012
The Encyclopedia of Bridge has been updated several times since the first edition, for good reasons in my opinion: to incorporate the latest treatments and add new significant entries to the Who's Who of bridge. I have several earlier versions of this work in my library and I readily purchased this edition, sight unseen.
For me, that was a mistake.

This latest edition may achieve its goals, but at the cost of deleting older, yet significant in-depth information that I would deem most relevant, yet today. This version is now the CONDENSED version of previous editions.

In years past, if you only could afford one book on bridge, any previous edition of Encyclopedia of Bridge WAS (past tense) that book. With much larger type and much more white space, this edition pales in comparison to all earlier editions. As long as earlier editions are available (they almost certainly will be), I would recommend those over this latest version.

Amazon's one-star rating means "I hate it," and I really do hate it, but only because I know how thorough the previous editions were. I hate that the editors excised so much good information from the previous edition. However, if I had not ever seen the previous editions, I might not hate this version so much. I respect the editors (they are well known in the world of bridge) and they had a job to do; so, if I try to be unbiased, I must rate this simply as OK - which is 3 stars, begrudgingly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 1, 2013
I don't think the lists of past winners of national events should be exiled to the DVD. Instead there are pictures of Hall of Famers and seemingly random strong players. Some new material was added to keep up with modern bidding theory, which is good. And the probability tables for card combinations, which is the feature I most often use, are intact. But I can't say I'm thrilled with this edition of the encyclopedia.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2013
This is an embarrassing edition of the Encyclopedia. Aside from all the complaints by other reviewers, the photos are sadistic - did the editors go out of their way to make bridge champions look terrible? I returned my copy to the publisher.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2013
The historical review and characters of the game are presented in an interesting fashion.
It will make you want to visit the hall of fame.
Any expectation on this helping with game play, despite a large chapter on this, is misplaced.
Unfortunately that is one of my desires so I was disappointed by the purchase.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
An excellent book for players at all levels. Very well organized, lot of new material and the two included DVDs make it a worthwhile purchase. Strongly recommended.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 12, 2013
This encyclopedia answers any of your questions. It's large and heavy so you can't just carry it around with you.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 6, 2014
A 'must have' for every true bridge player
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