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The Rodwell Files: Secrets of a Bridge Champion Paperback – July 15, 2011
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I consider myself an intermediate/advanced bridge player (the supposed audience for this book) but found that this book is way out of my league. Just so that you know where I am coming from: I consistently win club games and usually place in the top 3 in sectional and regional pairs events. But that doesn't make me ready for this book.
This is the book to read once you are completely familiar with play of the hand and defensive principles -- it shows you how to recognize the exceptions. As a quick checklist, can you:
1) obtain the full count of a hand?
2) recognize a frozen suit?
3) carry out a forcing defense?
4) recognize when to give count and when to show suit preference?
5) carry out a simple squeeze?
If your answer to the above questions is "not always", then you should read a more basic book than this.
Nearly 400 pages, chockful of examples from high-level practice where the names of the innocent are not withheld, illustrate the points of technique. You will find here practical pointers in planning, in suit combinations, advanced suit handling, rather than a whole lot of complex ( double and compound ) squeezes. Rodwell uses colorful and memorable terms for the techniques, such as "gouging", "days of thunder", "The Left Jab" (second hand high from Kxx or Qxx when declarer leads to dummy's AJTx), "The 007 Play - License to Kill", my personal favorite "Chinese High Card Promotion" (not to be confused with the well-known Chinese finesse),and the 322-1/6 Super Duck (Dont even ask).
Rodwell's unique style of instruction, his extremely high level of analysis, make this unique book a standout in bridge literature, and one that is sure to be talked about for years to come.
This book is not about exotic squeezes and really weird once in a million distributions. It's about well know techniques, but with interesting variations.
Look at this example (declared by Geir Helgemo)
AK62 opposite 973
How do you play for 3 tricks?
Helgemo lead the 2 to the 7 finessing against LHOs 8.
RHO held QJT5 and took the 7.
Later Helgemo ran the 9, covered by the Q and Ace, pinning/squashing LHOs 9.
K6 over J5
Later he finessed the 6, making 3 tricks in that suit.
While this is an unlikley layout, the book at lest opens your eyes about what to look for. It doesn't involve a great deal of thought like a weird squeeze, just look at the cards you are misisng, and see if there is a layout that will work.
A4 opposite KT8753 your only chance is to find QJ doubleton, right?
Well, try running the 10, catering to a stiff 9 with RHO or a stiff 9/J/Q with LHO. This gives a 79% chance of 5 tricks.
Some of the plays are hard to follow, and were beyond me. Even so its a worthwhile book.
This is an advanced book, so beginners should first read many books on card p;lay technique first. Once you are intermediate/advanced, give this a read. You will at least be exposed to some interesting techniques, that do come up from time to time. Many of these hands are from actual play.
If you are a serious bridge player, buy this book. If you have a friend who is a serious bridge player, this is a purrfect gift.
The Rodwell Files fills a large hole in bridge literature. Many topics discussed in this book are seldom explored outside of it, and Rodwell's treatment of it is lucid and practical. Consequently, the book is as easy to follow as possible--but that does not make it easy.
The book is a survey of rare but important positions to recognize at the table. After a brief overview of basic technique, Rodwell launches into a collection of positions that are likely unfamiliar to the reader. Listing them would be meaningless, since the names are quite unusual, but unless you are a world champion bridge player (or even if you are), many of them will be unfamiliar to you.
I am on my second pass through the book currently, and it is obvious to me how the book is shaping the way I think about cardplay.
If you want your hand held with lots of example hands and quizzes at the end of every section, then this is not the book for you. If your goal in bridge is to consistently win sectional or regional pair games, then this is not the book for you.
But if you want to play the cards like a world champion, then you will find that this book is a step in the right direction.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I can't find enough superlatives to describe the utility of the information presented in this book. There are so many new ideas (at least "new" to me) presented that I... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chief
Thsi book shows why Rockwell is a consistent winner at the bridge table. This book is mainly about the play of the hand.Published on June 20, 2014 by Amazon Customer
Want to cut the amount of time it'll take you to become an excellent bridge player in half? Send for this book three days ago regardless of the present bridge level at which you... Read morePublished on March 15, 2014 by Ken J.
Rodwell's book describes and analyses card play technique at world champion level. Theoretically impeccable and yet entertaining to read. Read morePublished on February 8, 2013 by Hans-Georg Haeseler