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The New York Times Bridge Book: An Anecdotal History of the Development, Personalities, and Strategies of the World's Most Popular Card Game Paperback – August 1, 2004
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About the Author
Alan F. Truscott is the bridge columnist for The New York Times. He is also the author, co-author, or illustrator of numerous books such as Common Sense Bidding, Basic Bridge in Three Weeks, The Bidding Dictionary, Bridge Basics, and numerous others.
Dorothy H. Truscott is the author of Bid Better, Play Better, Winning Declarer Play, and a former world champion player.
Top Customer Reviews
By Alan and Dorothy Truscott
This is a wonderful collection of stories, plays, and tips on the still popular game of bridge. If you already know how to play, but maybe are a beginner and need some tips this is the book for you. Even more advanced players will find themselves challenged by the wide variety of hands played in the history of bridge. The authors write in such a way, intertwining the history of bridge with tips and instructions, that you will be caught up in the riveting story of players rise and fall to fame, without even realizing that your bridge skills are being improved while you read. This book has everything about bridge, from when it started as a game called whisk around a thousand years ago, to all the ethics of bridge and how to cheat unnoticeably. The book is filled with famous players, tournaments, hands, and scandals. It also gives you a couple of good tips on how to get yourself known in the bridge world. There are play-by-play instructions on how you would play some of the most notable hands dealt in bridge history, and many different instructions on various bidding conventions, or a certain play in bridge itself. If you want to soon be known for your fabulous bridge skills by all of your neighbors, then you cannot go without this book.
Alan Truscott has been the bridge editor for the New York Times since 1964, and has written thirteen books on bridge, including the famed The Official Encyclopedia of Bridge. Dorothy Truscott learned bridge when she was seven years old, and has won four world titles and thirty national. She has written the bestselling book Bid Better, Play Better, as well as a few others. Both are members of the American Contract Bridge League's hall of fame.
If you want a couple of quibbles, I disliked chapter 15, titled "Some Strange Situations". It contains cutesy miscellaneous material that they wanted to include, but didn't have a place for in the main narrative. Their editor should have just cut it out.
Also, they went a little overboard in their account of cheating in bridge. One piece of evidence of Italian cheating they give is a successful opening lead against 3NT (page 205). This seems like quite a stretch to call it cheating when the lead is fourth from the longest and strongest!
These nits aside, whether you like stories, hands, or instruction, you're sure to enjoy the book.
Truscott does the same thing for a later period, although he covers the early years also. There's not a ton of humor here and the point of view is that of Truscott. We get his viewpoint on several controversial situations. I don't say he's wrong but it will be nice when someone comes out with a different view of the period.
Still, it's a fine book with many useful and interesting hands. I often give a number of stars for a book I reviewed and wish I could give an additional half star or half a star less (or no stars at all for a few books) but this is a solid four. No fractions or adjustments.
Even at that, the analysis depends on certain assumptions of what strong bridge players supposedly would have done if they had not, allegedly, had illicit knowledge of their partners' hands. You have to wonder about the strength of this kind of reasoning, since the authors earlier say that the standard of play at the match was not high on either side. If the standard of play was not very high, perhaps enough simple mistakes were made to "support" the claim of cheating.
It's also noteworthy that a New York Times column by one of the authors (Alan Truscott) was written on June 21, 1987 and devoted to the famous match, but makes no mention of cheating by the Austrians. So apparently, the "evidence" of the Austrian team's cheating languished in the public record for 65 years, only be discovered by the eagle-eyed authors in their preparation of this book.
It gives off a rather bad aroma that authors would so casually, based on scanty analysis, besmirch in print the reputations of six players no longer alive and thus unable to offer a rejoinder. And it is done with such self-assuredness: the authors even claim that the Austrian team's win should be discredited, and that the record should show that Culbertson's team won the match.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Items came as advertised and I am very satisfied with them. The rest of this is added to satisfy Amazon's inane length requirement, which I am too busy to fulfill.Published 8 months ago by Verryl F.
explain the facts and anedocts around the world of bridgePublished 15 months ago by antonio salucci
Great book. Lots of bridge history. Will appeal to the serious bridge playerPublished 17 months ago by Joy M. Currie