In each issue of the EBU magazine the top table interviewee is asked what their favourite bridge books are. The items on my list make repeated appearances but far the most popular is Why you lose at Bridge by S.J Simon. The book is made up of two parts, in the first section ‘Skid’ Simon exposes your flaws and explains why you lose. In part 2 you kibitz a rubber at the club.
Simon wrote a follow up book, ‘Cut for Partners’ where the protagonists from the first book make their reappearance and is equally amusing.
Many books written in the 60’s and 70’s that concentrate on bidding theory are very dated. Bidding has changed out of recognition, but card techniques have remained conssitent since the 50’s. In fact it is arguable that as bidding systems have become more sophisticated the opportunity for wizardry at card play is a dying art.
Card Play Technique by Nico Gardener and Victor Mollo covers both declarer play and defender play, all the way through to the esoteric squeeze.
Victor Mollo wrote a series of books based on his experiences as a Rubber bridge player. The characters in his book are represented by animals, the most famous being the Hideous Hog. The story goes that these were based on real people, but who they actually were is a secret that he took to his grave.
After Andrew Robson, Paul Mendelson is arguably the country’s leading Bridge teacher. His literary output is considerably less prolific but he has written a couple of classics. Control the Bidding is a comprehensive guide to competitive bidding, and the reward will be to make a thorough nuisance of yourself. More recently Mendelson has released the Golden Rules, a title which belies the content. The author is very anti flippers and rules and this book sets out to remove these crutches from the aspiring player, and is a must read for improving beginners.
My father wrote a number of books some of which are very dated. Tiger Bridge was groundbreaking when it was released in 1970 on the back of his trip to America. He went there as a hired gun by Peter Pender. It was a novel concept at the time, now visit any conference and you will find many professionals who have been hired for the event. Surprisingly although he was addicted to advances in bidding theory, he is best remembered as one of the best exponents at card play.
Together with his horse racing buddy Freddie North, they wrote two books on play. The first principles and the golden principles, both of which would appear on many Bridge enthusiasts top five list.
Total cost through ABE Books - £23.41