Central Yarnton Bridge Club
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Bridge a la Carte by Victor Mollo
Bridge la Carte by Victor Mollo

Bridge à la Carte

By Victor Mollo


First published in 1982, this book is a treasure house of brilliant card play from World class players of over 30 years ago. Before you open the book, the front cover presents a slam contract that is made by letting the opponents win trick one while you discard an Ace, the only play to ensure 12 tricks. This is not the book for you if you are looking to improve your bidding technique, but if you wish to see examples of imaginative card play, then this is the one to study.

Chapter one on Masterpoints and Money does not seem very different today. At that time Mollo says that 'TV has yet to take an interest....'. There is a chapter on bridge behind the Iron Curtain, where bridge is sin! In 1977, the formation of bridge associations in sports clubs was forbidden in Russia.

However, the chapters on card play are the real interest of the book. The Anatomy of Forethought stresses the importance of planning the play and being prepared for bad breaks. We are all taught to do this but how often you see dummy and think this is a simple hand only to get a nasty shock at trick two! Squeezing the Pips, Wizards Wave their Wands and Trickery I found both entertaining and informative. In the chapter on Trickery, Mollo speaks of ‘unmakeable contracts reached by surrealistic bidding and then brought home by superb card play’.

No mention of the Rueful Rabbit or the Hideous Hog, but perhaps many of their exploits were inspired by some of the hands in this book. Highly recommended.