Magazine article The Spectator

By the Book

Magazine article The Spectator

By the Book

Article excerpt

I ENJOY reading about bridge almost as much as I do playing it. First, there's the sheer fun of trying to solve puzzles and brain-teasers. Secondly, it's good for my confidence. I often have moments of terrible scattiness at the bridge table, but being able to solve problems in books - away from the distractions and pressures of a real game - helps reassure me that I'm not entirely hopeless.

Recently, I came across one of the most thrilling bridge books I've ever read. First published in 1960, it's called Spotlight on Card Play and is by two Hungarians, Robert Darvas (author of the bridge classic Right Through the Pack) and Paul Lukacs. The hands are so clever and imaginative that they are as fresh today as when they first came out. The following is one of my favourites (the East-West hands are not given):

Contract: 6NT

Lead: [diamonds]J

West leads the [diamonds]J, East plays small and you win with the [diamonds]A. You have five diamonds, but the suit is blocked if one opponent still holds [diamonds]109. …

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