The Free Press, Mankato, MN

November 11, 2013

Monday bridge column: The best books of this year

By Phillip Alder
NEA Bridge

---- — As we approach the holiday season, let's look at some of the books published this year that might appeal to the bridge players on your gift list.

Some whodunits with a bridge theme have been written. The best so far, in my opinion, is "Death in Duplicate" by Carole Coplea (Master Point Press).

Two deaths occur during a duplicate at Kensington College in the Adirondacks, and the book covers the investigation. Today's diagram shows the only bridge deal in the book.

If this layout occurred during, say, an 11-table duplicate, there would no doubt be 11 different auctions. Here, in particular, East's double was bizarre after hearing her partner raise diamonds. Note that East would have made five diamonds if she had guessed spades correctly.

After West led a low heart, South, a student at the college, called for dummy's 10, and East ruffed. She then cashed the spade ace: six, three, five. East, not guessing that the three was West's top spade spot, shifted to a diamond.

Declarer won with his ace and ran all of his trumps, bringing everyone down to three cards. North had the heart ace-queen-jack and South the spade queen-nine and heart three. But what could West keep? He was squeezed. Seeing the need to retain three hearts, West was forced to discard the spade king, hoping his partner had the queen. South now produced that card and claimed his contract for plus 550 and a top.

Master Point Press books are available from the publisher in printed and e-book editions.