“I am always surprised, when playing on the Internet where dozens of spectators may come and watch games in progress, that I attract so many of them. I put this on the account that, without understanding motivations for performing some of my bids, they are intrigued by them and the results they generate. Sometimes I can hear someone say: ‘Well, that’s a Gerard bid!’ but it’s all right. Those who understand what the thought process is behind these seemingly strange bids, stop making such a statement.”
I was going to devote this page to a list of recommended bridge books, but in truth there is only one I can recommend: Bridge Is a Conversation by Gerard Cohen. Though self-published — no prophet is recognized in his own time — this bids fair to become a classic. Gerard’s writing, like his bidding, dummy play, post mortems and defense, is consistently entertaining and even instructive, in a weird way. All items guaranteed sic.
“Like in any communication between people, people and machines and machines and machines, there need to be a protocol, and so far, no one has identified bridge’s mysterious communication protocol.”
“Again, as much as the answers to give to the captain’s questions are precise, the captain’s questions do not have for feed you with information about his/her hand, though it is preferance incase captainship is picked by the crew, you in our case.”
“All great players, teachers, super-experts uses it every time he bids, but none has articulated it.”
“Call it what you want, Gerard’s Principle or some other name, but it governs all bridge conversations. That’s what this book is all about.”
“Some people talk for nothing. They don’t have anything specific to say but they say it anyway. They hope to grab someone’s attention and start a conversation. The reason is that they want to have the feeling they are “somebody”. I’ll leave it to the psychologists to analyze their deep motivations. The bottom line is that even for these people, there is a reason and a goal for trying to communicate. There is always a goal for conversation, and that is either to better oneself or better the other guy.”
“For the other team, altogether, the minimum for the opposing team has a point spread of 19 to 40 minus whatever each opponent counts in his own hand. I’ll let you figure the mathematics of it.”
“If the other team has already withdrawn from the auction, a Pass by the captain is the conversion of the last bid by the crew into a contract to play, but if the other team has not withdrawn from the auction, Pass is a request to withdraw from it.
“In either case, the captain makes a decision and the crew is advised to respect that decision unless he/she had not disclosed his/her hand totally, either in points or in shape.
“By passing, the captain also gives up his/her captainship. If the auction is re-launched by the crew, the crew will then become the new captain for the team and the ex-captain demoted to the rank of crew.
“The captain may pass at any time during an auction, including in the first round of auction except if the opening statement is artificial, in which case he must ask for details about the crew’s hand before taking the proper decision step.”