Institute of Tautological Studies

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.

Oct 102003
 

“Without competition, and with hands that are fairly standard, a team formed by decent players can find the right contract.”

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Oct 102003
 

“Not only one side has the privilege of bidding, we know that. An expanded and more realistic model would show that the conversation process if the same for both teams. When both teams enter the auction, the auction climbs up much faster than if only one team makes all the bidding, while the other keeps passing.”

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Oct 102003
 

“Any bid naming a new suit by the captain after an active opening bid or a reactive opening overcall has been made and that does not imply a weak hand is a question that must be answered.”

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Oct 102003
 

“The captain releases his/her captainship when he/she makes a closing statement, converts his/her partner last answer into a contract to play or makes an invitation.”

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Oct 102003
 

“A conversation between partners in bridge always starts with a statement that means either I have no values in my hand or I have some point values in a long suit or I have an unusual hand with some point values and more than one long suit or I have a huge hand.”

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Oct 102003
 

“For an auction to exist, at least one of the team’s has to enter it by placing at last one bid. If both teams shy away from making a bid other than Pass, there is no auction and the hand is not being played. Usually at least one team will enter the auction, if not both.”

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Oct 102003
 

“At the end of the game, there is a winner and a looser.”

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Oct 102003
 

“Both teams engage in one board at a time intellectual confrontation at the end of which one will have the pleasure of playing the contract and the other will have the misfortune of having to defend it.”

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