Master Point Press Book of the Year Award 2012

John Carruthers

 The jury for this year’s Master Point Press Book of the Year Award is: Patrick Huang, Taiwan; Fernando Lema, Argentina; David Morgan, Australia; Barry Rigal, USA; P.O. Sundelin, Sweden; Ron Tacchi, France; and Paul Thurston, Canada. This
year, our shortlist comprises six entertaining and instructive titles, three by previous winners of the award, so it promises to be a closely-contended affair.

Bridge at the Edge: Boye Brogeland and David Bird. This book chronicles Brogeland’s often quirky, always bold and most-often winning expoits at the bridge table. At 40 years of age, Brogeland has won two World Championships: a Bermuda Bowl and a World Junior Pairs and three European titles: an Open Teams, a Mixed Teams and a Junior Teams, as well as scores of lesser events. David Bird has just passed Terence Reese as the most prolific bridge author ever, with something over 110 titles to his name, so this is a very strong
partnership. When reading this book, you’ll ask yourself many times, “How on earth did he know to do that?”

It’s All in the Game: Bob Ewen and Jeff Rubens. Bob Ewen wrote a terrific book on opening leads about 40 years ago and Jeff Rubens is the prolific publisher and editor of The Bridge World, the foremost bridge magazine in the world. Subtitled The Fun Side Of Winning Bridge, this book is a bit of a departure for both authors, presenting expert-level bridge as the serious, but at the same time funny, game it is. They tell some of the funniest bridge stories about some of the great ‘personalities’ of the game.

The Contested Auction: Roy Hughes. Hughes has been twice-nominated for the BOTY shortlist, winning in 2007 for Canada’s Bridge Warriors. His writing is cogent and literate and his analysis is thorough and astute. Now Hughes turns to the theory and practice of competitive auctions, a critical component of the modern game. Beginning by establishing what the bidding system needs to accomplish, Hughes goes on to discuss every type of contested auction, and recommends useful methods and agreements from which the reader
can select. This is a state-of-the-art discussion, covering many topics in detail that have at best seen cursory treatment in print up to now.

The Deadly Defence Quiz Book: Wladyslaw Izdebski, Roman Krzemien and Ron Klinger, the authors of last year’s nominated Deadly Defence, follow up with a quiz book so that one can assess how well the lessons of the first book have been absorbed. The book’s entwined themes are deceptive defence and spectacular defensive plays and 100 problems of varying difficulty are presented. This book and its predecessor will help you learn how to think about the most difficult aspect of the game.

Defend or Declare?: Julian Pottage. A new book by Pottage is a treat indeed – his Play or Defend? won the BOTY award in 2003 and this book follows on that theme and with the same methodology. Seventy-two problems are presented in an unusual format: the reader is presented with all four hands and asked whether he prefers to be declarer or defender. The problems are of uniformly-high calibre and some are quite extraordinary.

The Amazing Queen – Winning with Your Queens: Clement Wong. Clement Wong is a true Renaissance man – as well as writing the bridge column for the Hong Kong Economic Journal for 20 years, he has competed and captained internationally for Hong Kong. He hold degrees in law, engineering and business and is a barrister, management consultant, civil engineer, media columnist and university lecturer. His 1993 Bols Tip, Queening Your Defence, was the inspiration for this book based on skillful bidding and play surrounding the queens. The deals are all from actual play.