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Review by June Booty

‘Better Bridge with Bernard’ DVDs

published by Mr Bridge,

THIS IS a collection of six DVDs, each when to look for a slam and then explains

one of a series of lectures which were Love All. Dealer West. Quantitative Bidding, Key-card Blackwood,

given by Bernard Magee as part of the ´ J9532 Cue-bidding and Splinter Bids.

2011 Haslemere Festival, totalling eight ™ 742 Doubling and Defence Against Doubled

and a half hours in all. There are three t AK Contracts starts by explaining what a

playing topics: Ruffing for Extra Tricks, ® KQ4 penalty double means and when a double

Making the Most of High Cards, and Play ´ A6 ´ K84 is penalty and when it is for take-out. It

and Defence of 1NT Contracts; and three ™ AKQ9 N ™ J 10 8 5 goes on to explain when not to double.


mainly bidding topics: Competitive Auc- t J94 S t Q 10 5 3 Again, plenty of examples are used.

tions, Finding and Bidding Slams, and ® J953 ® 72 The subjects covered are suitable for all

Doubling and Defence against Doubled ´ Q 10 7 standards of players with at least six

Contracts. Because the lectures were ™ 63 months of playing experience, although

filmed live there is audience partici- t 8762 the Ruffing for Extra Tricks DVD starts

pation. Often Magee asks the audience ® A 10 8 6 very simply and addresses popular basic

what they think something means and it playing errors. It addresses concepts such

is difficult to hear what they are saying, as ruffing in the short hand rather than

but he summarises their answers so it is West North East South the long hand and setting up a long suit,

easy to follow. Often a member of the 1™ 1´ 2™ 2´1 and goes on to demonstrate strategies that

audience will ask a question and the Pass2 Pass 3™3 All Pass defenders can employ to stop this. Most of

camera zooms in on them. This the other DVDs would require a little

interaction adds to the interest of the 1 This is an example of raising to the level of more experience to get the most out of

DVDs. Magee treats all of the audience the fit, i.e. North has five or more spades them and would be suitable for players of

comments with respect, even when he for his overcall and South has three all levels up to average club standard.

doesn’t agree with them, and gives spades. This makes a total of eight spades Each DVD is in two parts and at the

comprehensive answers. so South bids to make eight tricks. beginning of each one Magee describes

Throughout all of the lectures Bernard 2 West cannot guarantee that East has four what is going to be discussed. He goes on

Magee is very knowledgeable and enthu- hearts as partner will often raise with to talk about these topics and also about

siastic about his subject. His points are three-card support in these situations, and related subjects that fit in with those being

made in a clear and structured way with the partnership cannot have enough covered. It is not obvious in which order

plenty of examples to illustrate his argu- points for game, so he will pass and leave they should be viewed as on the back of

ment. Initially his arm movements are a the decision to partner. each individual DVD they are listed in one

little distracting, as well as his repeated 3 East knows his side has at least eight order while on the back of the pack of six

question to his audience: ‘Can you see hearts, and that the opposition have at they are listed in a different order. In the

what I mean?’, but the listener soon learns least eight spades, so is not prepared to Doubling and Defence of 1NT Contracts

to ignore these, and the animated let the opponents play at the two level. Magee says: ‘We did cover this in Com-

enthusiasm of body and voice helps to petitive Bidding,’ so this would suggest the

enhance the enjoyment. Magee stands to 2™ will make +110 for East-West, which is order on the back of the DVDs is correct,

one side of a large projection screen upon the best positive score they can make, but rather than on the box.

which he shows slides to illustrate his if North-South bid 2´ it will make for Bernard Magee’s bidding system and

points. These are very clear and help the minus 110 for East-West. Once North- concepts are extremely good, and while I

viewer to follow the points in the lecture. South have found this good score, East- did not agree with absolutely every point

It is very easy to follow a deal that is being West can sacrifice in 3™ which is then only he made, everything he says has merit and

played in this way. minus 50 for them (minus 100 if the builds up to an excellent thinking strategy.

The Competitive Auctions DVD deals opponents double); this is a better result The DVDs cost £25 each or a boxed set

with many aspects of competitive auctions for East-West, especially at pairs. of all six for £100, post free. Each DVD

such as Unassuming Cue-bids, Negative This rather difficult topic is explained lasts just over an hour (the first few minutes

Doubles, and when to compete and when very clearly step-by-step. of which have a preamble showing where

to double. Finding and Bidding Slams covers many the lectures took place), and is a high-

One example deal used is: useful conventions. It starts by explaining quality and well presented product. r

44 English Bridge October 2012


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