Page 0047

When did you start playing bridge?

By good fortune not until my fourth year at

university. Consequently I didn't screw up my

degree, unlike many student bridge fanatics.

How often / where do you play?

I gave up playing when I had a heart attack ten

years ago. I didn't miss it at all, I was surprised to

find, so after my full recovery I never started

playing again.

What do you do for a living?

I retired early from IBM after thirty-two years of

testing system software and giving courses

around the world; I have been a full-time bridge

writer ever since. The creative side of writing a

new book is always enjoyable ─ particularly for

the fiction, where I enter the magical world of the

characters. The subsequent polishing and check ing

for errors and typos is hard work, taking a

long time, but it's part of the job.

What are your favourite bridge books (apart

from your own)?

I must admit that I found many of Kelsey's books

too difficult. I enjoyed everything that Reese

wrote and, of course, it was Mollo who blazed the

humorous fiction trail that I have followed. Many

thanks to him.

What are your hobbies?

My wife Thelma and I spend a fair amount on

long-haul holidays - four a year, alternating

between the Caribbean and the Far East. Another

big slice goes on wine and dining out. I have

written some three hundred and fifty photopacked

reviews for Tripadvisor, although Thelma

claims she's embarrassed when I take photos of

restaurant dishes. ('You haven't brought your

47

June 2015 English Bridge

www.ebu.co.uk

camera again, have you?') I watch the South ampton

football team when we're in the country.

How I enjoyed their recent 8-0 win over Sunder land!

I regard money spent on cars as a total

waste and drive a battered V-reg Rover 620 that

they refuse to insure for more than £195.

What do you like and what would you change in

bridge?

It's just such a fabulous game, with a constant

stream of intriguing deals and new situations.

Marc Smith and I often share a Chinese lunch,

discussing hands; three hours go by in no time at

all. I don't see much need for change in the game.

Which of your own bridge books is closest to

your heart (so far)?

I'm pleased with two recent books featuring

computer simulation (Winning Notrump Leads

and Winning Suit Contract Leads), where I

rejoined forces with my friend and bridge partner

from the 1970s, Taf Anthias. For a given hand on

lead, 5000 deals matching the bidding are

created. The computer then plays these deals to

determine the best opening lead. The publisher

was uncertain about the books' prospects, and I

enjoyed his surprise when they turned out to be

two of my best sellers for quite a while! r

DAVID BIRD has written a record 131 books on bridge. He is best known for humorous

fiction and his Abbot series has been running in Bridge Magazine for 37 years. His school

stories in English Bridge are based on masters at Highgate School, back in the 1960s. A

frequent voice commentator on Bridge Base Online, David is married to Thelma with a

daughter, a son, and two grandchildren. David Bird

Top Table

click

link

BRIDGE AND GOLF

GIFTS DIRECT LTD

Large selection of bridge and golf gifts, and

bridge accessories available online at

www.bridgeandgolfgifts.co.uk

( 07853 066 582 (quote English Bridge)

E-mail: baggdirect@live.co.uk

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