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
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
June 2015 English Bridge
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
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
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