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Interesting Bridge Links

Some bridge web-pages I frequently visit:

Jeff Goldsmith's home page
This is my favorite bridge site on the Web. Jeff has a fun writing style, both entertaining and instructive. You can tell he's a player; in essence his bridge writing is story-telling -- he always tries to give you the feel of "live" bridge at the table, and unlike most bridge authors he will honestly admit when a situation is confusing or when even after a hand he still doesn't know what's the right thing to do.

In addition to many fine short bridge articles he has written over the years, Jeff has posted interesting problem sets where he poses a half-dozen or so problems from a recent tournament. You have a chance to try your hand at answering the problems, then can click to find out the answers and comments from a panel of advanced players, plus Jeff's own thoughts in conclusion.

Jeff has also invented bridge movie software, a way to make a problem set more interactive: in these movies, you are faced in the bidding and/or the play with a set of choices -- you click on your choice, which may lead you to another set of choices. These movies consist of a complete set of hands at a pairs or team event, so you end up with a scorecard based on your decisions.

Jeff has written three bridge movies; you can check them out by clicking here. Other bridge movies have been written by Roberto Scaramuzzi and Curt Hastings.

Bridge Plaza
Bridge Plaza is an amazing resource, containing in its site the daily bulletins from recent national and international tournaments and world championships, and, in many cases, a bid-by-bid, card-by-card record of what happened, using Java. These bulletins and reports are extremely well-written and provide a wonderful way to learn about the styles of the top players and to compare the approaches of experts from different countries. Many of the events covered are invitational tournaments, which are restricted to a small field of invited top-level players; it's fun to see how they bid and play. As you get to see their cards, you can compare what you would have done with what they did at the table.

Fred Gitelman's web-site
Fred Gitelman was on the Canadian team that won the silver medal in the 1995 Bermuda Bowl and has established himself through his performance at recent international invitational tournaments as on a par with the world's best. On his site he has a collection of very fine bridge articles he's written; some of these writings on specific bridge topics and others are reports on recent international tournaments.

Fred also posts a "Deal of the Week" where he comments on an interesting deal (usually one he played). The deal unfolds step by step using Java, so as he makes his various comments, you always have the current hand position in front of you, certainly a nice presentation format (it would be even nicer if my monitor were an inch bigger and if Java worked on my computer flawlessly, which it doesn't).

John Blubaugh's home page
This is a new page by a nationally-known bridge professional with a nice feature: you can send him a bridge question using the form supplied on his web-page, and he'll give you an answer (it actually works -- I sent him a question and he indeed did answer it). He posts the most interesting questions received, plus his answers, on his site.

ACBL (American Contract Bridge League)
The ACBL's site keeps getting better and better. Recently, they've been posting full hand records with commentary of some of the later stages of the major national team events. The auctions and card-play at the two tables are written out for every hand -- what a great opportunity to see how the leading experts bid and play! The commentary is fairly basic (unfortunately, you won't find explanations of the more advanced conventions or signalling) but still it is truly a great service to be able to examine our best players in action. They also have a comprehensive page of links; you can go there directly by clicking here.

The rec.games.bridge newsgroup
The rec.games.bridge usenet newsgroup is a place people from different countries post questions and opinions about particular hands, bidding theory, director rulings and ethics issues, the state of bridge in the world today and in the future, and other bridge topics both trivial and grandiose. It is of about average argumentativeness for the internet. The participants are of all levels of ability. You may well find it enjoyable, and at any rate it doesn't hurt to check it out: you may be able to connect to it by clicking on the link above the beginning of this paragraph.

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