Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

Master Point Press Book of the Year

You are almost certainly not aware that Master Point Press sponsors an award for the International Bridge Press Association (IBPA) Book of the Year.  The only other award for authors of bridge books is provided by the American Bridge Teachers’ Association and it is as you would expect aimed at books for newcomers or intermediates.  We felt that authors of other bridge books should be honoured for their achievements.

Sadly the IBPA does not publicize its winners (there are other awards as well) and the awards are not even listed on their website. (Don’t bother to go there, it has nothing on it at all for non-members.  Not even an email address where you write and complain.)  Only members see their Bulletin where winners are announced.  The award is announced at the World Championships and in past years the winners have been included in the Daily Bulletin, but that did not happen this year. 

Fortunately we have a subscription to Australian Bridge which I find to be an excellent magazine.

Australian Bridge Magazine

and in their December Issue David Morgan, their book reviewer, reviews all of the nominated books.  David’s reviews are always insightful.  Here is a list of the nominated books for this year and I will talk about the winner at the end:

The Bridge Adventures of Mr. Badhir (The Numb) – a homage to the Rueful Rabbit.  I have not read this book and David’s assessment did not inspire me to get a copy.

Heavenly Contracts by David Bird – another monk book, just as good as always. 

Misplay These Hands With Me – by Mark Horton.  This is a Master Point Press book and in my opinion one of Mark’s best.  In this homage to Terence Reese (Play these hands with me)  the narrator makes lots of mistakes ending in failure and then explains his mistake to the reader.  Some hands were more interesting to me then others but it was a fun read.

I have not read A Bridge Too Far by Tom Hanlon which follows his experiences as he starts to play professionally.  He did this by playing with a regular expert partner and trying to win prize money rather than by playing on a sponsored team.  From David’s description this sounds like an interesting book with lots of interesting deals.  I intend to get a copy.

Next is another Master Point Press  book, The Lone Wolff  Bobby Wolff’s autobiography.  I think this is a fascinating book and so does David Morgan who calls it “an extraordinary book”.  That it is.  Bobby definitely doesn’t hold back — he talks about everything and everybody in his long and fascinating career.  Everyone who reads this book has strong opinions about it but that is because Bobby says exactly what he thinks.  There is no political correctness here.  That makes the book as David Morgan describes “deeply engaging, like reading a thriller”.  I know that this book opened my eyes about a lot of things.   But I would be surprised if you will share Bobby’s opinion on every subject.  Great books about important matters cause great controversy.  This book has done just that.

The winning book is A Great Deal of Bridge Problems by Julian Pottage which David Morgan describes a treasure trove of 168 bridge problems.  Julian always comes up with fascinating problems and while I haven’t read this book I am certain that it continues the trend.  Julian previously won the Master Point Press book of the year award in 2004 with Play or Defend ?  (Master Point Press) and is the author of several others.


Julian Pottage

In fact, Master Point Press will be publishing an interesting new book by Mr. Pottage (together with Nick Smith) called Bridge Behind Bars.  This one is a humorous fictional account of a new convict who finds himself in a very serious jail bridge game.  As you can expect from Julian, I am sure the deals will be wonderful.

While I am sad that one of our authors did not win this year, I am glad that Julian won.  He is a very nice man and an excellent author.  Ray thinks that he is currently the premier bridge puzzle composer.   There are several other contenders for that title including of course Eddie Kantar.  But it could be Julian.  Anyway, well done.

Now write the editor of your favourite bridge magazine and tell them you want to hear about all the IBPA award winner.  Besides Best book there are prizes for Bridge Personality of the Year, Best played hand, Best defended hand, Best bid hand and Junior Deal of the Year (as submitted by bridge writers).  Don’t you want to see them all?  I do.  I even want to see all of the nominated deals.   Write the IBPA – I figured out that you should email IBPA Chairman Per Jannersten and ask him to publish all the nominees and the deals where appropriate.  Here is his email address:  The players, journalists and authors involved deserve recognition.  Besides I want to see all the deals!


Judy Kay-WolffDecember 22nd, 2008 at 6:14 am

Linda — Until we became associated with MPP, I knew nothing about the IBPA Book of the Year since everything seems to have been kept under tight wraps and you had to ferret out the information yourself rather than voluntarily be provided with it. Other than the fact that MPP introduced the award — little seems to have been publicized. Exactly how many voting members are on the committee? How are the appointments determined and by whom? and are all zones representated? It appears for a committee empowered to make so many public commendations and recognize superior work, these qualified appointees should stand up and be acknowledged. It is known as accountability.

Ray LeeDecember 23rd, 2008 at 2:50 pm

The committee consisted in 2008 of the following people: John Carruthers (Canada), Barry Rigal (USA), David Morgan (Australia), Patrick Huang (China) & P.O. Sundelin (Sweden). Not sure how, but they get appointed by IBPA and are completely independent of MPP. We don’t even get to know who wins until it is officially announced! I have written to the Chairman of the IBPA asking that they commit to some basic publicity for next year’s award.

Dr Mark LawrenceNovember 9th, 2018 at 5:50 am

Hi Linda
reading bridge sqeezes complete. can follow but not so easy to lead on your own. I have not tried laying all of the cards out but is there a better way to learn this? Do you coach? is there a quicker way to learn squeeze tech?

thanks Mark Lawrence age 62 orthodontist not retired fully but someday. vanc isl bc is there a person out here that I can learn this from? thanks Mark 250 337 2230 I could not find your email address anywhere.

AntholPoicsApril 5th, 2019 at 6:09 am

Master Point Press is a Canadian book publishing company located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada It grew out of Canadian Master Point magazine 1992–1997, which was published by Ray and Linda Lee The company began publishing books in 19941 While primarily interested in books on contract bridge, MPP also publishes books on other games and intellectual pursuits, such as chess2

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