Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

One Book to Rule Them All

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In the early days of Master Point Press, Ray put together a writing team for a book that he and I conceived. It all began with frequent phone calls from my mother who was an avid social bridge player. 

Each phone call would go something like this:  

“I opened 1  and my partner bid 2NT (Jacoby); I have 18 points with no shortness,” 

“Yes, mom.”

“Well what do I do?”

“Do you know the responses to Jacoby?”  

“Some of them, but not that one.”  

And the conversation would continue with me walking through the responses to Jacoby 2NT.

Sometimes one of the “girls” who played at the local bridge club would bring new conventions or new ideas about responses or continuations to my mom’s home game, and I would be called to make sure they were on the right track.

After a while it became clear that my mom and her circle really could use a book that would teach them about bridge conventions in a more in-depth way, explaining the purpose of the convention, the responses and continuations so that they could use them effectively.

25 Bridge Conventions You Should KnowI didn’t write the book — Barbara Seagram and Marc Smith did. I didn’t edit the book, my husband Ray did. But if I could I would have dedicated the book to my mother who was the inspiration for 25 Conventions You Should Know.

The book was very well executed. Ray, who had a background in educational publishing, suggested some of the features for the book: chapter summaries, examples, quizzes for the readers and little asides called “By the Way”. The book explained each convention, the various responses and the continuations.  Eddie Kantar, whom we asked to contribute a foreword, wrote, ‘The reader who knows nothing or next to nothing about the convention being explained will leave the chapter thinking he or she can play the convention.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

The book was beautifully designed by Olena Sullivan, with special attention to the cover – we wanted that to be bright and eye catching.

Everything worked out to create a prize-winning book (ABTA Book of the Year) that has gone on to be perhaps the bestselling bridge book of the last 50 years. Sales have gone well over 200,000 copies in English, and 25 Conventions You Should Know has been translated into several other languages. It is one of the few bridge books reviewed on GoodReads (the premier book rating website), getting a top rating from nearly all the many reviewers.

So thank you, mom, for providing the inspiration for this wonderful book. As one of the reviewers on GoodReads said, “If you play bridge – you’ll love this book!”

And so I am going to give this book to my friend Victoria. She used to play bridge many years ago and now that she is coming back to it again this book will help her to learn the more sophisticated bidding  methods of today. Welcome back to bridge, Victoria.

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