This is the third and final CD in the series. It takes the user through all 52 deals of the finals of the Life Master Pairs bid-by bid and play-by-play with Larry's "over-my- shoulder" narrative. Suitable for most levels of players -- the commentary ranges from simple to advanced -- depending on the difficulty of each particular deal. The user takes one hand on each deal and gets to make interactive decisions. PC ONLY--WILL NOT WORK ON MAC
Phillip Alder's syndicated column
Thursday, December 2, 1999
Opening lead: 3
Terence Reese started the "over the shoulder" technique in his book, "Play Bridge with Reese." Now comes Larry Cohen's CD-ROM called "Play Bridge with Larry Cohen -- 1999 Life Master Pairs Day One."
You play through 56 boards, with Cohen periodically asking what you would bid or play. Also, you receive oodles of good advice about both bridge in general and matchpoint duplicate strategy in particular.
This deal is important only in a pair event. Against three no-trump, you decide to lead the club three: eight, queen, ace. South advances the spade nine. Do you play low or high?
North's two hearts was fourth-suit game-forcing, asking opener for more information. Then, over two no-trump, North should have bid three diamonds. Note that six diamonds would probably succeed.
As the spade nine is likely to be a singleton, you should cover with the jack. (If you duck, partner must do likewise, otherwise four spade tricks automatically fall into declarer's lap.) After taking dummy's spade queen with his king, partner cashes the club king. Which spot do you drop?
This is complex. It looks obvious to play the two, showing your five-card suit. But you know that another club from partner will give declarer a second club trick (and 10 in all). You should drop the four or five. Then, a clever partner will switch to a heart. This holds South to nine tricks. Minus 600 was worth 149.5 matchpoints out of 194 (it was a big event). Minus 630 was worth only 90.5.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer
A difficult three no trump.
Bridge Column for December 19, 1999, By HARVEY BERNSTEIN
This hand was dealt at a local duplicate game and has a number of interesting points. The first is East's opening bid. We are taught that it is best to open the higher of equal length suits (5 cards or more). In this case, East was more concerned about the opening lead should his partner have to make that decision, as was the case. Think about it, this hand becomes much easier to play if West leads a spade.
Second, while the North-South auction is not elegant, they have arrived at the correct contract. South, by making a take-out double, followed by a cue-bid, and then a new suit, has shown a hand with at least twenty high card points. Each of these bids is forcing, although I believe that North could pass three diamonds with a zero count and a couple of diamonds.The opening lead was the nine of hearts. The ten was played from dummy and East ducked this trick. This is an excellent play and the third good point. If West can somehow manage to gain the lead, it is very likely that he will have a heart to lead to East. Had East cashed out two hearts, declarer would be able to make "safety plays" so that any tricks that would have to be lost would be won by West, who could not lead hearts to defeat the contract.
The play of the hand is the fourth point. After East ducks the first trick, South pauses to evaluate his situation. If the diamonds break 3-2, or if they break 4-1 and East is the hand holding four diamonds, ten tricks will be easy. If diamonds don't behave, declarer only has eight tricks and the ninth will be a problem. On top of this, the entries to the dummy are very limited. The lead to trick two is from the dummy. Declarer could try to finesse the jack of clubs, but if this loses and it turns out that the diamonds sat right, he will have been defeated in an unbeatable contract.
It appears correct to play a diamond to the ace and back to the queen. When this suit breaks badly, declarer still has an outside chance to bring his contract home. If either black queen sits doubleton, the ninth trick will come from that suit. A spade to the ace and king fail to bring down the queen. But the play of the king of clubs and the jack to the ace is rewarded with the fall of the queen of clubs. The ten of clubs and the king of diamonds are the contract fulfilling tricks.
This line of play is a simple matter of exhausting all of the "safe" possibilities instead of taking a calculated risk. If there was an additional safe entry to dummy, I would suggest that the club finesse is the correct play after determining that the diamond suit is not going to provide the required tricks. Without that entry, declarer must look for other ways to make the contract.
Larry Cohen of Boca Raton, FL, national champion player and author, has introduced an exciting new method for the individual player to work on his bridge game. It wasn't that many years ago that you had to be able to struggle through some very complicated bridge books in order to really improve your level of bidding and play. Today, all you need is a personal computer and disc one of the interactive bridge series "Play Bridge with Larry Cohen" . With this program, you will be able to sit with Cohen and work through 56 deals that actually were a part of the 1999 Life Master Pairs from the summer nationals in San Antonio. You will be able to observe the decision making process and the program includes the actual match point results for each hand so that you can see the effect of the analysis.
The screens are easy to follow and the instructions are easy to understand. This is a very sophisticated tutorial that touches on every aspect of the game. And the best part about it is the price. The CD is $29.95 plus $3.00 shipping and handling. If you are serious about improving your game, this is the way to go. You can use your credit card and order at the website: www.larryco.com
From the Jerusalem Post
Jerusalem Post Bridge Column for January 3, 2002
Over Cohen's shoulderBy MATTHEW GRANOVETTER
Opening lead: C8
"Over my shoulder" is an expression for a style of bridge book that allows the reader to follow a bridge hand slowly from the beginning to the end. The writer of this style puts himself in the role of the player; he explains his thoughts and asks the reader questions along the way. This type of book was popularized by the late Terence Reese of England and has found a new form today in CD-ROMs. If you would like to see how it works on computer, go to [http://larryco.com/] on the Internet, where Larry Cohen, of Florida, offers some free demonstrations. He also sells excellent "over my shoulder" CD-ROMs by mail order.
This week's hand is a sample. When you see it on the computer, you first see only the South hand and you're told that partner passes and East opens three clubs. You're asked to make a bid, and then told that three spades is the best choice. Partner raises to four spades and West leads the eight of clubs. Then you are shown the North hand, which is dummy. The author tells you that North had a difficult problem over three spades, whether to pass or bid three notrump, and his decision to raise to four spades, as eccentric as it may appear, gives you a chance to show your skills.
You're now asked to play the hand, and told that you should cover the first card with dummy's 9. It doesn't matter too much with your singleton ace, but you might as well induce East to waste an honor. Then you are asked how to play the trump suit without touching diamonds or hearts (because East might hold a singleton in one of these suits). If you lead trumps from your hand, how would you go about it?
Here in the newspaper you can see all 52 cards, but on the computer screen you can't. The answer is to play the ace of spades followed by the queen. East is unlikely to hold the king of spades, because of his preempt, but he may hold a doubleton ten or jack. Your queen smothers his ten as West wins the trick with the king. Now you will lose only two trump tricks. With both finesses working in the red suits, you won't lose any more tricks and you'll emerge with 11 tricks for a fine score of 450. Well done!
Matthew Granovetter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reader's e-mail :
After downloading and reviewing your demo I can see why the program is widely acclaimed. In most bridge programs and books you are looking for the solution to make or defeat the hand and are immediately on guard. Your presentation of "ordinary" hands from an actual tournament along with your thought process (and amusing commentary) is, to me, a far better approach. I have ordered both CDs. Well Done!
hi larryhave had just a few minutes since we saw you, but i tried several hands and thought that the analysis and graphics of the hands was terrific. i particularly enjoy your sharing with regular players what you are thinking about. you should have good success with the disk and we will hype to all of our bridge-playing friends, even though most think that they are "experts" as well.
The bad news is that it took me until today to try "1999 Life Master Pairs - Day 1."
The good news is that the impetus was a bridge-playing friend of mine who wanted to see how it works. It is GREAT. My friend is a MUCH better player than I and still found the very first deal instructive. Your work (my opinion now) was complete and humorous. VERY well done!
your demo is impressive. your texts are illuminating. please continue your fine work.
sincerely,Kxxxx Mxxxxx (a devoted bridge student)
Your software (Day 1) is wonderful!!
I was just wondering if you have any more software in the pipeline. I loved your San Antonio LM software and Kit's Cavendish. More please!! The format is just great, as is your commentary/analysis.
Bill Cox email@example.comWinter Garden, FL
I just finished the second day of the 1999 LM Pairs and can't wait to start the third. I just wanted you to know I think the CDs are terrific and I really hope you'll do some more of these.
Bridge books pose too many difficult problems at once for me--I get tired of working so hard on a specific type of problem. Bridge at the table, especially against bad opponents, sometimes poses too few interesting problems. Your CDs are great because there are a lot of normal, easy deals but you've also arranged it so there are as many interesting decisions as you can have in one set of real hands.
I also think you've done a great job of covering advanced concepts in a way that lets people skip it if they want to. I was happy to have that material, and didn't feel like you were leaving out the good stuff, but I could also see my grandmother understanding it. :) I loved the criss-cross squeeze on day one--I've got the basic squeezes down but that one's still hard and seeing one played out trick by trick is really helpful.
Happy New Year!Karen Manf -- Burlingame, CA.