Winning Notrump Leads - Taf Anthias & David Bird
An honours book from masterpoint press
Paperback, 201 pages
To discover which opening lead is best from a given West hand against a particular auction, the authors use computer software to generate 5000 deals that match the North-South bidding. (The West hand remains the same and the other three hands are chosen randomly.) The software then plays these deals automatically, seeing which of the 13 possible opening leads works best at both IMPs (rubber bridge/Chicago) and match-point pairs. By analysing the results, the authors pass on to the reader the secrets of finding the best lead against notrump contracts on a wide range of different auctions. Suppose the bidding goes 1NT - 3NT and you have to find an opening lead from
♠ J 8 6 ♥9 5 ♦K Q 7 2 ♣K J 7 2
You may be surprised to hear that the ♠6 is the best lead at both forms of the game and the ♥9 is the second-best lead!
About the Authors
TAF ANTHIAS studied mathematics at Cambridge University. With DAVID BIRD, they carried out research and development on software systems for over 30 years at IBM’s UK Laboratories. In the 1970s they formed a successful bridge partnership, winning a number of national events. Taf moved on to the USA, where he became a vice president of Cisco Systems.
David Bird, who lives near Southampton, England, has written more than 100 books on the game. Despite spending much of the year travelling, he still finds time to write new stories every month for a host of magazines around the world, usually featuring his best-known characters, the monks of St. Titus Abbey. He is also a regular commentator on BBO broadcasts of top-level competitions.
"In my opinion, this is one of the most important books on bridge ever produced, and is required reading for all good players."
— BRIDGE magazine
Some will regard this as a dry fare but the results are genuinely surprising. I believe we're at the start of how computers will inform bridge (it's already happening) and there are many ramifications (on signalling for example, if we start to lead top cards more often) but we certainly haven't seen the last of this type of analysis."
— East Anglian Daily Times