The most prolific isn’t slowing down
The most prolific bridge-book author is David Bird from England, with well over 100 titles. The monks of St. Titus, led by the egocentric Abbot, are his most famous characters.
In “The Abbot, the Parrot and the Bermuda Bowl” (Master Point Press), the Bozwambi tribe from the Upper Bhumpopo has qualified for the 2015 Bermuda Bowl in India. The players had learned bridge from missionaries sent there by the Abbot many years ago. When the Abbot visits the tribe and learns of their success, he insists on being added to the team. His teammates are Miss Nabooba, Mrs. Okoku, Mbozi and the Witchdoctor; his partner is the Parrot, the tribe’s best player. The Parrot made this four-spade contract look easy. What did he do after West led the heart queen?
Declarer needed to find trumps splitting 2-1, but he still might have lost one spade and three diamonds if East got on lead and shifted to a high diamond, West having the ace hovering over South’s king. To maximize his chances, the Parrot won the first trick, ruffed his remaining heart on the board and led a trump. When East played the 10, the Parrot flicked a low spade onto the table. West won with his queen, but had no winning defense. If he had played a club, declarer would have drawn the missing trump and claimed 10 tricks: four spades, one heart, four clubs and the heart ruff. When West, in desperation, shifted to a diamond, hoping South had only queen-third, the contract made with an overtrick. The deals are instructive and the prose entertaining -- as usual from this author.