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The Outline of Contract Bridge


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The Outline of Contract Bridge by Louis H Watson
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Louis Henry Watson was a rapidly rising star in the World of Bridge. At the age of only 29, he had won virtually every major title that existed, playing with partners that included Oswald Jacoby, Howard Schenken and Sam Fry. Watson was ranked the number four bridge player in the world. On St. Valentine's Day, February 14, 1936, enjoying what seemed to be perfect health, after a luncheon, Watson became ill and asked to summon a doctor. Advised to lie down, he was found dead in his bed three hours later. Watson was living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan (where the rich people live) at the time of his death. In 1934, Watson had taken a year off from playing bridge to write books about it. His books are unequaled classics, never exceeded in the years since. Every major bridge player has spent time studying Watson. Watson believed that there was too much emphasis on bidding, and too little attention paid to the play of the hand. Watson felt that more study should be made of the play of the hand and of defensive play. Oswald Jacoby, who had played many times both as the partner and as the opponent of Louis Watson, has said that he had never seen Watson make a technically incorrect play of the hand. Jacoby added that Watson's defensive play was equally perfect. In short, WATSON NEVER MADE A MISTAKE. Imagine that? Born in 1907, the son Louis Thompson Watson, the stock broker, and a relative of Thomas Watson, the Chairman and Founder of International Business Machine Corporation, Louis H. Watson graduated from Columbia University in 1927 and went to work on Wall Street. He soon found that he could make more money as a card shark. Watson was considered by Eli Culbertson to be his most likely successor. Watson won the AWL Teams in 1933 and 1934, the Open Pairs in 1933 and 1934, the Asbury Challenge Teams in 1932 and 1933, the Vanderbilt in 1933, and the Fall National Open Pairs in 1931 and 1932. He was the Daily Bridge Columnist for the New York Post and the Technical Editor of Bridge World Magazine. Upon his shocking death at age 29 in New York City, he was survived by a widow, Catherine Potter Watson, an adopted son, Louis T. Watson, and a sister, Mrs. Robert Neal. His widow, who was the daughter of Marshall Potter and the granddaughter of Stephen Duncan Marshall and a direct descendant of US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, wasted no time and married Albert Eugene Heymann the following year. The shorter and therefore more easily digestible of the two Watson books is "The Outline of Contract Bridge". This book is divided equally into two sections: bidding and the play of the hand. There is also a section on the Rules of Contract Bridge. The section on bidding is based primarily on the "honor tricks" system that was prevalent in 1934. That system is no longer popular. Some readers will want to skip that section of the book. However, the section on the Play of the Hand and Defensive Play is timeless and must reading for every serious bridge player.
Release date NZ
March 27th, 2008
Introduction by Sam Sloan
Country of Publication
United States
black & white illustrations
Ishi Press
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