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By: Brent Manley

Originally Published in The American Contract Bridge League BULLETIN, October, 1999

Picture yourself in the last round of a club championship or, better yet, in the final of the Spingold. The opponents have just bid game. If you can defeat the contract, you will win. South has reached 5 on this auction (you are East, both sides are vulnerable):

Partner leads the 2 and this is what you can see:    

You win the A and now it’s up to you. How do you continue? Make your choice before reading on.

An expert would size up this deal in a flash, and the 2 would be on the table pretty quickly. Players with less experience or expertise might find this problem more difficult.

Those who get their hands on Mike Lawrence’s new software, Defense, will do very well. Even better, they will get it right for the right reasons

Defense is the fourth in a series of collaborations between Lawrence and Toronto’s Fred Gitelman, arguably the world’s premiere creator of bridge software. Defense more than meets the high standards set by the three previous packages.

What sets Lawrence apart in his teaching -- he also has many good books in print -- is his ability to convey the logic of each situation in such a way that the point comes clear to anyone who uses his software or reads his books. You understand what’s going on so that you don’t have to rely on rote “rules” or guesses to become a good defender.

The problem above is a good example. Lawrence talks you through each step necessary to arrive at conclusion that your only chance to defeat 5 is to switch to a diamond. You will conclude the exercise confident that you will be able to work out a similar problem at the table the next time you see it.

There are 101 lesson hands in Defense. Each is presented in detail, with lots of side notes, tips and discussion. A great bonus is Lawrence’s always-incisive commentary on the bidding. You can learn a lot if you pay attention.

Defense runs on Windows 3.1, 95 and 98. The program requires 3MB of disk space.

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