|In the real world of bridge, poor technique and mistakes are not always
punished. Look at this play problem, for example. The contract is 6
by South. The opening lead is the J.
You can win, pull trumps and take a club finesse, hoping to guess the
location of the Q if the finesse
loses. Or you could pull trumps and try to guess the Q,
hoping the K is onside if you misguess
diamonds. Many players might make the slam with either line of play and
go on to the next deal unaware that they had taken a risk in an absolutely
Proper play is to win the opening lead, pull trumps and play two more
rounds of hearts. Follow with the A
and the Q. Whoever wins will have
to lead a diamond, solving that suit, or give you a ruff and a sluff.
So how can you tell if you've gone wrong? One way would be to sit down
at your computer with Bridge Master. The new program was created by the
developers of Base III, the most advanced bridge software on the market.
Bridge Master is programmed to teach proper technique. The example above
is one of the featured deals. If you take the club finesse, for example,
it will lose and the Q will be
wrong no matter which way you guiess it. If you go after diamonds first,
you won't find the queen. It will always be in the other hand -- and it
will never drop. And, of course, the club finesse will lose.
Each deal is set up the same way. You must play correctly or you will
go down. But don't worry about being frustrated. Each deal ends with a
narrative to help you figure out where you went wrong. It tells how you
should have played and gives you the logic behind the solution.
The graphics are exceptional. Everything on the screen is oversized
so that even those with vision problems can enjoy the game. Even better
is the simplicity of the program. While you're playing, you need no more
than three keys to perform all functions.
Besides being a terrific teaching tool, Bridge Master is addictively
fun. The problems come in five levels -- from beginner to quite advanced.
Disks with 30 supplementary deals are available.