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PANEL SHOW
By: Brent Manley

Originally Published in The American Contract Bridge League BULLETIN, July, 1998


One of the main attractions of bridge is that it is not an easy game, and many of the toughest problems occur in the bidding. This may account for the lasting attraction of bidding panels, in which various experts render their opinions on each of a collection of troublesome situations.

The grandfather of all bidding panels, or course, is the Master Solvers' Club of The Bridge World. It stands as the source of wisdom and, to the delight of readers, controversy over what is the correct action with this or that hand. Through the years, the Master Solvers' Club has become an institution.

As much fun as it is to read the panelists' answers each month in the magazine, the new software version - a Windows program - is better. For one thing, you can be part of the panel and earn a score right along with the experts as you take part. For another, you don't have to wait a month to see how your answers matched up with those of the panel.

The easy-to-install and easier-to-use software - it's basically mouse clicks - has the clean, attractive graphics that users of Bridge Base software have become accustomed to. In case you have questions about the bidding system in use, click the mouse on the appropriate button and Bridge World Standard pops up on the screen.

I'm not sure why, but scrolling through the panelists' answers on the screen is easier for me than reading them in the magazine.

The basic package is Master Solvers' Club problems and comments that appeared in The Bridge World in 1994, 1995 and 1996 - eight per month, 288 all told. You can add sets from other years for $9.95 per year - 1990 through 1993 are available now and 1986 through 1989 soon will be.

Fred Gitelman and Sheri Winestock the brains behind Bridge Base, are true innovators when it comes to bridge software. Everything they do is exceptionally good. The Master Solvers' Club is the latest in their line of outstanding products.

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