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SOFTWARE REVIEW
By: Shireen Mohandes

Originally Published in Bridge Magazine, Christmas, 1996


Mike Lawrence, three times World Champion and prolific writer, has diversified into bridge software with Counting at Bridge, and interactive tuition program.

Mike Lawrence, arguably one of the best living bridge authors, has extended his lucid style and accurate analysis to the field of Bridge software.

Although some defensive problems are included and bidding decisions are discussed, Counting at Bridge concentrates on declarer play, specifically counting. There ae some additional themes, though, to keep you from assuming that the problem is always a 'counting' problem.

The author takes a series of hands and talks you through the play, asking questions about the opponents' distribution and showing you how you should be thinking as each trick is played. You are bombarded with questions like: what does East have in hearts?, how many points has West shown?, who has the outstanding diamond? At each critical point you are asked what you should play. When you have answered, whether correctly or otherwise, Mike explains the reasoning which produces the right answer. You are in effect being shown a series of events, which are interrupted with interrogation. In this program you cannot play the hand yourself, as it is 'scripted'.

The accompanying manual explains that the program is aimed at intermediate players. Having completed half of the hands I would recommend it to players of a wider range of abilities.

The software is by Fred Gitelman, top Canadian player. Fred and Mike are working on a new project and I am sure that the bridge world is looking forward to their latest collaboration.

VERDICT

* = poor ***** = excellent
Ease of installation *****
Documentation ****
Usability *****
Bridge technical merit *****
Value for money ****

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