Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Martens books

UPDATE: the books are available at online shop

From one of the 48th European Team Championships bulletins I have found out that Krzysztof Martens, one of the best Polish bridge stars, has published five books (in english, thank God!). It was difficult to order the books, but after a series of emails with Mr. Martens (kmartens AT, I finally got them.

Extra Length transfer bids - 107 pages
Contains a short overview of the classic 2/1 styles then a very detalied and interesting Martens innovation plus some training exercises. Martens ideea is basically to switch the meaning of 3rd round opener calls, in order to ease slam bidding, something like:
1♠ - 2♣
2♦ - 2NT; (GF, want to play notrump from this side)
- 3♣ = transfer to diamonds (5-5 shape)
- 3♦ = club fragment (5-1-4-3 shape)
- 3♥ = transfer to spades (6-4 shape)
- 3♠ = heart fragment (5-3-4-1 shape)
- 3NT = 5-2-4-2 shape
After this, reponder can easily start slam investigations by agreeing a suit.
A clear technical advancement, but only for dedicated partnerships, who are willing to invest hours of work on slam bidding after 2/1 sequences.

The Martens system - 232 pages
As the title says, yet another bidding system. Fortunately, even if you are not interested in changing your system now, you may pick some ideeas and/or bidding sequences since the base of the Martens system is quite similar to natural systems (closer to Polish Club in fact, but that's normal i guess ;-). See for example the blog post regarding stayman then transfer.

Hand evaluation - Bidding decisions - 146 pages
In my oppinion, the second best in this collection. After a theoretical discussion and some short quizzes, one hundred interesting problems, tough decisions in competitive bidding and/or slam investigations, all commented by Mr. Martens. I don't always agree with his analysys, but it's always interesting to see the thought process of a great champion.
Let's see one:
1♠ - DBL - 2♥* - DBL ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 2♥*=transfer, 7-9 HCP, 3 card fit
pas - pas - 2♠ - 3♥
pas - pas - ?

♠ Q98
♥ Q932
♦ 87
♣ KJ86
You'll have to read the comments for Martens solution.

The World of transfers - 241 pages
A detalied analysis on many transfer positions, including the probably well known transfers after opponents/partner overcalls and other original or less known positions. For example, after opponent 3♣ preempt, Martens suggests loosing the natural overcall 3♦:
- DBL = normal take-out double
- 3♦ = hearts
- 3♥ = spades
- 3♠ = transfer to NT
- 3NT = to play
- 4♣ = two suiter, diamonds plus one major
- 4♦ = natural, constructive
Recomended only for bidding geeks.

Dynamic declarer play - Virtual European Championships part 1 - 230 pages
Probably the best book in this colection, 340 great declarer play problems, scored in IMPs. I only read the first ten problems or so and I estimate their dificulty somewhere at level 3 or above in Bridge Master, in other words real advanced/expert on BBO. Highly recomended for any aspiring bridge player.

Unfortunately, there is no website at this moment for those books. If you are interested, write an email to Mr. Martens (and probably mention my review ;-).


At 9:19 PM, Blogger VANG said...

1♠ - DBL - 2♥* - DBL ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 2♥*=transfer, 7-9 HCP, 3 card fit
pas - pas - 2♠ - 3♥
pas - pas - ?

♠ Q98
♥ Q932
♦ 87
♣ KJ86

Well, obvious pass, you have said your story, right? Wrong! This is not a bidding decision (haha, sorry for the trick), it's a matter of interpreting partner bidding.

Partner first pass means: i have an interesting, non-minimum hand (with a minimal hand, he'll just bid what you have forced him to bid, 2♠). The second pass is forcing and ask you to double or bid 3. The conclusion is obvious now, double!

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I have started playing the system with great success(National Team event win) but after some significant changes.
For example 4414 hands are not at all mentionned.
Its an excellent system , at least the ideas behind it are modern and worth a look.


At 10:56 AM, Blogger Hotzenplots said...

I noticed the 4414 missing shape. How did you deal with this Spiro? Are you playing 2 or 1 system?


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