While finalizing this book, I was watching the latest
international bridge events. The crucial hands that decided the winners looked
familiar. Many were similar to those that I selected from my collection of
around 2,000 memorable hands featuring world champions and experts, and that
are presented here in print for the first time.
The hands in this book feature players from all continents--many of them
well-known names--performing brilliantly and sometimes not so brilliantly.
Obviously, I played a few of the hands myself. The lessons that these hands
demonstrate by example (and counterexample) can benefit a wide range of bridge
players, from club players to world-class experts.
As you may have deduced from the title, the book's common thread is queens. My
fascination with queens goes back to my 1993 Bols Tip of Queening Your Defence,
which introduced the idea of queen hiding and seeking with declarers. It
incorporated dropping your queen--real or sham sacrifice--divert declarer
from his winning line. In 2010, the International Bridge Press Association
awards for best declarer play and best defence went to a queen sacrifice
similar to my tip. I decided to fulfill my mission to publish a bridge book on
Chapters 1 and 2 touch on broad areas of bidding and declarer play, and the next
three chapters address more specific topics--opening leads and responses,
ruffing, and entries--but in all five chapters, the special role of queens is
explored. The final three chapters cover queen defence, queen play, and trump
soldiers, and build on the technique of my Bols Tip. Every chapter begins with
relevant tips and explains possibly unfamiliar queen vocabulary.
Tips are not formulas. Nevertheless, I have re-tested the tips in recent
international tournaments and they work well. To understand my Bols Tip and the
vocabulary, take the example of Queen Sacrifice. In an endplay, defender holds
Qxx, dummy has K109, and declarer has Axx. He sacrifices the queen to protect
partner's jack. Likewise, holding Q10x opposite dummy's 98x, a defender
sacrifices the queen in an endplay for two tricks when declarer to your left
holds AJx. A further example is Queen (King) Hiding, the skill of hiding a
crucial queen (king). I have witnessed experts revealing too many high cards,
thereby exposing partner's off-side singleton king. This book assumes some
advanced skills surrounding queens and, to a lesser extent, kings and jacks.
Coups include Emperor, Deschapelles, Bath, Morton, and others.
I wish to thank the publisher for printing this work and the players who have
played with or against me. I have had the good fortune of playing against world
champions in qualifying rounds--and the even better fortune of never having lost
to one. Their complimentary comments remain in my heart. I hope you enjoy this
book, which is dedicated to players who would like to "queen" their bidding,
play, lead, defence, and overall enjoyment of bridge.
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