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Date: 06 Mar 2008 06:04:20
From: samsloan
Subject: Second Draft: Invitation to Bridge
Introduction

Invitation to Bridge is a basic beginners book. It is suitable even
for someone who has never previously seen a deck of cards. It was
first published in 1950.

It is important to remember that Bridge was a relatively young game in
1950. Contract Bridge was first popularized in 1925. The First Bermuda
Bowl, which is the term for World Team Championships, was held in
1950, the same year as the publication of this book.

However, before Contract Bridge there was Auction Bridge and before
that there was Whist. The play of the hand is the same in Auction
Bridge as it is in Contract Bridge and the play of the hand is similar
in Whist. Whist was played in the 18th Century. Thus, by 1950, the
techniques for the play of the hand were fully developed in Contract
Bridge, but bidding techniques were still rapidly evolving.

The sections of this book dealing with the play of the hand are still
valid today. However, the section on bidding is fairly rudimentary by
today's standards.

The bidding system provided in this book is "Goren Standard American",
which explains why Charles Goren, one of the most famous bridge
personalities of all time, wrote the foreword. Goren was the leading
proponent of "Four Card Majors", and that is the system described in
this book. However, Four Card Majors are not often used nowadays.

This book makes no mention of "Weak Two Bids". Additionally it
mentions only a few "artificial" conventions; many more had not yet
been invented or were not heavily used in 1950. It does not mention
any of the bidding systems such as Acol, which was not yet popular, or
Roman Club or Precision Club, which had not yet been invented.

Again, it must be pointed out that this is a beginner's book. The
beginner will not waste any time by reading this book, because
everything in this book is timeless, essential knowledge, that must be
absorbed before proceeding on to the more advanced systems.

The author, Kenneth Harkness (1896-1972), was a strong bridge player.
He was priily a professional teacher and instructor of bridge and a
director of bridge tournaments. He worked on cruise ships, where he
was the bridge director. In 1959, he ried a bridge player whom he
had met on one of those cruise ships. Their honeymoon consisted of a
round the world trip on a cruise ship, where he was the bridge
director.

His main strength lay in the fact that he was a good writer. Born in
Glasgow, Scotland on November 12, 1896, he arrived in America in 1918,
where he first worked as an editor and writer of radio articles and
textbooks. In May, 1941, he took over the fledging publication, "Chess
Review" magazine. He became the editor and co-publisher of Chess
Review.

Kenneth Harkness became a gigantic figure in the World of Chess.
Harkness developed the first chess rating system, which became known
as the Harkness Rating System. He worked on it for two years after he
left Chess Review. It was officially adopted by the United States
Chess Federation in 1950. It is the basis for all chess rating systems
now in use world wide.

In 1952, Harkness was appointed the Business Manager and Membership
Secretary of the USCF. He virtually invented the weekend Swiss System
tournament. His Harkness Pairing System is still in use today and his
Harkness Plan forms the basis for the operations of the United States
Chess Federation still today.

Harkness wrote several important chess books, one of which is perhaps
the best selling chess book of all time: "An Invitation to Chess: A
Picture Guide to The Royal Game" (with Irving Chernev). It sold more
than 100,000 copies in the first year of publication.

Harkness also wrote "The Blue Book and Encyclopedia of Chess", "The
Chess Handbook" and "The Official Chess Rulebook".

He retained a trace of a Scottish accent. According to the ch 5,
1955 issue of Chess Life, Kenneth Harkness was a pen name and his real
name was Stanley Edgar. However, the Social Security Death Index gives
his name as Kenneth Harkness (SSN 109-28-3362).

He died on October 4, 1972. The obituary by Fred Cramer states that he
died in Yugoslavia of a heart attack while riding in a train on his
way to the 1972 World Chess Olympiad in Skopje, where he was to be
awarded the title of International Arbiter. He had been living in Boca
Raton, Florida.

However, another source states that Harkness was actually in the
Belgrade Train Station carrying several heavy suitcases of documents
that he was going to present to the FIDE Congress in Skopje, when
suddenly he dropped dead.

His second wife, gery T. Harkness (1906-1981), the bridge player,
died in Boca Raton, Florida in April, 1981 (SSN 119-36-4168).

Sam Sloan
Bronx NY
ch 6, 2008




 
Date: 06 Mar 2008 18:17:13
From: John Hall
Subject: Re: Second Draft: Invitation to Bridge
In article
<2ed3aec6-c32a-4857-9df0-9ebed6c7db8a@n77g2000hse.googlegroups.com >,
blackshoe <[email protected] > writes:
>On 6, 9:04´┐Żam, samsloan <[email protected]> wrote:
>> This book makes no mention of "Weak Two Bids". Additionally it
>> mentions only a few "artificial" conventions; many more had not yet
>> been invented or were not heavily used in 1950. It does not mention
>> any of the bidding systems such as Acol, which was not yet popular, or
>> Roman Club or Precision Club, which had not yet been invented.
>
>You'd have to ask an Englishman to be sure, but Acol was invented in
>the 1930s. The first book on it was published in 1938. So while Acol
>was not popular in the US in the 1950s (and still isn't), it may well
>have been popular in England at that time.

Yes, by the 1950s Acol had become the dominant system in Briain, at
least at tournament level if not perhaps amongst "kitchen bridge"
players.
--
John Hall
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts;
but if he will be content to begin with doubts,
he shall end in certainties." Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


 
Date: 06 Mar 2008 18:15:16
From: John Hall
Subject: Re: Second Draft: Invitation to Bridge
In article
<72dcdcf1-c375-42b9-b95d-22cab530a6c2@x30g2000hsd.googlegroups.com >,
samsloan <[email protected] > writes:
>Invitation to Bridge is a basic beginners book. It is suitable even
>for someone who has never previously seen a deck of cards. It was
>first published in 1950.
<snip >

And therefore in most countries outside the US will presumably still be
within copyright, since the author's death was less than seventy years
ago. Do you have permission from the copyright holder to publish a new
edition or are you going to restrict the publication to the US only?
--
John Hall
"If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts;
but if he will be content to begin with doubts,
he shall end in certainties." Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


 
Date: 06 Mar 2008 07:17:57
From: blackshoe
Subject: Re: Second Draft: Invitation to Bridge
On 6, 9:04=A0am, samsloan <[email protected] > wrote:
> This book makes no mention of "Weak Two Bids". Additionally it
> mentions only a few "artificial" conventions; many more had not yet
> been invented or were not heavily used in 1950. It does not mention
> any of the bidding systems such as Acol, which was not yet popular, or
> Roman Club or Precision Club, which had not yet been invented.

You'd have to ask an Englishman to be sure, but Acol was invented in
the 1930s. The first book on it was published in 1938. So while Acol
was not popular in the US in the 1950s (and still isn't), it may well
have been popular in England at that time.