Sally Sparrow

ABTA Book of the Year awards

Tonight we attended the annual ABTA convention banquet, which is always a really fun time, especially when it concludes with a panel of experts answering a bucket of questions submitted throughout the week by the teachers. This year’s panel, moderated by George Jacobs, consisted of Randy Baron, Bob Morris, Eddie Wold, Robert Todd and Steve Robinson. It was one of the best panels so far, with many hilarious anecdotes and quite a bit of solid advice.

After a lovely dinner, the American Bridge Teachers’ Book of the Year awards were announced. This year’s Shirley Silverman Book of the Year Award went to the newest book by author team Barbara Seagram and David Bird for Planning the Play: The Next Level. Congratulations, Barbara and David!

This is a fabulous book on more advanced techniques for declarer. Their first book, Planning the Play of a Bridge Hand, was the book that really taught me how to be an effective declarer. Despite this new book being a bit beyond my level, I learned a lot from reading it. The example hands illustrate techniques I’d always heard of (safety plays, dummy reversal, endplays), but never quite grasped. To see them in action, told in such a clear, concise manner, really sparked my imagination. Maybe I’ll try to take that a step further and perform one of these plays at the bridge table… and realize it! That is the true beauty of bridge.

Since neither of the authors were present, I accepted the award on their behalf and read a message they’d sent me to read to the teachers. I don’t have a photo, but here’s something even better. The two of them recently met for the first time in person. Can you believe that they have been writing books together for twenty years, but had never met? Barbara travelled to England recently and they were able to send us this:

A dynamic duo in the world of bridge books! May there be many more.

In other exciting news, this year the ABTA decided to create a brand new category: Newcomer Book of the Year. This award was given to our own Jeff Bayone for his book, A Taste of Bridge. Congratulations, Jeff!


JRGJuly 27th, 2018 at 2:49 pm

Henceforth they will be known as “The Dynamic Duo”! Love that picture.

Judy Kay-WolffOctober 29th, 2018 at 11:24 pm

I am not sure I ever met David personally but I have known Barbara for many decades. What a beautiful photo. Looks like the reincarnation of Dorianna Gray.

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