Samurai Bridge

A Tale of Old Japan Art. # 978-1-55494-077-6
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About the Book

Undoubtedly the most unusual piece of bridge fiction ever published, Samurai Bridge takes the reader to a remote village in early 19th century Japan. At first, the characters may seem familiar - the heroic masterless samurai (a ronin), the evil town magistrate, the downtrodden peasants, the tea-house madam with a heart of gold, and so forth. But soon we realize that these people are different - they are all fanatical bridge players, and the climactic battle between the forces of good and evil will take place not in the dojo, but at the card table. There is plenty of swordplay and romance as the story moves along, interspersed with philosophical asides on the Zen of bridge and a fascinating account of bridge as played at the Imperial court. Sex, violence, mystery, and lots of bridge hands too, this is Seven Samurai as Charles Goren might have written it! The book is illustrated throughout with pen and ink drawings in the classic Japanese style.

About the Author

Robert F. MacKinnon (Victoria, Canada) is a retired mathematician whose work has appeared in a number of bridge magazines. He has written two bridge novels, including the remarkable Samurai Bridge, as well as the best-selling (!) Bridge, Probability and Information. He conducts a blog on the mathematics of bridge on

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Media Reviews

June 1st, 2011
Southern California Bridge News
'One of the few successes of all attempts to marry bridge and serious fiction.'
June 1st, 2011
The Kibitzer
'Bridge players world-wide will enjoy this book, benefit from this book, and ponder this book.'
June 1st, 2011
Bridge Plus magazine
'An exotic mix of card-play, love-play, sword-play and Japanese folklore, justifying the publisher's claim that this will be the most unusual bridge book you've ever read.'

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