In earlier posts, I have discussed — a little bit — the brilliance of Ernest Bergholt in the world of games. The year 2012 marks the one-hundredth anniversary of Bergholt’s discovery of “[t]he shortest solution to the standard English game” of peg solitaire, according to Wikipedia. To be more precise, this is what Wikipedia says: “The solution was found in 1912 by Ernest Bergholt and proven to be the shortest possible by John Beasley in 1964.”
I’m not sure that anyone will ever present an in-depth biography of Bergholt. Such a biography would probably be of considerable interest, in part because of Bergholt’s diverse areas of expertise. Check out this advertisement (the one on the left):
That is from The Musical Times, January 1, 1884.
But, as I said, it seems doubtful that anyone will undertake an in-depth examination of his life — beyond what can be discovered in available online sources.
Well, I suppose that the foregoing is a little beyond the main topic of this post, which continue to discuss Bergholt’s Royal Spades or Lily Auction Bridge and its progeny.
My copy obviously came from a boxed set, for the cover is what I take to be an artificial “alligator” (the outer-cover).
I have not systematically compared the Fourth Edition with the Third Edition or with the earlier edition I described. But it appears that the basic contents of the Fourth Edition are as follows:
a. The first section of the book consists of the English laws of 1914. The New York rules of 1913 found in the Third Edition have been dropped. That’s interesting, because it seems to me that the English laws appeared in the Third Edition simply out of a desire for completeness, and that the New York laws seemed to be the main ones.
b. The laws are followed in the Fourth Edition by the main text (non-laws text) of the earlier editions, which, however, has been noticeably revised. The historical note has been dropped. I did not see any reference to the Nullo Call — which perhaps by then was obsolete. There are other differences as well.
c. Lastly, there is a six-page discussion of Auction Whist.
Please note: The above comments about the contents are somewhat tentative. I am not knowledgeable about the history of Bridge in general, and the relevant laws. The foregoing is just based on a quick look through the booklet.
November 12, 2012