Nick Smith

My father, Roy Smith, was a keen tournament player, so I began playing bridge at school in the 70s and then at Oxford (initially with Barry Rigal), playing in 4 varsity matches and captaining the team once. Meanwhile, I wrote a doctorate on suspense in the English novel. Academic jobs proved hard to come by, so I trained as a teacher and turned to educational publishing in 1987, founding Oxford Open Learning and, latterly, Oxford Home Schooling.

At the table, I've won 50-odd county titles and the occasional national one. Most recent successes have been in partnership with Alan Wilson, playing our own 2-way club system. With Roger Bryant, I play Precision. Roger and I won the EBU's Premier Grand Masters Pairs in 2020 and played in the Teltscher Trophy in 2021.

But I'm probably better known as a bridge writer. Bridge Literature (1993) was my first book, a set of parodies of well-known works of Eng Lit. More Bridge Literature (2020) sends up a few more cherished texts and includes possibly the hardest single-dummy problems ever published. But so does Bridge and the Romantics (2019), a fictitious account of the card-playing exploits and tangled love-lives of Shelley, Byron & co. Bridge Behind Bars (2009) was co-written with Julian Pottage. My 2023 book, Sublime Declarer Play, was runner-up for Book of the Year awarded by the American Bridge Teachers' Association.  I've also written one conventional novel (Drowned Hogg Day, 2017) and numerous plays.

I served as an England selector for 5 years. I've been married to Amanda for 31 years and we have two grown-up children. I also enjoy taking part in TV quizzes (Mastermind, Countdown, etc), captaining teams of bridge players on Only Connect and Eggheads where the 'Five Diamonds' team won £11K.

Teltscher Trophy Selections: 2021 (EBU team), 2024