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The Theory and Practice of Gamesmanship, or, The Art of Winning Games… (1947)

by Stephen Potter

Other authors: Frank Wilson (Illustrator)

Series: Lifemanship (1)

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262979,945 (3.85)5
Gamesmanship as a civilized art is as old as the competitive spirit in man. It is polite psychological warfare. It is the moral equivalent of assault and battery. It is, as the subject of this book points out, The Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating. Anyone who has ever played any games for keeps has discovered the Gamesman either in himself or in an opponent. In its simplest terms, the poker player's bluff is a device of gamesmanship. While winning games without actually cheating may seem to some scrupulous sportmen to be treading the fair-play borderline, the author points out 'The true Gamesman is always the Good Sportsman.' If readers find their game slipping (whatever it might be: golf, tennis, bridge, poker, chess, craps, or croquet), this book is the solution. Apply the power of the 'ploy' or, as some would say, the 'Indian sign.' After reading Gamesmanship, readers, too, can win without actually cheating.… (more)
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English (8)  Swedish (1)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
There is something melancholic reading about a world that no longer exists but that was real to you. To think that when this was written everybody played games all the time. It’s what we all did for fun. If this were written now nobody would read it and I guess the fact that such a big seller in its day has all of 88 ratings on goodreads just goes to show the likely truth of that. My copy is inscribed ‘To Davis, in anticipation of another keen contest on the tennis court. Kathryn’.

What might Davis have learned in advance of that contest? Perhaps he took note of the pages on

rest here:


http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/the-theory-and-practice-of... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
There is something melancholic reading about a world that no longer exists but that was real to you. To think that when this was written everybody played games all the time. It’s what we all did for fun. If this were written now nobody would read it and I guess the fact that such a big seller in its day has all of 88 ratings on goodreads just goes to show the likely truth of that. My copy is inscribed ‘To Davis, in anticipation of another keen contest on the tennis court. Kathryn’.

What might Davis have learned in advance of that contest? Perhaps he took note of the pages on

rest here:


http://alittleteaalittlechat.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/the-theory-and-practice-of... ( )
  bringbackbooks | Jun 16, 2020 |
Gift from Mom; no date in book
  ajapt | Dec 30, 2018 |
Picked this up cheap at a book sale, not really knowing what it was. I was a third of the way through before I began to suspect it was intentionally humourous. Nothing actually confirms that in my edition, but for the inside back cover. It's so well written, in such a true-to-type style, I was completely hoodwinked. If I hadn't clued in sooner, the section on Chess would have given it away; I love the Potter Opening and other recommended approaches for garnering a sparkling reputation over the board while having no real talent whatsoever. Even not being a particular enthusiast of most of the sports mentioned, I could well imagine the author's advice being applied to my own games of choice. Don't miss the appendices, which divulge some particularly good examples of gamesmanship in action. ( )
  Cecrow | May 14, 2010 |
The first, and by far the best, in Stephen Potter's Gamesmanship series, this is one of the funniest books I have ever read.
It was published just after the war, in 1947, and is a reflection of the British humour of that time - on a par with Lawrence Durrell's Chancery stories and the incomparable Michael Green with his Coarse series.
What makes Gamesmanship so funny is that it makes perfect sense and is merely a formalised account of the niggling little ways we try and put down our oppoenents and boost our own esteem - sub-conscious psychological warfare.
Once it has been pointed out however, it takes a brave - or conscienseless - sportsman to deliberatly bring the gambits and wheezes into play! ( )
1 vote adpaton | Aug 5, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Potterprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wilson, FrankIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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If I have been urged by my friends to take up my pen, for once, to write of this subject -- so difficult in detail yet so simple in all of its fundamental aspects -- I do so on one condition.
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Gamesmanship as a civilized art is as old as the competitive spirit in man. It is polite psychological warfare. It is the moral equivalent of assault and battery. It is, as the subject of this book points out, The Art of Winning Games Without Actually Cheating. Anyone who has ever played any games for keeps has discovered the Gamesman either in himself or in an opponent. In its simplest terms, the poker player's bluff is a device of gamesmanship. While winning games without actually cheating may seem to some scrupulous sportmen to be treading the fair-play borderline, the author points out 'The true Gamesman is always the Good Sportsman.' If readers find their game slipping (whatever it might be: golf, tennis, bridge, poker, chess, craps, or croquet), this book is the solution. Apply the power of the 'ploy' or, as some would say, the 'Indian sign.' After reading Gamesmanship, readers, too, can win without actually cheating.

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