games I am rushed because of slow play
(by one of us at
the table; or by playing behind a slow pair).
I panic when the
director or the next team are standing near
the table waiting
fro me to finish. What should I do?
Play faster?! That just deals with the symptom, not the cause of the slowness.
For that try this affirmation: "It is easy for me to make excellent
decisions under pressure."
you are still behind and there is a special problem with the hand in play
that you have to work out, then you just have to do it. Take a deep breath,
relax and block out whatever is happening around the table. You can't hear
and you can't see anyone. It is just you and the cards. Time has stopped.
You can then solve the problem, make the right play and go on to the next
I just look at the next opponent and get scared.
They have an impressive
convention card or are discussing in
detail a hand from
a week ago. I am completely intimidated.
What should I do?
A. Cry or leave the room. Or maybe
cry and leave the room. Remember what Hamlet said to us Bridge players:
"the play's the thing. . ." Forget about the convention cards or
talk. Let's play Bridge! Too many conventions can sometimes lead to the
opponent's confusion and downfall.
In life there are three possible activities: you can do
something, do nothing, or eat Maybe
go to the movies, which is really doing something. In Bridge there are
two possible situations: either you are better than your opponent's; or
they are better than you. In the first case you stand to win, so just play
your game. In the second case you have nothing to lose. If they win so
what, they beat a weaker team. But if you win, that is a big deal. You
the underdog have beaten the favorite. Do not, however, over or under estimate
your opponents. Consider them neutral, harmless
robots. (see Making
Q. How can
I remember what was played or bid?
Take two glasses of ginkgo; don't forget to take your memory pills; drink
lots of liquids; get plenty or rest; and call me in the morning. TIP 1.
Instead of trying to remember what was played, remember what cards have
become winners. Example: You have K Q J 4 and you play the Jack which
is taken by the Ace. Then it is easier to remember that the remaining King
and Queen are winners, then that the Ace has been played. TIP 2. Play a
low card from top of a sequence. If you have the A K Q 4, play the Queen.
Then you can see that the remaining Ace and King are winners. If you played
Ace first and were left with the King and
Queen, then you might forget that the Ace was played. TIP 3. Ask fro a
review of the bidding before the opening lead. TIP 4. . . . I forget what
Q. We sometimes
lose to a team that is much weaker than ours. Why is this happening and
what could be done?
Did you ever have something like this happen? You are playing against a
weak East/West pair who bid up to 3 No Trump and with good defense you
held them to 4. You lost 430 points. You look at the traveling score slip
and see that every other East/West pair bid 6 No Trump and went down 1.
All the other North/South pairs got 50 points, while you lost 430. And
you did not do or say anything. You have just been fixed. It happens
and is part of Duplicate Bridge play. But there are also gifts that
the opponents give you (you fix them). Usually in a match the fixes and
gifts balance out.
Sometimes against a weak opponent you try a deceptive maneuver or a brilliant
false card. The opponents totally ignore this and continue to obliviously
throw cards. To fool a beginner is harder to do than to fool an expert.
The expert watches every card and reacts accordingly. Not so the beginner.
He just merrily rolls along. Another reason why you lose to a weaker team
is because you play their game. (See Attitude Signals.)
You get down to their level. For them it is a natural way to play. They
have been doing it for a long time. Play your game, not theirs.