Issues about how to better our bridge at the top IX

February 21, 2011 at 7:16 pm Leave a comment

Much as it is obviously important to get bridge into schools and into homes, at both of which bridge has so far failed dismally, this doesn’t explain what Australians can do compared with the rest of the world: after all, bridge is non-existent in the home and school elsewhere too.

It IS all about distance and isolation, that seems obvious. Yet that can’t be the only issue. After all, Indonesia has had a world class group at the top – not yet managing to win a world championship, but that may only be because of habit – while we don’t. And it is resting on a base of hardly any registered players. How much of their experience is the result of money and how much and how spent? Certainly they used to support our tournaments much as most of the matches must have been a ‘waste of time’ for them, if we are to use the argument that you need to play against stronger players. Yet presumably they did get something out of that, I don’t think it was frivilously done, so presumably they saw playing in a weak tournament against mostly weaker players nonetheless beneficial. Maybe it is simply that it is so much cheaper to come here.

One of the things that strikes me is a continuing theme of what the ABF should do for us. What about what we can do for ourselves? Although the world is getting smaller, which is good for Australia, it seems to be even better for everybody else. We DO need to access stronger competition. Having said that, the internet is way better than nothing. I don’t really understand why a lot of top Australian players eschewed playing against Cayne teams. This is fabulous practise. I dearly wish that Garozzo was still on the team, but all the same. One of the things learnt from these games is that the real top players respect the game and their opponents in exemplary fashion. When I play against Garozzo or Versace or others of their ilk, I Ifeel like they are playing a world championship final.

I continue to beg to differ with those that think this is not important. It IS important to think that all bridge is the same. This attitude that now we are playing a patzer so – SO??? – is wrong.

It isn’t easy to play properly on BBO. You have to turn everything else off – not just your email and twitter – but day to day life too. Dinner, washing up, family, whatever else wouldn’t be in your face if you were playing in a tournament. You have to value every hand equally, not have an attitude that this hand doesn’t count, not really, and therefore you don’t have to try. I’m finding it even worse at the moment. Since I’m in Europe, Cayne matches start at 1am for me. I’ve played some since I got here and try as I might to be a human being at that hour, I’ve never really made it. Still, the fact is that we are often playing Italians and other Europeans who also have to start at that hour and they manage, so I guess I should be able to as well.

Maybe there are other ways of approaching our individual budgets. I felt like I made such a saving not going to Canberra this year. It covered not just my return airfare to Europe but some left over too. It doesn’t take much thinking along those lines to see that it has to be possible to take the savings from withdrawing from the tournament scene in Australia for a year to make a trip – carefully planned – to make the most out of strong tournaments elsewhere.

Still, sorry, I’ve forgotten who has already made this point: if the ABF could spend money bringing top teams here from overseas for our players to compete against in meaningful ways that would be great. But I don’t know if it comes close to replacing playing overseas ourselves.

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Entry filed under: thoughts on bridge.

Issues about how to better our bridge at the top VIII Plan the play

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