Issues about how to better our bridge at the top VIII

February 21, 2011 at 4:17 am 3 comments

This is my second post for today. We seem to be discussing all sorts of different things that I hope we can turn into something more coherent and structured at some point. But for now, let’s go where things take us.


Sartaj made this comment recently:

Playing against weak players helps reinforce our prejudices.

There are some situations a player will get right 95 percent of the time in his career. 19 times out of 20 times, he will make the winning play or bid. The one time he gets it wrong, he kicks himself “How could I be so stupid ?”

The impact of nervous tension on the breakdown in process and developing self-awareness for our own delivery mechanism is what we need to understand. And address. Playing tough opponents simulates some sense of pressure and discomfort.

Or otherwise we can stick with our machoistic notions and get hands right in pubs, telephone conversations and internet forums; and lose every knock-out match we play

Prompting these thoughts:

(1) I wonder how many world championships Australia has come back from crying that we did alright against the good teams, it’s the patzers we don’t score enough again.

(2) There must be good teams out there ruing the idea that they don’t get enough against the patzers…meaning Australia, of course.

So, the point is that it is wrong to think of the opposition as being weak or strong. They are the opposition, full stop. The patzer might play well against us. Might not. A ‘good’ player, whatever we think that is, might play well against us and might not. You look at your cards, you try to do the right thing with them, full stop.

If Australian players respected all their opponents, as good sportsmen do in professional sports, they would win more against the ‘weak’ players.


Entry filed under: thoughts on bridge.

Issues about how to better our bridge at the top VII Issues about how to better our bridge at the top IX

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sartaj  |  February 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

    “If Australian players respected all their opponents, as good sportsmen do in professional sports, they would win more against the ‘weak’ players”

    That is a good point. Our performance would be better if we have the right attitude, against so called weaker teams.

    The issues about reinforcing prejudices @ weak players and nervous tension @ strong games are different ones.

  • 2. khokan  |  February 21, 2011 at 8:17 am

    My view is that, while it is better for your bridge to play against stronger competition, any practice (even rubber, which is a totally different game) is better than none, including against weaker opposition. I think it’s right to adapt your game, depending on the opposition. This whole argument about “respect” seems a furphy.

    • 3. cathyc  |  February 21, 2011 at 6:30 pm

      Tell that to Federer. Have you not noticed this time and time again in tennis?

      Interviewer after round one: so how do you think you’ll go against xyz in round three.

      Federer: I have to get through R2 first.

      Interviewer: But you are playing abc, you have beaten him the last 20 times you’ve played him, it has never taken longer than 20 minutes and he is rated 400 in the world.

      Federer: It will be a tough game, abc is playing well, he….and he….

      etc etc etc.

      All top sportspeople behave like this because it is right psychologically, except for really odd things. Boxing. Maybe 100 metres. The sports that seem to be based on nothing but aggression and being hyped.


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