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Daily Bridge in New Zealand

 Jan Cormack

Jan’s Day: Attitude.

 

“If only they would learn to concentrate, then perhaps they could become a top player!” This seems to be a common complaint regarding most up and coming bridge players. In fact, it applies to all sports.

The importance of the “mind game” i.e. to be able to cultivate a state of mind that is relaxed but completely in harmony with what is happening at the time is that the relaxed concentration produces a rhythm to your game and sharpens your sense of timing to a point where you can almost predict the next play.

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Is this you?

 

Although concentration is functioning 100%, most of the mental activity should take place at the sub-conscious level. If you are playing top-class bridge for several days on end, it is very necessary to remain reasonably fresh. This can only be achieved by not trying too hard with excessive mental energy.

Anxiety breeds tension and this inevitably results in bad decisions.

Tim Seres of Australia had the reputation of always seeing the cards and playing a consistently top- class game, as demonstrated by the following deal:

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South Deals
None Vul

K 7 6

K 9 7 6

A Q

10 9 6 3

Q 4

J 10 8 3

J 7 5 2

K J 7

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

J 8 5

Q 5 4

K 9 8 6

Q 8 4

 

A 10 9 3 2

A 2

10 4 3

A 5 2

 

 

 

4 ♠ by South

 

As South, Tim was in 4Spade-small and received the Heart-smallJ lead. Winning in hand, he took the diamond finesse immediately. When that failed, there appeared to be three more losers, two clubs and a trump.

At this point, most declarers would give up. Tim was an exception. He won the diamond return in dummy and ducked a club to West’s jack. A heart followed to dummy’s king and declarer proceeded to cross-ruff in hearts and diamonds to reach this ending.

 

 

K 7

10 9

Q 4

J

7

 

N

W

 

E

S

 

J 8 5

Q

 

A 10 9

2

 

Tim played Club-small2 to put East on lead. Suddenly, the losing trump trick disappeared!

Even the best players in the world cannot achieve a situation of directing the run of play all the time but every expert knows that supreme feeling when it all works for you, that tranquil confidence of literally “knowing” where all the cards are.

So, in the next important tournament you play, let your subconscious take over: be relaxed but alert. You never know: you may know more than you thought you knew!

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For the less experienced

Are you relaxed or maybe too relaxed?

 

North Deals
Both Vul

9 8 6 4 3

K J 7 2

8 5 4

7

   

N

W

 

E

S

   
 

A Q 10 5

Q 10

A Q 7

A K Q 6

 

 

 

West

North

East

South

 

Pass

Pass

2 ♣

Pass

2 

Pass

2 NT

Pass

3 ♣

Pass

3 ♠

Pass

4 ♠

All pass

 

 

3C was Stayman with South very soon finding themselves in 4S. West led H

3Club-small was Stayman with South very soon finding themselves in 4Spade-small. West led Heart-small5 to

to East’s ace. East switched to Diamond-small10 with declarer playing Diamond-smallQ to West’s Diamond-smallK. Back came Diamond-smallJ with West playing Diamond-small2. Where to from here? Plan the play.

 

Richard Solomon

 

 

 

 

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