Dealing with your Inner Demons

It’s playoff and finals season in Australia and the last month or so has presented a plethora of events for me and some truly interesting hands. Often as players when we watch these events on vu-graph, or look at the results later, we often wonder how good players could go wrong on some of the […]

Momentum Swings Reprised

A few months ago, I wrote about momentum swings in matches. It is funny how crazy bridge can be at times and a recent pennant match in Melbourne showed just how fickle the game can be. Bridge in Melbourne is still recovering from the downturn in numbers following all the lockdowns and restrictions we experienced […]

The New Partnership

  New bridge partnerships often have a ‘honeymoon’ period where the pair performs well in the early stages of their time together. The pair seem to take care to bid carefully and to think about how their bids will be interpreted to avoid misunderstandings. As one friend said, you try not to do anything crazy, […]

Momentum Swings

My reading list for this month has included ‘Battling the Best’ by Sartaj Hans which was an IPBA Book of the Year winner a few years ago. The book describes Hans’ journey through the US Nationals and provides a terrific insight into the thinking and play of those at the very top of our game. […]

Taking Care of Your Partner

Recently I have been listening to the podcast series Sorry, Partner™ put together by Catherine Harris and Jocelyn Startz.  It is surprising how frequently the top players interviewed talk about how treating your partner well is an important skill to acquire. Top bridge players often talk about the ‘critical point’ in a hand. This is […]

Challenging Dogmas

Bridge rules can become like ‘dogmas’ – something that is so entrenched in a player’s mind, it is considered incontrovertibly true. We often hear bridge players speaking about specific rules they have about bidding and card play. Some rules are so entrenched in the player’s psyche that the rule is followed religiously without pause for […]

Concentration is the key to success

A few years ago, I ran a survey of Australia’s top bridge players asking them to rank bridge skills. In that survey, concentration was ranked most highly as an area that players wanted to improve. This finding was confirmed by a great many of the leading players who were interviewed in Samantha Punch’s recently published […]

The Phantom Sacrifice

Deciding whether to take a save or defend on a board can be one of the more difficult decisions in bridge. For example, calculating whether your 3♠ contract vulnerable going 1 off is going to be better than their 3-level contract making requires good judgement. When it comes to the game zone and the decision […]

Don’t Be Chicken!!

Years ago, I was at a shooting competition overseas and I took the opportunity to speak with one of the German shooters at the event to talk about a tendency I had to hold onto shots for too long.  This top-ranked shooter called this ‘chicken-finger’ and told me to believe in myself and to “not […]

The Roller Coaster of Luck

Several years ago, Mollo & Gardener wrote a fabulous book called ‘Card Play Technique – The Art of Being Lucky’ which is still widely read and admired today.  There is no doubt that good card play technique will help bring you ‘luck’. However, often in bridge being lucky or unlucky can come down to the […]