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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Anger Management

One of my partners maintains an impassive expression no matter how awful the final contract. We are not all blessed with such equanimity in the face of an unexpected action by partner. Some players will often sense that their partner is unhappy with a bid which has been made or a signal which has been […]

7 New Year Resolutions for Better Bridge

Many people like to make New Year’s resolutions. If you are one of those that do and want to make a resolution about bridge – here are some key steps that might help you reach your bridge goals.   Don’t assume you’re too old to make your dream of becoming an elite player come true. The […]

Getting out of your bridge black hole

One of the best-known examples of an event horizon (sometimes called the point of no return) derives from general relativity’s description of a black hole, a celestial object so massive that no nearby matter or radiation can escape its gravitational field. Often, this is described as the boundary within which the black hole’s escape velocity […]

Match Pressure

Pressure comes in a variety of ways in all types of activities. Bridge players are not immune to this and may also feel pressure when playing an event. Whether it is the pressure of leading the event, the pressure of expectations, time pressure to finish because you are a slow player or have slow opponents, […]

Match Fitness

In sport, coaches often talk about being ‘match fit’. Practice form doesn’t always transfer to the playing field where nerves and the pressure of competition play a part. As an athlete, it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on practice, and practice matches, the first ‘real’ competition of the season is always hard. It […]

The Annual Training Plan

Elite athletes usually have a well developed annual training plan. The annual plan for my shooting year defined the competition periods, peak training periods, rest periods, fitness training periods, experimenting periods and other key events during the year. It also included annual goals, and goals specifically for individual competitions and training. Goals should be both […]