Friday, January 13, 2006

What looks large from a distance - close up gets bigger

Last night Wabbit (kaninunge) and I played against a star player in a Rock Around The Clock. (We came in 12th of 28, and were quite happy with that.) Playing against someone with a yellow star really gave me a bad case of performance anxiety. (I guess that shows, women can get that too.) Three hands with my heart in my throat. First hand we went down .15 imps. Second we made 1.77, and the final we were down .69. And let me tell you, I feel like a bridge player! Actually we had a bidding accident on the hand we went plus on, that worked against the opps. I opened a major, and opponents x, Rabbit bid 2nt and I wasn't sure if it could be jacoby 2nt over interference, so instead of bidding my singleton, I bid a second suit. We found our contract and made for 1.77 imps, and thank you very much - against a star player. I just like saying it.

The thing is, or one of the things is, that playing bridge, affords you the opportunity to have brushes with greatness. Especially online. Luis Argerich of Argentina gives lessons in the beginner intermediate lounge. As an aside, Rob (Mortinii) and I are thinking of buying clothes from bridge tournaments -with pictures of cards on them - and shaving our heads and following him around.

Bobh2 who is a very fine teacher has been very kind to me. Much of the knowledge I'm recording comes from him. Two ideas that I'm incorporating (Ripstra and not bidding a new four card suit over a t/o x come by way of Bob. Aside from being very nice and very smart, one of the really pleasant things that came by way of my aquaintance with Bob was a chance to remember John Lowenthal. I actually got to play with Mr. Lowenthal a couple of times. This was years ago, when I took up bridge, and before I put it down again for eight years. I have a great regret about that experience. I was too busy feeling stupid and apologizing to remember anything but the agony of my own stupidity, which is a total waste. Maybe not a total waste, as I remember how kind it was of him to play with me at all, and I remember him very fondly. Bob has a great story about playing against him and duplicating the boards. Apparently, John did it, with all the cards face down, like a magic trick. If you see Bob on line, you can ask him to tell you the story. He tells it better than I do.

I can't talk enough about how much I love bridge base online. There are free classes in BIL. There are free classes in I-ABC. This week, Yoder did two tourneys and classes focusing on card combinations. How to play with missing the King and Jack with A and Queen and separate hands. It matters where the Queen is. With the Q opposite A10 lead the queen or low to the Q. With QT opposite the ace, Lead the Ace first then low to the ten. And of course how to play missing jxxx and Jtxx which is in yesterday's post. Bob's doing a series on hand evaluation. Bob's becoming the voice in my head as I look at my cards these days. And tonight at Yoder's tourney I played opposite Hannie, who did a lesson on counting that has made me a much better player, in one hour, I think. I count everything now.

Bridge Base's wonderfulness lies not only in the classes, there are also the forums, and the sense of community. I wonder if the pope would cannonize Fred Gitelman.


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