Friday, April 20, 2007

On The Short List Of Things To Do

I made a list of what I need to do to become good at bridge

#1 Develop good habits (always count. Always make a plan. Don't be lazy. Think.)
#2 Learn what hands are really worth, ( and accurately adjust with each new piece of information as valuation is a fluid thing that changes every time anyone bids.)
#3 Learn to be a better partner. Get a better grasp on when to ask p develop your hand, and when you want to help partner set up hers.
#4 Concentrate. Maintain focus.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Speaking of That

Two of my favorite partners really like weak nt. I've promised to learn it. (Partnership is a reciprocal thing, isn't it? I try what they like, they try what I like, in the end you play what works for everyone, but you try it. - I went to culinary school. It's the same thing. You try it before you say you don't like it.)

I posted on the BB Forums asking about the benefits and risks of Weak NT. My favorite response came from JDONN, who made the explanation clear enough that I felt like I knew what was going on. I don't know that I'm going to like weak nt. But I do know that I want a good defense to it.

This or That?

Something that comes up fairly often is the question of whether to learn something new, or try to master the basics. For a year, I tried not to add a single new convention, a decision that came on the heels of realizing that I had no idea what many basic bids meant. Sadly this still comes up. Sometimes in a perfectly normal auction I'll draw a blank. Its scary.

Many of my friends who are much better players than I tell me, "Don't worry about that now, Deb. First get a better grasp on standard." And I acknowledge that they've got a very valid point.

On the other hand, much of what I encounter at the table is not standard. It's nice to know what's going on. It's nice to feel that you're clued in. And of course knowing how the super-sonic forcing pass of death work, doesn't mean you have to play it. Sometimes it's just nice to know what it is.

What was standard yesterday becomes less standard tomorrow. Just today someone said. "No one plays Bergen anymore." Which is an exaggeration, but there's something there.

Is the examination of various options just a distraction at this point, or does it give a beginning player a better handle on what's going on? Can it hurt to think about new ideas?
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