“We would’ve bid that had we been chosen for this stanza”. “I would’ve defeated that contract if you had shown that card”. I would’ve been on time for the bridge sessions if you had turned that corner when I said to”.
“You should’ve sacrificed because otherwise they wouldn’t have bid that slam.” “You should’ve called the bridge director.” You shouldn’t have missed that bridge clue because of how the defenders bid.”
“How could you have forgotten that we play the bridge convention that way round?” “How could I have predicted that layout? “Why couldn’t you have played that card to make it easier for me? “
If we’d played, I would have bid that. If we had defended I would have beaten that. If you had declared, we would have made it.
Each expression of regret that passes from your lips during a bridge game will distract your mind from the task at hand, to perform well. Credit to the statements – your brain is constantly assessing, seeking to learn and improve to help you do well. But in that moment the fact is the I, you, he or she, didn’t. And nothing will change that fact.
So never, ever worry about what you, you partner, your teammate or anyone else would’ve, should’ve could’ve or did do. Choosing to give confidence killing statements the big heave-ho is the quickest way to improve your bridge winning mindset.
Bridge is an insanely intense game for concentration and shifting focuses every few minutes.
It is human nature to want to get the best outcome when we try our hardest.
On this next deal from the semi-final of the 2023 World Bridge Championships teams the results in one match were extreme.
At one table North South bid for twelve tricks and succeeded. Click the Next button below to follow the action.
At the other table the hand went very differently. To begin EAST/WEST contracted for just ten tricks. And failed – making only eight tricks. Click the Next button below to witness the destruction.
Bridge is an insanely intense game for concentration, with focus shifting every few minutes. Here are some tips for keeping a success focus whenever you play bridge.
At the table
- Stay Flexible: Be open to change and adaptability. Bridge is full of surprises, petty annoyances, and just plain bad luck so a positive mindset can help you navigate unexpected challenges.
- Celebrate Small Wins: Don’t wait for big bridge achievements to be happy. Celebrate small victories and moments of joy at the bridge table.
- Acknowledge your emotions: Give voice to your feelings. It helps your brain file experience as moments for future opportunity rather than past regret.
- Stop beating up on yourself: When faced with unfamiliar territory, value the learning and appreciate the knowledge and experience that brought you to this bridge table on this day.
- It’s not You it’s them: Be kind to partner, teammates and the bridge opponents. There’s no need to be bridge generous though. After all we are there to get the best result we can on every hand and have fun.
After the damage, fresh eyes bring a tale for the bar. And show the true joy of our beautiful game.
On this next deal from the 2023 WBF Championships, two declarer’s learned something few players in the field would have noticed.
At 85 of the 96 tables in play, the contract was 3NT, and all tables made in the range of nine to twelve tricks. In the Venice Cup, the WBF Women’s Championship the Chinese declarer played in 6D and prevailed. It is in the Wuhan Cup that one pair reached the lofty heights of 3H on their combined 27 count collections.
Sitting at the table at the highest level of bridge competition you will ever play, is not the time to make a mistake on a run of the mill board.
But bridge players are human and it happens. A bidding brain fart caused South to think partner had a weak hand and made sign-off bid, which partner duly accepted and passed. In short each thought the other was five or so points weaker than the cards each actually held. So stopping in a part score with less than game values seemed correct. When declarer saw dummy the errors came to light. Our declarer set his mind to the unexpected challenge and decided to enjoy the board for what it now was. A chance to bring home twelve tricks with a cool end play position if he could. Can you see a way to twelve tricks in hearts on a low diamond lead. Click next to learn how declarer put his mind and got the job done.