APR_08_EB_p42-43 Kambites + Bramzel 14/3/08 3:59 pm Page 38
hearts and shown length in diamonds. on avoidable errors. caused by lack of
(North-South were not playing two-suited concentration, poor temperament etc. Any
overcalls to 1NT). Clubs are likely to break loss of concentration during play is off-
2-1, but if anybody has three it will surely putting. For example, I lead the two of clubs
be South. Therefore declarer should start against 3NT. Dummy wins with the ace of
with dummy’s king of clubs, allowing him clubs. Partner and declarer play, the cards
Andrew Kambites to take a marked finesse against South’s are turned over quickly and declarer quickly
♣Q-8-7. Too much elation when the king calls for a card to trick two, but I become
of diamonds won, followed by too little aware that I didn’t notice partner’s card. I
WHY do you play bridge? For some subsequent concentration! feel uneasy for the rest of the defence. Even
readers their priority is a social night out, if partner’s signal turns out to be incon-
which is a very sensible reason. However, I Experience and errors sequential, I feel disorientated. So how can
suspect that most of you, even if you have we avoid this type of error?
no ambitions to be a world-beater, would All of us make some unavoidable errors. I
like to play well at your own standard and believe strongly that most things we get How to avoid avoidable errors
to fulfil your potential. To do this, we need right, particularly at card play, come from
to analyse types of errors and decide what pattern recognition. When a beginner first You need to analyse when your concen-
can be done about them. sees dummy he can be overwhelmed. It is tration is liable to waver, e.g.
Have a look at this deal: probably pointless expecting him to count
winners and losers, preserve entries and a A. External Factors
million and one other things. If he even Noise or temperature.
♠ A872 ♠ K94 tried to do this, he would slow the game Opponents, e.g. you don’t like them.
♥ A73 down to the point of serious disruption, B. Internal Factors (many of these in-
♦ 82 S ♦ K and totally exhaust himself. volve emotions)
♣ A J 10 5 ♣ K96432 Learning bridge is like learning a foreign 1. Fatigue. Sometimes unavoidable,
language: having to think about every- but you do need to play at a pace
thing you do it is hard work and you do it and level that is sustainable for the
West North East South badly. With experience you start to do the whole session. Players who try to
1NT 2♥ 3NT All Pass right things naturally and effortlessly. Even work out every last detail at a snail’s
very experienced players still encounter pace at the beginning of an evening
North led the four of diamonds. Declarer new situations and are likely to get them but are totally exhausted at the end
breathed a sign of relief when dummy’s wrong. Unavoidable errors should be are not helping themselves.
king of diamonds won, quickly played a accepted as part of the learning process. The 2. Anxiety. How will partner or
club to his ace of clubs and went one down problem isn’t that you get it wrong: the team-mates react to your –1100?
when North showed out. problem is that it preys on your mind and Good team spirit and partnership
Can you see what happened? leads to avoidable errors on the next hand. morale will help this. Anxiety
Having overcome the first hurdle when brings on fatigue later in the day.
dummy’s diamond king won, declarer Avoidable errors 3. Frustration with partner’s error,
didn’t mentally readjust. If he had re-tuned team-mates’ poor performance, a
his mind, his thought processes would So if we cannot prevent unavoidable perceived poor TD ruling, bad
have been clear. North has overcalled in errors, we must clearly focus our attention luck (opponents making a grand
slam on three finesses). Note that
the factors are external, but the
South Bucks Bridge Centre YOUNG CHELSEA problem is internal. It is not the
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good boards. That is not an
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excuse to relax and chuck 13
38 English Bridge April 2008 www.ebu.co.uk