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How to learn? How can a BIL player improve?

#21 User is offline   sceptic 

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Posted 2004-July-06, 23:51


OK, we all have bad habits... but, most bridge players are Human, :-D

I assume you are not talking about yourself here draco :D)

#22 User is offline   rona_ 

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Posted 2004-July-07, 04:15

The newsbox is still there.

#23 User is offline   slothy 

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Posted 2004-July-07, 06:15


Dawn finally came to forums then :ph34r:

How to learn?

I think this can be be rephrased as: How does one learn most effectively.

In my opinion, there are two major factors here. This 'philosophy' is, of course, not restricted to bridge.

The first is a cumulative one and about attitude. It is more than a coincidence that attitude and altitude are just one letter apart [geez just thought of that, impressive huh :ph34r:] You have to :-

a ) Have a passion for the game. If you are not really bothered about improving your bridge, you simply wont or, maybe, it will take much much longer. Impassioned enthusiasm is the biggest gradient enhancer for a learning curve. Many factors play a role here. How you were introduced to the game, whether you are of a certain mentality and migrated from another similar sport, etc. Personally, i was hooked when i attended 3 lessons in 3 days at my local club. I have lived the life of a bridge obsessive-neurotic-card-fetishist ever since.

b ) Set yourself goals. You won't become an expert bidder and card-sharp in 2 weeks!! (well it took me 16 days :( ). Set yourself realistic targets and STICK to them, and be flexible as to your next set of goals. This is not easy, as it is difficult to know how you have progressed, and whether to change gear or not. It will help if you have an objective opinion of someone who can make a well-judged assessment of your improvement. From personal experience, i won the National Newcomers, and was told by people who I respected i could: biggest motivator i ever had (i set a goal to win it in 2 years).

c ) Be inquisitive; be curious; be a pain in the butt. Hee hee. Asking questions is the only way you gonna get answers!!! At the end of the day the worse thing that can happen is that someone will not answer a question for which you didnt have an answer to yourself. Challenging other peoples' thresholds of patience, within reason, is worth it if it dilates your threshold of understanding. (i'm on a roll, don't stop me.....) The bright side is that there are other people out there who would be more responsive; the dark side is having to remember a cohort of people whose patience you have exhausted.

d ) Be humble and be willing to make mistakes, coz you will make them, and make them again, whether you want to or not. Keep one ear open to valuable lessons genuinely offered, keep the other closed to abject criticism and ego-mongering. Unfortunately, there are some people who like others to be aware that they know better, irrespective of whether you will too. De-wax your ears frequently.

e ) Combine theory, practice and fun. Can't stress this strongly enough. There is no better catalyst to improving your game than doing something (practice) and being aware of why you are doing it (theory) and enjoy doing it(fun). Take out one of these elements and the expression doesnt factorise, buddy.
In essence read as much as you can (theory), and read it again and again if necessary until you understand the underlying principle.
Play as often as you can( practice) and see each board as a potential lesson. More often than not, there is a fundamental one that you have easily overlooked.
Play with the right people at the right time with the right motives.

A lesson is well-remembered if given with a smile on your face. And it is scientifically proven that your partner plays better if s/he can see your teeth.

f ) For male players only. Never play with a woman with a well-endowed chest. You become presented with 2 Weapons of Mass Distraction.


The second is about exploiting the learning method that is best for you.

We all have different ways of learning, or learning most effectively. Personally, i learn best visually. So, going through the BBO online hands in Masterbridge suits my style perfectly. I then back it up with reading something if necessary.

Some people like to get their hands dirty straight away. Thats OK but it normally requires having a mentor wishing to run alongside you.

Some people like to read books. Thats OK too, but at one time or another you got to sit at a table and apply it;)


For those people for whom this advice doesnt rub, may i offer a few other suggestions.

A ) Buy your partner a mirror, 30 cm by 30 cm, to wear as a medallion on the evenings you are playing bridge....

B ) Play with a partner much better than you. Further, and this is important, either (i) marry him/her or ii) have a love-child if you are unfortunately already married (and have a Roman Catholic upbringing). In (i) he has no option; in (ii), you give him the option of bridge lessons or crippling Child Support.

Hope this has been useful.


PS I have contacted my lawyer and hereby am not responsible for the actions of people who take my advice of B ).
gaudium est miseris socios habuisse penarum - Misery loves company.

#24 User is offline   Cave_Draco 

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Posted 2004-July-07, 12:39

sceptic, on Jul 7 2004, 05:51 AM, said:


OK, we all have bad habits... but, most bridge players are Human, :-D

I assume you are not talking about yourself here draco :blink:)

I have some really bad habits!
On the subordinate claws(sic), I take the 5th.

My last comment "Remember your partner is a person, relate to the person!" was a criticism of myself.
Advanced players can learn from BIL players!
Even Experts make mistakes; it is too easy to say "I am the better player, therefore I am right!"
Nobody should be too proud to review a hand in the cool of the morning, after the heat of battle, and apologise for analysis made in haste.

As a footnote, many advanced/expert players got to that status by Bridge addiction... Certainly my bestest P has better person skills than I.

}{ugs P, @}-,--'---
"I know that there is only one power worth having. That is the power, not to take, but to accept; not to have, but to give."

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