Luise Lee

Racing heart after 1H contract…

After my recent success in playing through the first level of Bridgemaster 2000 the other day I thought I’d try my luck at BBO today.  First hand out of the box, I picked up:

K5 Q95 KJ3 AK1052

I’m in the hot seat.  I’m not really ready for this, I start panicking… its my turn to bid already and I haven’t even counted my points yet.  I quickly count — 16 points, good suit.  1 it is.  Click.  Oh wait.  I should have bid 1NT – I have 16 points and my hand is balanced.  Why didn’t I bid 1NT?  Now I’m panicking.  I messed up already on the very first bid.  I don’t know what to do now.  RHO said Double.  Do I bid again?  What would it mean if I bid 1NT now?  I don’t know how to recover from my inadequate first bid so I just pass.  I can feel my heart in my chest start to beat stronger and faster.  LHO bids 1 and that’s where we end up. 

Partner leads a club.  Here’s dummy:

J 9 4
A J 6
Q 10 8 6
Q 6 3
West East (me)
  K 5
  Q 9 5
  K J 3
7 A K 10 5 3

Still trying to recover from my earlier mistake, I still think we’re playing in 1NT, so I’m not even thinking about cashing the AK to give partner a ruff.  Instead I opt to give up a trick by playing the 10 which loses to declarer’s J.  Declarer leads a heart to the J and I win the Q and clear the club suit with the AK, partner pitching a diamond on the third club.  Now, still thinking I’m in NT, I continue with clubs thinking I’m cashing two more tricks.  I lead the 5 giving declarer an opportunity for a ruff-and-sluff.

As it turned out, this last play didn’t actually cost us a trick since Partner ruffed with the 10 and declarer failed to over-ruff with the A but instead pitched a diamond from both hands.  However, as you can imagine, now I’ve realized that I’ve been playing this contract in NT the whole time so if my heart wasn’t racing before, it certainly is now.

I stop to take a moment to breathe…  Just breathe… relax – its only a game!  You’re playing with strangers who you’ll probably never see again so who cares about a silly mistake or two that you make on one board?  

After a few deep breaths of relaxation my heart starts to slow and is under control again.   But obviously I still need to work on my desire for perfection in everything.

1 Comment

JennaDecember 20th, 2008 at 1:45 pm

I’ve been learning for a little over half a year now and I’d like to give you some confidence that the panic does start to subside. The first time I played I was so panicked the first couple of hands I think all I could really think of was not revoking. And let’s not mention the first time I played at a duplicate club and realized I had no idea what the contract was… 🙂 I’m very much so a perfectionist too and knowing that my partners are really good players can definitely get the best of my nerves but I find that every time I play it gets a bit better and I relax a bit more.

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