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2013 Year-End Wrap-Up

As we get ready to ring in the new year, it's time to look back on 2013 and assess progress against last year's goals.  Overall it's been a mixed year, but I have had some nice bridge results and made progress against some of my major goals.  Improvement is now definitely coming more slowly.

This past year's goals included:

  • Make it to day 2 in a NABC+ National pairs event.  I made it to day 2 in the Lebhar IMP Pairs at the Spring Nationals with my partner Kevin Schoenfeld, where we did not do well on the second day.  However, at the Fall Nationals, we turned in four consecutive 50+% games in the NABC+ Life Master Pairs event.  Although we were just short of placing in the overalls, this was by far our best outing and probably my top bridge accomplishment for the year.
  • Place in the top 10 of an NABC National event. The best we were able to do was to place 16th in the Red Ribbon Pairs in the Spring Nationals.  Close, but no cigar!
  • Get 22 more Platinum points. We got a couple of Platinum points in the Spring Nationals.  By capturing the last place in the North American Swiss at the Fall Nationals, I was able to garner around 21 Platinum points, one short of my goal (which was to allow me to play in the Platinum pairs in the Spring).  I am certain I'll get that remaining point in 2014 and will be able to play in the Platinum pairs in 2015.
  • Win an A/X Swiss. We did win X in a two-session A/X Swiss.  We also won a one-session A/X Swiss in a regional event at the Spring Nationals. We won some bracketed Swiss events (it seems like the sectionals are all going to bracketed Swisses now), but I'm still looking for a win in a two-session regional A/X Swiss.
  • Learn to save the analysis for after the game. I adopted the Keller convention, with varying success.  However, the act of practicing it broke me of some of my bad habits, and I am much better at writing things down for later discussion than I was previously.  The rate of recidivism is high, however, so this is something I will continue to work on.
  • Become proficient at identifying, planning, and executing squeezes. I did identify, plan and execute several real squeezes at the table.  I am far from being proficient at it though, and will continue to work at this.
  • Drastically reduce careless mistakes at the table.  I have worked really hard on this, and have reduced the careless mistakes drastically.
  • Represent my district in either the NAPs or GNTs. Close, very close.  Kevin and I finished 5th in the NAP Flight B competition, just missing out (the top 3 can go).  My GNT Flight B and A teams made it to the semifinals of the GNTs.  I'll make another attempt at it this coming year.
 
My personal circumstances have changed, and I will be going back to work in 2014, which means I'll be playing a lot less bridge.  I will need to make the most out of the bridge I do play.  Most of the goals will be focused on doing well in National events.
 
  • Place in a NABC+ National pairs event. It was a little discouraging to get so close to placing in the Life Master pairs, so this year I want to do well enough to place in one.
  • Place in the top 10 of an NABC National event.  As I get better, I'm finding that the limited National events are frustrating to play in.  But I will still try to hang in there long enough to garner a top-10 placing.  No matter what level of event you play in, it's still a big challenge to put in four or six good sessions in a row.
  • Win a two-session A/X Swiss. I'll be more specific this year.  I want to win flight A of a two-session A/X Swiss.
  • Represent District 21 at Nationals in either the NAPs or the GNTs. Nuff said.
  • Become adept at identifying, planning and executing squeezes. I should probably start working on more complicated squeezes as well.
  • Improve my ability to make more subtle inferences during play and defense. This is a fuzzy goal, I realize, but I find that I'm not thinking deeply enough about the hands and missing obvious things like if partner had a singleton, it would mean that declarer had 7 of the suit, and the bidding doesn't support that.  So I need to work on these types of more subtle inferences.
  • Get one more Platinum point. This is my only point-oriented goal, and one necessary to be eligible for the Platinum pairs.

Anyone else got any good goals for the year to share?

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