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My 2012 Year-end Wrap-up

When I first started playing bridge seriously a couple of years ago, I would craft a set of goals at the beginning of the year to guide my play and learning. At first, they were point/rank oriented (e.g., make sectional master, get 100 points in a year), but those types of goals quickly proved unsatisfying. The next goals were aimed at doing well in particular events and towards mastery of specific skills. Results are certainly easier to measure than skills goals. Skills goals turn out to be particularly elusive, but are probably more rewarding overall.

At the beginning of 2012, these were the goals I set out to accomplish:

  • Improve my competitive bidding
  • Place in the top 3 in an A/X Swiss event
  • Make it to day 2 in a NABC National pairs event
  • Make it to day 2 in a NABC Nationalteam event
  • Get my first Platinum points(from something other than match wins)
  • Learn how to identify, plan, and execute asqueeze.
  • Place in the top 3 overall in an unlimited open pairs event.
  • Make Silver Life Master (1000 points).
How did I do?
Improve my competitive bidding. This one was difficult to measure, but I definitely think I've improved. I am now more apt to correctly choose when to sacrifice, when to double, and when to pass. My overall results in pairs and teams events are improving as a consequence. This will still be a work in progress for the foreseeable future (forever?).
Place in the top 3 in an A/X Swiss event.This year I mostly stopped playing in BCD events, despite suffering an initial dip in results. (I only play in the BCD when I'm playing with someone who is uncomfortable playing in the A/X.) Early in the year I finished tied for 2nd in X in an A/X, and later won X at a local sectional. By far the best result was winning a bracket 1 Swiss in a local sectional this fall.
Make it to day 2 in aNABCNational pairs event. I made it to the finals in the under-1500 Life Master Pairs this summer withRandy Ryals. I briefly made it to day 2 in the Womens' Life Master Pairs with Missy Verson, until a scoring correction came in and we wound up tied and then lost the tie breaker. (So, we were first underall!) I made it to day 2 in the under-5000 Blue Ribbon Pairs with Kevin Schoenfeld. Most importantly, I was at least competitive in the National fields, which I certainly wasn'ta year ago.
Make it to day 2 in aNABCNationalteam event.I made it to the finals of the North American Swiss in the Fall Nationals. Finishing 29th in that event was the highlight of my bridge year.
Get my first Platinum points(from something other than match wins). I got my first platinum (match wins) this summer in the Roth Open Swiss. I got my first platinum from a non-match win from a section placingin the Womens' LMPairs. And I got a large amount (25.26 platinum) by placing in the NA Swiss.
Learn how to identify, plan, and execute asqueeze.I should have put more pedestrian skills goals on my list (like work on suit combinations), but this was the one I chose. Although I did successfully plan and execute several (non-pseudo) squeezes,I still suck at squeezes. I will continue to work on them in the upcoming year.
Place in the top 3 overall in an unlimited open pairs event.With my partner Kurt Siedenburg, I won an open pairs event at a sectional in February this year.
Make Silver Life Master (1000 points).This was a somewhat bogus point goal, since I started the year at 750 points. I made Silver LM at the Philadelphia Nationals, and revised my yearly point goal to something more challenging: get 500 points for the year. I accomplished this revised goal in December at the Palm Springs regional and will finish the year at a smidge over 530 points.
Overall, it's been a terrific year, well beyond what I expected. Now it's time to formulate goals for next year. I'm open to suggestions for additional goals to add, but here is my start at what I want to accomplish:
  • Makeit to day 2 in aNABC+National pairs event. No fudging this one. I need to make day 2 in an unlimited National event.
  • Place in the top 10 of an NABC National event.Although I would really like to do this in an NABC+ (unlimited event), placing in a limited NABC event would be acceptable. It requires that I improve my stamina over the long haul, as I tend to get too tired by day 3 to play well.
  • Get 22 more Platinum points.This will be my only point-oriented goal. If I get 22 more Platinum, I will be eligible to play in the Platinum Pairs (in 2014).
  • Win an A/X Swiss.Winning X is no longer enough...
  • Learn to save the analysis for after the game. This is part of a general goal of becoming a better partner by not discussing a hand right after it's played. It should also contribute to helping me combat fatigue. (I think I can make this goal measurable by having my partners help me keep track of the number of times I talk about a hand right after it's played, and then work on reducing that number.)
  • Become proficient at identifying, planning, and executing squeezes. I'm going to continue to work on this one.
  • Drastically reduce careless mistakes at the table. This includes situations where I was too lazy to count, didn't properly plan the play or pick the master hand, or made a sloppy defensive signal. Although I'll never stop making mistakes, I still make too many careless ones, and will start keeping track of them so I can work on reducing the number.
  • Represent my district in either the NAPs or GNTs.Given that I'm playing in both NAP flight A & B, and GNT flight A, B, and Open (with any luck), I think I have a shot to do this. Realistically, though, this is a stretch goal, as District 21 is one tough district.
  • Spend more time with my husband.Last year, I went to almost all local sectionals and regionals, which meant I was gone a lot on the weekend. This year I'm going to be more selective about what events I play in so I can spend more time with my patient hubby.
Thanks for reading my goals -- what bridge goals have you set for2013?
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