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He Speaks It's Name

I remember Roger Lee saying once that it helps to name bridge terms. Here's one for you, ignoramus. I am playing, for the first time, with Adam Grossack in the Reykjavik tournament, which starts Thursday. I met up with Adam at Logan airport and we naturally moved to some bidding discussion. We were talking about a given auction, where we seemed to be having a misunderstanding about what is forcing, when Adam asked for clarification, "you mean as responder or advancer?" It was so simple and pure, and all of the sudden I was delighted to be playing with him.

Not that I wasn't before, we put some work in prior to today, but this conversation seemed really helpful. I also found myself empowered to just say, "I don't know", when he asked me what I like to play in a certain situation. Here I have been going around masquerading as a bridge player that "should" know these asnwers, and frankly in a LOT of cases I don't. There, glad to get THAT off my chest!

Also, I know that Adam has a really strong partnership with his brother Zach. Frankly I am glad to know what they play in certain situations and more than happy to defer to those instances. Well until I suppose I develop a strong opinion of my own, which isn't often then case, unless of course you want to play Cappelletti or DONT over a NT. 

This article is not a critique of other players with whom I have played, rather, it is me expressing the desire and willingness to listen to what you have to say. Contained therein is my own, previous lack of willingness to admit my own lack of knowledge. And when you spend the amount of time and money that I have playing bridge around the world, you'd think that you might want to learn the basics! And I thought all of the other new players were learning too many conventions.

The problem is there is so much beta in bridge skill that I had mentally set myself apart from learning anything from beyond a certain set of people. Like if you made a bad bid or boneheaded play I just wrote you off. (Frightening how many times I would have been written off in these circumstances) The moment was encapsulated a couple of weeks ago when I played with a friend at the club and he explained to me how he liked to play what was forcing after a two level overcall. I can't remember exactly what he said, but it made sense and seemed more well thought out than anything I had previously considered. I was afraid to ask his preference, for fear he might notice the emperor's lack of clothing...yet when he shared what he knew, I found myself delighted.

My BOLS bridge tips therefore is, ASK!

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