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What's an Intermediate?

It's annoying, to see players go out and set the world on fire while I am still stuck getting below 50% in a club game last night. If you'd have watched me declare 4 spades doubled, you might know why that's the case. It's almost like the worst thing you can do as a bridge player is think that you are a good bridge player. Then you start expecting to do well because you rolled out of bed. Like the skill is just a given. Well, for me, it's not!

West
AQ4
AQ104
QJ843
2
North
J10652
8652
A5
A7
East
K973
KJ73
97
J63
South
8
9
K1062
KQ109854
W
N
E
S
1
1
X
P
3
P
4
P
P
X
P
P
P
D
4X West
NS: 0 EW: 0

When the LOL on my left doubled, I thought about sending it back, unfortunately my partner had made an off-handed remark about the quality of his raise when he bid 4, thus I thought better of it.

Nonetheless, the defense was not so stout with left opening with the ace, followed by the A on which righty played the 10 and a club which I ruffed.

As I was thinking about how to take my ten tricks, here is what went through my head.

Before dummy came down: I wonder what she is doubling on, if it's a club stack than she is in for an unpleasnt surprise. Please lead a spade.

When I saw the dummy, I was delighted to see my partners king of spades which now meant that my queen of spades was pulling her full weight.

After trick three: How can I get to dummy to lead a diamond through South. I didn't count my losers per se.

Next I cashed the Ace of hearts righty playing the 9 which warranted my attention. She did not seem like one to falsecard. So I cashed the queen of hearts still thinking about some eventual diamond play but without a firm plan. Now righty shows out and I know lefty is 54 in the majors 1-1 so far in the minors.

So all I have to do is play a spade to the dummy and a diamond through South. If they have the king fine, if not fine, I can handle anything that happens from here.

Instead I cashed my ace and queen of spades because it seemed like a good idea(!) even though I knew I was a trump short to ruff both the club and spade in my hand, and now I was toast.

The reason for writing this, I find the process cathartic and want to share my lessons with the community. There is a principle called "Investing in Loss" which I encountered in Josh Waitzkin's seminal work "The Art of Learning". The only way to get better is to stop seeing myself as a moron, and take this as a learning opportunity. I screwed up. The hand had some level of complexity to it for me that required me to think and come up with a solution at the table which I failed to do.

I want to be a great player and don't want to hide from this result, as I think that I can learn from it. I am really starting to see all the errors that I make, which is like either a minefield or a diamond mine depending on how I view them...There are LOTS of them :( :) 

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