Friday, August 23, 2002 12:10 AM

Know Thy Partner




While it is necessary to master your partnership’s conventions, it is crucial to understand your partner’s style.


You need to know what to expect from partner, before you can make good bidding decisions. Keep in mind that it is not necessary for you and partner to have the same bidding style. In fact, it is impossible. Make allowances for partners strengths and weaknesses. Make decisions based on your hand and your partners style


In the situations below, you must know what partner is likely to do. With a close decision, does she:


                Open light?


                Preempt aggressively?


                Overcall aggressively?


                Make light takeout doubles?


                Dramatically change her style when vulnerable?


             Aggressive slam bidder


            Aggressive game bidder


            Makes “tight”  penalty doubles


            Knows when to pull penalty doubles


            Good judgment in balancing


            Trap with very big hands


            Opens 2C light


            Will gamble when appropriate


           Will psyche or make similar tactical bids


           Good judgment with forcing passes


           Has good self discipline




By the way:  It is essential to be consistent — “to thine own self be true.” Whether you are a solid citizen or loose as a goose, stay in character. Dealing with a chameleon is just too tough on the partnership.





A Class Act


It is hard to play like a champion, but easy to behave like one.


A Chump:                                                                              A Champ:


gives “free” lessons                                                              does not preach


sides with opponents                                                           sides with partner


berates partner                                                                     treats partner with respect


dwells on bad results                                                            moves on


makes partner wish                                                             allows partner to enjoy

he were elsewhere                                                               the game


is in her own world                                                              knows that bridge

                                     is a partnership game


thinks he knows it all                                                           is willing to learn


insists on playing only                                                          is open to partner’s

her conventions/style                                                                 suggestions


never makes mistakes  (delusions of grandeur)                     to err is human


competes with partner –insists on being the “boss”               competes with opponents


blames partner for own mistakes                                          accepts responsibility 


Criticizes partner behind her back                                        keeps mouth shut


Always negative re-enforcement                                          positive re-enforcement when appropriate


Self centered with inflated opinion of her bridge                    “team spirit “ a true partnership


Never agrees with partner                                                    Supports partner


Pessimistic outlook                                                               Optimistic , positive outlook


Insecure egotist                                                                    Bridge self confidence


Shows anger when things go wrong                                      Poker face


Discusses hands at table                                                       Waits until event is over


Criticizes opponents                                                              Polite to opponents


Unlucky expert                                                                      Has good “luck”


Induces stress                                                                        Relaxed and friendly


Eventually runs out of partners                                             No problems finding partners