Corin Anderson (magellanic) wrote,
Corin Anderson


I hung around at work Monday night watching some bridge hands. The first one I saw, declarer went down 2 on a 4 heart contract that should have made cold on a 3-2 trump split, and would have made (as it turns out) even given the actual 4-1 split. What was a surprise to me was that I could see how to play the hand all the way through even at the first trick. (I was looking over only declarer's shoulder.) I guess it wasn't that hard though: 5/4 trump fit with AKQ; 5/3 diamonds with KQJ10 between the two hands, a spade A and a club K, plus some little x's to add up to 26 cards.

It's hands like that that make me want to take up bridge again. My cube-mate asked me today why I didn't play, given that I know the rules and apparently could play. My answer is that I don't want to put in the time commitment to learn how to play well enough to have a good time for all. Does that make sense? Put another way: I can play as a good beginner right now, having mastered most of the bids possible at the 2-level and I grok the notions of finesse, communication, and signalling in the play. But, to get better than I am would require, on my part, some non-trivial work: reading, playing, working out little card play problems. I feel that I'm at a bit of a plateau, that there's no incremental improvements from where I'm at given only incremental effort. Moreover, I feel that, unless I'm willing to put in the extra effort to improve, then I don't do anyone at the bridge table a favor who is trying to learn. I can't teach anything, I can't help explain why a bid is what it is, or anything like that.

I guess I have several avocations that follow the same trend. Bridge. Archery. Rock climbing. These are all great fun, but they all require regular effort to improve (or even maintain) one's skill. Don't get me wrong -- I'd love to be a better bridge player than I am today. But, I lack the motivation to pour heaps of energy into improving that particular hobby. Perhaps I'm holding out for something more overall rewarding to invest my energy into. Or, perhaps, I'm just a sociopath at heart. 8)
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