Saturday, 10 July 2010

FIND ME A GOOD PARTNER PLEASE !.................. ( Article by Dr. Sigmund T. Schukelgruber )
Partners are usually the topic of umpteen bridge jokes.......the perfect scapegoat to take all the blame when things go wrong. Partners are there to take all the flak......they are there to be whipped, and shot at sitting ducks at a fairground arcade. Partners are there to be insulted as evidenced by this collection of humorous snipes :
  • When my partner goes to a mind reader, he's only charged half-price
  • I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can never get my partner to go swimming
  • The difference between my partner and a car battery is that the latter does have a positive side
  • I always forgive my partner for his mistakes.....thinking is unfamiliar territory to him
  • I am quite fair to all my partners.....I treat them all equally like idiots
  • You must excuse my bridge partner.....he fell seriously ill a few years ago, which rendered him totally annoying
  • I only play bridge to punish my partner
  • You are lucky to have me as your partner since I am not as judgemental as all those obnoxious, mealy-mouthed, censorious, self-righteous toss pots you've previously played with

Yet bridge should be all about developing good relationships with partners based on mutual respect, tolerance, and forgiveness. Moreover, if you ask someone to be your partner ( or accept an invitation to be theirs ), then there appears to be an irrefutable argument that you should be " accepting " of the consequences. If you make your own bed then you must lie it without complaint. By choosing to carry on in regular partnerships, you are effectively saying " I am happy with your overall game partner, and I accept your failings as I duly acknowledge my own ".

We must all strive to keep the " competitive drive " in perspective, and in balance with our need to enjoy the game and our partners' company. Winning at bridge should never become a matter of life or death......despite the fact that some will tell you it's even more important than that ! Bridge is just a card game which offers the best mental challenge in the world, and wonderful opportunities to meet great people and make new friends.

A partner should not be someone who, in your jaundiced view, is only there to make your life miserable. A partner should be someone you can share a laugh with over mishaps and misfortunes at the table. Therefore, no one needs to be put under any pressure whatsoever to explain or justify decisions, or to make endless apologies. These can then be offered freely without fear of condemnation or retribution. The quest for perfection is in my view a path to self-inflicted misery and torture. If things have to be said then keep the banter friendly, using gentle humour, euphemisms, and polite observations wherever possible.

So if you fit this bill of an ideal partner, please don't hesitate to give me a call if you are in Sheffield looking for a game...................I need a good partner......... far more than a good player with a bad temperament !

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