Thursday, 11 November 2010

PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTIONS ON BRIDGE................. ( By Professor Hu Chi Ku Chi )
The dignity of any bridge player stands or falls on his ability to set himself goals in the realms of the unattainable. When the experience of failure is repeated he remains quiet, composed and determined to try again. After the experience of success, he considers himself to be no different from others, except for the fact that destiny and luck had much to do with his change of fortune.
What makes bridge so strange and fascinating is not that we are forever facing new, unfamiliar hands and opponents, but that we as players often behave like complete strangers with partners we know so well. The problem of communication breakdown always occurs when the lack of familiarity with awkward and unusual hands causes great astonishment and perplexity. In such instances we seem to lose the ability to make even the most obvious and sensible decisions.
Patience is the most difficult thing of all to hold onto, and yet it is the only thing that is worth learning. Bridge players, more than any other group of competitors, need to exercise extreme patience, such are the endless and frustrating demands of the game. The problems and difficulties posed by over-optimistic hopes and expectations, devil-dealt hands, sniping opponents, hopeless and inept partners, plus unsympathetic TDs test one's patience to the absolute limit......and beyond. Bridge requires a kind of patience, where time is needed to think before acting, and to reflect on those actions afterwards. But the nature of the game puts such time in very short supply.
But placing too much faith in partner, when we know of his/her frailties and failings, will always undermine our ability to act in a patient and sympathetic way. Patience needs to built on foundation stones hewn from rock face of realism and wisdom. Then a solid structure can be erected on these stones from the experience of previous disasters and defeat. These are the challenges which we as individuals must rise above, resisting the urge of the human condition to throw tantrums, to have histrionic outbursts, and to release bucket loads of negative energy and feelings.
Sadly, when the only desire of players is to win at all costs, the first cost to be incurred is their patience. This of course will always " fly out " of the window by the end of board one ...... leaving them to simply " fly off " the handle on each and every subsequent mishap.

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