19:12 18 March 2015 New Orleans, Louisiana NABC by GS Jade Barrett, CsbNews correspondent
“You learn so much from competition. You gain confidence every time you have to step up and perform” – Natalie Gulbis
After surviving our Round of 64 sixty deal match by two IMPs against the powerful PD Times team from China and the Netherlands, we find ourselves down sixty-three at halftime to the very impressive Rosenthal squad in the third day of this major Championship. Some days are better than others, but so far this day has not been ours. Yet we continue to play as confidently as we can, and as is often the case, we will be open to learning something from this match – win or lose.
These competitions are tough, particularly the Vanderbilt and Spingold Knockout Teams held during the Spring and Summer North American Bridge Championships, respectively. There are teams with athletes from at least thirty different nations, each one with a successful history of bridge accomplishments throughout the world.
Many top entries did not survive the second day, though the top eight passed through reasonably easily. Despite the five or so World Championships, over ten European titles and at least eight North American Championships held by the six members of our contingent (Karen Lee Barrett, Apolonari Kowalski, Jacek Romanski, Bjorgvin Mar Kristinsson, Anne Dawson and yours truly), our TEAM HEIFER USA was originally seeded 47th, acquiring the 18th position after day two. It comes as no surprise, considering the depth of the field, that many other units from the top half of the draw also advanced with successful campaigns in the second round.
Every single player enters this arena with the expectation of victory, though usually that means accepting playing well as its own reward given that there will be only one Champion crowned. To give one’s all in the face of escalating adversity and be prepared to do it all again the next day is in the DNA of all the World’s greats, as is the other common trait – the hatred of losing.
The key is to utilize that hatred as a fuel for motivation to grow as a player, recognizing that no matter the size of the effort to excel in all aspects of the game you make, that being the one standing on the pinnacle of the podium happens far less often than you always hope for.
So we return to the fray with every intent to achieve our goal of another day in this exceptional event, trusting our partners, bidding methods and card play, while utilizing our own best judgement. With a little good fortune, this day will be ours.
Even if we succumb, there will always be another challenge to face tomorrow.