by Frank Stewart for the ACBL

Frank Stewart is  a former Bridge Bulletin editor, long time contributor, a syndicated bridge columnist and author of many bridge books. He lives in Fayette AL.  Here is his advice for improving your game.

Enjoy the postmortem. We play bridge for fun. One element that I found enjoyable – and productive – was the social interaction of the postmortem. Many were the times I participated in a postmortem «charge session» with my teammates. We went over the deals and every clear error cost the perpetrator a quarter. The money went into a pot to pay for drinks and a pizza.

To improve, players must learn from their errors. But only an extraordinary player; of which few exist, can produce an accurate analysis of a complex deal or an unbiassed assessment of a bidding problem in the emotionally charged atmosphere of the table.

Save discussions for a dispassionate and empathetic setting after the game – when you’re less intent on preserving your
selfesteem and are willing to objectively criticize yourself as well as others.

When the last card falls, the fun is just starting. Go out with your fellow players. Enjoy their company as you talk over the deals. Listen to the views of other players… about bidding styles. Learn where you’re loosing points. And don’t neglect your good results, for lessons can be discerned there, as well.