Magazine article The Spectator

Bridge

Magazine article The Spectator

Bridge

Article excerpt

The longer I play this game, the more convinced I am that the single most important quality required to be a great player is mental discipline - the ability to push your concentration to the limit. My own concentration, I should add, is decidedly erratic: when trying to work out probabilities and contingency plans, I often find myself giving up and hoping for the best.

The mind is a muscle, and I don't exercise it nearly enough.

An example of a player with a real sixpack of a brain is the Swedish international Gunnar Hallberg. Being a former world champion doesn't stop him trying to improve his game constantly: he's always analysing hands and jotting down problems that crop up at the table to think about later.

He recently came up with a brain-teaser which not a single member of his club could solve. …

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