Magazine article The Spectator

If Only

Magazine article The Spectator

If Only

Article excerpt

I CAN play rubber bridge for hours on end without feeling tired, but playing in tournaments leaves me completely wiped out. I suppose it's because I concentrate more: the hands are discussed afterwards in detail, so your play is subjected to far greater scrutiny. But also I just can't switch off. I spend half the night reliving my mistakes, wishing I could turn the clock back. If only, I tell myself, I had bid the slam/ducked the diamond/finessed the spade . . . how much less humiliated I would feel!

It doesn't help to be partnering someone as brilliant as Nevena Senior, the England international. We came seventh in the National Women's Pairs - respectable enough, but I missed several opportunities to do better, and unfortunately Nevena spotted them all. Take this hand:

West led the [spades]J and I cashed three more trumps. …

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