Magazine article The Spectator

Under Pressure

Magazine article The Spectator

Under Pressure

Article excerpt

MOST bridge players find there's a huge gulf between what they know and what they can put into practice. Solving problems in the comfort of one's home is one thing; playing in a real game, with all the pressures and distractions which that entails, is quite another. Bridge players are naturally not alone in this: those hapless Italians who failed to score in the penalty shoot-out against Liverpool were no doubt faultless in practice; but, in the pressure of the moment, and confronted by the wibbly-wobbly antics of Jerzy Dudek, all that training was as nothing. International bridge players can take their eye off the ball, too. Robert Sheehan showed me this hand the other day - declarer was an England international and so was one of his opponents; but both made the kind of mistake you'd expect from an average player:

West led a heart to East's [hearts]Q, East returned the suit, and South won the third with his [hearts]J. …

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