Magazine article The Spectator

Bobby Dazzler

Magazine article The Spectator

Bobby Dazzler

Article excerpt

A LITTLE learning is a dangerous thing in bridge, too. Those of us who enjoy reading about the spectacular coups that experts pull off, involving apparently bizarre manoeuvres like throwing away an ace or trumping their partner's winner, often fantasise about doing something similarly brilliant ourselves. And sometimes we do more than fantasise. I'm sure I'm not the only player who, while defending a hand, has dimly remembered reading about a coup made by a master in what seemed to be a comparable situation: as a result I've done something wild like jettison my ace and then been left trying to explain to my gobsmacked partner why I gave the contract away.

The problem is, you have to be very good indeed before you can dazzle in defence. And the key to reaching that standard, as Zia Mahmood is always impressing upon me, is learning to visualise the opponents' cards and putting yourself in their shoes. …

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