Bridge: reflections of life

Wednesday, 15 July 2020



Bridge: reflections of life

Hemanta Kumar Sarma | December 01, 2018 19:00 hrs


"You can judge a person by the way he plays Bridge," said Zia Mahmood referring to himself. Some say that there are basically four types of people in this world while psychologists have added one more type to this list.

If you look closely at your fellow bridge players at the table, you will find all these people! You don't have to read Sigmund Freud or any Shiv Khera book for this. Just watch their bidding style, speed and correctness of the play and their body language on the table.

The first type is the steady and dependable one. He holds his cards right, never makes phony or frivolous bids, takes control of the game not allowing opponents any undue advantage. These people are successful in life too and happily married because they increase the confidence of the spouse because of their dependability thereby increasing productivity. Partners can depend on such players knowing fully well that he will not massacre any hand.

The second type is the extrovert who likes to show off. He plays to the gallery and loves to play in the open room often exhibiting finer points of the hand to the kibitzers. He likes to psyche the opponents by asking them meanings of different bids or discards. In real life, they may not be very comfortable in their area or field as they are attention seekers and thrive superficially on many occasions. But they do have knowledge in whatever they do and makes no hesitation in showing it off.

The third type has been referred as the Rabbit by Victor Mollo who is the meek guy at the table. He agrees with his partner and never tries to take the upper hand. In real life, these people are trustworthy, good workers and like to help others socially or within their capacity. They help the opponents with free finesses or wrong discards. But their passive nature helps them not take undue risks in life like investing in the stock market or gambling.

“Curiosity killed the cat” describes this type of bridge player. He is open to ideas and is the self-made expert. He invents his own bids (sometimes his own convention!) and experiments with them on the table. So he often finds it hard to get in the team! He is often avoided by people because of his curious ways and mannerisms at times. This nutty genius professor is a gem at heart and on his day might get the Nobel Prize because he is very unpredictable. Be careful when playing against him. His highly unusual methods can upset your applecart.

There is another guy at the table who is always unstable and insecure. He suffers from anxiety all the time and is easily irritated. You will find him calling the director constantly. He shouts at his partner and opponents alike at the slightest of reasons. On social media, you will find him putting up lot of pictures on Facebook without attracting much likes or comments! His acquired friend list is not responsive to his posts.

You can also relate to the character of the person by the way he bids. The first one is the aggressive guy at the table who is always optimistic about the lay of the cards. He hopes for particular cards with partner and bids accordingly. He will try to disturb opponents by jamming the bidding and often gets punished for this. He is least bothered about consequences in real life also and is a carefree soul. But you will find that he has many friends who like his attitude towards life.

There is this guy who is exactly the opposite in nature. He is a born pessimist who will think about a 3-0 break with a 10 card fit! He is scared to bid without points and on many occasions fail to bid games or slams because of this. His shy and mild nature has earned him friends but he could not climb up the ladder in the corporate sector or service. He should not be in sales or marketing and is at best working at a desk under someone.

The slow and steady bidder is feared even by experts. His bids are predictable as he calls a spade a spade. You are likely to find the missing honour with him if he calls that suit. His steady approach to life takes him to the top but it will be over some time after his hair has turned grey. He finds it difficult to adjust with new players and persons with different or modern approaches.

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