About a month ago Rod Coote and Greg Morse each came up to me within a day of each other and asked me if I was going to update my bridge site any time in the near future. Curious, I asked how long they had been viewing my pages and what they thought of them. They told me they had each discovered my site in the last year and found its content very interesting and entertaining- compliments which I always enjoy. They asked me if I planned to update the site any time soon and I thought to myself, "Wow.. I have fans.." The short answer to their question is that I will start writing again regularly in July.
Where have I been all this time?
I've been taking a bridge vacation, so to speak. Last year I went to Toronto for the finals of the Canadian National Team Championships (CNTC) and eventually the Canadian Open Pairs Championships (COPC) when our team didn't qualify after the four day round robin. Let's just say that it was an emotional 6 days of bridge, which was enough to burn me out for awhile. Mike Dimich and I came 6th in the COPC, which was a heartbreaker considering we were leading the event at half time by a substantial margin. Perhaps someday I will write some pages about my first CNTC experience, but perhaps not for awhile.
Anyways, after coming back from Toronto, I felt really burnt out- so much so that I stopped writing and going to school for about 4 months. In January, I starting teaching again at SFU and I felt that fire in my belly again and I knew it was bridge. I remained on vacation in an effort to complete my Masters thesis, which will, in all likelihood, be completed in July. Once that is done, my mind will be more focused on bridge and I can't wait.
I can't wait to get back in there and compete. I have spent a year handing out trophies and watching all of my friends go to tournaments without me, and I miss it. I miss them. I miss bridge.. and this time, I'm fired up and ready to go for broke.
In the next year, I want back some of what I had when I was so intertwined with my favorite partner, Drew Gillen. Drew and I had a great partnership and a lot of fun at the table. We had a lot of understandings and agreements nailed down and it was just understood that these were the fundamental constants. No fear in the auction. No fear the play. No fear in the post-mortem. That's right.. no fear in the post-mortem. If one of us forgot a bid, we knew we had and we forgot about it, and there was no retribution, no embarrassment, no criticism and no anguish. We always expected the best from each other even after a disaster, and we would always buy each other beer after the game, even if we lost.
Drew lives far away from Vancouver, so we are no longer a partnership, but I will never forget his partnership and the great days of bridge we had together. But now I must find a new partner- someone with whom I can share the same fun synergy at the table.
I don't know who that is yet, but I am looking.
Whoever it is had better be prepared, because I want to build a system with them. I don't necessarily mean the fancy strong club systems or multi-purpose bidding systems which are highly unnatural and practicaly auto-alertable. What I do mean is a system where we have discussed all relevant continuations. I also want to emplace some good tools to find distributional slams and punish our opponents.
Put simply: I want no fear in the auction.
Such a partnership cannot be developed overnight- appropriate steps must be followed. In the coming article series, I plan to write out my plan on how to form a good partnership.
Subjects will include: