Linda Lee — My personal bridge blog

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

.. and treat those two imposters just the same (Rudyard Kipling).

After losing the Canadian women’s championship by 7 imps over 72 boards, I realized how very fragile winning and losing is. In the third set (the last one for Isabelle and I) we did not bid a non vulnerable 5D game which was completely on a one way trump finesse. There were no extra chances. If the King of diamonds was offside we win the championship, if onside we lose. A flip of a coin, that was all. We were the better team but we didn’t play in form and we definitely didn’t have the luck.

I don’t mean to be ungracious. The winners played their hearts out and I congratulate them. I know when the Wolpert team lost to us they were very disappointed. I went over and hugged each one of them. I felt so sad for them. Everyone who competes knows success and failure. To be a winner you have to put it out on the line and accept losing. There can be no winning without that.

I hate to lose. I think all those who compete successfully must feel the same way. But losing is really the time when you can learn the most and become better and stronger. This was in the end just another event. The best part of the tournament for me was how well our team got along. I wasn’t really expecting it. Diana and Sharyn played very well and they were a pleasure to play with. I am so glad they are back together. They will do Canadian bridge proud. Julie and Francine played a solid game too. Paul is a wonderful captain and I truly hope one of the winners will pick him.

Isabelle and I had some great sessions. Best of all when we had problems we just let it go and went on. It was amazing. To master that is an important skill for both of us: more important than performing a guard squeeze.

I still had some performance anxiety. You know that horrible feeling just as you begin a match where you are nervous. I couldn’t sleep well. I have to work on that.

What else did I learn? This is the first time that I have come in second in an event like this. I didn’t realize exactly how it felt. I have some advice for the organizers. Get a picture of both teams at the beginning of the final. Loan them medals if you have to. It is hard to round up the losers after the scoring, especially if they lose by 7 imps. Our picture has only 3 players in it, including me.

There were a lot of interesting times in the event and some fun hands and ideas but I will save those for tomorrow when I am more awake.

It’s hard when an event you have been looking forward to is over. Isabelle and I have to choose our next goal, perhaps the fall nationals in Boston. I would I confess like to play in the European championships or something like that but that may not be possible. Well, that one is for another day.


LuiseMay 30th, 2008 at 10:25 pm

I’m sorry, I know how hard you worked at this and how badly you wanted the win. I can guess that you are feeling pretty miserable right now :(.

I was looking for some inspirational words to offer and I came across this quote that really captured what I wanted to say perfectly:

“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose and how we’ve changed because of it and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.”
~~~RICHARD BACH, The Bridge Across Forever

I know you’re really disappointed, but you both worked really hard for this, you were well prepared and you put in about as much effort into this as possible. You have nothing to feel ashamed about.

Ray LeeMay 31st, 2008 at 1:43 pm

“It’s smarter to be lucky than it’s lucky to be smart.”

(line spoken by Charlemagne in the musical Pippin)

Waldemar FrukaczJune 3rd, 2008 at 10:41 am

RE: “We were the better team but we didn’t play in form and we definitely didn’t have the luck.”

I actually do not agree, team which won, beat earlier Thurston team in the round Robin and placed first in the Round Robin. Nisbet was leading from the first to the last segment of the final of CWTC. Too much to be a coincidence.

I found more fair opinion about CWTC events in Glen Ashton blog dated May 30, 2008 when he made summary of the last three events in his blog:

lindaJune 3rd, 2008 at 11:36 am

First I must say that my comments are not completely impartial and I doubt there is anyone who thinks they are.

Second I didn’t really see any report of the event on Glen’s Blog (did I miss it) . It just said who won and that Pamela had won three times. I myself have placed in the top 10 in the Butler in World Championship in the last three events with prequalifications with 3 different partners. I don’t have time to go through the qualifications of the rest of my teammates because it would go on for pages. I can only say that having played with and watched Francine there is no doubt in my mind she is the best female bridge player in Canada right now.

Third, I know that losing by 7 imps over 72 boards may count as a clobber when you beat the favoured team but small losses like this are largely a matter of luck as I was trying to point out. The only reason it seems big is that in an event like this all that matters in winning or losing. The same thing was true about the round robin. They nipped us in the last round when we played flat boards against a team that was at the bottom of the table and they simply bid their cards and didn’t go for numbers.

Does this all mean they were the better team. No!
So there is my honest opinion. They had a good tournament and they played to the best of their ability – as I said in the article.

The point of this article wasn’t a knock against our opponents – it was a cry to the fates. It was talking about luck and fortune but much more about the need to be willing to lose. I am sorry you missed that point.

I had very raw emotions when I wrote this. It hurt. I wanted to share my feelings, not filter them. I hope that it will give some the courage to compete and to lose.

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