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Becomeing a top Bridge Player by Sam Punch Cover


Becoming a Top Bridge Player

Most books about bridge focus on bidding and/or card play, but what about the players that hold the cards? In “The Art of Becoming a Top Bridge Player,” coauthors Professor Samantha Punch and Tim Rees draw together common themes from interviews of sixty international bridge players.

Intended for players of all levels who are intrigued by how bridge experts think, this book collates the experiences shared by top-level players. “There is little to separate expert bridge players in terms of technical ability,” explains Samantha Punch. “This means that the non-technical aspects of playing bridge at the top level can strongly influence success.”

What are the challenges that players face at high-level tournaments? How do the players prepare? How do they cope with losing? How did the players progress from being learners to international representatives? Answers to many such questions have been analysed to identify the common factors experienced by the experts, providing valuable guidance for aspiring serious players and those wanting to improve their results.

Andrew Robson, whose top tips appear many times in the book, says:

What an interesting read - the inner story of the challenges of being a top bridge player. Whether you are one yourself, or an aspiring bridge player near the start of your journey, or, perhaps even especially, a non-bridge player, you will find Sam and Tim’s insights absolutely fascinating. Many of them are transferable to other elite activities but some are unique to our wonderful game.

Bridge is a partnership game, which means that partnership dynamics are a considerable influence on success at the table. This book considers the attitudes of players towards their partners and highlights the components of winning partnerships. The qualities of a good bridge partner are examined in depth, encouraging readers to reflect on their own contribution to partnership dynamics.

Entwined with partnership dynamics and perhaps integral to bridge itself is mistakes. “You win at bridge by making the fewest errors, so we were curious how the players view mistakes,” says Tim Rees. The experts reveal their varied attitudes towards mistakes by themselves and their partner and the strategies that they adopt to maintain focus and regulate emotions after a mistake.

The insight yielded from the interviews has been summarised as tips for players. Ranging from pointers for achieving success at competitions—yes, it really does help to get a good sleep before a tournament—to cultivating a constructive attitude towards losing, these tips can direct you along the path to becoming a better bridge player at any level.

“The Art of Becoming a Top Bridge Player”, coauthored by Samantha Punch and Tim Rees and published by Master Point Press, is available from Amazon or your favourite bookstore. The ebook is available here.