Maritha Pottenger

If you get a 70% game, your name goes in the Contract Bridge Forum newspaper. If you get 80% or more stars (20% or fewer circles), your name will now go into Maritha's 80% Club. The following people have made it:

Kathy Moyer 96%, 26 out of 27 stars

Dee Willms 92%, 24 out of 26 stars

Ken Batko 92%, 24 out of 26 stars

Pat Sullivan 88%, 23 out of 26 stars

Bob Walters 88%, 23 out of 26 stars

Sue Ehrhardt 85%, 23 out of 27 stars

If there is anyone I have skipped over, please let me know!

Even though all these people played very well, we did NOT come in first every time—and that is because there is still luck in duplicate bridge. With Kathy, our opponents had a bidding misunderstanding and got to a game that no one else bid, which was a “miracle make”—we could not stop it with any defense. That was a cold bottom. Things like that do happen at the bridge table.

That is why it is important NOT to beat yourself up when you have a bad game—or when Deep Finesse says you could have made more tricks, or beaten an opponent's contracts. The Deep Finesse analyses are Double Dummy—SEEING all 4 hands. If you made a normal, human play, for example finessing for the Queen with five cards out and no indications from the bidding to do something differently, you were just unlucky losing to that doubleton queen.

Check your bad boards—if your opponents bid a pushy game that hardly anyone else got to, and there is no legitimate way to stop it—you got “fixed.” You did nothing wrong!

Finding where your genuine errors were (as opposed to bad luck) will help you improve your game. It can often pinpoint whether you should be focusing most on bidding, Declarer play, or defense.

And whether or not you want to work on upping your game, remember the most important “rule” at the bridge table: Have fun!