Sad to say, the length of time you’ve been playing bridge is no indication of how good you are. Indeed, you can play with gusto every day of your life, but if you never venture outside your same circle, or take lessons or read books, then — to put it bluntly — you probably have no idea how bad you are.
I recently read an amusing article about this by the Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith, author of the hugely popular No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. He and his wife love bridge, and some years ago took a cruise which offered classes. His wife, a ‘much stronger player’, chose the intermediate class. She soon realised she was out of her depth: she belonged with ‘the novices’. As McCall wrote, it was ‘a difficult thing to be told when one has been playing bridge regularly, every other week, for 35 years’.