50 English Bridge December 2016 www.ebu.co.uk
BIG PRIZES FOR YOUNG
The EBU is certainly right in
doing so much to encourage new
young players. Obviously it isn't an
easy task. There are so many
counter-attractions. However, it is
so important to the vitality of the
game that I feel additional, and
very strong, measures should be
contemplated - in the form of
financial inducements. Big sums of
money should be awarded in the
shape of scholarships or significant
prizes in competitions exclusively
for them. A silver cup here and
there, and points are a good start,
but they are never enough.
Enormous prizes are what is
needed. It might work!
WHY NOT GHESTEM?
Michael Byrne (October 2016,
p20) says 'even if it's Ghestem,
which is the worst convention ever
invented, and on my top three list . . .'
As a regular player using
Ghestem as a 2-suited overcall,
could Michael explain why he
regards it with such disdain?
In my experience, it is
considerably superior to other
methods as partner knows
exactly which are the two suits.
Also, when I am not
vulnerable, I do bid Ghestem
when my 2-suited overcall is 5-4,
but the 5-card suit has to be the
higher ranked suit. The reason is
that 5/5 distributions only come
up in less than 3% of hands, so
you would hardly ever have the
opportunity to bid it. Ghestem
works very well for me.
There are two reasons why I
don't like Ghestem. The first is
that I have yet to see a hand where
knowing the second suit actually
turns out to be an advantage. The
second is that the majority of
times people use Ghestem they
forget it and cause all sorts of
ethical problems for their partner
and for opponents. (If I had a
tenner for every time the Ghestem
3® bidder actually had a jump
overcall in clubs I could travel by
Incidentally, you should never
make two-suited overcalls when
you are 5-4, it makes it impossible
for partner to judge how high to
go, and a hand that is 5431 is 3-
suited and not 2- suited.
OUT OF ORDER
Morning, usually interesting
magazine - poor taste cover this
month tho'. Are you aware of the
death and suffering described in
Tennyson's text? Three down.
Redoubled I'm afraid.
Many apologies for causing
offence. I thought it clever enough to
justify using it, and several readers,
knowing the 'poetry' issue was
coming up, had recommended it and
steered me towards its provenance.
But of course we do not want to
belittle the death, suffering and
thoughtless command that inspired
the poem in the first place. Thank
you for writing and pointing this
Editor, English Bridge
Congratulations to the EBU for
an excellent October issue. It's
packed with useful advice, news,
articles and amusing limericks.
Neil Rosen's Add One Thing is, to
me, the best piece of bidding advice
since Frances Hinden's wonderful
double series on a generic defence
to the unexpected and unusual.
October's first article from the
chairman highlighted the need to
increase membership. I teach
Bridge for Beginners for Worcester
U3A. As we only have about 32
lessons a year the course takes two
years, and several of our pupils are
joining the EBU. We receive no
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