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50 English Bridge December 2016


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!

Freda Jones


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.

Mike Dubock

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

private jet).

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.

Michael Byrne


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.

David Underhill

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


Lou Hobhouse

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.

Great stuff!

Tim Greenhill


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

Send your letters,

Lou Hobhouse, Raggett House, Bowdens, TA10 0DD, or e-mail

(please include your postal address)

The editor reserves the right to condense letters. Publication does not mean the

EBU agrees with the views expressed or that the comments are factually correct.






21-22 January 2017

Young Chelsea BC, London


t Qualifying Event t


t Main Final & Consolation

Final t

Entries / enquiries

( 01296 317203 or 01296


Formerly part of the



The Point-a-Board Teams is

part of the Player of the Year


The Swiss Teams part of the

National Teams Congress will

take place on 13-14 May, at

West Midlands BC in Solihull.


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