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APR_10_EB_p27-28 Letters:EB_Layout 3 11/03/2010 15:15 Page 28


The Wriggle Real people

I OPENED the February issue I WEARY of seeing the authors

and headed straight for the and winners as just faces staring

Tongue Perceptions debate on whether or not to

wriggle out of 1NT doubled.

out of the pages.

If someone is a lorry driver,

in cheek I HAVE been following recent Surely the problem is not about let us see him or her by their

articles, letters and replies to whether you should always pass cab, if a doctor let us see them

IT was amusing to read in the queries about Stayman with or always pull this contract (on in gear with stethoscope, if a

February English Bridge that the interest and some puzzlement. balanced hands) but, more im- housewife let us see her walking

Ranked Masters Pairs was a When I told several members portantly, when to wriggle and her children home from school.

chance ‘to compete against of our Improvers afternoon at when not to wriggle. Your Two-minute Interview

players of the same standard’. Framlingham Bridge Club that I would wager that a large with Rune Hauge was a great

Masters will be queuing to a 2® response to a no-trump majority (if not all) of the ex- opportunity for a football

partner Zia Mahmood. opener did not promise at least pert partnerships play an es- picture.

Are there plans to use the one four-card major, I was met cape method of one kind or Let us see these people as real

new ranking system in future with total disbelief. I explained another (as Cath Jagger sug- people not just faces!

to achieve the goal of parity in that the convention was an gests, there is undoubtedly a Eileen Davies, Dawlish

the Ranked Pairs stratification ‘asking’ bid, not a ‘telling’ bid in plethora of them on the mar-

that the master-point system its original form and its use was ket) and the only debate, in my

patently fails to do? far more wide-ranging than opinion, should revolve around Metaphors

Malcolm Currie, Oxon merely to establish whether the when to put your chosen con-

partnership had a 4-4 fit in the vention to good use. continued

Andrew Petrie replies: I am sure the majors, although this interpre- There is no shame in going

National Grading Scheme, when it tation has now become so en- for a penalty, massive or other- YOUR lofty contributor to the

is introduced, will prove a very trenched that any other view wise, when this score is a worth- thorny topic of metaphors (Fe-

effective way of stratifying events. seems tantamount to cheating, while sacrifice – and let’s not bruary Letters) ranged widely,

At this stage we do not envisage it at club level at least. Indeed, forget that not all partnerships dug deep, left no stone un -

affecting the Ranked Masters Pairs Paul Mendelson, in his 100 Best defend perfectly, either! Also, in turned and not a venue un -

which is a unique event allied to a Bridge Tips, says it must only be passing the double, the doub- explored in his stalwart attempt

person’s ranking in the Master- used when holding at least one ler’s partner often makes the to shed light on a vexed subject.

point Scheme. four-card major (not a longer wrong call, as pointed out by But should not an organ

suit,: what does one do with five Chris Jagger, while equally, a bid wedded to the publishing of

cards in one major and four in at this stage could muddy the bridge stick to its last and stay

Statement the other? Yes, I know, transfers waters, as counter-claimed by on track, and by-pass the quick-

of fact which use two bids instead of



Whatever form of scoring

sands of English usage?

Derek Andrews, Shirley

With the notable exception you prefer to play, the answer

REGARDING Colin Simpson’s of Jeremy Dhondy, who seems lies in exercising your impec-

report on the ‘Elite’ Premier to treat Stayman as a far wider- cable judgment at the prevail- Whodunnit

League, page 17, issue 227, ranging response to a 1NT ing vulnerability.

February 2010, middle para- opening, there seems to be a Michelle Brunner, Stockport LAST night at our club two

graph: view in English Bridge that the boards arrived at our table as

‘The second weekend took convention exists solely to find usual. When we came to the

place at the Manchester Bridge a 4-4 fit in the majors, except I FOUND the arguments for second board, partner said: ‘I’ve

Club. For the sou ther ners, when followed by 3® as a weak taking, or not taking, action, af- got no cards!’ Indeed all thir-

who drove to avoid exorbitant take-out in clubs. ter a weak 1NT is doubled fairly teen cards were missing.

rail costs, road works and Could there be an article in evenly balanced, but eventually A search was carried out as

accidents on the M6 meant it the future about non-promis- came down in favour of ‘wrig- per Law 14 (although that law

would have been quicker sory and five-card major Stay- gling’ for these reasons: does not say anything about a

going to Timbuktu.’ man? 1) Most regular partnerships whole hand missing!), to no

Is this another case of the Fleur Waters, Eye will employ an escape mech- avail.

North-South divide, or do the anism in this situation if only Eventually the missing cards

southerners think that every- I hope David Bakhshi’s article on to muddy the waters (I do turned up in the bidding box of

thing should take place in pages 18-19 will help dispel your because I like ‘gadgets’); 2) the a player on the previous table,

London or thereabouts, and impression that English Bridge enemy may not have discussed who had accidentally put them

that the distance, road works treats Stayman solely as a means of a way to take further action; back with the bidding cards and

and M6 do not apply for those finding a major fit. As regards five- and 3) Catherine Jagger pre- not noticed.

travelling north to south? card Stayman, I will see how we can sented her case in a very clear We all enjoyed the moment

Geoffrey Fink, fit an article about it in the maga- style (sorry, Chris!). and got on with the game.

Altrincham zine in the near future. Michael Gwilliam, Fareham Keith Robbins, Oxon r

28 English Bridge April 2010


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