LETTERS CONTINUED from page 31
The June Debate
I HAVE played a weak no- ALTHOUGH Alan Mould
trump for over fifty years (just makes some interesting points,
changed over to 15-17 and I believe that there are few
The three Lethal Five-card majors) and I never occasions when it does not pay
use Stayman on 4-3-3-3 shaped to use Stayman when you have
tests weapon hands. (Mr Reuben Myers a four-card major opposite a
taught me not to in 1959 – look 1NT opening bid.
I WAS surprised to see Heather REGARDING the 4NT Open- him up in the Bridge Encyclo- If it can be proven that both
Dhondy recommending a Benji ing Bid convention described pedia.) hands are distributed 4-3-3-3
2® opener in her June 2010 by Sandra Landy in the June Mainly for two reasons: with then clearly 3NT is better odds
article ‘Ask Heather’. This hand issue, maybe not many people game values, by bidding 3NT than four of a major. The same
(´ AKQ109643 ™ 6 t 72 ® A5) know that this was invented by immediately I give away the can be true in many other
is only 13 HCP plus 10 for Culbertson in 1934, as part of least amount of information. cases and so it is necessary to
suits so does not qualify under the Culbertson Four-Five No- Secondly, I was taught that the be able to determine the full
the rule of 25. trump convention, well des- idea of opening 1NT is to tell distribution in order to make
Several readers cribed in S.J. Simon’s Design for partner: ‘I have a balanced an informed decision. There is
(all of whom shall remain Bidding. Simon commented: hand and 12-14 points.’ usually an extra trick to be had
anonymous) ‘Blackwood is a toy, the Four- So even if partner’s shape is playing in the 4-4 fit whenever
five no-trump is an adult 4-4-3-2, his shortage is likely one hand holds a doubleton. It
The hand, and Heather’s recom- weapon.’ to be my length. and if he is is not too difficult to discover
mendation, had been checked by G.S. Hathorn, Sawston 3-3-3-4 all the better for 3NT. opener’s full distribution so
Jeremy Dhondy, Chairman of the It must be fairly plain I long as you limit the number
Laws & Ethics Committee, who re- agree with Alan Mould: ‘Do of hand types that the 1NT
minds us that to open it with a Detail not use Stayman on flat hands.’ opening bid shows. Then it is
Benji 2®, a hand has to fulfill one Raymond Semp, MCBA possible to use, as I do, a relay
of three criteria: ‘It fails Test 1 (16+ FULVIO Fantoni gave us a bid of 3® to find out more
points),’ writes Jeremy. ‘It fails Test 2 great tip in the June issue – it’s ALAN Mould made a poor case about opener’s hand.
(Rule of 25). It passes Test 3: eight good to be reminded that for not using Stayman when The problem, of course, is
clearcut tricks and the points nor- manners are important at the responder is 4-3-3-3. He does, that the 3® relay has to replace
mally associated with a one-level bridge table. however, make some good whatever you usually use this
opening. There are seven tricks in Indeed his profile was one points: bid for. You must consider
spades (not eight because with the of the best in the ‘A Day in the • Not using Stayman may whether the sacrifice is worth-
second worst break of 4-1 you Life of ’ series, especially since induce a bad lead and while. Obviously, I think it is.
would only have seven) but the Fulvio did not tell us what he gives no information to I can supply full details of
presence of an ace gives you the has for breakfast. That sort of opponents. the methods that I use if any-
eighth trick. With K-x, not A-x, 2® detail is best left out of print. • Often, even when one one is interested.
would not be a legal opening.’ Gerry Jones, Sheffield suit is completely un - Paul Whetton,
protected the defence can- firstname.lastname@example.org
not or do not cash five
CONGRATULATIONS . . . tricks.
. . . to June Booty and Derek
• When you have plenty of Analysis
points (27 plus between
Taplin, who got married on you) the strength can WITH reference to Gunnar
26th June in Lightwater.
overcome bad breaks. Hallberg’s 7t hand (June
June and Derek started
His argument is weakened by issue), if play proceeded as des-
going out two and half years
ago and after six months
the fact that he does not cribed, the grand slam could
Derek realised he was going distinguish between pairs and still have been beaten on the
to have to learn bridge . . . teams/rubber. Personally, I ´K lead, if East had discarded
would bid Stayman with his/her three clubs at tricks
Derek is a Logistics Mana-
North’s hand at pairs and 3NT four, six and eight.
ge ment Consultant and
works away in Derby during at teams in the North-South Now declarer cannot enter
the week at the moment, so diagram that Alan features. dummy with the ®J at trick
June located a bridge club in For her part, Frances Hinden nine, because East would ruff,
Derby where he could have drops in the excellent comment and cash ™K.
lessons. She has also recom- on continuation after a major I’m sure Gunnar would have
mended that he reads her fit is found. Food for thought countered, however, by enter-
articles in English Bridge, and discussion. ing dummy with ®J at trick
which Derek says he finds A very worthwhile debate. seven, and ™A at trick nine!
very useful! Anthony Moon, by e-mail Simon Few, Corby
32 English Bridge August 2010 www.ebu.co.uk