Views The Debate The (Other) LETTERS TO THE
I WAS disappointed and sur- ONE test of a good convention Debate EDITOR
prised by the review of Knave is whether you can find good
of Hearts in the December contracts without it. Both ON page 33 of your December
issue of English Bridge. Paul Andrew Kambites’ example issue Michael Byrne strongly
Send your letters to the Editor,
Bowyer seems to have entirely hands are trivial 3NT contracts defends making a take-out Elena Jeronimidis, 23 Erleigh Road,
missed what gives this book its by any sensible bidding. Paul double with a balanced hand of Reading RG1 5LR, or e-mail
originality – the discursive Bowyer makes two very good 14 points. On page 44 Julian (please include your postal
thoughts of a non-expert but points: that a pre-emptive jump Pottage states that doubling address)
competent club player as he raise needs some definition with an almost identical hand is The editor reserves the right to
condense letters. Publication does
defends, bids and declares and that you should ignore a ‘dangerous’. Do we: not mean the EBU agrees with the
hands both against opponents poor four-card major in a weak • Stick with our ‘favourite’ views expressed or that
the comments are factually correct.
and with partners of mixed hand in favour of a natural expert?
ability. raise. He gets my vote. • Ignore all experts?
Of course the bidding is vari- As an aside, can’t we have Perhaps we should be told.
able, as is the play. That is what our cake and eat it by using Paul Quinn, Toprow Coups
makes the author’s commen- 2NT to show a sound raise?
tary and afterthoughts so enter- Mike Pomfrey, by email Similar letters came from Peter I ENJOYED Simon Cochemé’s
taining and instructive. By Pierce (London) and Ian Dalziel article about the Vienna Coup,
definition most of us are ave - I AM total ly in favour of (Troon). In his October article (as Bath Coup etc. in your Decem-
rage players hoping to be- Inverted Minor Suit Raises well as in the December Letters page) ber issue. But if I was too cow-
come better. I learned far more having used them with most Michael Byrne advocated the double ardly to try such tactics, would
from these hands to improve partners over the past 30 or so if the opening bid was a minor, so I be guilty of a Chicken Coup?
my play on a winter’s evening years. My vote, therefore, goes partner did not have to bid at the Andrew Mitchell, Ripponden
at Kendal Bridge Club than I to Andrew Kambites, although two level. In Julian Pottage’s hand,
ever would from the experts’ one page is really not enough the opening bid was 1™, so unless
‘timeless works’ your reviewer to cover all aspects of its use. partner had spades, he had to bid at Amazing
so admires. However, I felt Paul Bowyer’s the two level. Also the Byrne hand
Christopher Wilkinson, arguments were quite helpful contained a four-card major; the FURTHER to the correspon-
Kendal to players unfamiliar with Pottage hand did not. I don’t believe dence on amazing hands, the
such methods as he indirectly the ‘disagreement’ is as extreme as Daily Mail reported on 25th
I WOULD like to make some points out the need for a Mr Quinn thinks. Having said that, November that four pension-
remarks about David Bird’s partnership to have definite of course there are differences in style ers in Warwickshire, playing
article ‘Beat Today’s Experts’ in understandings and require- among experts, and players can pick whist, were each dealt a com-
the December issue (pp. 40- ments when deciding to use the style they are most comfortable plete suit. The odds of that
41) in which he criticised the them. There is obviously a with, provided they blend it into happening are 1 in 2,235, 197,
‘very moderate bidding’ of variety of ways to progress their own system in a logical way. In 406,895,366,368,301,5590,999.
experts Bart Bramley (Hand 2) these sequences – such as the next issue, I hope to include an Tom Pigott, Wadhurst
and Hjordis (‘Disa’) Eythors- should a direct raise deny a article on the principles of doubling
dottir (Hand 4). major suit – and, perhaps, for take-out at the one level. — Ed.
David never gives the state could be a subject for a future Pet Method
of the match when criticising debate.
examples of apparently poor Michael Gwilliam, Fareham Chorus IN Paul Hackett’s Xmas Quiz,
bidding by top-class experts. the options in Question 3 are
On the assumption that both MY husband and I use inverted I HAVE been to the club on unsatisfactory. I would reply
Bramley and Eythors dottir minors, but they may just be which Simon Cochemé’s 2´ (= either 11 points or a
thought that their respective more useful if you play five- Bridge: the Musical (October transfer to a minor). Partner
teams were trailing at the time, card majors and a 12-14 1NT. 2011) is based. When the now bids 2NT with 12-13
their offbeat actions represent- The only disadvantage we have defender immediately over points, or 3® with 14.
ed the best chance of engi- found is that after 1® – 3® the declarer played an unneces- Peter Calviou, by email
neering a ‘swing’ in their opener (with a maximum of sarily high card, everyone got
team’s favour and thus reduc- points) may be tempted to go to up and burst into the chorus Paul Hackett replies: Your sugges-
ing the deficit. 3NT. of Second Hand Rose. tion of 2´ is the equivalent of the
The science of ‘state of the Monica Schubert, by email Henry Cosgrave, London classic raise to 2NT. While you
match’ (or ‘roughhouse’) tac- correctly discarded Stayman on the
tics is fascinating and know- hand, you maybe did not take the
ledge of it should be an THE DECEMBER DEBATE quality into account. Finding the
essential part of an ambitious Thank you for your votes and comments. The majority view was perfect hand opposite where 3NT
bridge player’s armoury. that Inverted Minor Suit Raises are NOT a good convention. makes is less than 2%. Pass is the
Michael Akeroyd, by email percentage winning bid. r
www.ebu.co.uk February 2012 English Bridge 33