OCT_08_EB_p40-41 Kambites + Qz Prob 12/9/08 12:40 pm Page 36
you use. Your choice of system depends on shows the major suits, either weak or
whether you are prepared to put a third strong. Let us see it in action. Diagram (i)
bid aside for this purpose. can give rise to Auction 1 or Auction 2:
Andrew Kambites About Ghestem
If you are prepared to sacrifice a jump bid ♠ A Q 10 6 5 4 ♠ J2
IN my last article I looked at the Unusual in the lower unbid minor for this purpose ♥ K Q 10 8 6 W N E ♥ A9
No-trump. Of course, if an opponent opens (3♣, or maybe 2♦ if they open 1♣) you ♦ Void S ♦ 9643
with a suit bid, there are three possible can show every combination of unbid ♣ AJ ♣ 10 8 5 4 3
two-suiters you could hold. Say that your two-suiters. Ghestem is commonly played.
right-hand opponent opens 1♦: It has many variations, but one point to
bear in mind is that it is never satisfactory Auction 1
• You could have 5-5 shape in clubs to use 3♣ to show a two-suiter including West North East South
and hearts, the lowest ranking unbid clubs, weak or strong, because partner will 1♦
suits. A jump to 2NT would show have to assume you are weak and pass if he 2♦ Pass 2♥ Pass
this combination. prefers clubs to your other suit. This leads 2♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass
• You could have 5-5 shape in the partnerships to vary the system depending
major suits, the highest ranking on the opening bid. Such variations lead The 2♦ bid shows the major suits. East
unbid suits. to players forgetting the system, either assumes West has the weak type (6-10
• You could have 5-5 shape in clubs forgetting which two suits 3♣ shows or points) and settles for 2♥. West bids on to
and spades, the extremes. forgetting it is conventional at all. Unautho- show the strong type (16+ points) and
rised information (by unexpected alert or although his partner has given preference to
Obviously you would like two more failure to alert) or misinformation to op- hearts in bidding 2♥ West suggests an extra
redundant bids to show these combi- ponents is often made worse by the fact spade with 2♠. The ace of hearts is a huge
nations. One immediately springs to mind, that people who play Ghestem wrongly card and the spade jack will very probably
a cue-bid in the opponent’s suit. The think that it is adequate just to write fill a hole so East has enough for game.
traditional interpretation of an immediate ‘Ghestem’ on their convention cards.
cue-bid of opener’s suit to show a game- One common variation of Ghestem is Auction 2
forcing hand is pretty useless because with the following: West North East South
a very strong hand you can double and 1♦
then cue-bid. Over a 1♦/1♥/1♠ opening bid: 2♦ 3♦ Pass Pass
The principle that a two-suited overcall A cue-bid shows the two extreme suits; 3♠ Pass 4♠ All Pass
should be weak (6-10 HCP) or strong 2NT shows the two lowest suits;
(16+ HCP) rather than intermediate (11- 3♣ shows the two suits not shown by East assumes that West has the weak type
15 HCP) should apply, whichever system either of the above. and has no reason to do anything over 3♦.
Over a 1♣ opening bid: If West had a strong type with 5-5 shape
2♣ is natural and shows clubs; he could then double. This double cannot
Scorer #1 2♦ shows the majors; cancel the message already given of at least
2NT shows the two lowest suits; 5-5 in the major suits, so it cannot be a
has a new version: 3♣ shows the two extreme suits. penalty double. It would simply show the
201 0011 strong type with equal length in the
Michaels Cue-bids: major suits and would give East the chance
see the opponent opens a minor to pass if he had good diamonds and a
www.bridgeassistant.com misfit. However, with a sixth spade West
The alternative to Ghestem is Michaels chooses to bid 3♠ and again East raises to
Proposal for better laws Cue-bids and the Unusual No-trump. game.
see www.scorer123.com If an opponent opens with a minor suit How should East-West bid the hands in
(e.g. 1♦) then a Michaels Cue-bid (2♦) Diagram (ii) after South opens 1♦?
36 English Bridge October 2008 www.ebu.co.uk