By Val Rhead
Most Bridge players are familiar to some extent with the Stayman Convention. The Convention is used when one partner opens the bidding with a One-No-Trump bid. The responder uses Stayman when he has at least one four-card major suit, and at least eight points. He is trying to discover whether the opener also has a four-card major in the same suit as the one in his hand. If they have a common major, with at least an eight-card fit, they have a good chance of making a game in Hearts or Spades, or maybe just a good part-score. Major-suit contracts are the most desirable contracts, because usually they are safer than contracts in No-Trump. You don’t usually run the disastrous risk of finding that the opponent can run a long suit for which you have no stoppers.
Normally, the responder to the bid of One No-Trump requires a minimum of eight points to bid. One exception is a transfer bid which can be made with a lower point-count, but that’s a discussion for another day. Another exception is Garbage Stayman.
In Bridge, each partnership tries to get as much out of a convention as possible. One good example of this is an extension of the Stayman Convention. Garbage Stayman is kind of a “fun” bid that can be made with zero to seven points. However, it does require special distribution. If responder has the right shape, it is preferable to use Garbage Stayman than to let opener take on the challenge of playing One No-Trump with a weak dummy.
A Garbage Stayman hand is short in Clubs. It contains four cards or four-three in the major suits and four or five Diamonds and one or zero Clubs (hence the five diamonds – with six Diamonds do a transfer). If one of the major suits contains five cards, make a transfer bid rather than use Garbage Stayman. Occasionally, using Garbage Stayman may result in playing a suit containing just seven cards rather than eight-card fit, but that is often doable.
After partner opens One No-Trump, the responder stares at his weak or even pointless hand in dismay. “What do I do now, he thinks?” With the right shape, make a Garbage Stayman bid of Two Clubs. If opener has either four-card major, she will bid it. If opener bids Two Hearts, the responder is happy and passes. If opener bids Two Spades, the responder is happy and passes. He has his eight-card magic fit. But what does the responder do if the opener now bids Two Diamonds showing she has neither Hearts nor Spades? He is happy and passes. If opener has neither four Hearts nor four Spades, she probably has four Diamonds. In any of these cases, you may find that you have a makeable contract with at least a seven-card fit. Even if you go down with your zero points, your minus score may be lower than what the opponents could make if they were able to reach their own contract.
If the opponents intervene and insert a Two-Club bid after the One-No-Trump opening, the responder may double the Two Clubs as a stolen bid, and the partnership will continue with Garbage Stayman. If the opponents intervene with another bid, it may be wise to pass and play the hand in defence mode. An advantage of Garbage Stayman is that it interferes with the opponent’s bidding. Sometimes, the opponents are deterred from bidding because the weak Garbage Stayman bid may give them the impression that the opening side has over half the points.
Have fun at your next Bridge game. Maybe you’ll get lucky and have a hand that will allow you to give Garbage Stayman a try.
If you wish to promote an activity in your bridge group or ask a bridge question, send the information to [email protected] and I will try to include it in this column.
NEW SOCIAL BRIDGE GAME IN HUNTSVILLE
Games are at the ACTIVE LIVING CENTRE, THURSDAYS 7PM in the multi-purpose room 2nd floor (elevator) (back entrance of Summit Centre)
Just come – with or without a partner. For information, please contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 OR [email protected]
For now, this game will be played following Chicago Rules (allowing both fast and slow games). You will keep your same partner for the entire evening. Cost is $1.50 per person. Parking is outside the North Entrance opposite Heritage Village Railway Station.
PORT CARLING SOCIAL BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Port Carling Social Bridge Club are Monday afternoon 1pm at the Port Carling Community Centre, 3 Bailey Street. Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time.
For information during November, contact heeneman[email protected]
Winners for Nov 5: First: Barb and John Second: Hans and Jeanette
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games for the Huntsville Club are Tuesday evening 7:00, Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Contact Jan Roberts 705-635-2522 or [email protected] for information and partnerships.
The following winners are for Tuesday, Nov 6 with 9 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Jim Smith and Ralph Mitchell; 2. Susan Marshall and Jan Roberts; 3. Liz Barnes and Bev Howard; 4. Fay MacDonald and Helen Pearson; 5. Val Rhead and Gail Lederer
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive 15 minutes before game time.
The following winners are from Monday, Nov 5 with 14 pairs playing a Mitchell movement. A special congratulations to Liz Barnes and David Bryce for their 78% game. North-South 1. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 2. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh; 3. Gail Lederer and Hazel Bowes; 4. Barb Forth and Vern Foell; East-West 1. Liz Barnes and David Bryce; 2. Frank Vagnoni and Gerry Lawrence; 3. Art Insley and Don Evans; 4. Ann Cassie and Bruce Cassie
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