By Peter Rhead
The Stayman Dilemma: Garbage Stayman
Last week we discussed one special element of the Stayman Convention. It was responding to partner’s One No-Trump (1NT) opening when you have eight or more points and a hand with 4-4 or 5-4 or 5-5 in the majors. Now what if you have this distribution with fewer than eight points—maybe even zero points! You still might be able to respond with a convention called Garbage Stayman but it takes a little more thought. It is all in the mathematics.
Garbage Stayman is not a convention to be trashed. It is a powerful convention to use selectively when circumstances are right. It is very unusual. It is unusual because you and your partner do not have to agree to play this convention. You will see why in the discussion that follows.
Today’s column continues the discussion when you have choices and you are uncertain which one to choose. For today’s column you, the responder, always have fewer than eight, even zero points. Therefore, you know that your partnership does not have game-going values and you want to settle on the best part score.
After partner’s 1NT opening, many responders would just PASS. With 5-5, a transfer to the best five-card major and then PASS would be an excellent choice. With 5-4 a transfer to the five-card major and then PASS would be a good choice.
However, with Garbage Stayman, you have the best choice. When you do not have game-going values, it may be easier to play in a suit than in 1NT from one side of the partnership. With 4-4 or 5-4 in the majors, your first priority is to find out if you have a seven or eight-card major fit. If you have a hand such as 5-4-3-1 or 4-4-4-1 or 4-4-5-0 (zero or one Club card in each hand) then Garbage Stayman is your best choice.
You bid your Two-Clubs even with zero points. Partner will bid one of: Two Spades, Two Hearts, or Two Diamonds (denying a major). You PASS whatever he bids and partner plays that suit for a part score. Partner will do better in that suit than playing the 1NT contract from one side with few or no ways to get to your dummy hand. If partner does not have a four or five-card major, then probably he has some Diamonds. The only time you will get into trouble is if opener opens 1NT with a lot of Clubs. Otherwise you will be a big help to partner and he does not have to know what you are doing!
For additional information, read “More About Stayman” in Barbara Seagram’s 25 More Bridge Conventions, page 75.
Next Week: Blackwood & Gerber
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to include it in this column.
SOCIAL BRIDGE GAME IN HUNTSVILLE
AT THE SUMMIT CENTRE FOR ACTIVE LIVING, THURSDAYS 7PM
In the multi-purpose room 2nd floor (elevator) (back entrance of Summit Centre)
Just come – with or without a partner. Please arrive 10 minutes before game time. For information, contact Donna or Peter Tikuisis at 647 471 1774 or email@example.com.
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 for the Winter 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, contact Andree or Scott 705-764-3827 firstname.lastname@example.org
Results for Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 1. Susan & Ted Daglish 4910 points; 2. Andree Baillargeon & Scott Staples 3660 points; 3. Joan & Len Frost 3640 points only 20 points behind second.
HUNTSVILLE DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB
Games are Tuesday 1pm Trinity United Church 33 Main Street. Please arrive with your partner at least 10 minutes before game time. For partnerships and information call Jan Roberts 705 635-2522 or email email@example.com
The following winners are for Tuesday, Feb 25, 2020 with 5 pairs playing a Howell Movement. 1. Jan Roberts and Mary Simonett; 2. Betty Fagin and Brian Brocklehurst; 3. Liz Graham and Dorothy Russell
MUSKOKA DUPLICATE BRIDGE CLUB (Bracebridge)
Games for the Bracebridge Club are Mondays 7pm, Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Taylor Road. Please arrive with your partner 10 minutes before game time. For information contact Brian at 705-645-5340 firstname.lastname@example.org
The following winners are from Monday, Feb 24, 2020 with 8 pairs playing a Howell movement. 1. Kel Andresen and Vern Foell; 2. David Bryce and Gail Lederer; 3. Mary Mitchell and Isabel Hellberg; 4. Mary Luke and Donna McIntosh
Looking for more bridge tips? You’ll find them here.
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