ACES ON BRIDGE
Dear Mr. Wolff: My partner opened a strong two clubs, and I gave the neutral response of two diamonds. After a rebid of two no-trump, can I use Stayman and Jacoby Transfers, just as ifmy partner had opened the bidding with a no-trump call? What is the best use for a bid of three spades here? — Movers and Shakers, Albuquerque, N.M. ANSWER: You play exactly the same as over a two no-trump opening bid. Use the three-spade call in one of two ways: either as Minor Suit Stayman or as a puppet to three no-trump. After that, responder can show one or both minors in various ways. Some possibilities are listed at bit.ly/ AoB2NTresponses. Dear Mr. Wolff: When declaring, I can generally keep track of the trumps. But following the spots in more than two suits is a challenge. What would you recommend as away forward? — Losing the Thread, Detroit, Mich. ANSWER: I do not recommend trying to count all the suits. Focus on the ones that seem most likely to matter to you after dummy comes down. Try to focus only on trump (just count the missing ones in the opponents’ hands) and one other suit. As you get more skilled at the task, maybe you can expand your repertoire. Dear Mr. Wolff: Would you consider it appropriate to open with a pre-empt in third seat, holding SPADES 4 3, HEARTSK Q 8 73, DIAMONDSA 7 3 2, CLUBS 10 3? I assume you might pass at some vulnerabilities, but if you bid, do you prefer one or two hearts? — Risking It All, Panama City, Fla. ANSWER: You are right that I would probably pass at unfavorable vulnerability, though the heart 10 might tempt me to act. Nonvulnerable, I might mix it up with a call of two hearts, but a simple opening of one heart with both sides vulnerable is perfectly reasonable and mixes aggression with some degree of safety.