ACES ON BRIDGE

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Pastimes - Dist. by An­drews McMeel for UFS

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.

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