By Peter Rhead
Examples of Stayman response to partner’s 2NT opening
When partner opens Two No-Trump, he is showing a balanced hand of 20-21 high- card points. If you as responder have just four points, you know your partnership should go for a possible game (21+4=25).
Today, you have examples of when you might consider a Stayman Three Clubs response to partner’s 2NT opening. You would like to investigate for the magic eight-card major fit. You sit there with these five responding hands. What should you bid?
Case 1: You respond Stayman Three Clubs with your six points. This is straight forward for game (20+6=26). If opening 2NT partner then bids Three Hearts or Three Spades, you take the contract to four of his suit. If opening 2NT partner bids Three Diamonds denying a four-card major, you just bid 3NT for the game.
Case 2: This time you respond 3NT directly. You know opening 2NT partner has 20-21 points and you have a balanced six points. You want to be in game (20+6=26). You do not bid Stayman because you have no ruffing capability.
Case 3: This time you know you have enough points to bid slam (20+13=33). But you first respond Stayman Three Clubs looking for the eight-card major-suit magic fit. Opening 2NT partner then will bid either Three Diamonds denying a four-card major or he will bid one of the majors (Three Hearts or Three Spades). If he bids Three Diamonds, you bid 6NT. If he bids Three Hearts or Three Spades, you just bid six of his major.
Case 4: This time again you know you have enough points to bid slam (20+14=34). But you first respond Stayman Three Clubs looking for the eight-card major-suit magic fit in Hearts. Opening 2NT partner then will bid either Three Diamonds denying a four-card major or he will bid one of the majors (Three Hearts or Three Spades). If he bids Three Diamonds or Three Spades, you bid 6NT. If he bids Three Hearts, you bid Six Hearts.
Case 5: You are responding with 15 points to opening 2NT partner. Therefore, you know you want to be in slam (20+15=35). You first respond Stayman Three Clubs, (not a Transfer). Opening Two No-Trump partner will bid either Three Diamonds denying a four-card major or he will bid a major. If he bids Three Diamonds, you can now show your Hearts by jumping to Five Hearts. This jump bid shows not only your five Hearts but also that your partnership has a slam hand. With a three-card Heart suit, opening 2NT partner will jump to Six Hearts. Otherwise he will jump to 6NT.
Next Week: Examples of a Transfer response to partner’s 2NT Opening.
Remember, as we all fight COVID-19 with social isolation, if you want your Bridge fix, online competition is available for all skill levels. From the ACBL Bridge website, you can hook up either to play live people or to play robots. Either way, you test or consolidate your Bridge skills. At ACBL.org just click on “Play Bridge” and follow the prompts for various choices.
If you wish to promote an activity in your Bridge group or ask a Bridge question, send the information to email@example.com and I will try to include it in this column.
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