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Extended Stayman

Board#13 20/02/2018

Board#13 20/02/2018 (source: pianola.net)

Bidding: E opens 1NT – 2♣ – 2♦ – 3♠ – 3NT – all pass

MrQ: I know 3♠ from West was inviting not forcing (so East could have passed 3♠ with lower end of 1NT), but I really wanted to escape playing in NT. Is there a way to show 5 spades or ask for 3-card major but not risking being passed below game level?

Guru: Yes there is, “Extended Stayman”. After 2♦ (no major) from Opener, West bids 3♦ which can’t possibly be to play. East shows their 3-card major, in this case 3♥ and West bids 3NT. With 3-3 in majors, East bids 3NT so the 5-3 fit is always found.  Just make sure you bid Extended Stayman only with a hand good enough for game (can also do it with 5-5, 6-5 etc). Playing Transfers solves this problem.

MrQ: I heard the term “Extended Stayman”. It is logical. We should start using it with my partner before we switch to Transfers.

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