Oct 312002
 

E/W Vul
IMPs
Dealer: South
Lead: S5

daffydoc
S 10 7 6 2
H J 8 7 5
D 9 5
C K 10 5
harmon
S J 4
H A K Q 10 2
D A J
C A Q 8 6
[W - E] Maestro
S A Q 3
H 4 3
D K Q 7 6 4 3 2
C 2
balkam
S K 9 8 5
H 9 6
D 10 8
C J 9 7 4 3
West

1 H
2 C
2 S
Pass

North

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

East

1NT
2 D
3NT

South
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

 

Harmon and Gee weren’t always deadly enemies. As little as a year ago they were partners. Today’s hands may have played a part in the rupture.

Gee, East, hears his partner open one heart in second seat. In Harmon’s not unusual style this often shows some cards. Gee holds a five-loser hand, 11 hcp, and a decent seven-bagger. Certainly this calls for a forcing bid, perhaps, even, some forcing bid other than 1NT. Harmon temporizes with a 2C rebid; with 20 points and 7 controls I might venture 3C myself. (Opening 2NT, another possibility, also works well on this hand.)

Gee bids 2D, showing some extras, a hand like Kxx x KQ10xxx J10x. This bears only a small resemblance to his actual hand. 3D, assuming one is unwilling to bid 2D over 1H in the first place, seems warranted. Harmon replies a forcing 2S, asking for a spade stopper, one surmises. And Gee surmises the same, signing off in 3NT.

The loss is only 9 IMPs, since the diamond grand is only about 90% on a red suit lead. (100% on a spade lead, considerably less on a club).

Now let’s watch the two amigos on defense, in the same session.

None Vul
IMPs
Dealer: North
Lead: SA

daffydoc
S Q 7 6 3
H A Q 5 3
D K Q 8 2
C 6
harmon
S J
H 9 7 6
D 9 3
C K Q J 7 5 3 2
[W - E] Maestro
S A 9 8 5 4
H K J 10 2
D 6 5
C 10 9
balkam
S K 10 2
H 8 4
D A J 10 7 4
C A 8 4
West

4 C
Pass
Pass

North
1 D
4NT
6 D
East
Pass
5 C
Pass
South
2 D
5 D
Pass

 

Harmon and Gee do a fine job of jamming the auction here; 5CX is down only 2. South’s 2D is inverted, showing a strong hand with diamond support, and 5D shows two key cards in response to North’s 4NT inquiry. Daffy’s 6D is a bit of a flyer. Make South’s spade king a club and his club ace a spade and the slam has no chance at all. Even with Balkam’s actual, and excellent hand, it is a serious underdog, requiring four tricks in the majors.

There are extra chances, however, with Gee on lead. Either a club or a diamond beats the contract easily, provided he ducks in spades; but Gee takes his own advice and leads his ace. Harmon, of necessity, drops the jack, and Gee takes stock. With K10x in the dummy, under what circumstances would Harmon drop the jack? From Jxx, forfeiting a certain trick if partner has the 9? Nah. From Jx? No point. From QJ or QJx? He’d play the queen. From a stiff jack? Gee whiz, ya think?

Gee shifts to the deceptive ten of hearts, giving declarer his thirteenth trick. It proves not to be necessary.

  3 Responses to “Two-Part Harmony”

  1.  

    Evil Aaron you are so unfair to G on the first hand! It’s all his partners fault, if that’s not a jump shift I don’t know what is! At worst, it gets a split ruling.

    Evil spews from every orifice of this website…I must now undergo my cleansing ritual to remove it…

  2.  

    I must agree with Josh on this one. Evil spewing orifices are naaaaaaaasty.

  3.  

    1st big botch 1NT, 2nd big botch 2C, 3rd big botch 2D. 2D does not show extras… a 6 count and a 7 bagger would make it auto for anyone. A 4NT nudge at the end might have enabled a small slam to be bid to limit the damage. So, the only reasonable bids were 1H and 2S (forced after the poor 2C bid) and 3NT(forced after 2 poor advances). However, it would be ridiculous to present this as a “bidding problem” when prior errors were made. This hand is more apt for an in depth psychological study although even as a licensed psychotherapist, I would not want to touch it unless it were private with the individuals involved.

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