A J 6
K 9 6 5 4
A J 10
K 10 4 3
J 7 2
Q 9 4 2
A 8 6
J 10 8 2
K 8 5 3
Q 9 8 7
Q 10 9 4 3
Guest columnist Phil Hernandez writes:
Today finds North/South, misu and lower-case bones (not the Bones Principle author himself but a confederate), in a pushy notrump game. They are playing weak notrumps, so the 1NT rebid shows 15-17. 2C by South is new minor forcing, showing five hearts, and 2S completes the description of a 4-5 hand with 9-11 points, or 8 with Gee on lead.
The stretch does not pay immediate dividends, as Gee opens a club, best for the defense. Declarer takes the club queen with the ace and, lacking entries to set up the hearts, decides to play for diamonds to break and the spade king onside (or ducked). As he leads toward the diamond ace our hero decides to give count and drops D8. This will figure prominently later on. Declarer continues with a winning spade finesse and plays HK. Gee wins the ace — neglecting to duck, which does no harm on the actual layout — and clears the clubs.
Declarer’s last hope appears to be diamonds breaking. But when he cashes the DK, Gee thinks better of his original echo idea and drops the ten, which must be an unblock, or a falsecard, or something. In any case, with the queen and seven falling from West, this brilliancy allows declarer to bring in the diamonds for one loser, making nine tricks.
“Why the diamond ten, partner?” Pierri asks.
Gee thinks for a moment. “The jack would have been no better,” he explains.