May 152003
 

E/W Vul
IMPs
Dealer: North
Lead: C8

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

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass

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

 

Good things come to those who wait. Actually they don’t usually, but for my Gee-starved readers I’m going to make an exception. Eleven days without a column is inexcusable, I know; but will a stone-perfect 100 G-spot make it up to you? Yeah, I thought so.

Today the maestro opens one heart in first seat, employing a system I’m unfamiliar with, perhaps a futuristic ACOL in which semi-solid six-card minors are conventionally suppressed. South’s 2NT is Jacoby, and after Gee shows a stiff club it is a question of small slam or grand. RKC reveals a missing trump queen, and South apparently bargains for only four hearts because he signs off in a six: if North has five hearts then the grand is surely odds-on. Even on the layout it has chances, and makes if declarer guesses trump.

You might think six hearts is scarcely a test for the maestro, but there you would be wrong. Gee wins the club lead and promptly misguesses trump by playing a heart to the king. East shows out, discarding a club. Still no way to go down, right? Float the trump 9 to West. If he wins the queen, claim; if he ducks, play another round to the ace, ruff a club, play diamonds, and claim.

You have underestimated the maestro again. He plays a second round of trump to the ace, and now, crucially, starts the diamonds. All follow on the first round. All follow on the second round. All follow on the third round. Several 100% lines are still available. Lead a trump. Ruff a diamond in hand and lead a trump. Lead a spade to hand and lead a trump (not quite 100%). But the zero percent line is also available. Gee leads a fourth round of diamonds, discarding a spade, with the obvious result.

For Gee took the road less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

  10 Responses to “Reverse the Polarity”

  1.  

    Most probably, Gee was playing 4-card major opening bids, in Canape style (Blue Club, played long time ago by the famous Blue Team, and with not many followers these days – I play this with my new pard). The opening bid is 1 heart, followed – after a non-fit showing bid from partner – by a jump in diamonds, which is showing 10 cards in the 2 suits, usually with the second suit longer and/or better. So, nothing wrong with that, and nothing futuristic about that too. Rather old-fashioned, if you like.

  2.  

    Two paths diverged in a toasted brain
    Arriving at a crossroads yet again;
    Choosing either would set it free
    But the maestro picked neither, not shocking me,
    For the road less travelled to a full G-spot
    Needed fifteen diamonds and some boffo pot.

  3.  

    But the question remains, was gonzo’s description of system the one that they actually played (including gee’s partner…). Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The play was the thing in this hand, thanks for the laugh.

  4.  

    Once again you defame G. The bidding & play make it clear that he had a diamond mixed in with the hearts — an error anyone could make.

  5.  

    I saw the entire set of hands Gee played that day. It does appear they were playing a blue or other hued club system. There was one hand where Gee opened 1 heart with 4 hears and six spades. It went all pass. The four/two fit was not successful. I think his pard had 3 spades with him. He & Ollozzo practice in the BBO practice room.

  6.  

    aaron, i have been watching G for a long time, many hours a day, searching for the seemingly impossible 100 G-spot. Finally I can rest, thank you, and bravo G. This was the most brilliant hand i have ever seen him play, too bad there was no post mortem available.

  7.  

    Huzzahs should be properly attributed to me also. I was the discoverer of this beauty in the database. I must say my jaw dropped to the floor as I followed card after card. It is, indeed, a perfect hand…. only a truly talented and brilliant cardsmith could find such a creative line of play. We mere mortals would surely find some way to 12 tricks (at least 4 lines are available) and a few might find the way to 13. Only a creative genius such as Gee would find a line that garners 11!

  8.  

    Reviewing the bidding, he obviously thought he had five cards in h, otherwise he would not have opened 1h, and then… it is all clear that garde only had 3 trumps, so the play was close to perfection.

  9.  

    I can’t think of any comment that I’d like to add about the play but even without knowing the details of the system Gee is playing, Jacoby 2nt strikes me as a very bad idea in a canape system. Even if 2nt shows 5 trumps, why play in a 5-4 fit when Gee could theoretically have 8 spades? OK, you’d get 3 discards on spades when you only get one on hearts but I think you get my point. I don’t think Jacoby is part of Blue Club but if it is, perhaps that’s part of the reason why you don’t see it much. It’s also quite a memory load.

    Bail out now if you don’t want to read anything not related to Gerard. I’d like to take issue with Lasky’s post. I didn’t see the 6-4 hand but I guess we can infer from Lasky’s comments that this resulted in a bad result for Gerard. But there are a lot of layouts where this could be good. The opps have a fit somewhere and the lighter you open, the more inclined the opps are to do something and let you bid your longer suit at your second turn.

    One story that I really like happened in a BAM at the last Cinci Nationals. Both red, we had an auction that went 1S – P – P – P. went for 600 with something like 9-7-6- 4 opposite some small stiff. RHO had all the spades and couldn’t act. Against a pair playing more convention methods, our partners found their way to an easy 630.

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