Jun 082003
 

N/S Vul
IMPs
Dealer: North
Lead: H5

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

1 D
3 D
Pass

North
Pass
1 S
Dbl
East
Pass
2 D
Pass
South
1 C
2 H
Pass

 

My logos have fallen into disuse, but I assure you that is strictly a matter of my sloth, not lack of opportunities to use them.

Today, for instance, we have what on the surface is an innocuous hand. At most tables South would open a club, rebid two hearts or 2NT over West’s overcall and North’s spade response, and reach either 3NT or, better, four spades, both cold. At Gee’s table the bidding goes just this way up to the spade response, and then the wheels begin to turn.

Sure, the STCP™ would pass one spade with alacrity. Gee, however, sees a notrump game for the opponents in the offing, shrewdly notes the favorable vulnerability, counts his trumps (yes, there are two, and he’s sure Soloway raised on a doubleton in a hand he read somewhere), recounts his trumps to be sure (still two), and decides to kick up some dust with a two diamond raise.

Dust has a way of settling where you don’t expect it to. South sandbags with a modest two heart rebid, and East, to whom this looks for all the world like a competitive part-score hand, competes to three diamonds. North doubles in a microsecond and it’s sayonara.

David Corn is a noted expert, but it’s tough to show your chops when you don’t have a single entry to dummy. He ducks the first heart lead, wins the second, and plays a third one back. South wins and cashes the two top clubs, North sluffing spades, which is all he has left besides trump. A third club is ruffed small, a spade is returned, and a fourth club is ruffed again small as declarer tosses the spade king. Spade back, ruffed small by declarer, and he makes the trump king and 10 at the end, for down five and a rarely-seen non-vulnerable sticks and wheels.

The cruel irony is that an equally lunatic bid of two clubs by Gee, instead of two diamonds, might get E/W to three clubs doubled, down only two for an excellent score, and the maestro would get to play it himself besides.

“I was just trying to keep them out of game,” says Gee after the hand.

  4 Responses to “A Fistful of Losers”

  1.  

    When Gee came to spec on this hand, an inquisitive spec asked if he had misclicked. Gee said “no, I did not misclick” Then he suggested his partner should “just play it and see the result.” (Yes, Gee, we all saw the result) Then he suggested that he thought “3D was overbid.” When asked if ‘two’ diamonds wasn’t also an overbid, he said “no… I was stopping them.” and finally “just wanted to keep them out of game.” This proves that the Master truly does have a grand plan, because who can argue that he did not accomplish that very thing!

    When he did the same sort of non-support, non-cards raise maneuver later on with another partner, Gee scolded him for going to game. “Leon, I don’t understand.. you were in specs when the same hand came up earlier… you commented on it, I explained, you seemed to understand, then you do as if you did not know.” Sigh … will the STCP’s of the world ever learn?

  2.  

    But G was captain and allowed to set the contract. Pard was merely crew and grossly overbid the STCP brilliant (but routine to a Master) 2D bid.

  3.  

    David is my friend, but he made an error on this hand. 3D is as bad as 2D with a very high defense to offense ratio and the opponents having no known fit and a very poor fit. Once again Aaron is being evil and trying to blame everything on G.

  4.  

    This hand is a fine example of Gee’s “damned if you do and screwed if you don’t” policy when his crew gets out of line. It does not matter if Gee has his bid (values) or not. If, as here, he has not, and his crew bids on in the naive assumption that Gee hasn’t psyched, then walk the plank the crew must do. Being equally capable of the inverted psyche, wherein the master bids as if he did not hold the additional ace or three that actually happen to be in his hand, dooming the poor naive crewpier to then miss a game or slam, and it’s shark food time once again. In the former case Gee is always “bidding tactically to keep the opps out of game”, and in the latter he is fishing for additional conversation with the crew, which for some unfathomable reason always seems not to be forthcoming. Thus is Captain Resulter’s sabre always sharpened, the better to prod his crewpier’s derriere along the planklength.

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