A J 10 6 4 3 2
Q 10 9 2
K Q 7
Q 9 8 6 4
K 9 8 4
J 8 6 3
10 7 6 3 2
K 7 5 4
A J 10 3 2
A Q 5
One infallible sign of the expert is his boldness. By visualizing hands instead of merely counting points, he often finds contracts from which the ordinary player would shrink.
Today, for instance, the STCP™, faced with the South hand after a 1D opener to his left and partner’s 1S overcall, might reason that only game is available and content himself with a simple 3NT, probably pulled by North to 4S, and making 4 or 5 either way. Gee, with a stiff in his partner’s suit, Kxxx in hearts, and a double stopper in both minors, is thinking bigger. He bids 2H.
North has a fine hand in support of hearts and raises to game, but matters don’t stop there. Gee visualizes a hand like — well, I’m not sure exactly what, but if I could do these things myself I would be the expert and he would write columns about me instead of the other way around.
Blackwood ensues, North dutifully shows his ace, and Gee plunges to 6H. West eschews the Bones double and leads the spade king.
Sure enough, 6H has some play. If West shows up with exactly three spades and the AJ tight of hearts the hand is cold. Win the spade, spade ruff, trump to the queen and she is helpless.
Luck, as usual, is not with our hero. But he does find an ingenious line for off 2. He wins the spade ace, cashes the diamond king, leads the club jack to the ace, and then plays a low trump. West wins her ace and returns a low club, and Gee misses his first chance to go down one by ruffing on the board. He ruffs a spade, takes the ruffing finesse in diamonds, which holds, and then attempts to cash the diamond ace, discarding a spade. East ruffs in and returns a club. Gee cross-ruffs the rest of the hand, losing the trump jack at the end.
The post-mortem is brief and pointed, as Gee advises his partner, “If you bid like that with me we will be in slam every time.”