A Q J 9 3 2
J 7 5
8 4 3
9 8 7
A Q 4 3
A K Q 6 2
10 7 6 4
J 5 2
K 10 8
J 10 9
A K Q 10 6 4
9 6 2
Visions, as any visionary will tell you, arrive on their schedule, not yours. This led to disaster in today’s hand.
After South’s 1H opener our hero has choices. Some players, holding such good minor suits, would bid unusual 2NT, despite being 1-3-4-5, for its preemptive value. 2NT works out well on the actual layout, as the subsequent auction is probably 3S, all pass, down 1. But 2NT could also work out badly, and 2C, Gee’s actual bid, is perfectly fine. North makes a rather eccentric negative double; other possibilities are 2S, or even a semi-preemptive 3S if the partnership plays 2S there, as is customary, as a forcing bid.
East passes, South rebids his hearts, and it’s up to Gee. He has defense but should be willing to compete, even at unfavorable, to least the three-level in the minors. A modestly gifted visionary would double for minor-suit takeout. (E/W make three of either minor, and N/S can’t make more than two of anything.) But Gee is cursed with an untimely moment of blindness: he bids 3D, forcing his partner to take a club preference, if he needs one, at the four-level.
Naturally partner takes the club preference — in spades, as it were. The less said about the 5C bid the better, but the 4C bid he should have made doesn’t work out too well either.
When play begins Gee, too late, regains his vatic powers. As South cashes his second heart, dummy undummies: “Down 2.” “OK,” Tsen replies, “diamonds 3-3.” “Automatic down 2,” Gee insists, “even if diamonds are 4-2.”
This puzzles Tsen, who like most of us is not blessed with the ability to see through the backs of the cards. “If diamonds are 4-2,” he says, “I will ruff.”
“If you have any trump left,” says Gee. “Which you won’t.”
Update: My distinguished expert consultants, O_Bones and dross, inform me — but nicely! — that I’ve butchered this analysis. Although they agree with me that 2NT is a reasonable compromise bid the first time around, they think a double on the second round suggests three good or even four bad spades, i.e., three-suit takeout, not the minors. 2NT is their suggested rebid, even though it’s supposed to show 4-6. They also both agree with taryk’s 5C bid. Since Gee’s 3D bid should show a huge 5-6 hand, 5C looks, from East’s perspective, like a reasonable proposition.