Counting Your Tricks, Part 2 – The Gee Chronicles
Jul 102002

None Vul
Dealer: East
Lead: S2

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

1 S



1 C

Continuing our series on dummy play, we find Gee declaring 2NT after a quiet auction, although passing 1NT might be better with West’s grungy 11. Timo, sitting South, opens the spade deuce, as good as anything, which Gee wins in hand with the J. We pause to count tricks. Three or four spades, depending on the location of the K. Two hearts can be established, plus the DA and at least one club. So you might expect the SQ at trick 2 to find out how the spades lie. If it holds, then there’s time to set up two hearts and a club for eight tricks. If not, then you decide which minor suit to play on.

But this is a superficial view. Gee sees more deeply into the hand and plays a low club at the second trick. North wins the A and returns a low heart. An average player might win this in hand and take the spade finesse, but Gee, apparently certain that North holds the SK, wins it on board with the J and leads the S9. Alas, it turns out that South made a sneaky lead from an honor against no trump. Timo wins the K and leads a second round of hearts, ducked to Gee’s 10. Gee now leads to the SA and, neglecting to cash the fourth spade, leads the C7. This line would succeed if North had begun with exactly AJ9 in clubs, but no luck. Timo wins the CJ and Gee loses two more hearts, a diamond and a club at the end for down 2.

  2 Responses to “Counting Your Tricks, Part 2”


    I think as a first line of attack … ignoring the three 7-card suits for declarer and instead playing the only 6-card suit must have just been a lesson about what not to do. Sometimes this teaching method works best, negative reinforcement. Or could it simply be that the declarer got lost at trick 2 and could not recover his composure? It happens.


    The low club is probably closest to the thumb. So he led it at trick two when he had the lead. After all, with 23 HCP and so many intermediate spot cards, it takes a gargantuan effort to go down. In fact, declarer has to help the defense to go down as the cards lie.

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