Grace Under Pressure – The Gee Chronicles
Aug 042002

Experts of the game know how to manage gracefully such the situation they create, most other players don’t.
–G. Cohen, Bridge Is A Conversation

Quiz time. With both sides vulnerable you hold QJ5 AQ762 853 K3 and hear a first-seat spade opener to your left, a pass from your partner, and a forcing 1NT on your right. Your bid?

Well, let’s think about this for a second. Lefty is more or less unlimited. Righty could have quite a good hand, including a heart stack, for his 1NT. Your hand could take as few as two tricks on offense. And yet you have enough defense so that, if your partner has anything at all, you have a respectable chance of defeating a game.

So you take all of this into account and pass, right? Wrong. Our hero steps in with a full-blooded 2H overcall. This is the full deal:

Both Vul
Dealer: West
Lead: DA

S 6 4 2
H 4
D 9 7 6 4
C A 10 9 6 2
S K 10 8 7 3
H K 9 8 3
D A K 10
[W - E] pq2
S A 9
H J 10 5
D Q J 2
C Q 8 7 5 4
S Q J 5
H A Q 7 6 2
D 8 5 3
C K 3
1 S
2 H


Even expert bids don’t always work. The defense cashes three rounds of diamonds and continues with three rounds of spades, East ruffing the third. Gee wins the club shift in dummy and loses the trump finesse to West’s HK. East ruffs the fourth round of spades with the HJ, which Gee overruffs with the HA. That’s two tricks for declarer if you’re following at home. But West is now endplayed: declarer’s H7 forces him to win the H9 and, holding 83 in trump, concede a third trick to Gee’s remaining 62 for down 5.

So sure, it’s 1400. But it’s a graceful 1400.

  2 Responses to “Grace Under Pressure”


    And not only is it graceful, but it has tastefully avoided stix & wheels…


    Should get stix & wheels with oak leaf cluster.

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