Suit Preference vs. Godzilla – The Gee Chronicles
Sep 032002

E/W Vul
Dealer: East
Lead: S4

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

1 H
3 S
5 D



1 D
2 C
4 C
2 S


In the play it is often wise to postpone a crucial decision, like which way to take a finesse, for as long as possible. Sometimes you can gather information to aid the play; sometimes you can induce the opponents to lead the suit and never have to make the decision at all. In the same way, in the bidding, the expert will often postpone the painful necessity of supporting partner’s suit. Sometimes, as in today’s hand, if he postpones it long enough he can avoid it altogether.

Gee, as East, opens a hideous 12 points first seat, which I suppose is standard these days. West bids 1H with his far better 12, and North doubles for the unbid suits. Our hero has several choices. If E/W are playing support doubles then a redouble is called for (though not, perhaps, if they are playing the Cohen treatment). If not, the green card shows what he has — a stone-minimum hand with a heart tolerance. After due consideration Gee makes the expert move: he denies any interest whatever in hearts by rebidding 2C.

West’s cue over South’s 2S shows a strong hand, a spade stopper, and a willingness to play 3NT. Gee’s stiff SQ could well come in handy, and does, in 3NT. With his semi-balanced hand that’s one possible bid. 4H is another, but less appetizing after his 2C rebid, as it could land partner in a Moysian. Then there is 4C, his actual choice, which shows 5-5 or more in the minors and no tolerance for hearts. OK, maybe it’s a small exaggeration, but at least he didn’t have to support his partner’s suit.

West jumps to game in diamonds. 4H and 3NT are better, but still, no harm, no foul. The trump suit behaves and hearts come in with one loser whether you lead to the queen or take the double finesse. Making 5, or so it appears. Yet it is possible, in actual play, to go down 2. Can you see how? Take a good look, I’ll wait.

Give up? Here’s the winning line. You play the SA at trick 1, cross to the CA and ruff a club. Ruff a spade and ruff another club. Ruff the last spade and the last club. Now lead the heart ace and another heart. North wins the HK, pulls dummy’s last trump by cashing DA, and leads the CQ, promoting South’s D10. Declarer, reduced to K8 in trump, ruffs with the 8. South overruffs with the 10 and leads SK, tapping declarer, who proceeds to lose a fourth and final trick to North’s last trump.

  5 Responses to “Suit Preference vs. Godzilla”


    I don’t think the analysis of 3 spades is right. It is either asking for a spade stopper, or a slam try with a minor or a slam try with a hand too good to bid 4h over 2sp, or an exploratory hand with 5 hearts and a preference in a minor (his actual hand). There is no way 3 spades SHOWS a spade stopper. In that sense i like a 3nt bid, but 3spades is certainly very reasonable (partner will never bid 3nt over 3 spades so he’s endplayed, but could be right with a heart fit or diamond slam). The play looks pretty straight forward (simple dummy reversal hand), but G takes an alternative view that I do not understand. Maybe G could comment?


    I am beginning to get very nervous about the G challenge. As a person barred for life from specing G, the fact that you and Seaman Lall don’t agree on the meaning of 3S bid in this sequence gives me great cause for concern since I may never regain the “privilege” of specing G. Seaman Lall is correct about the meaning of 3S. At matchpoints 3nt might very well be the best call but at imps looking for a diamond slam and stopping in 5D is not penalized unless of course you don’t make it. Actually, this thought gives me a warmer feeling about the challenge.


    The fact that you and the seaman differ with me about the meaning of the 3S bid doesn’t mean we disagree. It means only that you two understand it, and I don’t.


    I must defend our scribe. When the opponents have shown two suits in a competitive auction, a cuebid of either shows a stopper rather than requests one. It is only when they have shown one suit that the cuebid is an either/or bid: either asking for a stopper or the start of a slam try. There can arise awkward situations, to be sure, as when the suits (or the corresponding cuebids) are encountered (need to be made) at a highish level but it is, as far as I know, the standard treatment.


      You are right, normally, but this doesn’t apply when partner bids one of the suits naturally. Here, the 2 suits are clubs and spades. If he “cuebids” 3 clubs, he is actually raising G’s second suit. Thus the only cuebid is 3 spades. As for having differing views on the 3 spade bid with my partner aaron, he is a very practical player and I think at the table he would not bid 3nt (even with 1-2-5-5 where he can’t support hearts), it’s too big a risk. I am confident if we both play practically and not theoretically we will do ok doug :)

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>