Can you give us any tips on how to play with Gerard? I’ve played with him many times, and I still don’t have the slightest idea how to go about it. Thanks.
–The Seaman, San Antonio, TX
Fleet’s in, eh? The fact that someone with your extensive experience playing with Gerard still needs advice points to the extreme difficulty in doing so, and care required. In a recent column I recommended a handy kit to keep with you at all times during the game, but there are other useful hints. First, bid notrump ASAP. This dramatically improves your chances of playing the hand, and as we all know Gee makes an impeccable dummy. Gee also has a severe case of captainizationophilia, or, in layman’s terms, pathological desire to take over auctions. Since notrump bidders rarely become the captain of sane auctions this often leads to difficulties. But if you get that notrump bid in first, then you misdescribe your hand quickly and easily, and let your partner’s expert judgment guide you the rest of the way!
You should also take the low road in the bidding and play as often as possible. You STCPs think that just because you’ve seen Gerard do something that you can do it too. Nonsense: it took Gerard dozens of years and thousands of hands to hone his skills, just as you weren’t born knowing how to polish the brass and swab the decks. Now that’s a lesson you can carry with you on all your expeditions through the high seas. Ahoy cap’n, stix and wheels dead ahead!