The Best Defense – The Gee Chronicles
Sep 242002

N/S Vul
Dealer: North
Lead: S7

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

2 S

4 H
4 S

In bridge defense takes two forms: in the play and in the post mortem. Too often the first necessitates the second.

Today Gee, South, opens a standard 1NT and West ventures a 2S, showing spades and a minor, that is rather thin, even at unfavorable. North jumps to 4H with his stiff spade. This isn’t a terrible bid, but if they are playing Lebensohl then a forcing 3H, showing five hearts and asking South to choose a game, is much better. On the actual layout 4H is almost certainly down while 3NT makes nine tricks at least.

East’s 4S bid can’t be faulted at the vulnerability, nor can Gee’s double. North knows that the defense has most of the points and makes the logical choice of a trump lead.

Declarer wins Gee’s SQ with the ace and does the best he can by leading D7. North wisely plays D2, allowing Gee to win, which he does with DQ, and continue trump. Two more rounds of trump force declarer to eat three diamonds, putting the contract three in the glue for 500. Gee’s aversion to trump leads, however, is well-known, and the specs begin to buzz:

Spec #1: is G bristling again?
Spec #2: probably trump lead
Spec #3: will he continue trumps? i think no
Spec #4: what is he thinking about now….. throw a trump on the table!!
Spec #5: think no, definite NO

Gee leads the CA. This finishes the defense. Declarer ruffs, cashes the HA and CK, cross-ruffs clubs and diamonds, and manages an overtrick in the ending, for the coup de grace, when Gee discards on the good long club and ruffs the losing heart. 690. The specs are shocked, shocked:

Spec #4: pathetic
Spec #1: LOL
Spec #6: G at work…
Spec #7: that was inspired
Spec #2: bad even on the g scale

But now Gee demonstrates what great defense really is:

G: you really fooled me there pd :(
Spec #8: wow!!!!
Spec #4: ???
Spec #3: fooled him?????
Spec #6: pd to blame
Spec #9: the Ace???? when he can see the King
Spec #2: oh its his pds fault we shd have known
Spec #4: fooled him??? pard made a great opening lead
johnjay: what did i do?
Spec #2: lol
Spec #1: well he might ask!
G: the 4H
Spec #10: trump lead indicates shortness in dummy long suit
Spec #8: thought p had club k
G: why 4H?
Spec #1: notice G will get TWO spade tricks this way
Spec #5: no he wont
Spec #8: take the offense g
Spec #4: why club ace?
Spec #1: what chutzpah! first the club ace, THEN criticize the bidding
Spec #6: misclick… “obvious”
Spec #5: john seems to be having a little trouble finding the right words
G: I based my defense around you having 6 hearts and short in one of the minors
Spec #4: with spade lead – down 500
Spec #11: no comment by john :) (his pard)
johnjay: he doesnt do so well if you lead trumps
Spec #3: trump lead means that he is short in a minor according to G. Something like 1-6-5-1… interesting
Spec #9: is this the end of a beautiful friendship?
Spec #8: quite the analyst

  4 Responses to “The Best Defense”


    Gee is an expert … an expert at defensive trick compression. Once again, Gee lives up to my high expectations of him.


    I’m just a nub at bridge but I’ll take a stab here. G says he figures his pd to be something like 1651. Looking at the dummy after the opening lead, how likely is it that pd is 1651? Dummy has 5 clubs and 1 diamond. Overcaller has annouced what is almost certainly a 5-5 hand. G can see 9 club cards, leaving 3 clubs for overcaller, if that was his suit. Assuming G’s pd is 1651. Now who makes a 2 suited overcall with 5-3? If G assumes his pd is 1651. So it would seem obvious that G should not figure pd for a 1651 hand at all. This is especially true after a trump lead, then seeing declarer lead the diamond. That should tip off G what declarer is trying to do….and what he was allowed to do…set up a cross ruff.

    I’m just a lowly intermediate player. However it would seem obvious to me that a cross ruff was in the making and leading trump was right for the defense.


    2 for 1 is a sales promotion for many stores where a customer can buy 2 of the same items for the price of one. In bridge 2 for 1 seems like a great idea, too, where a player can use one trump to expend two of theirs. However, if the sales promotion is about providing for the customer, this technique cannot be used because this maneuver would be seen as pure exploitation and contrary to the modality of good business.


    I have read this three times, and I still can not see the logic in Gerard’s argument.

    1. Where does he divine his partner’s shape from? Even assuming 6 hearts in his partner’s hand, there is little else to know for sure, except his partner is short in trump.

    2. And in any case, it is obvious due to the bidding that the opponents are bidding on shape. Hence, cut out the ruffs. Lead a trump.

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