Is It Or Isn’t It? – The Gee Chronicles
Sep 252002

None Vul
Dealer: West
Lead: D6

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

1 H
3 D

4 C


West jump-starts today’s auction with a really grungy first-hand diamond opener — not just eleven points, but eleven really bad points. I suppose everyone opens this sort of hand these days, but with no suit, all the values in the doubleton and no spot cards, I pass. East’s 1H response is orthodox, and Gee makes a perfectly reasonable, if rather light, takeout double.

West passes, as he should have done in the first place, and North makes a forced 2C bid, showing nothing. East devalues his black kings and bids a non-forcing 3D, demonstrating also, perhaps, some familiarity with his partner’s bidding style. 2NT and even 3NT are also possible.

Back around to our hero. Let’s see. His partner has shown nothing. He has zero extras. He has no club support beyond what the original double showed. There’s only one possible bid, and Gee makes it: 4C.

This is passed around to East who doubles, holding an opener himself opposite his partner’s opener (of sorts). The defense begins with a diamond, West quickly unblocks his hearts, and declarer goes down 3 for 500 as he must.

The philosophical question is whether East’s double, lacking so much as a single sure defensive trick, is Bones Principle. Much as I would like to put my new Bones logo to immediate use, I must refrain, on two counts. First, Gee is not playing the hand, which removes it from the realm of the Bones Principle proper. Second, East holds an awful lot of points not to hammer a four-level contract, especially on a hand that doesn’t figure, on the auction, to be very distributional. Maybe next time.

  4 Responses to “Is It Or Isn’t It?”


    In my opinion, when you have a hand as balanced as taryk’s, you run a grave risk in bidding a suit that Gee is known to have, since you must inevitably get 3 to 7 tricks overboard. A bid of 1nt with taryk’s hand might well slow the auction down, although it may transfer the captaincy to Gerard. When 1nt is doubled as it inevitably will be, you redouble! An expert of Gee’s caliber will surely read this as SOS and run to 2 clubs. Since taryk has never bid clubs and indeed sounds very weak, Gee may subside later in the auction.


    I can wait.


    Let’s overbid again. And again. And again. An expert would know his partner was forced to bid. And that his partner will take a further call over 3d if he has the apppropriate values and distribution.

    But not this player. No, he jumps to the 4 level with a square hand. And even the values he has are not working as well as they could.


      In defence of Gee I must point out that he did not JUMP to 4C, but rather bid it over 3D. On the other hand, his partner turned up a bullet more than he had promised.

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