Mystery Train – The Gee Chronicles
Sep 272002

E/W Vul
Dealer: South
Lead: HQ

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




3 D
2 D

How long must an STCP™ study to acquaint himself with the darker recesses of the expert mind? Longer than I have. A lot longer.

The partnership of davekent, North, and Gee, South, returns for today’s hand, from the same session as yesterday’s. I understand the bidding up to a point. 1NT is normal. The 2D transfer is normal. The double is risky — for all West knows N/S make 2DXX — but within the range of normality.

North’s pass of the double shows exactly two hearts; he would accept the transfer with three or more. (This sequence, at Gee tables, has been discussed.) East holds a powerful offensive hand after his partner’s double. Many players would bid 4D, but East, who is sure he can beat 3NT but not at all sure he can beat 4H, bids 3D instead, which looks pretty good to me. Certainly one can’t quarrel with the results.

Gee now doubles. I can work out four possible meanings for this bid:
1. Penalty. He has a game-going hand with some diamond strength and is trying to smoke out East’s bogus two-card raise.
2. Takeout for the other suits. He has a weak distributional hand, something like 4-5-0-4.
3. A retransfer.
4. SashaA is in spec, causing Gee’s hand to shake and making him mismouse.

North chooses option 1, penalty, and passes. The play isn’t cheap either. Declarer wins Gee’s HQ lead with the ace, plays two rounds of trump, and leads a low club to the queen, which holds but leaves him with two club losers. North wins the club continuation and leads a low spade, allowing East to make his stiff queen, and then continues spades when he gets in with CA, allowing him to dump his heart loser on the long clubs. Some might argue that -1070 merits a sticks and wheels logo, but we shall stickle for the formalities.

For those of you wondering what the double was, exactly, Gee clears it up in the post mortem, after a fashion:

G: Sorry Dave.. I did not want to play that 2H contract… my hand too bad and yours too good
Spec #1: huh?
Spec #2: his hand too bad to play 2H?
Spec #3: As I said, “if you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit”
Spec #4: the dbl was a re-xfer
Spec #5: how about Dr. Robert? is he still on the ship?
Spec #6: all I know is that I am turning blue and going into rigor mortis
Spec #1: if someone comprehends that please explain it to me?
Spec #7: Dr. R in drunken stupor
davekent: I still have no idea what you meant by the double
lawjon: retransfer maybe
Spec #8: Tell Us G
Spec #6: maybe it was a checkback stayman double? Spec #9: for the other three suits?
G: was re-transfer
davekent: hehe – you are kidding i hope?
Spec #4: and we have a winner!
lawjon: you shd have alerted it to dave
Spec #1: when do you let partner know Ds are trumps?
G: no, I am not… I had 6 of them hearts
Spec #6: poor dave
Spec #8: oh my
Spec #3: lololol
Spec #9: Dave is being very stalwart in the face of adversity

  4 Responses to “Mystery Train”


    Gee is showing some sense here. Should he bid 3 hearts he might go for 500 playing from the wrong side. I am sure if you looked up the result for -500 he would still lose 10 imps or so. Consequently, Gee may have felt that his double risked only 5 imps with the possibility of saving 10 or more. Since there were only 3 legitimate possibilities for the meaning of his double and 2 of the 3 would get him a reasonable spot, Gee was being offered 10-5 odds and his partner had 2 chances out of 3 of getting it right. I don’t think Gee ever deserves criticism for trying to make his partner declarer.


    I have another meaning for double, which is quite obscure. Assuming 3h here is just competitive and not invitational, you could use X as a game try (very extended maximal double). Of course that would be questionable, and not very practical. On another note I think I would force the south hand to game (Via stayman and if partner doesnt have 4 spades then bid 4h, or 4d, depending on if you play transfers on over 1nt-2c-2d at the 4 level.


    bidding needs fixing ;(


    Fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

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