K 9 8 5 4 2
Q 3 2
A 6 3
K J 9 7 5
K 7 4
Q J 8 7 2
A Q J 3
J 6 5
K 10 5
A Q 8 6 4
A 10 9 8
Today, faced with a third-seat spade opener from East, our hero steps into the breach with a reasonable 2H overcall. As it happens 2HX goes for 500 at least, but it works out that way sometimes. (East/West have an outside shot at four spades with a diamond lead, not that they’re likely to bid it. But the maestro would undoubtedly lead his ace of clubs, and a club continuation assures four tricks for the defense.)
2H is passed around to East, who reopens with a double, which West would be happy to pass. He never gets the chance. Gee pulls immediately to 3C, taking advantage of the opportunity to show his four-card minor — just look at those spots! — which West of course doubles. Being unfamiliar with his partner’s expert methods of bidding two-suited hands, North reasons that his partner is 5-5 and passes.
West leads the diamond 10, ducked around, and Gee ruffs a second round of diamonds in hand as East inserts the jack. He plays the heart ace and low heart, which West ducks, allowing his partner to ruff. The queen of spades comes back, covered by the king and ace, and the defense continues spades. East wins the jack and plays a low trump, ducked to the king.
West leads trump back, and the queen from dummy fetches the jack from East. Gee overtakes with the ace and now the hand is an open book. West is known to have five hearts and three trump. The diamond 10 is from a doubleton, unless we assume West led it from Q10x with Ax of his partner’s suit as an alternative. This leaves him with three spades. Draw the trump, cash the spade, and exit a small heart. West is endplayed in hearts, for down 2, and a merely catastrophic -500.
Our hero cashes the spade first, assuring himself that West does indeed have three spades, and then leads a low heart. West returns his last trump and now the endplay is on the other foot. Two spades, a ruff, the trump king, a diamond, and two hearts make seven tricks for the defense. Not that the extra 300 cost or anything.
Gee summarizes lucidly: “Too bad pd…3H is down only 2.”