Short Work – The Gee Chronicles
Apr 142003

Today, a special treat: a seminar from the maestro on short suit game tries. Why infer lessons from hand play when you can get them direct? I pause only to note Gee’s remarkable ability to employ both short- and long-suit game tries, depending on his holding. (A closely related matter has been previously discussed.) And now I yield the floor.

G: yesterday I began explaining what help suit game try was
G: but got interrupted by someone who thought it was better to make jokes than to be respectful of you people
G: so i start it again today
Student: Someone had a good idea, hide the table Gerard that way jokers stay out
G: when you play, you hear constantly about help suit game try, short suit game try and long suit game try
G: what is it?
G: that’s what I will cover for you now
G: those who heard the beginning yesterday, I am sorry, but you will hear it a second time now
G: often you are in a situation such that you are not sure if you can play game or not
G: example:
G: you are sitting with 16 points
G: you open 1S, your partner responds 2S
G: you have game or not?
G: who knows
G: your partner shows 6-9 points traditionally
Student: well, we assume pard doesn’t have 10 points
G: and if you add your 16 points to that
G: you have a total of between 22 and 25 points
G: with 22 points, there is no game
G: with 25 there maybe a game
G: and that’s what you want to find out
G: most of the time though
G: you can use help suit game try
G: to figure that out
G: if you have the feeling that you are only 1 trick away from making game
Student: wait, how do you know if you have that feeling?
G: would be a pity not to end in game
G: card distribution
G: you have 15 points, in the example I gave earlier
G: in this case, it would suffice that you know that your pd has 9 points to add up to 25 points and play in game
G: but…
G: what if his 9 points are not placed correctly and your hands do not mesh well
G: you might end up going down in 4S
G: and that’s what you want to avoid
G: the old way was
G: you open 1s, partner bids 2s, you rebid 3s
G: that was asking your partner to bid 4S with 9 points and pass with less
G: in modern bridge, that method is not the best
G: you use help suit game try
G: and that will cover 2 things
G: one the point count and two the cards distribution
G: the idea is to find a hidden trick
G: what’s a hidden trick?
G: it’s a trick you might or might not make
G: like Kx or Qx
Student: right, that’s when the opps have 9-card fit
G: Kx may make if the K is not in from of the A
G: same with Qx
G: if opps cards are placed in a favorable way, you may make the Q
G: but it seldom happens so…
G: what you want to know is if partner has the other honor
G: if you have Qx in your hand and partner has Kx…
G: that’s a sure trick
G: which you did not know you had
G: and that’s what the “help suit” comes from
G: you say to your pd you have the K or the Q
G: and ask your partner if he/she has the other one
G: example
G: 1S-2S
G: 3C (I have K (or Q) of club… do you have the other one?
G: if yes, your partner can go to 4S safely
G: you will most likely make the contract
G: if your partner does not have the missing K or Q
G: then he has to answer negatively
G: and there are several ways to answer negatively
G: the first way… is to simply rebid spade
G: like in 1S-2S
G: 3C-3S
G: that means… not only I do not have the missing K or Q but I don’t have anything else to allow you to think we can make game
G: now…
G: if you do not have the specific card asked for in that specific suit
G: and the top of your range
G: then you can, maybe show a suit where you have a possible hidden trick
G: example
G: 1S-2S; 3C-3D
G: 3D means:
G: I do not have the missing K or Q of club but I have top of my range AND also either the K or Q of D
G: and is asking the 1S bidder if he has the other cad
Student: what if you have the ace in the clubs suit?
G: I’ll get there in a second
Student: ok
G: if the 1S bidder has the other card, he can safely bid 4S knowing his partner has 9 points and a hidden trick… unhidden
G: that contract of 4S will make
G: now
G: let’s suppose the 1S bidder does not have the other card
G: he has in turn to make a negative response
G: and it works the exact same way over again
G: 1S-2S; 3C-3D; 3H
Student: what if you have 18 points?
G: then you do not have the problem anymore
Student: 18+6 = 24?
G: you always have 24 points at least
Student: how do you know if you have enough for game?
G: same method will work
G: but what may be different is the interpretation of pd’s response to the help suit game try
G: to a neg response by the partner, you can then bid 3NT, showing a strong hand
Student: we’ll play 3nt?
G: 1S-2S; 3C-3S; 3NT
Student: ok so what if you’re in 3nt and pard only has 6 points?
G: if partner does not have 7+, he will pass
G: else bid 4S
Student: pass 3nt?
G: with 18 points, 3NT is likely to make
G: you asked earlier
G: what about aces
G: and I will add Jacks
G: do they count?
G: my answer is NO
G: they do not count
Student: G, what if they lead the suit that i need help in at 3nt?
G: first of all
Student: won’t i be down like the Titanic?
G: no, because you do not use the same kind of HSGT
G: if you intend to play in NT, you use Long Suit game try
G: if you intend to play in a suit contract you use Short Suit game try
G: the idea being that you do not want to be ruffed in that suit if you plan on playing in a suit contract
G: and you do not want to be shortened too much in that suit if you plan to play in NT
G: 17+
Student: pard will pass with 6 opps will double and i’m down 500?
G: in what case Paxman?
G: you have 18 points and your pd has 6 points?
Student: 1s-2s-3c-3s-3n-x they lead a club
Student: 18 + 6 = 24 and we’ve identified weakness in club suit
G: may happen, yes
Student: maybe if we don’t alert it they won’t figure out to lead a club?
G: this is a game, Paxman
G: things dont always live up to your expectations
G: there are cases where you go down in 3NT with 18 points
G: 28 points
G: happened this morning
G: there are always extreme cases
G: that’s why it is a game
G: but you can’t fix all the cases
G: look at it this way
G: if you play 20 hands
G: and you have 1 bad hand because of an extreme case
G: first… others will have the same problem
G: that hand may not be that bad afterall
G: ok
G: go back to your example
G: 1S-2S: 3C-3S
G: here you have 18 points
G: more exactly, suppose that here you have 18 points
G: your partner has 6 points
G: ok
G: now let’s go back to your other question
G: Aces (and Jacks)
G: your aces have already been counted as tricks
G: can’t count them twice
G: your jacks can not make a trick in a suit contact other than by a miracle
G: in NT, on the other hand, the J are useful
G: but, more to prevent opps from running the suit than as a HELP to find a hidden trick
G: Js are used to stop a running suit by the opps most frequently
G: aces are already counted
G: so, the only 2 honors that are of interest in Help Suit Game Try,
G: Short and Long are actually the K and the Q
G: so, the only difference between LSGT and SSGT is the length of the suit that the asker has
G: that suit should not be anymore than 3 cards
Student: how long does it have to be for LSGT?
G: for try in suit contract
G: and minimum 4 cards in LSGT
Student: what if you have xxxx in clubs? couldn’t you use HSGT?
G: for NT contracts
Student: why be in NT when we’ve found 8-card major fit?
G: no… to ask for help in a suit
G: you tell your partner you have either K or Q in that suit
G: planning to play in NT, the minimum you should have in the suit you need
help is Qxxx
Student: well, i guess i see, but i sure as heck don’t want to play 3nt
Student: with an 8 card major fit
Student: my mother raised me better than that
G: the partner does not need 4 cards
G: only the one who asks does
G: think
G: you have 4 cards in the suit
G: your partner has a singleton in the suit
G: that’s 5 cards
G: you are safe because othe opps can never have more than 8 cards
Student: what if they’re all on one side?
G: that’s the worst possible situation
G: well, you would have heard the opps bidding
Student: if pard has one i want to play in a suit so i can ruff my losers?
Student: not if they have no points
G: we talked about the same thing yesterday in the case of HSGT for a suit contract
G: you have to know where you want to play
G: in an auction like 1c-1S; 2S-3D
Student: well, for my money, i ain’t playing 3nt with a spade fit
G: do you want to be in NT or in S?
Student: uh, spades?
G: sure
Student: right
G: so you ask 3D with a 3 or less D suit and containing the K or the Q
G: else.. don’t ask
Student: what if you have xxxx in diamonds and want help?
Student: you know, like 4 losers, like down 1?
G: 3D is short suit help try
Student: but what if i don’t HAVE a short suit
G: then you have to use other methods
G: not Help suit game try
Student: any examples?
G: we are dealing with HSGT subject now
G: the other methods we can see in other workshops
G: but let’s do 1 subject at a time
G: now
G: what do we do with this auction?
G: 1S-2S: 3S
G: what would be 3S?
G: there is no agreement
G: it’s purely quantiative
G: I have 18 points, no Q nor K in a short suit
G: do you have 7+ or not
G: sorry 15 points
Student: 18 or 16?
G: 16+
G: 16-19
Student: what about 17?
G: in this case 19 would be too much… I typed that too fast
G: you would use another method with 19points
Student: such as?
G: with 19 points?’
Student: yep
G: calculate and tell me what to bid
G: 1S-2S you have Q9
G: partner has 6
G: think you have a game
G: there
G: so what would you bid?
G: 1S-2S: ?
G: 4S
Student: game?
G: right?
Student: sure
G: if you attend my classes on captain/crew, you would learn a lot about what to bid in these cases
G: and similar ones that come up frequently
Student: is that free too?
G: no… those are paying
G: anybody had questions?
Student: i still don’t understand that hand QJT9xxx where you preempt 3s, and ended up in 6S X
Student: i would think you are crew and not captain
Student: how much is cap/crew seminar
G: you can’t think… you know or you dont know… if you don’t know, come to the seminar or buy Bridge is a Conversation
G: 3 classes $10 per class
Student: i’m kind of tapped out this month
G: i played last night with a student against Dcorn and beat him
G: my student is only an intermediate/adv player… cobra4
G: only because of captain/crew stuff
G: cobra4 was my student and partner for the game
G: over 2 hours
G: and they could not get us
Student: is that better for your stat?
G: yes, but who cares??
Student: about stats?
Student: i clicked on you, your stats aren’t there
G: they are never there, never were and never will :)
G: if there is a subject you would like to treat, please let me know and we will do it
Student: i am interested in squeeze plays and coups

(Seminar Credit: Vulture)

  5 Responses to “Short Work”


    It is all perfectly clear to me now;)))


    Remarkably flexible system. This principle can be extended to NT hands to cover a much wider range then used traditionally. With 10-11, open 1N (showing 10-11); with 12-13, open 1N (showing 12-13), and so on, up to 18-19. With 20 or more, open 2N, using the same approach.


    Sooooo, 1S-2S-3C is HSGT one hand, LSGT next, and SSGT in the one after that. What a novel invention – no matter what opener has in the side suit, that 3C bid covers it all beautifully! As long as responder guesses which one it is!


    Outta curiosity, I wonder what the maestro plays over the opponent’s opening NT… Cappasuctdonthamstro?


    Some of you may have failed to observe that Gee stands far superior to the truth. He makes “Comical Ali” look like an amateur at times.

    But OKbridge would be a lesser place without him. That is, for the lucky ones who have not been banned from his table yet. Sadly I’m not one of them.

    At least not when I’m using the “Veiga” account.

    Happy Easter all.

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