Q 10 8 6 3 2
Q 8 5
Q 9 7 3
A 10 6
K 10 5 4 2
Q J 9
9 3 2
10 8 6 5 4 2
A 7 5
K J 7 4
A K 7 3
My logos have fallen into disuse, but I assure you that is strictly a matter of my sloth, not lack of opportunities to use them.
Today, for instance, we have what on the surface is an innocuous hand. At most tables South would open a club, rebid two hearts or 2NT over West’s overcall and North’s spade response, and reach either 3NT or, better, four spades, both cold. At Gee’s table the bidding goes just this way up to the spade response, and then the wheels begin to turn.
Sure, the STCP™ would pass one spade with alacrity. Gee, however, sees a notrump game for the opponents in the offing, shrewdly notes the favorable vulnerability, counts his trumps (yes, there are two, and he’s sure Soloway raised on a doubleton in a hand he read somewhere), recounts his trumps to be sure (still two), and decides to kick up some dust with a two diamond raise.
Dust has a way of settling where you don’t expect it to. South sandbags with a modest two heart rebid, and East, to whom this looks for all the world like a competitive part-score hand, competes to three diamonds. North doubles in a microsecond and it’s sayonara.
David Corn is a noted expert, but it’s tough to show your chops when you don’t have a single entry to dummy. He ducks the first heart lead, wins the second, and plays a third one back. South wins and cashes the two top clubs, North sluffing spades, which is all he has left besides trump. A third club is ruffed small, a spade is returned, and a fourth club is ruffed again small as declarer tosses the spade king. Spade back, ruffed small by declarer, and he makes the trump king and 10 at the end, for down five and a rarely-seen non-vulnerable sticks and wheels.
The cruel irony is that an equally lunatic bid of two clubs by Gee, instead of two diamonds, might get E/W to three clubs doubled, down only two for an excellent score, and the maestro would get to play it himself besides.
“I was just trying to keep them out of game,” says Gee after the hand.