I thank Richard Waugh, managing director of the Ft. Lauderdale Bridge Club, for sending me todays deal which was played by Ed Metz, a club regular. Metz is not an expert, but many years of experience make him a frequent winner, especially when it comes to making bold slam bids. As South on todays deal he reached a mere seven notrump, though the auction is still a mystery. Waugh remarked, I pulled up a chair as the play began and didnt catch the bidding. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to construct a possible auction.
It is apparent that seven hearts (not notrump) is the best contract because the club suit can be established with a ruff; but that would be too easy and the Metz flair would be wasted. It is also apparent that seven notrump cannot be made declarer has 11 top tricks and both minor-suit finesses are destined to fail. Nonetheless, as baseball great Yogi Berra would put it, It aint over til its over.
West was a suspicious soul. He had seen Metz get away with too many slams off the first few tricks, so he led a diamond. That turned 11 tricks into 12; and when theres 12, Metz can usually squeeze out 13. He won the diamond queen, then rapidly cashed the ace-king of spades and both minor-suit aces before running the hearts. On the last heart East let go a club to keep the spade queen, South discarded his now useless spade 10, and West was forced to throw a club to keep the diamond king. A club to the king brought down the queen and almost the ceiling as Metz romped home with his grand slam.
Waugh noted that Metz was the only one in the room to make seven notrump, and probably the only one to get a diamond lead, too. As he left the table he heard Metz explaining the intricacies of the Vienna coup and double squeeze to his partner.
© 1987 Richard Pavlicek