Article 7K01   Main

The Metz Grand

  by Richard Pavlicek

This month’s deal was played by Ed Metz about 10 years ago. Metz, though not an expert, was an experienced player and usually a winner, especially when it came to making bold slam bids. As South he reached a mere 7 NT on the auction shown.

North dealsS 4 3WestNorthEastSouth
N-S vulH K Q J 10 9 71 HPass2 C
D Q J 10Pass2 HPass2 S
C A 2Pass4 HPass4 NT
S J 7 5TableS Q 9 8 6Pass5 DPass5 NT
H 8 6 5H 4 3Pass6 DPass7 NT
D K 5 4 3D 9 7 6 2All Pass
C Q 8 5C 10 9 3
S A K 10 2
H A 2
D A 8
7 NT SouthC K J 7 6 4

It is apparent that 7 H is a better 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 7 NT is impossible — declarer has 11 top tricks and both minor-suit finesses are destined to lose. Nonetheless, as baseball great Yogi Berra would say, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”

West was a suspicious soul. He had seen Metz steal too many slams off the first two tricks, so he led a diamond. This converted 11 tricks into 12; and where there’s 12, Metz could usually eke out 13. He won the D Q and rapidly cashed the S A-K and both minor aces before running the hearts.

On the last heart East let go a club to keep the S Q, South discarded his now useless S 10, and West had to discard a club to keep the D K. Finally, a club to the king brought down the queen — and almost the ceiling — as Metz romped home.

As he left the table, Metz could be heard explaining all the intricacies of the “double squeeze and Vienna coup” to his partner.

Article 7K01   MainTop   The Metz Grand

© 1996 Richard Pavlicek