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Holiday Flashback

  by Richard Pavlicek

Many will remember the lovable Ed Metz, who had a fixation for the finer points of the game. Rumors are that he once spent hours explaining the intricacies of a crisscross squeeze to his female partner, who of course used the opportunity to catch up on her sleep. This deal is a flashback from 1988.

West dealsS J 9 8 6 3WestNorthEastSouth
None vulH 8 31 NT2 SPass2 NT
D A 10 9 7 4 3Pass3 DPass3 NT
S A Q 10 4TableS 7 2
H K 10 7 5H 9 2
D J 6D 8 5 2
C A K 6C 9 7 5 4 3 2
S K 5
H A Q J 6 4
3 NT SouthC Q J 10 8

Metz, South, had just taught his partner the Brozel convention, in which overcalls of 1 NT indicated two suits. North showed spades and an unknown minor suit. I wonder if Metz forgot to tell North she was supposed to have more than five points for this bid? Oh well, she caught Metz with the world’s fair. South bid 2 NT to ask which minor North held and then continued to his favorite contract — 3 NT.

West led the C K then the ace as declarer threw two spades from dummy. West shifted to the D J (a sweet card to see) and the gleam was restored in Metz’s eyes as he won the king. It was obvious that West held the missing high cards, so Metz next led a sneaky H J from his hand. It worked! West ducked.

Metz now went for the tour de force. He cashed two clubs, discarding spades from dummy, then overtook the D Q with the ace to run all the diamonds. Everyone was left with two cards: North had the S J and a heart; South the H A-Q; and West, not enjoying any of this, kept the S A and H K. Finally, Metz led a heart to the ace and had 11 tricks for a cold top.

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© 1998 Richard Pavlicek