Playing matchpoints at favorable vulnerability, I deal and pick up the South hand. We have a simple auction to the normal 3NT contract.
I've been thinking about how I can manage a beer on this hand, but there really isn't any safe way; if I duck a trick, whoever wins it could have some spades left. I shall give up on my beverage possibilities.
I have my ten tricks and there's nothing I can do but to run diamonds, so I do. I've discarded one heart already on the spades, so I pitch two clubs and a heart on the first three diamonds. With one more winner to go, the position is
I'm confident that the squeeze position worked, so I remark, "have you really been criss-cross squeezed?" and lead the small club. Yes, she has, having been dealt 3-5-3-2 shape with the club honors doubleton. I make the remainder for 11 tricks.
The defense has lost their way a couple of times,
though their defense was rather natural, but the spade
lead required some care for me to achieve 460.
Three other declarers managed it, presumably
on different defense. We are not winning by
any stretch, so the matchpoints are far less
worthwhile than the opportunity to execute a
funny sort of criss-cross squeeze. The extended
menace in clubs meant that I was able to strand
At the end of the tournament, we agree that this was the best ending, although partner puts forth that his opening lead from KJ109xxx that speared my stiff Queen to unblock a suit is a candidate. We choose my hand, though, on the basis that we've each tried that King lead more than once, but neither of us had seen that end position before.
We agree, however, that "Best of Show" really went to an opponent's remark. Late in a matchpoint session, the opponents manage to pull off Hesitation Blackwood against us. The director rules that the result stands, so we are discussing appealling. We've learned that the carryover will only be two boards, so the score difference will be very small. As we discuss this, a pair of experts sits down. One is a total jerk, but a very strong player. In an earlier event, he had claimed victory, only to lose to a 78% game. The entire crowd thought that even sweeter. His partner is a good player, although not as good as the jerk, but he's a nice guy. Mr. Jerk makes some really obnoxious comment about hesitations, presumably responding to our discussion; the whole table goes silent. My partner honestly inquires, "was that a joke?" He explains his comment and we still don't know. After the round is over; Mr. Jerk has yelled at everyone at the table at least once. He leaves shortly before Mr. Nice Guy. I note that Mr. NG has three regular partners; all three regularly have Conduct clashes with the powers that be. I put this very tactfully; he responds, "yes, all three are AHs." "So why do you do this to yourself?" "I need the money."