Main   Exercise 5Q53 by Richard Pavlicek  

Michaels Is Cool

You are playing with a new partner and had very little time to go over a convention card. One thing partner insisted on playing was Michaels and, sure enough, it comes up right away.

For the first round you sit down against what looks like a couple of rock musicians. You say hello, and they look at each other briefly and answer “Cool.” Everyone reaches for the cards and you pick up:

None Vul
S A Q 10 5
H Q 6 2
D 4 3
C K 5 4 3

Mr. Cool on your left opens 1 S and partner makes a direct cue-bid of 2 S. The guy on your right says “Far out, man” which you interpret as a pass.

Which suit must partner always have on this auction?

How many suits does he show altogether?

Typically, what is the minimum length of each suit?

Keeping in mind you are forced to bid regardless of your hand, what is your response?

This appears to excite partner, as he goes immediately to 4 NT. The next hand mutters “Askin’ for the wood, man” which must be a pass.

What is your next bid?

Partner jumps to 6 H, you pass, and the cool dudes jive along.


“Dive with a five,” says Mr. Cool on your left as the H 5 hits the table. Partner puts down the dummy, and this is what you see:

None Vul
S 4
H A K J 10 9
D A K Q 9 8
C 7 2
1 S
2 S
4 NT
6 H
All Pass
4 H
5 D
Lead: H 5 Table
S A Q 10 5
H Q 6 2
D 4 3
6 H SouthC K 5 4 3

How many top tricks do you have in total?

Which suit do you expect to provide two more tricks?

Which suit(s) might provide another trick?

How many high-card points are outstanding?

Who has the S K?

Who has the C A?

You win the H K in dummy (East follows).

Which card do you lead at trick two?

Everyone follows.

What do you lead next?

Everyone follows, and the jack falls from West.

What do you lead next?

Which card do you play from your hand?

West discards a spade.

Which suit do you lead next?


You draw the outstanding trumps (West had two) and cash the rest of the diamonds to reach this ending with North on lead:

North leads
S 4
H 10 9
C 7 2
H trump
win 4/5
S A Q 10
C K 5

The cool dudes appear to have no problem; like what did you expect? West calmly threw three spades and a club, and East is humming tunes.

What do you lead next?

What do you discard from your hand?

West discards the S J.

What do you lead next?

What do you discard from your hand?

West discards the C Q. There are now just three cards left, and your play is crucial.

Which suit will you lead to punish these dudes?

Cool-man West tried to fool you, as he came down to one spade to avoid being endplayed. Your ace drops his king to bring in the slam. East stops humming.

The missing hands:

S K J 8 6 2
H 8 5
D J 2
C A Q J 8
Table S 9 7 3
H 7 4 3
D 10 7 6 5
C 10 9 6


© 1997 Richard Pavlicek