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Country Life Every Week - - 109 - An­drew Rob­son

I’M go­ing to run a se­ries on The Squeeze, hop­ing to de­mys­tify this ex­cit­ing area of the game. The first thing to say is that most squeezes just hap­pen, with­out you as de­clarer hav­ing to do much, apart from lead out all your win­ners, in­clud­ing that very last trump.

Take this end­ing in which you as de­clarer are lead­ing: Dummy ♥A J ♦2 De­clarer ♠A ♥4 ♦K You have two of the last three tricks off the top: the Aces of Spades and Hearts. If you lead the Ace of Spades and dis­card dummy’s Di­a­mond, how­ever, you will make all three tricks, as East is squeezed in Hearts and Di­a­monds. If he throws his Ace of Di­a­monds, your King is pro­moted; if he throws a Heart, dummy’s Ace-knave are pro­moted.

Note the above squeeze would op­er­ate if West held guards in both red suits. It’s there­fore classed as Au­to­matic—that is, it works on ei­ther op­po­nent. Let’s swap the King of Di­a­monds: Dummy ♥A J ♦K De­clarer ♠A ♥4 ♦2 You lead your Ace of Spades and West is squeezed. If he throws the Ace of Di­a­monds, dummy’s King is pro­moted; if he throws a Heart, dummy’s Di­a­mond is dis­carded (hav­ing served its pur­pose) and the last two tricks are won by dummy’s Ace-knave of Hearts.

Note that the sec­ond po­si­tion would not work if East held West’s cards, be­cause he would be dis­card­ing af­ter dummy, dummy hold­ing both the red-suit threats. Be­cause the squeeze works only on West but not on East, it’s said to be Po­si­tional.

On our first deal, West led the Ace of Di­a­monds ver­sus Four Hearts, East en­cour­ag­ing with the nine. West cashed the King and led a third Di­a­mond to East’s Queen. At trick four, East switched to the ten of Clubs. Plan the play

It ap­pears that you need the Club fi­nesse for your 10th trick with three Spades, five Hearts and the Ace of Clubs. How­ever, West’s dou­ble has told you he has the King of Clubs—and, also, very likely, four Spades. Guard­ing both black suits, he’s go­ing to be in some trou­ble. Rise with the Ace of Clubs and lead out all your Hearts. On the last Heart, West must ei­ther throw a Spade, pro­mot­ing dummy’s Acek­ing-queen-four into four tricks; or let go the King of Clubs, pro­mot­ing your Queen. Ten tricks and game made.

We fin­ish with an out­ra­geous coup in a hor­ri­ble slam.

The de­fence could have taken the Ace-king of Hearts straight away, but West rea­son­ably led the Knave of Spades. De­clarer won in dummy and needed to tighten the end­ing. At trick two, he led a Heart (yes, re­ally) to the Queen. West won the Ace and, un­sus­pect­ingly, con­tin­ued with the ten of Spades.

De­clarer won the Spade and cashed all his Di­a­monds plus the third Spade. On this fi­nal win­ner, East was squeezed be­tween the King of Hearts and his four Clubs. Throw the Heart and de­clarer’s Knave was pro­moted; dis­card a Club and the suit would pro­vide four tricks. Slam made.

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