CONTINUING our series on the wonderful squeeze, compare these endings:
As declarer, you lead the Ace of spades and in (a) west is squeezed. He’ll likely let go the Knave of Hearts to keep his Diamond guard, but you now throw dummy’s Knave of Diamonds and win the last tricks with dummy’s red Aces (the Ace of Hearts felling west’s now bare King) and your promoted Queen of Hearts.
No squeeze operates on (b), however, because dummy discards before East.
If you’d cashed dummy’s Ace of Hearts earlier, then the Queen of Hearts in your hand would mean that the squeeze would work, whether west held the guards or (in (b)) East. Cashing a high card to create a one-card threat in the other hand is known as a Vienna Coup. the name harks back to the days of whist. Apparently, one James Clay (1804–73) saw it being executed by ‘the greatest player in Vienna’—identity unknown.
see if you can justify your ambitious bidding on our first deal.
Declarer won west’s five of spades lead with dummy’s King and counted 12 top tricks. He knew from the bidding that East was in sole charge of spades. If East also held the King of Diamonds, he could be squeezed, but because he was discarding after dummy, it was imperative to move the Diamond threat to his hand— the Vienna Coup.
Declarer drew trumps in four rounds, then made the key play of leading to dummy’s Ace of Diamonds. He then followed with his Club winners and his two remaining Hearts.
on the last winner, East was squeezed between the QueenKnave of spades and the King of Diamonds. He had to retain the spades looking at dummy’s Acethree of spades, so away went the King of Diamonds. No good for him—declarer’s Queen was promoted. Champagne.
our second deal is a mere small slam.
west led the Knave of Clubs, East winning the Ace and returning a second Club. As declarer, your only hope (apart from an unlikely singleton King of Hearts) is to hope that one opponent guards both Hearts (with the King) and Diamonds (holding four-plus cards).
In case East guards both suits, you must cash dummy’s Ace of Hearts to create a one-card threat (the Queen of Hearts) in your hand.
You draw two rounds of spades, cash the Ace of Hearts (Vienna Coup), then run all your spades, discarding Hearts from dummy. on the last spade, East is squeezed out of the King of Hearts and four Diamonds. slam made.