Bridge

Country Life Every Week - - Crossword Bridge - An­drew Rob­son

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.

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