Bridge

Country Life Every Week - - Bridge Crossword - An­drew Rob­son

Ire­mem­ber to this day one par­tic­u­lar deal from the Schools Cup back in 1980. I’d bid to Six Hearts and ran my trumps. At trick 13, my two of Clubs be­came a win­ner, af­ter both op­po­nents had thrown away Clubs. My op­po­nents shot dis­ap­pointed glances at each other, as if to say ‘Why on earth did you throw a Club?’. Then, the real­ity dawned: West had had to keep a Heart guard and east had had to keep a Di­a­mond guard. In an ar­che­typal Dou­ble Squeeze, nei­ther could keep the Clubs.

Here is the clas­sic Dou­ble Squeeze end­ing: West has to throw a Club, to pre­vent dummy’s King of Hearts from pro­mot­ing. Dummy’s King of Hearts can now be re­leased, hav­ing served its pur­pose. east also has to throw a Club, other­wise de­clarer’s King of Di­a­monds is pro­moted. At trick 12, de­clarer leads over to the Ace of Clubs, felling the King and Queen, where­upon dummy’s lowly two of Clubs scores the last trick. Clubs is said to be the Pivot Suit, the one that both op­po­nents guard.

An open­ing Heart lead would de­feat Six Spades on our first deal, but, af­ter east led a nor­mal Queen of Di­a­monds, de­clarer could suc­ceed.

De­clarer won West’s Di­a­mond lead with the King and led the Queen of Spades, east win­ning the Ace and switching to the King of Hearts. Win­ning dummy’s Ace, de­clarer cashed the Ace of Di­a­monds and ruffed a Di­a­mond, iso­lat­ing the guard (so only West guarded Di­a­monds).

De­clarer could now say to him­self ‘West guards Di­a­monds, east guards Hearts, so nei­ther can guard Clubs’. He ran all his Spades. On the last Spade, West had to re­duce to two Clubs to re­tain his mas­ter Di­a­mond. Dummy’s Di­a­mond could now be dis­carded, leav­ing Ace-kingtwo of Clubs. east also had to dis­card down to two Clubs, to re­tain his mas­ter Queen of Hearts.

At trick 11, de­clarer led a Club to dummy’s Ace-king and scored the last trick with the deuce of Clubs. Slam made—as if by magic.

On our sec­ond deal, can you make Seven Spades on a pas­sive Spade lead?

De­clarer drew trumps in three rounds (West throw­ing a Heart) and had two main chances for a 13th trick. The Queen of Hearts might ruff out, set­ting up the Knave. Or the Clubs might split 3-3.

De­clarer cashed the Ace-king of Hearts, then crossed to the King of Clubs and ruffed a Heart. No good —east dis­carded a Di­a­mond. De­clarer now cashed the Ace-queen of Clubs, hop­ing for an even split. No good—west dis­carded a Di­a­mond.

It seems as if de­clarer is a trick short, but watch what hap­pens when he leads his last Spade. West must dis­card another Di­a­mond, to re­tain his Queen of Hearts. Dummy’s Knave of Hearts can now be dis­carded (hav­ing served its pur­pose). east must also throw a Di­a­mond, to keep his mas­ter Club.

Hav­ing squeezed both op­po­nents down to two Di­a­monds, you cash the Ace of Di­a­monds, cross to dummy’s King and win the last trick with the five of Di­a­monds. Grand Slam made.

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