THE Strip Squeeze and Throwin is a most alluring term for a most alluring technique. Consider this four-card ending: This is a two-part quiz. As declarer, how do you win three of the last four tricks (a) with Spades trumps and (b) in Notrumps?
With Spades trumps, you can succeed without any form of squeeze. Exit with the King of Hearts to West’s Ace and await his return with glee, knowing that if he leads a Diamond, your Queen will be promoted; if he leads a Heart, you have a ruff-and-discard—ruffing in one hand and discarding a Diamond from the other.
In Notrumps, there is no ruffand-discard. The way to win three of the last four tricks is to lead the Ace of Spades and read the ending. If West throws a Diamond, the Ace will fell his King. If he throws the Queen of Hearts, you can exit with the King of Hearts to his Ace and enjoy his Diamond return. A clever West might throw the Ace of Hearts, hoping his partner can win the Heart trick with the King —not here.
See if you can make Six Spades on the King of Hearts lead.
It appears you have just 11 winners—seven Spades, Ace-king of Diamonds, Ace of Hearts and Ace of Clubs. But watch—if as well as his Heart guard, West also guards Clubs, he can be strip- squeezed. Win the King of Hearts lead with dummy’s Ace and all your Spades and Diamonds.
As you lead your last winner, West must reduce to three cards, his last four cards likely being Queen-ten of Hearts and King-ten of Clubs. If he bares his King of Clubs, a low Club to the Ace will fell his King and promote your Queen.
West is likely to discard the ten of Hearts, but you now throw him in with a Heart, forcing him to lead from his King-ten of Clubs. You’ll run the lead to your Queen and score the last trick with dummy’s Ace. Slam made.
See if you can make Three Notrumps after West has shown both majors and leads the King of Spades.
You count eight top tricks and the obvious chance for a ninth is a second Heart. However, if you play an early Heart to the Queen, West will win and cash too many Spades.
Duck West’s King of Spades (you don’t have to) and win the Queen of Spades continuation, so that you have a third Spade exit card. Now, cash four Diamonds. West can throw two Hearts, but must then throw a Club—let go a Spade and you can afford to give up a Heart as West has insufficient Spade winners to cash.
You now cash the Ace-king of Clubs, removing both of West’s remaining Clubs. Then, you throw him in with the third Spade. Let West win the Knave and cash his two long Spades, for a trick 12, he must lead from his King-ten of Hearts round to your Ace-queen. Game made.