Over the past six weeks, I’ve introduced the different varieties of squeeze: the Automatic, the Positional, the Double and the Strip, together with some of the key elements—rectifying the count, the vienna Coup and isolating the guard. Over the coming weeks, I will be analysing some fascinating deals I’ve collected over the years, where squeeze technique is crucial. Our first comes from the Big Apple.
West led a passive Diamond, declarer beating east’s Knave with the Queen and leading the King of Hearts. West won the Ace (anyone for a duck?) and led a second Diamond. Winning in dummy, declarer next led a Spade to the Queen— playing for four Club tricks was an inferior alternative.
The Spade finesse successful, declarer cashed the Ace of Spades (no King appearing), then the Queenknave of Hearts, discarding a Spade and a Club from dummy. He cashed the Ace of Clubs, on the off chance of seeing a singleton Queen (no), and led over his third Diamond. He cashed dummy’s Diamond winners to leave a two-card ending, in which dummy had the Knave of Spades and a Club, and he had the King-knave of Clubs in hand.
At trick 12, declarer led a Club, east playing the ten. Should he finesse the Knave, the best a priori odds, or rise with the King?
east’s last card is known to be the King of Spades. Declarer doesn’t need to be watching the discards, he knows the Club finesse is bound to fail. He rises with the King and, lo and behold, West’s Queen does drop. This is known as a Show-up Squeeze—you squeezed east down to one Club, to keep his King of Spades. That last Club will ‘show up’, so, even if it is low (as here), you know not to finesse.
Our second deal comes from a duplicate at the Andrew robson Bridge Club.
West led the Knave of Spades, east winning the Ace and trying a hopeful Ace of Diamonds. Declarer ruffed (dummy perked up) and liked his chances—only the third round of Hearts to worry about.
At trick three, declarer ruffed a (winning) Spade to ruff a second Diamond. He ruffed his other winning Spade and ruffed a third Diamond. Declarer was hoping the King of Diamonds might ruff out, setting up dummy’s Queen. He was happy when east discarded, however—watch.
Declarer led out all his remaining Clubs. As he led his last Club, West had to discard down to two Hearts, to keep the King of Diamonds. Declarer could now let go of dummy’s Queen of Diamonds (it had served its purpose) to leave Ace-knave-seven of Hearts.
At trick 11, declarer led the King of Hearts and, at trick 12, he led a Heart to dummy’s AceKnave, West playing low. Finesse or drop?
Drop. West’s other card is known to be the King of Diamonds, so there is no point in finessing. Declarer rose with dummy’s Ace and was rewarded when east’s Queen fell. Dummy’s Knave of Hearts won the last trick—slam made. Another lovely Show-up Squeeze.