Country Life Every Week - - Bridge Crossword - An­drew Rob­son

Both this week’s squeezes were played by ju­niors, the first by Egypt’s hus­sein Sherif in the Youth team Cham­pi­onships.

West led the Knave of Clubs and de­clarer had to de­cide whether to win or to duck. there is some­thing to be said for win­ning and lead­ing a Spade to the Queen, for a favourable Spade lay­out—a three-three split with West hold­ing the King —will yield three Spade tricks, where­upon the slam is nearly home.

the above line, found by the Pol­ish South at the other ta­ble, failed. our young Egyp­tian hero elected to let the Knave of Clubs win, re­ly­ing on the hearts to pro­vide five tricks, pre­par­ing the way for a 4-4 Club split and a long card, also rec­ti­fy­ing the count for a pos­si­ble squeeze.

he threw a Di­a­mond from dummy on the Knave of Clubs and an­other Di­a­mond on the ten of Clubs that fol­lowed.

Win­ning the sec­ond Club, de­clarer cashed the other two top Clubs, dis­card­ing Spades from dummy, then led the Ace of Spades, the Vi­enna Coup. he next cashed the Ace of hearts and led over to dummy’s King-queen-ten-eight (when the Knave fell).

on the last heart win­ner, East was squeezed. he had to keep the King of Spades or dummy’s Queen would be pro­moted, so was forced to re­duce to two Di­a­monds. At trick 11, de­clarer led a Di­a­mond to his Ace-king, and scored the last trick with his lowly seven of Di­a­monds. In ju­nior cir­cles, win­ning the last trick with the seven of Di­a­monds en­ti­tles you to a beer from the other play­ers. Very well played.

our sec­ond deal comes from a Swedish Ju­nior Camp and fea­tures fine de­clarer play from Is­rael’s ophir Reshef.

West led the Queen of hearts, which de­clarer cor­rectly al­lowed to hold. A Spade switch at trick two would have left de­clarer with too much to do, but, West con­tin­ued nor­mally with the Knave of hearts, which would have been the nec­es­sary heart play if de­clarer be­gan with ten-small. De­clarer cov­ered the Knave with dummy’s King, East win­ning the Ace and re­turn­ing a third heart to de­clarer’s ten.

At trick four, de­clarer led a low Club to­wards dummy’s Knave­nine, West fly­ing in with the Queen (would de­clarer have tried dummy’s nine if West had ducked smoothly?). West cashed his long heart, dummy and de­clarer let­ting go Di­a­monds, and ex­ited with the Knave of Spades.

De­clarer won the Queen of Spades, crossed to the Knave of Clubs and re­turned to his Acek­ing, forc­ing West to throw the Knave of Di­a­monds to keep three Spades. De­clarer crossed to the Ace-king of Spades and, at trick 12, led a Di­a­mond to­wards his Ace-queen. Fi­nesse or drop?

De­clarer re­flected that West had flown in with the Queen of Clubs, which sug­gested he knew his part­ner held no higher Club. he would only know that if he held the King of Di­a­monds.

on a more su­per­fi­cial level, that Knave of Di­a­monds dis­card was very sus­pi­cious. De­clarer rose with the Ace and the King was felled. Game made.

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