Bridge

Country Life Every Week - - Crossword | Bridge - An­drew Rob­son

IT is one of the great­est thrills to squeeze both op­po­nents. Think like this: ‘If Op­po­nent A guards (say) Spades, and Op­po­nent B guards (say) Clubs, then nei­ther can guard (say) Di­a­monds.’ That was pre­cisely the sit­u­a­tion on this grand-slam deal from the Malvern Congress kindly sent to me a while ago by Worces­ter­shire’s Alf Man­ders.

West led the King of Spades, a good start for de­clarer, as the Knave of Spades was a threat against West’s Queen. De­clarer won dummy’s Ace and drew trumps.

De­clarer had a choice of squeezes and it all de­pended on which op­po­nent held four(+) Clubs, that is, the guard. If it was West, then he would be po­si­tion­ally squeezed on the run of the red-suit win­ners.

How­ever, if it were East who held the Club length, then de­clarer would need a Dou­ble Squeeze. It was some­thing of a guess, but, with West hav­ing ad­ver­tised the King-queen of Spades, de­clarer elected to play East for the Club length.

De­clarer cashed dummy’s Ace-King-queen of Clubs, then ran all his re­main­ing Hearts. On the last Heart, West had to re­duce to two Di­a­monds in order to re­tain the Queen of Spades. Dummy’s Knave of Spades could not be dis­carded (hav­ing served its pur­pose), where­upon East also had to re­duce to two Di­a­monds, to keep the Knave of Clubs (or dummy’s eight of Clubs would be pro­moted).

Hav­ing squeezed both op­po­nents down to two Di­a­monds, King, Ace and a third Di­a­mond took the last three tricks—grand slam made. A lovely Dou­ble Squeeze.

We stay in Dou­ble Squeeze mode and move to La Plagne for some Alpine magic.

West led a Heart, although a Di­a­mond lead would have scup­pered the slam. De­clarer won and led Ace and an­other Spade. West won and, pleased with his trump at­tack, short­en­ing dummy’s ruff­ing value, led a sec­ond Heart (again, a Di­a­mond would have worked bet­ter).

Win­ning the sec­ond Heart in hand, de­clarer ruffed a third Spade. He crossed to his Ace of Clubs, then led out his re­main­ing Hearts.

As de­clarer led his last Heart, West needed to re­duce to one Di­a­mond in order to keep three Clubs (and pre­vent dummy’s King-knave-six to pro­vide three tricks —via a fi­nesse). De­clarer now led his sec­ond Club to dummy’s Knave, then cashed the King. On this third Club, it was East’s turn to be squeezed down to one Di­a­mond, in order to keep the master Spade.

De­clarer dis­carded his Spade from hand and, at trick 12, led dummy’s Di­a­mond (the Queen) to his Ace, then fol­lowed with the five of Di­a­monds, win­ning the last trick as West held a Club and East a Spade. It was a clas­sic Non-si­mul­ta­ne­ous Dou­ble Squeeze, in the sense that the op­po­nents were squeezed on dif­fer­ent tricks.

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