Silvio Sbarigia’s Quiz 17th – Journey into a squeeze

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“A squeeze!” The expert exclaims smiling. “A squeeze?” Gasps the intermediate player out, turning the page. Come on, brother! Let’s walk hand in hand into the machinery. We aren’t going to learn it today, just we’ll see why Hugh Kelsey said that in the squeeze field there are the finest Bridge’s stories.

 

 North (dummy): ♠AJ 7654 432 ♣A654

South (Declarer): ♠2 AKQ AKQJ109 ♣K109

Contract: 7NT. West leads ♠K.

We count 12 tricks; maybe the thirteen one will come in from hearts, then we cash the suit, but West hold long hearts. So, he is busy in two suits (by the lead, he has the ♠Q). Both the menaces are in North, the upper hand over West. It looks that we have simply to run diamonds, watching if West discards the ♠Q – or hearth, but a queen is easier to see – and we follow getting rid of the menace that has become useless, but…but in this case the plain fails because we have to cash the ♣A before to run the diamonds, and it was our only entry to dummy. Without an entry, we cannot cash the menace that has grown to winning card. We need something else, as that West holds a club honour too (diagram 1).

 

The Declarer plays 10, the squeezing card.

Dummy

J

7

A6

West

Q

10

J4

10

East

4

Q87

Declarer

K109

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now the squeeze is on: the menaces in the upper hand force West to discard the club that protected East from the finesse in the suit.

After all, the squeeze isn’t so difficult…oh, sorry, there is a mistake. When we ran the hearts, East (not West) held the longer suit, then there is not a player that is busy in both hearts and spades. But… (diagram 2)   

The Declarer plays 10, the squeezing card.

Dummy

J

7

A6

West

Q

J74

10

East

10

4

Q87

Declarer

K109

 

…But when squeezing card has been played, West has to discard a club, otherwise the ♠J becomes winner. The Declarer discards the now useless ♠J in North, and East is squeezed in club and heart. This is a double squeeze spade-club-heart, where club is the double menace suit – i.e. the menace that acts against both opponents.

It must be noticed that the club honours can be everywhere: the double menace works on length.

After all, the squeeze isn’t so difficult…but it need to be studied. We suggest to start with “Squeeze play in bridge”, by Clyde E. Love (1951 Richard R. Smith Publisher, Inc. New York).

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