Friday, December 6, 2013

Interesting Squeeze

I’m on the airplane headed toward Phoenix, not studying system notes as I probably should be, but watching Castle reruns and contemplating a 1NT contract I played at the club Tuesday, how I’m going to spend the next two weekends in GA, and what class I’m going to take in spring semester.

Here’s the bridge deal. First it’s a bidding problem. What do you bid with 8xxx, KTx, Kx, A9xx after partner opens 1D and RHO bids 1S in matchpoints with favorable vulnerability? 1NT looks reasonable and was my action, but I wouldn’t argue with double. Heck, some days at these colors I might even try a pass for penalties. 1NT buys it and my dummy is KJ, A9xx, AQT9x, xx. Best defense will hold this to 7 tricks unless you guess to finesse diamonds for an 8th trick but the defense I got was far less than stellar.


The ST was led and RHO took the AQ9 before shifting to a low club. LHO took my 9 with the 10 and fired a low heart through, the 8 winning the trick in dummy. Now, if diamonds were 4-2, I’d have the rest of the tricks but as implied earlier, LHO had 5 of the suckers and I found this out when I played a diamond to my K.

Here’s where it gets interesting. Assuming either opponent can hold a club stopper, which is likely the case, there’s a double squeeze on the run of the diamonds (a heart was pitched on the third spade), but we kind of have to guess the rounded suit distribution.

LHO is initially squeezed upon cashing the trick 7 – he had to hold 3 diamonds for sure so either voided himself of clubs to keep a heart stopper or kept honor doubleton of clubs and a stiff heart. That could be difficult to figure out, but it’s a two card difference in the two different holdings.

RHO gets squeezed at trick 9 upon cashing the last good diamond. Before trick 9, dummy had A9x of hearts and Ax of diamonds while declarer has KTx of hearts and Ax of clubs.

If LHO had unguarded hearts, RHO must now keep all his hearts, so the low club will be good at trick 13.

If LHO had unguarded clubs, RHO must keep two clubs so is squeezed out of his heart trick. Now a heart to the K at trick 10 and the ace of clubs at trick 11 will squeeze LHO again in the pointed suits. Dummy pitches behind LHO at trick 11 with AT of hearts and a diamond while LHO has Qx of hearts and the J of diamonds.

If only LHO can guard clubs, there is a simple minor suit squeeze against him. If only RHO can guard clubs, he can’t guard hearts (he would have 10 black cards plus 1 diamond) so there’s a simple red suit squeeze against him.

Whew. I think I got that right.

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