07 October 2010


A lesser known play that usually happens by accident rather than by design is the compression play. One might think that compression plays and squeeze plays are in some manner related and my thesaurus informs me they are synonyms along with contract, throttle, pack and jostle (you'll need to go to other sites for the last three) but there's no bridge relation. Here's a compression I successfully executed recently though I'll admit I only saw it coming two tricks before it happened.

Vul: EW
Dealer: W
SK 5 4
HK 9
DK 9 5 2
CQ 7 5 3
SJ 8 3 2
H7 2
CA K 9 6 4
HQ J T 8 3
DJ 6 4 3
CJ T 8 2
SA Q T 9 7 6
HA 6 5 4
DA 8 7

I opened a spade after two passes, West tried two clubs but my partner raised me to 3 and I bid the game after some thought of trying for slam. West not surprisingly led the Ace of clubs and on seeing dummy I was kicking myself for not reaching for the 6 level. Still I'm playing match points though so I have to play like there's someone else in the room asleep enough not to bid this. I ruffed the club, played up to the KH, back to the AH and ruffed a heart on the dummy West pitching the TD*. I returned to hand with the AD and ruffed another heart (West pitching a club) and cashed the KS finally revealing the wondrous break in spades that was going to get me a top board. I still need to draw the trumps so I ruffed a club back to hand and played off the Ace and Queen of trumps pitching a diamond and a club to leave this position:

DK 9
CK 9
DJ 6
D8 7

And now I saw it. When I play a diamond West is in trouble, if he ruffs then I play small from the table and the KD and TS make up 12 tricks so instead he pitched a club. Now the KD wins, I ruff the Queen of clubs and on the last trick the defensive trump trick and the defensive diamond trick are compressed into 1. Sometimes the cards just come out in the right order.

*At this point West can hold me to 5 by ruffing with the 8S

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