25 March 2011

Giving your mate a squeeze

We're all told to 'switch off' when we're dummy. To not pay full attention to the hand. It's a good habit to be in and it will help getting through long matches. A couple of nights ago I was doing just that but even through my haze of disinterest partner seemed to be doing something odd. The contract made, we scored it up, it wasn't a great board.

Later, after play finished there began a discussion on just how 3NT could be made. My partner had made and I remember some declarers managed an over. Here's the hand in question:
K Q J 9
Q 4
A T 8 5
Q J 7
7 5 2
A K 7 3
Q 9 6 4
K 3
The goal is nine tricks in no trumps. To their credit the defence have made a good start; the objective is far from certain. The 2 indicates a 5 card holding given the defensive agreements. My partner won the K to play on the suit without options, spades. The K held at trick two but at trick three Q fell to West.

At this point at many tables around the room West lost temperament. Throwing down the Ace of clubs all but concedes 10 tricks, yawn. Our West is not so nervous and continues a low club ensuring his partner holds an entry. To count up for declarer: 2 clubs, 1 diamond, 3 hearts and two spades make 8 tricks. The spades may break but that can come later. This was in fact the position:
J 9
Q 4
A T 8 5
J T 6
J 3 2
A T 8
T 4
9 8 5 2
K 7
A K 7 3
Q 9 6 4
It appears that playing on spades, hearts or diamonds will eventually cede a trick. And as soon as you give them the chance the defenders will have the club suit. That is of course the point, if spades, hearts and diamonds are wrong the correct play must be in clubs. The Q exit to West was simple enough for East but what to pitch on the fourth and fifth rounds of clubs?

The play is named as a suicide squeeze. Normally a squeeze involves cashing your winners to force discards but when you have none somebody else's will serve.

1 comment:

  1. What I like about your posts is the style of your layout and commentary. Very easy to read and much to appreciate. I do hope others enjoy themas much as I do. Yours John Howard Gibson ( aka HBJ )