10 August 2011

First Squeeze

There's a first time for everything. I can vaguely remember the first time I pulled off a genuine squeeze. It was a simple positional squeeze to make an overtrick. I didn't plan it as such but recognised it once it happened.

Lately I've been playing with Laura Stephen who has been learning the game at a startling rate since beginning to play about two years ago. Here's a hand she played in a club session last week:

A Q J 7 3
K 8
Q 9 6 5
T 6 4
9 3 2
T 7
T 9 6 5 2
9 8
A Q T 7 4
J 8 4 2
4 3
K 5 2
J 6 5
A K 3
K Q 8 7

The simple auction 1NT, pass, 6NT, all pass didn't give East much chance to indicate a lead; a club saw the contract survive trick one. The first 12 tricks aren't a challenge but the 13th needs to be considered to extract all of the matchpoints.

First the spades were cashed pitching two hearts out of hand. Next the extra club was unblocked before a diamond to hand left this position:

K 8
Q 9 6
T 9
J 8 4
K 3

Pitching hearts off the table the K is uncomfortable for East but the Q impossible. Well played!


  1. Nice play by your partner.

    I am reminded of the first time I knowingly executed a squeeze. I had been reading Love's book and recognized that I had a squeeze. The final 4 cards were something like:
    Dummy: D AKJx

    My hand (South)
    S J
    H J
    D x
    C 9 (only club left).

    West was known to have the top spade, and East the top heart. I had no clue as to who had the Diamond Q, but I did not care. Whovever had it was squeezed. I was rooting for the Q to be in the East so I would score a trick more than those who took the finesse, but as I recall it was in the West.

  2. First squeezes are awesome. Always tempting to just claim at T1 or 2 having survived the lead, so a good decision to play it out. Effective choice to not transfer which would let RHO chomp into 2H, too! +1 to rooting for a key Q to be offside on a squeeze hand, haha.

  3. @Jeff H
    A double squeeze, nice. It's sad when the finesse works as well, fortunately on the posted hand there's no other way to get 13 tricks.

    Whatever relative technical merits of transferring or not with such a vulnerable heart holding it seemed wrong. Maybe Stayman is the correct action. A nine card spade fit would be worth playing in and the club suit can stand a double.