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Subj:    Bridge Challenge #8 (S513c)
         From Chapter 8 - "Squeeze Play", page 122

From the book Winning Declarer Play 
              by Dorothy Truscott 
              Published in 1969 by Harper and Row 
 
West
S - K Q 10 9
H - 7 6
D - 8 6 5
C - J 9 7 6
North
S - A J 6
H - A K Q J
D - A K Q J
C - 3 2

South
S - 4 3 2
H - 4 3 2
D - 4 3 2
C - A K Q 4

East
S - 8 7 5
H - 10 9 8 5
D - 10 9 7
C - 10 8 5

The squeeze is often considered the hallmark of the expert.  As a result, the average player assumes the whole subject must be exceedingly difficult.  It isn't.  In fact the majority of squeezes are fun to execute and require no serious thought.

Some squeezes are so easy a beginner "falls into" the correct play without having any idea what he is doing.

Let's assume that East-West are good players and North-South are just beginners.  In some manner, South stumbles into a contract of seven no-trump and West leads the king of spades.

Declarer wins the ace of spades and counts his tricks.  One spade, four hearts, four diamonds, and three clubs bring the total to twelve.  South knows his little club is not a trick, because one defender must have at least four cards in the suit.  However, he hopes that if he saves clubs until last, this defender will get mixed up and discard one.  Accordingly  he clutches the A K Q 4 of clubs tightly to his breast as he cashes the eight red winners.  Lo and behold, when the last red winner is lead, West discards a club and the grand slam rolls home!

West didn't get "mixed up."  He got squeezed.

With five cards left the position was:
 
West
S - Q
H -
D -
C - J 9 7 6
North
S - J 6
H -
D - J
C - 3 2

South
S - 4
H -
D -
C - A K Q 4

East
S - 8 7
H -
D -
C - 10 8 5

When declarer cashed his last red winner, the jack of diamonds, both East and South threw spades.  West couldn't throw the spade queen, as this would establish dummy's jack.  So, he gnashed his teeth and threw a club.  (Imagine how ignominious it is for a good player to be squeezed by a beginner!)

Although this squeeze was very easy, it's a good idea to take a close look at the principles involved.  Obviously, declarer can never make more than four hearts or four diamonds, because he has no extra cards in those suits.  However, he does have a extra club, which could become a trick.  And, he has the jack of spades, which could become a trick.  These cards are called threat cards, or menaces.  The four of clubs is a threat against the defender who must hold on to four clubs, and the jack of spades is a threat against the defender who must keep the queen.

On this hand West is the only one who can guard the clubs and the only one who can beat the jack of spades.  When the diamond jack is cashed, the burden of guarding both suits becomes too much for him.  Everyone has to come down to four cards and there is no room in West's hand for the spade queen as well as the four clubs.  He is squeezed.
 

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This is one example from Dorthy Truscott's book "Winning Declarer Play."  Buy
the book, read it, and rereat it a dozen times.  I guarantee it will improve
your bridge game.

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