Moscow-Pullman Daily News – 8 Feb 1995
Many players think that only experts can make contracts using a squeeze. Actually, many squeezes «play themselves,» emerging without any clever play.
In general, if you are one trick short of the number you need for your contract and have no apparent change for the extra trick, think squeeze. Squeezes don’t make good column deals, however, because the key play comes late in the day.
Vulnerable: North/South Dealer South
Opening lead: K
Yet I wanted to show you today’s deal because it was played by a 14-year-old, Mark Teltscher from London. Defending against five diamonds, West led a top spade and switched to the club 10. West’s switch at trick two told declarer that East surely held the club king.
So Teltscher could see 10 tricks; three hearts, five diamonds„ one club and one spade ruff in the dummy. He could establish a second club trick, but only after losing three tricks: one spade and two clubs. No good.
Bring on the squeeze. At trick two, Teltscher made an excellent play: He ducked the club in both hands. Now he had the rest of the tricks except one, ideal for a squeeze. West continued with his second club. Declarer won with this ace, ruffed his last spade in the dummy and ran all his trumps. In the end-position, the dummy had four hearts and South held the A-6 of hearts and two low clubs. But which four cards could East keep? He couldn’t retain both the club king and four hearts. He had been squeezed. If Teltscher plays with this level of skill and imagination at the ago of 14, imagine what he will be doing in another 10 or 20 years.