Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Sep 21, 1936

I have had many requests for elementary instructions on squeeze play. Therefore I have «stacked» the hand shown below to illustrate this type of coup in its simplest and most easily understandable form and at the same time to show the correct defense in similar typical situations.


West opens the heart suitK and continues with the heart suitQ and heart suitA. Declarer ruffs the third lead and sees that apparently he must lose a diamond trick in addition to the two tricks already lost. There is, however, one chance, and that depends on an extraordinarily favorable lay of cards.

He runs off every trump except one. Now, note’ what’ the lead of the last trump does to West. He must blank one-of his kings. If he chooses to blank the spade king, dummy’s ace and jack become good; if the diamond king (he has already had to let go the diamond jack) declarer’s ace and ten of diamonds will win.

Thus declarer is assured of three tricks in addition to his eight card trump suit—victory!

Now for the defense side of the picture. West must realize that declarer has a very long trump suit. The one danger that West runs of losing some of his high card tricks is through a squeeze play. But such a play requires entries in both dummy’s and declarer’s hands, and, moreover, entries that can be used at the proper time!

The best way to destroy a squeeze is to destroy one of these vital entries, thus cutting of communications.

Developing this theme. It must be noted that dummy has only one entry, the spade ace, while declarer has many, his trumps being entries in themselves. Therefore West cannot isolate declarer hand and should not try; there is no point in shifting to the diamond king after one or two heart leads. But dummy can be isolated by knocking out its one entry card, hence the crying need for a prompt shift to the spade king. With that shift dummy’s hand becomes null and void, the squeeze dies aborning , and the contract will be defeated.