Tuesday March 24, 2015
A Squeeze is a play which forces an opponent, with an embarrass de riches, to discard at a time when he would prefer not to.
The term was coined by US great Sidney Lenz back in the 1920s. It is a generally held belief that Squeeze-play is the domain of the expert.
But this need not be so, as many Squeezes simply play themselves. Witness this deal, in which all declarer needs to do is keep his head and watch out for one card.
(1) Close to Three Spades, especially after the double (good preemptive tactics to bid half a level higher after a double). (2) But catches up. Looks right to play in spades rather than notrumps, with his two weak suits; however, because the opponents cannot run five club tricks, Three Notrumps is a cinch, with nine top tricks. Contract: 4 Opening Lead: J
West naturally cashes three top clubs, then switches to the king of diamonds. Ostensibly, it looks as though you as declarer need a 3-3 heart split for your tenth trick. Actually you are far better placed, especially given that West has advertised the queen of diamonds and is likely to have four hearts for his double of One Spade. Play out all your trumps – yes – don’t stop playing trumps because your opponents have run out. As you play the last trump, West will find it impossible to discard. Here is the ending:
If West lets go of a heart, dummy’s hearts will provide four tricks. West can see that, so in practice will discard the queen of diamonds, hoping his partner can guard the suit with the jack. No good. The queen of diamonds was the one card you were looking out for. If you did not see it, you would play out dummy’s hearts in the hope of a fourth-round length winner. But with West’s queen of diamonds going, you can table the jack, a promoted winner. 10 tricks and game made. You pulled off a Simple Automatic Squeeze: Simple, because just one opponent was squeezed; Automatic, because the Squeeze would have worked on either opponent, provided they alone guarded both red suits.