The Spokesman-Review – 9 Oct 1936 by Sam Gordon


Listen, sweetheart. You may not like to squeeze. Or, you may be afraid to squeeze. Or, you may think you will never learn to squeeze. But If you have read my column for the last few weeks, you have some idea of what it is all about. You have found out it is not necessarily a petting party. And you have some idea, perhaps a hazy one still, that it is a play in which some seeming loser is promoted into a winner by forcing an opponent to throw away a winner.

Fuss Around With This. And while this is still fresh in your mind, let me give you a few , examples to fuss around with. Practice what I have preached and , see what results you can get. Don’t try to keep the cards in your head. Lay them out on a table. Above is a deal. The contract is seven hearts. You are south, the declarer.

West makes an opening lead of the spade king. Hey, stop! Keep your paws from off that dummy. You must first plan to see what plays you must make to take all 13 tricks. The tricks you can take do not bother you. What makes you stop, look and listen are the tricks you must lose.

So the first thing you should do is to get a line on your possible losers. How do you know which losers you have? In some books you may find the answer in a chapter on the nebular antithesis of the inferential promotional factor in the technique of  plastic generation by the two-way-three application of the Y minus one formula for the use of beginners; or something like that.

My answer does not cost you so much, so you may not consider it of much value or reliability. However, I will give it to you, anyway.

It is this: Look at your hands and count your losers; and the time to do it is before you touch a card in the dummy. You should lose no tricks in clubs or trumps. You have those suits solid. You need not lose a trick in diamonds. You could ruff the jack of diamonds with a south trump if you wanted to do so. But it does look as if you had a loser in spades. So you have boiled down your first shock to this: I have one loser; I must find some way of saving it or turning it into a winner; I will first see if there is some simple method of doing it; if not. !I will have to try a difficult method. How do you go about determining the method to use for the best chances of success?

The best hint I can give you for preparing the play of a simple squeeze is to block out of your memory temporarily all but the last three cards in each hand Involved in the final squeeze. Select the squeeze card and two remaining losers in one hand first. In the opposite hand concentrate on a sure entry and two promotion cards. Arbitrarily picture the enemy threatening cards as being in the hand which is between the squeeze card and the squeezer’s, partner.

In the above hand, you would thus block out those three remaining cards as follows: in south, heart four, diamond three and spade three; in north, diamond A, J and spade J; in West, diamond K, Q and spade Q. The East cards are ignored. You are thus prepared to play, your first 10 tricks without hesitation or study, making sure only that the lead remains in the south hand with the squeeze card when the 10th trick is taken.

Take the first 10 tricks and the squeeze cards are there before you.