Main     Column 7B26 by Richard Pavlicek    

The Compound Squeeze

The Broward County Final of the Grand National Pairs Championship was held at the Ft. Lauderdale Bridge Club on Sunday, October 14. This two-session event would qualify the top 20 pairs to advance to the State Final in Tampa later this year.

The top three finishers were: 1. Helen Shanbrom, Emily Nevins; 2. Gracie Gabbai, Fred McBride; 3. Jackie Molovinsky, Evelyn Patten.

Some of the deals were quite challenging, including this gem from the second session. Several pairs went for all the marbles by bidding seven notrump — not unreasonable with the North cards after partner has opened the bidding.

7 NT S A 5 2
H 9
D A K Q J 5
C A K 9 4
Both Vul




2 D
3 C
7 NT

All Pass

1 H
2 H
3 NT
S J 7 4 3
H 8 3
D 10 7 2
C 10 8 6 3
Table S Q 8 6
H Q 10 6 2
D 6 4 3
C Q 7 2
Lead: C 3 S K 10 9
H A K J 7 5 4
D 9 8
C J 5

West chose to lead a club, taken by dummy’s king, and declarer had little choice but to try the heart finesse. When this held, South had 12 sure tricks (assuming the diamonds ran); but where would the 13th trick come from? With hearts splitting four-two, the contract seems hopeless.

Enter, the compound squeeze! To facilitate following the play, readers may wish to lay out the diagram with a deck of playing cards.

After finessing the heart jack, South cashes the heart king to discard a club from dummy. The diamond suit is then run, South throwing two hearts and a spade. East is caught in a triple squeeze and must find two discards — the best he can do is discard two spades (other variations are left for the reader to solve).

The spade ace is then cashed, followed by a spade to the king, and East is squeezed again (poor guy). East can postpone the denouement by discarding a club, but now it is West’s turn to get crunched. The heart ace neatly squeezes West in the black suits and the optimistic contract is made.


© 10-21-1984 Richard Pavlicek