Puzzle 7E75   Main

# No Squeeze

by Richard Pavlicek

You may not approve of the bidding, but there you, in a grand slam with 12 tricks. Where there are 12, there are usually 13 — or so say the squeeze experts. Certainly there are excellent squeeze chances here:

 7 NT South A 4 2 A 7 5 2 A K Q J 10 6 Any Vul WestPassPassPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 3 5 7 EastPassPassPassPassPass South1 3 4 NT5 NT7 NT ?  ?  ?  ? ?  ?  ?  ? K 8 7 5 K 4 3 4 2 A K Q 8

West leads the 9, and 7 NT cannot be made. The following conditions exist:

 1. At least one defender has a singleton. 2. West has exactly two even spot cards. 3. The sum of West’s club spots equals the sum of East’s spade spots. Note: Spot cards are deuce through 10

What are the exact East-West hands?

 Puzzle 7E75   Main Top   No Squeeze

## Solution

For starters, both majors must split 3-3. If not, declarer would have a positional major-suit threat behind at least one defender, allowing 7 NT to be made on a compound squeeze. (To understand this, see my article on Pure Squeezes.) For the same reason, East cannot hold five or more clubs. So West cannot have a club singleton; nor East a diamond singleton (East will have too many clubs); nor East a club singleton (he’ll have at most 12 cards). Therefore, the 9 lead must be the singleton, giving West 3=3=1=6 shape, and East 3=3=5=2.

If West has only one even club spot, his minimum club-spot count is 26 (J-9-7-5-3-2); whereas, East’s maximum spade-spot count is 25 (10-9-6). Therefore, West has two even club spots; and East has all the even major-suit spots ( 10-6 10-8-6). East’s third spade must be the nine, else his spade-spot count could never be great enough to equal West’s club-spot count. The only West club holding with a spot total of 25 is J-9-7-4-3-2. So the full deal must be:

 7 NT South A 4 2 A 7 5 2 A K Q J 10 6 Any Vul WestPassPassPassPassAll Pass NORTH1 2 3 5 7 EastPassPassPassPassPass South1 3 4 NT5 NT7 NT Q J 3 Q J 9 9 J 9 7 4 3 2 10 9 6 10 8 6 8 7 6 5 3 10 5 Lead: 9 K 8 7 5 K 4 3 4 2 A K Q 8

And as most people would surely agree: Who really cares!

 Puzzle 7E75   Main Top   No Squeeze