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 SouthS A 4 2
H A 7 5 2
D A K Q J 10
C 6
Any VulWest

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
NORTH
1 D
2 H
3 S
5 S
7 D
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
3 C
4 NT
5 NT
7 NT
S  ?
H  ?
D  ?
C  ?
Table S  ?
H  ?
D  ?
C  ?



S K 8 7 5
H K 4 3
D 4 2
C A K Q 8

West leads the D 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   MainTop   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 D 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 (S 10-6 H 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 SouthS A 4 2
H A 7 5 2
D A K Q J 10
C 6
Any VulWest

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
All Pass
NORTH
1 D
2 H
3 S
5 S
7 D
East
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
South
1 S
3 C
4 NT
5 NT
7 NT
S Q J 3
H Q J 9
D 9
C J 9 7 4 3 2
Table S 10 9 6
H 10 8 6
D 8 7 6 5 3
C 10 5



Lead: D 9
S K 8 7 5
H K 4 3
D 4 2
C A K Q 8

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

Puzzle 7E75   MainTop   No Squeeze

© 1979 Richard Pavlicek