Main     Article 7J05 by Richard Pavlicek    

No Squeeze

I was East on this deal from OKbridge, the premier online bridge club, and watched my opponents bid merrily to a slam. I got to make one peep — a double of the 4 S cue-bid to request that lead — so my partner dutifully led a spade. Observe that with any other lead 6 H is easily made without the spade finesse by establishing dummy’s fourth club.

6 H by South

N-S Vul
S A Q 10
H K Q 6 5
D K 3
C Q 7 5 2
S 9 7 4 3
H 10 9
D J 9 6 5
C 9 6 4
TableS K J 8 5
H 7 4
D Q 10 8 7
C K 10 8
Lead: S 4S 6 2
H A J 8 3 2
D A 4 2
C A J 3

West

Pass
Pass
Pass
Pass
North

2 C
3 H
4 S
6 H
East

Pass
Pass
Dbl
All Pass
South
1 H
3 C
4 D
Pass

Declarer knew I held the S K, so he tried finessing the 10 to no avail as I won the jack. I exited safely with a trump and declarer drew a second round. Next came the D K, D A and a diamond ruff; then a low club to the jack. Two more trumps were led, throwing a club from dummy, and the C A was cashed.

At this point North remained with the S A-Q and the C Q; I held the S K-8 and the C K. Declarer led his last trump, throwing the C Q from dummy as I threw the C K. Whew! My partner’s C 9 saved the day, so there was no squeeze; down one. Curiously, the contract can and should be made. Do you see how?

Knowing that the S K was offside from my double, declarer should win the ace at trick one. Draw trumps, ruff out the diamond, and finesse the C J as before. Next lead all the remaining trumps, coming down to the S Q and C Q-7 in dummy. If East keeps C K-10, declarer can exit with a spade for an endplay; and if East blanks the C K, it will drop under the ace.

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© 1999 Richard Pavlicek