Most FLBC players will remember Gracie Gabbai, a charming lady and a clever player. I had the pleasure of partnering her in various events and was amazed at her table feel the ability to make the right decisions at the right time. She had a great flair for the game.
This deal is from a tournament about 10 years ago. Gabbai, South, playing with Bernie Chazen of Tamarac, demonstrated perfect technique to earn a top score and win the event.
West led the 4, which gave Gabbai eight sure tricks four clubs (winning 10 first), three spades and one diamond and she set about to establish a ninth by leading a heart. West won the K and returned a club to dummys queen, then the J was led to the ace.
West was now aware of the futility in clubs so he shifted to a diamond to Easts jack. Gabbai could win this and make her contract, but that would be lazy. With nine tricks you look for 10; with 10 look for 11, etc. The spade suit was the only chance for more, and a squeeze was necessary if that suit did not break 3-3.
Squeeze plays usually require that declarer can win all but one of the remaining tricks, so Gabbai ducked the first diamond lead.
East continued with the K, won by the ace. Gabbai then unblocked the K and returned to her hand with a heart to cash the A. East was forced to abandon his spade stopper to keep the Q, and declarer won the rest of the tricks.
© 1997 Richard Pavlicek