This deal from the first round of the Vanderbilt Cup in Reno contained an unusual ending that I dont recall seeing before. As East, I doubled the 1 opening for takeout, and my son Rich rescued to 1 after the redouble. Eventually, Brian Senior of England became declarer in 3 NT.
It looks like nine easy tricks with the A-K onside, and it would be after a red-suit lead; but Rich found the almost-killing spade lead, won by Souths king. The A-Q were cashed to discover the bad news (I pitched a spade) then South led a heart to develop his ninth trick. Suppose I win the A and return a spade, won in dummy.
If declarer leads another heart, West takes the king and leads a diamond to my A-K, then a third spade severs declarers communication. Whichever hand he wins in is left with a loser.
But wait! If declarer cashes one top club in dummy (he cant cash both because West still has the K) I am caught in a bizarre triple squeeze, reminiscent of the late Geza Ottlik. If I pitch my last spade, I cant lead a spade to break declarers communication; so I must let go my long card in a red suit; and declarer pitches from the opposite red suit. Next a heart is led to the king, and declarer can cope with any defense. If we cash both diamonds and lead a third spade, his hand is high thanks to the squeeze.
Alas, we didnt put declarer to the test instead trying to run diamonds after winning the heart. Sorry, Brian, for depriving you of the opportunity for the rare squeeze; but Im sure he would have gotten it right anyway.
© 2004 Richard Pavlicek