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A Simple Squeeze or More?

#1 User is offline   FelicityR 

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Posted 2020-April-19, 14:07

An interesting grand slam hand came up in a JEC challenge match. Both declarers failed to make the slam. Maybe, not being an expert or world-class myself, I am missing something but I thought it was quite straightforward to make (as the cards lie but I had the luxury of seeing all four hands): set up two menaces in the North hand in s and s, and have a third menace in the South hand in s and upon playing the last trump () both East and West are squeezed. I'm quite prepared to accept criticism if I am completely wrong. The end position would be



Here's are the North/South hands. Assume the finesse fails (which it does on the actual hand) and trumps are 3-1, can the slam be made against any distribution? Or does another lead, such as a defeat it? A small was led by East. North is playing the hand in 7 after opening 1NT and South transfers in . No opposition bidding at either table.


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#2 User is offline   smerriman 

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Posted 2020-April-19, 15:17

Looks like a very interesting hand - so many lines and squeezes to choose from. I wouldn't know where to start the calculations.

But it's definitely not as straightforward as you think. Doesn't your line basically fail if East has the King of spades - making it no better than the simple spade finesse?

Edit - OK, it still works if East started with four clubs, but I'm sure there's something better..
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#3 User is offline   DavidKok 

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Posted 2020-April-19, 16:03

This looks like a compound squeeze to me, forcing the defender holding the king of spades to abandon their (third round) guard in at least one of the two minor suits on the 6th heart (north pitches a spade, a diamond and two clubs). Depending on which suit is abandoned, a double squeeze presents itself with threats Q, T and 6.

If west holds the king of spades, as assumed, then:
  • if they break up clubs it's a type R double squeeze with diamonds being the shared suit. Play a club to the king, a club back to the ace and the last heart.
  • if they break up diamonds it's a type B1 double squeeze with clubs being the shared suit. Cash the ace of spades and then the last heart, pitching the queen of spades if west holds on to the king.


If east holds the king of spades the contract can be made on a simple finesse. A compound squeeze targeting east actually fails - they can abandon clubs (assuming the suit is split 3-3, or pitch whatever if holding at most 2 clubs), and now west sits behind the only threat card in the south hand so there is no double squeeze. If east has the king of spades and at least 4 clubs the contract can still be made on a simple black suit squeeze, which makes the squeeze line better chances in total than the finesse.

There's no chance I would have been able to find this at the table though, one would need to be an expert card reader.
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#4 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-April-19, 17:08

Assuming opponents are experts, their discards are unlikely to give us a sufficiently clear picture. And most squeeze lines would give up on finding one opponent with QJx. So I think I would simply draw trumps, try to drop QJx, and (when it doesn't succeed) take a spade finesse.
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#5 User is offline   nekthen 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 02:27

The squeeze depends on the KS being offside, so it is no better than taking the spade finesse unless West has bid spades
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#6 User is offline   Povratnik 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 02:48

View PostDavidKok, on 2020-April-19, 16:03, said:

If west holds the king of spades, as assumed, then:
  • if they break up clubs it's a type R double squeeze with diamonds being the shared suit. Play a club to the king, a club back to the ace and the last heart.
  • if they break up diamonds it's a type B1 double squeeze with clubs being the shared suit. Cash the ace of spades and then the last heart, pitching the queen of spades if west holds on to the king.

They WILL break up clubs. I mean, West will break up clubs; lets say he has Kx Jxx Jxxx Jxx. On your first five trumps, West will throw 3 hearts and 2 clubs; East will throw 1 heart and 4 spades. You can throw 2 hearts, 2 clubs and 1 spade. Now you play penultimate trump, West discards his last club.
What do you discard?

Bottom line:
You have a chance for squeeze if West has 5-5 in minors, or if you (and your partner combined) have higher cards (e.g. both minor jacks). Sadly (for NS), but K finesse seems to be the best chance...
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#7 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 02:54


FelicityR "Here's are the North/South hands. Assume the finesse fails (which it does on the actual hand) and trumps are 3-1, can the slam be made against any distribution? Or does another lead, such as a defeat it? A small was led by East. North is playing the hand in 7 after opening 1NT and South transfers in . No opposition bidding at either table."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Shyam's line: AK ruff a . if QJ fail to drop, then finesse has the merit of simplicity.


I like FelifityR's line.: draw 5 rounds of trumps, discarding a and 2 s,. Then cash AK and ruff a . Now, cash A. Finally, she usually has to guess what to discard from dummy on the last trump. She succeeds when ...
- QJ drop in 3 OR
- A defender with K lacks control; and she guesses which. (double-squeeze) OR
- A defender has 4 or more s; and either K or sole control; and she guesses which. (automatic squeeze) OR
- A defender has sole control of all 3 plain suits (triple-squeeze).

A opening lead would have removed some of these squeeze options.

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#8 User is offline   shyams 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 03:58

View Postnige1, on 2020-April-20, 02:54, said:


I like FelifityR's line.: draw 5 rounds of trumps, discarding a and 2 s,. Then cash AK and ruff a . Now, cash A. Finally, she usually has to guess what to discard from dummy on the last trump. She succeeds when ...
- QJ drop in 3 OR
- A defender with K lacks control; and she guesses which. (double-squeeze) OR
- A defender has 4 or more s; and either K or sole control; and she guesses which. (automatic squeeze) OR
- A defender has sole control of all 3 plain suits (triple-squeeze).

A opening lead would have removed some of these squeeze options.

Isn't this line based on switching honour requirements the other way around? If East held the K all along, it would be thrown only after North dumps the Q.

A small point: It is better to discard 7 and 8 to retain the two of clubs in North. Helps with a "finesse" guard squeeze if West began with three high club cards and got squeezed out {e.g. West holds: Kxx xxx Qxxx Q109}
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#9 User is offline   nige1 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 08:49

View Postnige1, on 2020-April-20, 02:54, said:

I like FelifityR's line.: draw 5 rounds of trumps, discarding a and 2 s,. Then cash AK and ruff a . Now, cash A. Finally, she usually has to guess what to discard from dummy on the last trump. She succeeds when ...
- QJ drop in 3 OR
- A defender with K lacks control; and she guesses which. (double-squeeze) OR
- A defender has 4 or more s; and either K or sole control; and she guesses which. (automatic squeeze) OR
- A defender has sole control of all 3 plain suits (triple-squeeze).
A opening lead would have removed some of these squeeze options.

View Postshyams, on 2020-April-20, 03:58, said:

Isn't this line based on switching honour requirements the other way around? If East held the K all along, it would be thrown only after North dumps the Q.

No, FelicityR's line has other chances. For example, layouts like that on the left. RHO shows out on the 3rd round of s. Hence, when declarer leads the last trump, she knows that LHO has a guard, so she keeps dummy's Q, discarding T. RHO must keep K. So declarers' s are good.
In other layouts, without a reliable count, she might have to rely on inferences.

View Postshyams, on 2020-April-20, 03:58, said:

A small point: It is better to discard 7 and 8 to retain the two of clubs in North. Helps with a "finesse" guard squeeze if West began with three high club cards and got squeezed out (e.g. West holds: Kxx xxx Qxxx Q1090
Yes, Shyams makes an excellent point, so I've corrected the ending above. Also, in theory, Shyam's line (test s and take the finessse) seems as good or better than trying for a squeeze. In either line however, you can start by cashing five rounds of trumps, and ruffing a .
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#10 User is offline   msjennifer 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 09:59

Yes .Indeed!! I too was kibitzing as I do everyday. The double squeeze was missed.Of course it was not a straight forward play.If indeed East holds the SK and Jxx in diamonds the squeeze fails when a finesse would work.It will be interesting to work out the probabilities of these combinations .Only a mathematician may tell us and I know a certain senior lady who has done doctorate and ask her to guide us..One usually finds a deal or two in every session highlighting aspects of bidding also and I do snap them up on my phone.THANKS
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#11 User is offline   dsLawsd 

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Posted 2020-April-20, 13:43

Terrific hand- thanks for posting!

When it is your day with sharp mind it will be found.
But we suffer from time pressure in these on-line affairs.
In an important match the extra time more likely to be taken and your intuition could help (and the stake of the match-should you try to duplicate the other table's play and win on another board?)

I guess I would play A and ruff a diamond. Then run trumps. If a diamond honor falls that paints some possible roadmaps.

We should ask Rodwell, whose wonderful book on play gives clues on where to find the 13th.
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#12 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2020-December-26, 04:03

View Postnige1, on 2020-April-20, 08:49, said:


No, FelicityR's line has other chances. For example, layouts like that on the left. RHO shows out on the 3rd round of s. Hence, when declarer leads the last trump, she knows that LHO has a guard, so she keeps dummy's Q, discarding T. RHO must keep K. So declarers' s are good.
[size="2"]In other layouts, without a reliable count, she might have to rely on inferences.
Yes, Shyams makes an excellent point, so I've corrected the ending above. Also, in theory, Shyam's line (test s and take the finessse) seems as good or better than trying for a squeeze. In either line however, you can start by cashing five rounds of trumps, and ruffing a .


On 5 W has to discard (N pitch a - see the first diagram in #9): if 1) choises than the suit is unilateral on E whilest 2) choising the same vs E. Than on case 1) after cashing A realazing a twin entry recessed double squeeze, in case 2) A for a reciprocal balanced double squeeze (Bertrand Romanet terminology).(Lovera)
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#13 User is offline   Lovera 

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Posted 2020-December-26, 05:01

A consideration about the ending in #1: it is an automatic (because the squeeze card act vs opps on the same trick) double squeeze. Although it is requested to read card needing to discard the favourable(=upper card) menace. It also "fragile" because a lead in the suit of double menace destroy the ending (similarly like in the criss-cross simple squeeze).For the reason talked above Chien-Hwa Wang (author of clash squeeze) in him book "The Squeeze At Bridge" doesn't consider it so.
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