ETCETERA / Bridge

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The Independent Culture
A RECENT new book is The Squeeze at Bridge by Chien-Hwa Wang (Cadogan Books, pounds 9.95). Perhaps the author devotes a little too much space to his speciality (Clash Squeezes, which many readers, like me, would not recognise even if bitten by one) but the rest of the text is a very lucid description of this often neglected part of the game. This deal caught my eye:

North

S. A K Q 2

H. 4 2

D. A K 6 4

C. K Q 7

South

S. 9 4 3

H. A K 5

D. Q 5 2

C. A J 10 5

West

S. J 5

H. Q 10 7

D. J 10 9 8 7 3

C. 9 2

East

S. 10 8 7 6

H. J 9 8 6 3

D. None

C. 8 6 4 3

South ends in Seven No-trumps and West leads the jack of diamonds. Dummy wins with the king and East discards a heart. Normally a 6-0 break is bad news but here it enables declarer (if he is in a flamboyant mood) to make an immediate claim] Why?

There are 12 top winners and declarer starts by playing off the three top spades. If they divide 3-3 it is all over. If West shows up with four or more spades (as well as his proven six diamonds), then playing off the six winners in hearts and clubs squeezes West (who has to discard before dummy) in spades and diamonds.

If, as the cards lie, East guards the spades, declarer cashes the queen of diamonds and runs his four club tricks. On the last West has to keep his diamond guard and must part with a heart. The now useless six of diamonds is discarded from dummy and at the next trick a diamond to the ace squeezes East. He has to keep his ten of spades but, when he lets a heart go, declarer makes the last three tricks with the ace, king and six of hearts.

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