Bridge with Bland

Bridge with Bland: 6.5.19

Little victories abound in our daily lives and keep us upbeat. Good plays, which are the little victories of bridge, keep us playing time after time. Squeezes (sometimes obscure, sometimes obvious) are such plays. Tom Oppenheimer, one of St. Louis’ top-ranked players, found the squeeze in this month’s hand. Can you?

vul: North/South
dealer: East

the bidding
E: 2 ♥
S: 3 ♦
W: 4 ♥
N: 5 ♦
E: Pass
S: Pass
W: Pass

opening lead: ♥ 7

North
♠ 8 4 3 2
♥ J 9
♦ A J 9
♣ A Q 9 6

East
♠ 9 6 5
♥ A Q 8 5 4 2
♦ 10 3
♣ 4 2

South
♠ A J 10
♥ 6 3
♦ K Q 8 6 5 4
♣ K 7

West
♠ K Q 7
♥ K 10 7
♦ 7 2
♣ J 10 8 5 3

the play
1. West led the ♥ 7, 9 from Dummy, East played the Ace and Declarer the 3.
2. East shifted to the ♠ 9, Ace from Declarer, West the 7 and Dummy the 2.
3. Declarer realized his chances of making game (11 tricks) were slim
4. Technique rule of thumb is to run your longest suit and good things might happen—with this hand, ♦s (trumps).
5. During the running of the ♦ suit, Declarer realized West was stressed (squeezed) while discarding.
6. At trick eight, West held the King of ♠s and four ♣s.
7. Declarer, reading this situation perfectly, led their ♠ Jack.
8. West was able to win the ♠ King, but had to lead a ♣, and Declarer had his game: two ♠s, six ♦s, and three ♣s (11 tricks). Very well played!

Note: If East cashes two ♥s at tricks one and two, Declarer still can squeeze West in ♠s and ♣s.

tip of the day
My partner and I always hear about squeezes. Do they occur often, and how can we learn about them?
Making a squeeze for game or slam is rare. However, making that extra trick at matchpoints happens often. I recommend the book Love on Squeezes if it is still in print. If not, Goren’s Bridge Complete and The Encyclopedia of Bridge have good sections on squeezes.

big games & scores

April 17
Sandy Bigg/En Xie
73.21%
Bridge Haven

April 18
Jerry Kraemer/Rod Beery
70.77%
St. Louis Bridge Center

April 19
Judy Glaser/Charles Johnson
71.88%
St. Louis Bridge Center

April 20
Bob Schaefer/Richard Nemanick
70.49%
St. Louis Bridge Center

April 22
Karen Krayne/Meg Griffin
70.31%
Jay’s Bridge Pad

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