The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Back from a long layoff (Bridge)

I’m trying to pick up a North American Open Pairs qualification with Hank after a long layoff (nearly four months) and we’re both grinding some rust. Thankfully we both simultaneously forget a rare convention, but we’re also missing some fairly obvious stuff. About halfway into the game I think we are under 50% (in a weak field) when I pick up this fine collection.

S:KQJxxx H:AK D:AK C:Axx

I’m in fourth seat, but it is not to be. LHO opens 3 Diamonds and it goes pass-pass to me. I could bid 4S (or even 5S) but it seems to me that double and then bidding 4S is stronger. But is it strong enough? I double. LHO passes and Hank bids 4 Clubs. I could bid 4 diamonds and then bid four spades, but it isnt’ clear to me if 4 Diamonds is key card or “Try again.” I bid 4 Spades, which should be cold, but it doesn’t take much to make a slam. Perhaps I should bid 5S so partner will go with  nearly anything, but partner may still be broke and 5S may not make. It goes all pass.

LHO leads the 9 of hearts and dummy hits with:


               S: AT H:Txx D:Txx C:K97xx

Heart 9 led

               S: KQJ764 H:AK D:AK C:Axx

Damn. Slam is cold.

Too late to worry about that, focus on the hand. Can I make seven? I think so. Assuming that RHO has QJ of hearts (seems likely on the 9H lead) and LHO owns the QJ of diamonds (or even just Q or J, since RHO’s honor will drop) then neither opponent can hold onto three clubs in the run of the cards.

It’s technically a single squeeze — only one opponent can guard clubs — but I’m playing it as if it were a double. Putting my plan into action I win and run five spades (pitching three clubs from dummy) and then cash my diamond Ace +King (RHO shows out on the second one, as expected and LHO dropping the Jack) and the heart king (LHO shows out), both the Jacks have fallen.

Here’s the situation with four cards left:


               S: -- H:T D:T C:K9

D:Q + 3 cards                H:Q + 3 cards.

               S: 4 H:-- D:-- C:Axx

I haven’t been counting, just watching for the Q+J of both red suits. It’s a lock and I could claim, but its faster to play out. I lead the spade four and when LHO doesn’t pitch the diamond queen I pitch the diamond ten. RHO has to keep the heart queen, so also pitches something else. Each opponent has a red queen which means at most two clubs, so I go club to the king, club ace and good club. (LHO started with three clubs).

It’s a baby squeeze made obvious by the bidding and lead, but I’ll take it. Anything to show that I can sometimes do the right thing. Finding the squeeze salvages the board (75%) and despite our mistakes we have a big last round (including one gift) to qualify.

I also posted a rather more complicated (IMO) technical question to Bridge Winners, if you care.


Written by taogaming

July 30, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Posted in Bridge

2 Responses

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  1. Nice. This is called a “single squeeze played as a double,” as I’m sure you know, but I’m not sure this one really qualifies. Early on, you knew that LHO was 2-1-7-3, so which single was going to happen wasn’t really
    a mystery.

    Jeff Goldsmith

    July 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    • Why did I not know which single was going to happen? n all honesty? Once I saw it I just played it out without actually paying much attention. I mean, I registered the discards on the second round of each red suit, but I didn’t count to 13 at any point. Not a good habit, to be sure.


      July 31, 2017 at 9:59 pm

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