The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

A missed super-criss-cross squeeze and Some random notes

Interesting bridge hand from today.

Dummy: S:T9xx H:Txx D:KJx C:AJx

Declarer S:AKQ H:AQ9xx D:Ax C:Txx

Contract 4 Hearts with the lead of the spade 7 from West.

Short story — winning, I decided not to take the diamond hook, since it was 50/50 and there may be a stiff spade. So Diamond ace, diamond king, small heart (catering to KJ tight) When the jack appeared without much thought and the queen won, I decided to drop the king and use the HT as an entry, which worked. At this point pleased with the results so far I forget to rectify the count  for a squeeze by ducking a club. I didn’t, and only made five (when spades were 4-2 and nothing particularly good happened).  I made a comment “there must be some Criss-Cross squeeze somewhere” (see link for details). So I was awake and yet brain dead at the same time. Typical.

Later on I realized I messed up even earlier. Given that I am not taking the diamond finesse, better to keep the ace in my hand and keep Criss-Cross positions in all three suits! This also has the benefit when I lose a trump trick that I may not get overruffed in diamonds (rare) or lose my DJ menace (common). Now when the hearts break I can lead a club right away (I need to lead the Jack) and then win the return and draw trumps. Assuming a spade return, I end up with

Dummy S:T9 D:Jx C:A

Hand S:Q D:A C:Tx

There has to be a squeeze here (unless a card is already falling under the ace). Since each suit is blocked, its a kind of super-criss-cross. Assume one player guards spades (Jx) and Diamonds (Qx). I lead the club ace and then it resolves to a criss-cross with spades and diamonds. If I think that one player guards spades and clubs, I lead the diamond ace, and if I think one player guards clubs and diamonds I lead the spade queen. (Of course, if one helpless soul guards all three, they have already been squeezed).

As in any criss cross, declarer must read the position correctly: not likely given that I botched the hand. (And a non-spade return also breaks up the criss-cross in that suit, so I may have to go to a less esoteric line). Still, I don’t think I’ve seen this before, but probably I just never noticed before.

(Update — As Jeff pointed out in the comments, this is all wrong).

I am also resolved to not bid any more grand slams in club games, even if I think it is highly likely. Only one pair bid the correct small slam, so even if the grand made (sigh) I was risking 9 matchpoints to gain 1. The hand was a rock crusher S:AKQJ H:Axx D:AKxx C:Ax.

Also played today — More Jump Drive, and Vast: the Crystal Caverns. Regarding the latter — some good ideas, nice asymmetry between the players, although it sounds like they aren’t well balanced. Good art, somewhere between Groo and The Grizzled. The TaoLing also played Illumat, which I must admit looks wonderfully gothic.

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Written by taogaming

December 28, 2017 at 10:58 pm

Posted in Bridge, Session Reports

3 Responses

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  1. You can’t have a spade-diamond criss-cross, as the lengths are in the same hand.

    Jeff Goldsmith

    December 30, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    • In fact, you don’t have to have any squeeze. In the four-card ending, West can hold SJx DQx, and East can hold the clubs. Note also that the actual position is a 5-card ending; declarer has three clubs.

      Jeff Goldsmith

      December 30, 2017 at 1:54 pm


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