Author Topic: Neat squeeze  (Read 44 times)

jcreech

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Neat squeeze
« on: February 14, 2020, 01:53:40 PM »
Vul E-W
Dlr S
                   !S 98
                   !H 8652
                   !D KT
                   !C AK765

!S QT6                             !S 754
!H QJ93                            !H 74
!D 654                              !D 98732
!C 983                              !C QJ2

                   !S AKJ32
                   !H AKT
                   !D AQJ
                   !C T4

2 !C - 2 !D   strong/artificial  - waiting
2NT - 3 !C    bal 23-24  - Puppet Stayman
3 !S - 6NT    5 spades   -  lets see you make this

This came up in a Spur Team Match yesterday, and I knew if my opponent cashed the diamonds in their hand before running the clubs, I was squeezed.  But I went back and looked at the hand harder and realized that if declarer had guessed the layout at trick two, I could be squeezed to make the contract.

Before I get into the play, I want to say that unless you are specifically looking for a squeeze, I don't think the line that works will be looked for.  In my mind, it makes more sense to duck a club, hook a spade and play both suits to break 3-3 than to play for the squeeze explicitly. 

That said, I avoided any of the leads that allows the contract to make on the go.  Almost as a perverse BBO sense of humor, I was dealt the QJ93 of hearts, and the auction suggested heart length in dummy, similar to Problem H in last month's MSC.  I decided that I would not go for the 10 (out of 100) Q lead, but was not happy to try the 3 either.  So I went for a short suit lead of the !C 9.  This was ducked to partner's J.  A club back at this point is the only killing defense; breaking the squeeze.  Partner led a heart.

If declarer now cashes one spade, the red suit winners and play off the clubs (pitching the !H T and two spades, I am toast.  With me to play on the last club, the position is as follows:

                   !S 9
                   !H 8
                   !D
                   !C

!S QT                              !S 75
!H Q                                !H
!D                                    !D
!C                                    !C

                   !S KJ
                   !H
                   !D
                   !C

The best I can do is pitch a spade smoothly and hope declarer still finesses.  Hopefully, I spotted the problem early and pitched the spade early, so it might not look so difficult for me to pitch a heart.

I mentioned cashing a spade for the off chance that the !S Q was singleton.

wackojack

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Re: Neat squeeze
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 06:06:42 PM »
Yes I had a chance for glory.  However, with the 9  !C lead taken with the Jack and a heart return which I took with the Ace and then I misclicked losing another club.  Had I played as intended for clubs to be 3-3 I still needed a successful spade finesse.  At trick 3 I can see now that I have to "Vienna Coup" in both hearts and diamonds for a possible spade - heart squeeze since otherwise I cannot get back to my hand. The Vienna Coup still allows for declarer to take the spade finesse if RHO shows no discomfort when the clubs are played out.   

I think a world class player certainly would have had the foresight to do this.  However, a world class defender would bare his/her  !SQ without any apparent discomfort.  Then it is still all down to who has the Q.  Finesse or drop?

Also it would be interesting to know if a world class defence would have the vision to play a 2nd club at trick 2 thus breaking up the squeeze.   

kenberg

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Re: Neat squeeze
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 10:57:56 PM »
Again, it's am interesting hand. If the 3-3 split in clubs is not enough so that declarer can now claim, I think we can say the contract is a bit optimistic.

But now suppose after the club lead and the heart return declarer plays as Jim suggests, so they all come down to

                   !S 9
                   !H 8
                   !D
                   !C

!S QT                              !S 75
!H Q                                !H
!D                                    !D
!C                                    !C

                   !S KJ
                   !H
                   !D
                   !C

West, assuming he has been watching closely, knows he cannot pitch the !H Q so he should not need much time to find the !S pitch.  So there will not be any squirming by W for N to take advantage of.
Declarer has seen all of the opponent's diamonds and clubs, and on the play he might reasonably assume W has the high heart, and this means he knows the exact original distribution, he knows the spades were dealt 3-3. Does he have any evidence to choose between the finesse and the drop?  Try this. W has to throw his spade T, declarer notes that it is the T. That might well suggest W originally held QT6 instead of T76. Maybe, when W held T76 he would be up for the deceptive T instead of just tossing the 7, but maybe not.  So there is something to be said for choosing to lead a spade to the k instead of the J. He does know that W has exactly  one spade left, either Q or the 7. Does the pitch of the T warrant the conclusion he now has the Q left instead of the 7?


And should E, at T2, have returned a club? Maybe. There is a danger. Maybe W led this club holding the !H A and nothing else, and maybe after the !C duck he now has 12 tricks, Maybe so. If W has the !H A then declarer must have the !S Q for his bidding, so spades run and declarer has all the tricks he needs.

That's possible but probably unlikely. If spade are not ready to run then yes, E might think of the need to protect partner from the squeeze and return a club.  I would hardly criticize partner if this did not occur to him but I would like to think I would consider it if I were E. Unless pard, W, has an A, we are not setting the contract at T2 so we can be thinking about how to make it a little tougher for declarer.

6 !C is an easier contract. After clubs split the remaining clubs can be used to ruff spades, setting up the long spade for the 12th trick.

Ken

jcreech

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Re: Neat squeeze
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 11:25:07 PM »
I've been doing some thinking as well.  We have one trick, so we only need one more. 

As it was, I almost played the !H Q to show the J.  Seeing the clubs ready to run and with declarer cashing side the red suits, I should play the !S T under the A.  Now when I pitch the 6, it will look like a doubleton and less significant to declarer.  Declarer might still work it out, but not as easily.

kenberg

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Re: Neat squeeze
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 12:27:00 PM »
What I said about 6 !C being easier is true as the cards lie but I realized it probably is not true when just looking at the NS cards. Clubs do not have to split, and if they don't then 6 !C will be down, that's that. Playing in NT you are not yet dead if clubs are 4-2, Maybe spades are 3-3 with the Q onside.  If so, then 5+2+3+2=12.

I am still uncertain about whether E should play another club at T2.  The bidding and the opening lead are consistent with

                    !S 98
                   !H 8652
                   !D KT
                   !C AK765

!S T62                               !S 754
!H AJ93                              !H 74
!D 654                               !D 98732
!C 983                               !C QJ2

                   !S AKQJ3
                   !H KQT
                   !D AQJ
                   !C T4

But he bidding and the opening lead is also consistent with the cards lying just as they did. In one case the heart return is essential, in the other case the club return is the setting play. Maybe one consideration: With the cards as they were, declarer might still go down by mis-guessing the spade heart situation. With the hypothetical  layout, unless the heart A is taken there at T2 is no way declarer will go down.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2020, 05:53:18 PM by kenberg »
Ken

kenberg

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Re: Neat squeeze
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 12:16:11 PM »
 Here is another way a squeeze could develop. The clubs don't come in but with the !S Q coming down we have 3+2+3+2  =10 tricks. This is a trick short for running a simple squeeze but imaging that after the club lead, ducked to the J, and the heart switch, declarer plays off the three top diamonds. W is stuck. If he discards a club the clubs do now come in for 5 tricks, if he discards a spade the spades come in for 5 tricks. But what if he plays a heart? Well that depends on what declarer threw from dummy on the third round of diamonds. If declarer pitched a heart, we now have only 3 tricks in hearts. bringing the total to 11. But not to worry. When we cash the !H T W is squeezed again in the blacks. A repeating triple squeeze. Not your everyday hand.

                   !S 98
                   !H 8652
                   !D KT
                   !C AK765

!S T654                             !S Q7
!H QJ9                              !H 743
!D 65                                !D 987432
!C 9832                             !C QJ

                   !S AKJ32
                   !H AKT
                   !D AQJ
                   !C T4

Incidentally, with this holding it seems best for W to toss a heart on the third diamond. It's obvious that tossing a black card will concede 5 tricks in that suit, so he should hope E started with !H Txx
Ken