Ted's Bridge World Dante's Infernal

The Collaboration Squeeze

At the recently concluded Sacramento Regional in Sacramento, a pair of hands in the Thursday Open Pairs coincidentally featured a rare and exotic type of squeeze.  As both of these endings were accomplished only with the generous (albeit unwitting) cooperation of the defenders, they fall into a class of deals that I have termed "collaboration squeezes".

In the following diagrams the compass directions have been adjusted to make south declarer.  The first deal was Board #14 from the afternoon session:


Contract: 3
Opening Lead: 5

With no bidding by the opponents, declarer won the second diamond and promptly ran the club jack to the queen.  West cashed the diamond king, then shifted to the eight of hearts.  East took the heart king with the ace and returned a club, setting the stage.  Three more rounds of trumps were played, leaving:


Now the last club was led.  Playing east to hold the heart jack, declarer discarded the heart ten from dummy, effecting a criss-cross squeeze.  Whichever suit east discarded would be played next.  Making three.

The defenders had several chances to do better.  East could have returned a spade instead of a club, or he could have ducked the first heart lead.


This was Board 30 from the evening session:


Contract: 3
Opening lead: K

Winning the first club with the ace, the trump king was led.  East grabbed that to return the queen of hearts, king, ace.  Then the heart two, four, nine, ruff.  Trumps were drawn with the diamond ten.  West had made a takeout double of south's 1 opening bid; placing him with the spade queen, declarer now was confident of an overtrick as he lost a club to west's queen.

West's club exit to dummy's jack left this position:


The 10 was led, effecting a transfer squeeze.  East's jack was ruffed out, shifting to west the obligation to guard the suit.  Now the run of the diamonds easily squeezed that hand in the majors.  Making four.

East's play of the heart nine was fatal.  Having doubled 1, west should have real heart support; therefore, the deuce should indicate a four-card holding, making east's six-spot big enough.  However, the lion's share of the blame goes to west, who could have built a fence around partner by returning the 8.

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