I'm in the Bay Area for a business trip. There's a regional
the weekend afterward, and it has been a stressful week, so I
choose to stay over for a few days and play bridge.
The first day of a two-day pairs game is of rather mixed
quality. We are having fits and starts, when I pick up
in third seat
Q9863 9 AK8 J852
Partner opens a 10-12 NT at favorable, and RHO intervenes
with 2, showing an unspecified one-suiter. I bid
2, natural and non-forcing, LHO bids 3, partner
competes to 3, and everyone is content. The opening
lead is the K, and I see
I guess RHO's suit is hearts. Perhaps I ought to have
invited game; we appear to have only three top losers.
All I need to make ten tricks is 2-2 trumps or 3-3 diamonds.
With all the opposition bidding, it would not surprise me,
however, that neither of those was the case.
Obviously, I need to win the first trick. I don't really
want to get my A ruffed. Drawing trump is clearly
the first order of business. RHO rates to have the trump
ace, and if he has another club, he can win the A
and get a possible trump promotion, so I cannot afford to
start trumps with an honor from dummy. I very much doubt
he has eight hearts, so an overruff of my hand is unlikely.
I lead a small trump from dummy to my Q. Mildly
surprisingly, LHO wins this. More surprisingly, he doesn't
continue clubs, but shifts to the 5. I guess he
doesn't want to set up my J. I duck the heart in
dummy, and RHO wins the J. He continues with a
second heart. I ruff as LHO follows with the 3.
I draw another round of trump, and somewhat surprisingly,
LHO shows out. I have luckily avoided a trump promotion.
What's going on? Clubs are obviously 6-1. Hearts are
either 3-6 or 2-7. Trumps are obviously 1-3. So LHO is
either 1336, in which case, I can draw trumps and claim,
or he's 1246, in which case, I can probably squeeze him
in the minors.
There's no reason not to ruff a heart now to get the count.
If LHO follows, I can just claim, so I do and he pitches
a club, confirming that he is 1246. He's down to three
clubs and four diamonds, so as I draw the last trump, he's
trump squeezed without the count in this position:
If he pitches a club, I just duck a club, win the diamond,
and ruff a club. If he pitches a diamond, I can just run
diamonds and claim. He chooses a diamond, and it's all over
The endposition was pretty but unnecessary. I could have
transposed it to a simple squeeze by drawing trump and ducking
a club. LHO exits with a diamond. I win in hand, ruff a club, cross
back with a diamond, and cash my last trump. LHO is simple squeezed
in the minors.
Copyright © 2009 Jeff Goldsmith