Another Submarine

Two card end positions are usually not very interesting; squeezes and endplays and all the other interesting end positions will nearly always have happened by the 12th trick. One of the few common truly interesting two card end positions is called the ``memory squeeze,'' in which declarer has the lead in dummy on a layout such as this:
S: 7
H: K
D: ---
C: ---
ImmaterialS: ---
H: A
D: A
C: ---
S: ?
H: ---
D: K
C: ---
When declarer leads the S:7 from dummy, a defender who has not been carefully watching the spots in the spade suit might not remember whether declarer's spade is the six or the eight. If he was not watching, he is put to a guess.

The memory squeeze is a type of pseudo-squeeze, a play in which the defender, given all the information that he should have at his disposal, should not get a discarding problem wrong. Most pseudo-squeezes are considered disdainfully by people who only play against first-class competition, but it is not always so.

Last summer, a hand came up that was made on a submarine memory squeeze, an end position in which a defender did not know whether or not declarer's 12th card was a winner or whether his partner would win the trick. This fall, we found a different version of the submarine memory squeeze in which one defender knew his partner was going to win the trick, but did not know what partner's last card was. This is called a submarine pseudo-squeeze because it does not really have the ``memory'' aspect to it. Happily, the archetypal hand was the one in practice.

S: KQ865
H: AK64
D: K64
C: 10
S: J92
H: 109853
D: 93
C: 765
S: A10743
H: J7
D: A10872
C: 4
S: ---
H: Q2
D: QJ5
C: AKQJ9832
The bidding was a little confused, as is often the case when the play must be spectacular. 3NT showed, to one partner, a solid club suit with a little something outside, and a big balanced hand to the other. 4C: was Gerber, and with at least six aces, the slam seemed obvious.

3NT should really show the solid-suit-type hand, and 4C: ought to show clubs. Some good partnerships play that 4 of the other minor here is Blackwood. That understanding would have helped. Any understanding would have helped.

East's double of the freely bid 6NT should demand an unusual lead in order to set the contract, rather than just expressing the opinion that they are going down. Here, that means that it asks for a spade lead, dummy's first bid suit, but that nuance was lost on West, who led his H:10.

Declarer noted that he had only 11 tricks. Without the double, he would probably have tried to sneak a diamond trick through the defense, but since both Aces were marked in the East hand, that was going to be unlikely to work. Instead, declarer won the heart trick in hand and ran all the clubs and two rounds of hearts ending in dummy. At this point, East was down to two Aces and West to only one heart and some other card. Declarer led the last heart, knowingly losing the trick to West and prayed that East would pitch the wrong Ace. He did, and declarer made 6NT doubled.

Immediately thereafter, East started screaming at his partner for not leading a spade as asked, but just got a reply, ``What do you mean? Where was your double? I took my trick, but you didn't take any!''

Copyright © 1992 Jeff Goldsmith