A Teammate's Problem
Today we are playing in the national Board-a-Match
championship's qualifying round. We are doing OK, but nothing
special. We'll probably qualify. The day after
tomorrow, I'll be playing with one of my
teammates in the Blues. He got to play today's most
The bidding was similar at each table. My partner
led an agricultural small heart, his partner's suit.
Eventually, declarer lost two spade tricks and the
trump ace, so we were -130.
My teammate was favored with a spade lead, won by
the A, and saw the K shift. He knocked
out the trump ace, drew trumps and floated the J
for 11 tricks and a win on the board.
At lunch the next day, one of our opponents complained
about this board to me, about how idiotic it was for
his partner to fail to cover the J. I replied
that it was even worse for declarer to give him the
chance; after their start, he was cold for 11 tricks.
Right then, partner walks in, looks at the diagram,
and "explains" his line of play. I know I don't
understand his explanation, and I'm sure I don't
want to. In any case, all the cards are marked.
The Q must be in the opening leader's hand,
and if third hand didn't have the 10, he'd
probably continue the suit, if not at trick 2, surely
when he was in with the trump ace. Obviously, both heart
honors are on the right as well. So to make five,
declarer can simply draw trumps, cross to the board
in clubs, and run the Q. Of course, RHO has
to cover, but then this position arises before the
last trump is played:
On the last trump, West is simple squeezed in the
It's very rare to see all the information present
for a transfer squeeze to be a logical play, but
here it was. And was missed, of course. How sad.
Someone must have had the good fortune to get a
spade lead, so he could find the transfer squeeze, but I
didn't hear about it.
Copyright © 2004 Jeff Goldsmith