I've not played much bridge recently, so I'm a bit rusty. This is only my second regional of the year. Yesterday, however, we had a night to remember. 24 plus scores and a 222.5. We won the event going away. Today, partner expects a repeat.

In second seat, vulnerable, I hold

 S:KQJ63 H:--- D:AQ98 C:10972.
RHO passes and I open 1S:. Partner bids a forcing notrump, and RHO butts in with 2H:. With most of my partners, I play a double here as takeout. I'm not 100% sure with this one, but even if I were, I think I'd not double with a void; if it gets left in, I'm not going to be happy. Partner reopens with 2S:, and all pass. I get the opening lead of the H:2 and a surprisingly good dummy, perhaps too good.
S: 1075
H: K1054
D: K7
C: KQ83
S: KQJ63
H: ---
D: AQ98
C: 10972
Pass2S:All Pass
That's a clear limit raise, and even with the wasted values, we are probably too low. Unless trumps are 4-1, game is probably cold. This, however, doesn't matter, as I'm not competing with the pairs in game. If they make, they beat me, and if they don't, I beat them.

I play low from dummy to the first trick and East thinks for awhile and contributes the H:J. She clearly doesn't have the nine, probably not the queen, and almost certainly has the ace. (She was thinking about playing her partner for a singleton, I assume.) I ruff low.

I have two top losers, a club finesse, and a diamond to deal with. One simple approach is to ruff a diamond in dummy, but I'm afraid of overruffs. These defenders are not too keen, so I can probably score my fourth diamond somehow later in the play. I start with the S:K. West wins and continues spades to his partner's S:8 and my queen. Entries to hand are a problem, so now is a good time to lead a club up to the C:K. Of course, it holds, so I return to hand by drawing the last trump (which East has---good, that means she rates to have few clubs). I run the C:10, but that loses to East's C:J. She cashes a second club trick (West ditches a diamond as I unblock) and continues with the D:J.

Cool! East is almost certainly 3523, though she might be 3613. If my judgment about the heart suit at trick one is accurate, I have a wonderful endposition. I lead the H:K from dummy, covered and ruffed with my last trump. I lead the C:7 towards dummy and West struggles for a discard. "Give up, you've been transfer squeezed." He settles on a diamond, so the diamonds in my hand are good. Too bad the eight and seven weren't reversed.

The ending was

S: ---
H: K105
D: 7
C: 8
S: ---
H: Q9
D: 1054
C: ---
S: ---
H: A764
D: 2
C: ---
S: 6
H: ---
D: AQ9
C: 7
The lead of the H:K from dummy transfered control of hearts from the East down to the West. Then the fourth round of clubs finished him off between the red suits.

A real transfer squeeze seems to happen only once a decade. My last one was necessary to recover average after we'd lost the board in the bidding. This one was good enough for an average plus, as more went down in game than made. Despite a good board here, we didn't come close to repeating, but this hand was plenty good enough to make my day.

Jeff Goldsmith,, Jan. 3, 2000