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Deal of the Week (Nov 24, 2006) Click here for Archives

West   North   East   South
pass     1      2♠      pass
pass     3♣     pass     3NT
all pass

You are South in a pair event. East's preempt made life slightly difficult for your partnership, but the final contract is excellent. West chooses to lead his own suit, and leads the 7, which is not a success as dummy's queen wins the trick.

The obvious move now is to tackle hearts, but the best play in the suit is not so obvious. East's preempt makes it more likely that West holds the K. In that case, the obvious play of a heart to the queen will lose at least two tricks. The best play in hearts is a heart to the 7. If it loses to the Jack or Ten, you will follow up by leading the Q. If East has a doubleton Ten or Jack, you will lose only one heart trick. This play is called an intra-finesse. West wins the 7 with the 10, and plays the ♠10, which is ducked to your queen. You play the Q, covered with the King and Ace, but East follows with a low card. You concede a heart, discarding a diamond from hand, West winning the Jack. So much for your thoughtful heart play! West plays the J, you discard a club from dummy and Win the Ace. The contract of course is cold; in fact, you have 10 tricks at this stage. Since this is matchpoints, you try for the 11th trick. You advance the ♣J, West plays low. Do you finesse?

There is no need to take the club finesse. You can guarantee the rest of the tricks with the help of a squeeze. You know that East has the remaining spades, and West holds the K. You should go up with the ♣A, and run all your hearts. This is the position when you play the last heart:

  Deal  KJ
 -  -
 ??  ??

East has to keep the KJ of spades, and has to discard a club. You let go of the ♠9, which has served its purpose. West is not in trouble yet, and discards a diamond. However, when you continue with a spade to the Ace, West is helpless. If he discards the K, your 10 will be good, so he too has to part with a club. You play a club to the Ace, and win the last trick with the lowly ♣2! You have just executed a non-simultaneous double squeeze, first squeezing East, then West.

 10 Deal  KJ7643
 KJ10  63
 KJ8764  52
 983  Q74

Bridge Baron's double dummy solver points out that West could have broken the squeeze by returning a club after winning the J. This will prevent you from cashing the A, which disrupts the timing for the squeeze to operate, as East has an idle diamond card that he can spare.
Par Contract Analysis:
The par contract on this deal is 4 by North-South. A club lead restricts 3NT to 9 tricks. Taking 10 tricks in notrump yields above average score. The 11th trick via the non-simultaneous double squeeze gives you an absolute top score.

Bridge Baron deal No : N1191-19340-65035-88712-12710-67750

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