An Entry-Shifting Squeeze
What if both suits lack entries?
If you knew that lefty was going to abandon hearts, you could lead a club to the king and
sill have an entry to the long heart; if you knew that lefty was going to abandon spades,
you could cash your ace of clubs and retain an entry to the long spade. But you have to
commit yourself in clubs before lefty has to commit with suit is discarded. So you just
have to hope that lefty unguards the wrong suit.
You lead a small club from dummy. That does not commit you to where the second club will be won.
If you play the king of clubs under the A, you will have a club winner in your hand; if
you play a small club, you will have a club winner in the dummy. Now lefty has to commit
first. If lefty pitches a spade, you keep your king of clubs as an entry after the long
spade is established; if lefty pitches a heart, you pitch your king of clubs and have an
entry in the queen of clubs to the long heart.
In all of these examples, it has not mattered where the squeeze trick was won, because
either hand could start the attack on the long suit. When only one of the hands can start
the attack on both suits, the squeeze card has to come from that hand. (Or, the free
winner can be used as an entry, but I am assuming here that the free winner is needed for
another purpose. For example, suppose the situation is this:
Everything is fine -- the second club winner is needed for an entry to the spades, so the
first club must be won in hand. Fortunately, you want to win the first trick in the hand,
because your hand can lead either spades or diamonds. This situation would not work:
When you lead a club to the AK, lefty is squeezed out of guarding an extended menace.
However, lefty can safely discard a heart, because dummy cannot attack hearts.
Now consider this hand
Let's think about this. You have an two extended menace threats against lefty. You have
only two losers, so the squeeze occurs on the next-to-last club winner. This is good,
because you will need the last club as an entry to the long spade or heart. So the second
club must be led from your hand, and you should be able to choose, depending on how you
play from dummy, which hand wins the third club. However, and last but not least, the club
itself must be won in hand, because only your hand can attack both threat suits.
So you have to win the first club with the ace in your hand and playing the king from the
board, to leave this club situation;
Now you can lead the highest club from your hand, which will win no matter what you play
from dummy, but by your choice of plays from dummy you can determine who wins the second
club. It would work just as well to lead the queen of clubs and play the jack from dummy,
It seems important to constrast this to a trump squeeze. Suppose spades are trump and this
is the situation:
Except for righty's trump, you would have an easy cross-ruff of the remaining tricks. But
righty has a trump, so you have to draw one rount of trump. Fortunately, on this round of
trump, lefty is squeezed. You could, if you want, think of the two small hearts and two
small diamonds as being extended menaces. I prefer not to. Essentially, the trump can be
used to win the first round of the suit, so only the second card in the suit is a threat.
However, it is the nature of trumps that they only win in a suit if the suit is first led.
In other words, if left discards a heart, you want to win the trump trick in dummy, so
that you can lead and ruff a heart. If lefty discards a diamond, you want to win the trump
trick in your hand, so that you can lead and ruff a diamond.
So, in this type of trump squeeze, you need to make lefty commit, then you decide which
hand wind the FIRST trick in trumps. When you have two extended-menace suits, both of
which might lack entries, you either do not care which hand wins the first trick, or you
already know which hand should win the first trick. You need to make lefty commit and then
you decide which hand will win the SECOND trick. (Another difference is that this type of
trump squeeze can also work with 3 (or even more) trumps in hand, whereas the two-extended-
menaces squeeze only works on the next to last free winner.
This if from Adventures in Card Play, by Ottlik and Kelsey. You are playing 4S with
Righty has shown a strong hand with 4-4-4-1 distribution. The opening lead is a diamond to the 10. Righty cashes the king of clubs and plays the king of diamonds. How do you make the hand? Righty will follow to one round of trumps.
Assuming the king of hearts is onside, you have 9 tricks. You also have a diamond threat and a heart threat against Righty. There is no other hope of a trick (perhaps the hand was constructed that way).
You could lead a small heart towards the queen. Assuming Righty plays the king, that rectifies the count. If Righty doesn't return a heart, you can run your spades, squeezing Righty. If Righty returns a heart, that breaks up the squeeze -- you need the heart ace on the board as an entry after the trump are cashed. You need the queen of hearts as an entry to your hand after going to the board with the ace.
You have the cards for a trump squeeze, if you could end up on the board in this position:
This is the scenario you want after Righty won the king of hearts and returned a heart, won by the queen in your hand. Alas, there is no way to get to this ending.
Worse, if Righty ducks the first play in hearts, you win with your queen. Now you have lost your entry and you haven't rectified the count. If you rectify the count in hearts, Righty can take the other heart entry off of the board. But as we have already analyzed, you are dead already with your queen of hearts gone.
So, that's a reasonable plan, with some hope, though it might not work.
Return to Part 1: The Simple Extended-Menace Squeeze (Tutorial)