The Squeeze-Trim-Endplay: Hand

This hand is from Test Your Play as Declarer, by Lukacs and Rubens.



Lefty opened 3, and you found your way to 6NT.

The opening lead was the Q, Righty playing the 7. You test the second round of trumps and find that Lefty, who presumably started with 7 hearts, also has 4 clubs. If and when you test the hearts, you will find that Righty had one; if and when you test the diamonds, you will find that Lefty had one.

How should you play the hand?

Your only hope for a 12th trick is spades. Lefty has just one spade. So the difficult question for this hand is how to play the spade suit. But before that.....

You want to come down to an ending where dummy and Righty have only spades. But what is to stop Righty from saving a diamond winner? This hand requires a squeeze-trim. To do that, you simply cash your hearts before you finish cashing your diamonds.

It is interesting to me that Lukacs and Ruben make no mention of the squeeze-trim portion of this hand. They tell you that on the three rounds of hearts, Righty pitches two diamonds. They do not say why Righty pitched a diamond. For all they say, perhaps Righty was just making a mistake. They make no mention of the importance of cashing the heart tricks before cashing all of the diamond tricks.

So this hand has a squeeze-trim prior to the endplay, but it isn't even mentioned. To me, this exemplifies how the squeeze-trim occurs more often than people notice it.

Hmmm, I will let you work out the endplay situation in spades. My hint, and it is a substantial one, is the Righty might be one-suit squeezed in spades.

Squeeze-Trim-Endplay Hands