The Squeeze-Trim-Endplay: Hand

This hand was constructed by Jim Patrick.



The contract is 6. To help place the cards, Righty has bid clubs and at some point doubled for a heart lead. Ignoring this advice, Lefty leads the 9.

You have eleven tricks off the top. The squeeze possibilities are substantially reduced because the club threat is in front of the hand with the clubs. There are several possibilities in hearts. With unlimited entries to hand (say if trump were 3-3), you could play the hearts to make against any distribution but Lefty having all Q1096(x) of hearts. But trumps break 5-1. Also, it seems plausible that Lefty might have all 5 hearts.

What now?

Assuming Righty has all of the club honors, there is a burn-your-bridges squeeze-trim endplay that works IF you can read Righty's distribution. Given the likelihood of a 5-0 break, I vote for the squeeze-trim-endplay. If your opponents lead second highest from 3 or more and highest from a worthless doubleton, the squeeze-trim-endplay becomes a very good choice.

The important thing is to see the squeeze-trim-endplay. First, cover the 9 with the 10. Lefty plays the J, confirming all of the honors, and you ruff. Draw trump.

You know have a classic squeeze-trim-endplay situation against Righty -- you have A87 and Righty has KQ6. You have controls in both of the potential exit suits. The burn-your-bridges aspect of this is that you can't test the hearts first. That breaks up the squeeze-trim-endplay.

Instead, you give up on your hearts and cash all of your trump, leaving the dummy with


Now the story is the same. (see Controls in Both Exit Suits.) If Righty has saved only two clubs, you lead clubs and set up a club trick. If Righty has 2 or fewer hearts you cash hearts; if Righty has no diamonds, you cash your diamond.

In fact, you can safely cash one round of hearts. Righty shows out. You cash the other heart, re-executing the squeeze-trim-endplay.

Squeeze-Trim-Endplay Hands