Monday, February 27 2010 IMPs Dealer South. Both Vul
A Q 3 A K 2 10 6 4 2 K J 7
J 10 9 8 5 4 2 J 10 9 10 4 2 Q 9 6 3 Q J 8 7 5 3 9 8 5
K 7 6 8 7 5 4 A K A Q 6 3
West North East South
Pass 4NT Pass 6NT
Pass Pass Pass
  South’s 1NT shows 15-17 points and North suggests a slam with 4NT. South could pass on a minimum but here he raises to 6NT. West leads the jack of spades, won with dummy’s queen and East surprises you by throwing a diamond. How will you continue? Seeking further information, you play three top clubs. When West follows all the way, you know that he has only three cards in the red suits. A 3-3 heart break is therefore very unlikely. A much better prospect is that East holds both the red-suit guards and can be squeezed. Your next step is to duck a round of hearts. Suppose another heart is returned to dummy’s king. You cross to the ace of diamonds and when West follows, you know that hearts cannot be 3-3. You continue with the A-K of spades and then play the queen of clubs, throwing a diamond from dummy. East has to find one more discard from Q-9 of hearts and Q-J of diamonds. If he throws a diamond, you will play the diamond king and cross to dummy’s ace of hearts to score the ten of diamonds. If instead East throws a heart, you will play dummy’s ace of hearts and return to the diamond king to score the eight of hearts. The technique is a criss-cross squeeze.
David Bird
David Bird
Wikipedia: David Lyster Bird (born 29 March 1946) is a British bridge writer from Eastleigh, with more than 130 bridge books to his name. He was born in London and is bridge correspondent for the Mail on Sunday and the London Evening Standard. He contributes regularly to many magazines, including Bridge PlusEnglish BridgeBridge Magazine and the ACBL Bridge Bulletin.  Don’t forget to follow us @