Source: Squeeze Play Simplified

Contract 4 by South

Q 5
J 8 3
K 8 6 2
A 8 5 4
A K J 6 4 2
9 4 2
9 5
K 7
10 3
Q J 10 4 3
J 9 6 3 2
9 8 7
A K 10 7 6 5
A 7
Q 10

Opening lead: A

West opened the bidding with 1 but South bought the contract. At trick 1 East petered in spades so two more rounds came, East over-ruffing dummy’s trump knave on the thrid round and switching to the diamond queen. South won with the ace and started to draw trumps.

Norman Squire
Norman Squire

A loser in clubs appeared inescapable but when East failed on the first round of trumps a glimmer of light appeared. With six spades and three hearts West had to be short in the minor suits while justify his opening bid he should have the K. If he had the knave also nothing could be done, but if East had in the menace could be transferred and East be squeezed over J and his diamond length.

South therefore drew trump only and stopped. Next came the Q, covered by West’s king and won in dummy. Dummy’s carefully preserved last trump was now led and trumps were continued to produce this position:

K 8 6

9 5

J 10


On the play of the last trump East is without recourse. (For explanation, although we always speak of transferring the menace, we actually mean transferring the guard. The menaces are with us, the guards with the defenders. Nevertheless all bridge players say and understand this).

The mechanics are straightfoward although not common. If we wish to squeeze a player who holds only one guard, our sole chance to achieve this is to present him with a second guard. If that cannot be done he cannot be squeezed and we must look elsewhere for a solution to our problem.

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