Main     Study 6D93 by Richard Pavlicek    

Non-Pure Squeezes

Non-pure squeezes are those in which one of declarer’s threat suits requires a combined protection by both defenders (i.e., one defender cannot protect the suit by himself), or those in which the trump suit has a ruffing role after the squeeze. In practice, these situations are more difficult to recognize than pure squeezes, but their knowledge could be vital and they shouldn’t be ignored.

This study is merely an attempt to approach the subject and is by no means complete. Many varieties of non-pure squeezes exist, and a thorough analysis could take hundreds of pages, with little practical value. I will consider only the more common varieties.

Guard Squeezes

A guard squeeze is not a pure squeeze. It relies on the need of one defender to keep a particular card to prevent his partner with a stopper from being finessed. While a guard squeeze could arise in many situations, the only practical application is where a pure squeeze would not function.

The most obvious failing case for a pure squeeze is when one of the ambiguous threats is not accompanied by an entry in its own suit. West can retain his stopper in that suit as long as possible, forcing it to be the common suit of the ensuing double squeeze, in which an entry is normally essential.

Type 1

South holds both ambiguous threats, only one of which is accompanied by an entry in its own suit. East can beat this threat with only one card. North has a winner in the basic threat suit.

Cash the entire free suit. If West discards his stopper in South’s entryless threat suit, a pure squeeze will develop. If West discards all of his cards in the entried threat suit, East can be finessed.

1. NT win 5

S A J
H
D 2
C K 3
S K Q
H K
D K Q
C
TableS 3 2
H J
D J 3
C
South leadsS
H 2
D A 10
C A 2

Cash the clubs ending in the North hand. If West discards his heart, the S A will squeeze East in the red suits. If West discards both of his diamonds, the D 10 can be finessed.

2. 6 NT South

S A K Q 4
H 7 3
D J 9 7 2
C A 6 2
S J 10 7 2
H Q J 10 4
D Q 10 3
C 5 4
TableS 9 8 5
H K 9 8 5
D K 6 5 4
C 9 8
Lead: H QS 6 3
H A 6 2
D A 8
C K Q J 10 7 3

Yes, you belong in 6 C, but then there would be no story. You duck the first heart as East signals with the nine, then West leads the H 10 to your ace. As the best chance assume West has spades stopped. In that event you can succeed if West has any two of the missing diamond honors (i.e., if East can beat your D 8 only once). Lead all your clubs discarding three diamonds from dummy (unblocking the D 9 and D J). If West gives up his heart stopper, the top spades will squeeze East. If West throws all of his diamonds, you will finesse the D 8. Note the squeeze would fail if you switched the D 10 and D 4.

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Type 2

The ambiguous threats are divided, but only South’s threat is accompanied by an entry in its own suit. East can beat South’s threat with only one card. North has an entry in the basic threat or in South’s threat suit.

Cash the entire free suit. If West sheds his stopper in North’s ambiguous threat, a double squeeze follows. Else West allows East to be finessed in South’s threat suit.

3. NT win 5

S A J
H 2
D 2
C 4
S K Q
H K
D K Q
C
TableS 4 3
H J
D J 3
C
South leadsS 2
H
D A 10
C A K

On the first club West discards a diamond. On the next club if West throws a heart, North sheds a spade; then the S A squeezes East. If West instead lets go a second diamond, East can be finessed.

4. NT win 5

S J
H 2
D K 2
C 4
S K
H K
D Q J 10
C
TableS 3
H J
D 9 7 4
C
South leadsS
H
D A 8 3
C A K

On the first club West discards a diamond. If he next discards a heart, North sheds a spade and East is squeezed in the red suits. If West discards a second diamond, East can be finessed.

5. 6 C South

S A K 8 6 4
H K Q 2
D A 3 2
C 7 3
S Q 10 9 5
H J 10 9 8
D J 10 6
C 9 2
TableS J 7
H A 7 6 5
D Q 8 7 5
C 10 6 5
Lead: H JS 3 2
H 4 3
D K 9 4
C A K Q J 8 4

East captures the H Q with the ace and returns a heart to the king. Best technique is to lead four rounds of trumps immediately discarding a spade and a diamond from dummy. Next try to establish spades to discover that West has a stopper. Finally, lead your last trump. If West throws his last heart, East will be squeezed. If West keeps a heart, the D A will drop his remaining diamond and East is finessed on the way back.

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Clash Squeezes

A clash squeeze is similar to a guard squeeze in that it relies on stopper dependence between the opponents. One player must retain a particular card to prevent the promotion of a lower card that would normally just follow suit to declarer’s winner. As with the guard squeeze, the clash squeeze has no practical application except when a pure squeeze would fail.

Type 1

The ambiguous threats are divided, but only South’s threat is accompanied by an entry in its own suit. North holds a non-winner in South’s threat suit that is higher than East’s stopper. Further, South must have an additional entry in either of North’s threat suits.

6. NT win 6

S A 9 8
H 2
D J
C 4
S Q J 10
H K
D K Q
C
TableS 5 4 3
H J
D 10 9
C
South leadsS K 2
H
D A 2
C A K

On the C K West discards a diamond. On the next club if West discards a heart, North sheds a spade; then S K-A squeeze East in the red suits. If West discards a second diamond, North’s jack is good.

7. NT win 6

S J 2
H 2
D K 9
C 2
S K Q
H K
D Q J 10
C
TableS 4 3
H J
D 8 7 6
C
South leadsS A
H
D A 3 2
C A K

On the C K West discards a diamond. On the next club if West discards a heart, North sheds a spade; then S A squeezes East. If West instead discards a second diamond, North’s nine can win a trick.

8. 7 NT South

S Q 6 5 4
H 8 5 2
D 9 4
C Q J 5 3
S J 9 8 7 3
H 10 7 4
D Q J 10 5
C 7
TableS 2
H Q J 9 6 3
D 8 7 6 2
C 10 9 6
Lead: D QS A K 10
H A K
D A K 3
C A K 8 4 2

You cash three clubs, S A-K, then two more clubs. If West abandons hearts, win H A-K and S Q for a double squeeze. Else West must allow the D 9 to win a trick.

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Type 2

The ambiguous threats are divided, but only North’s threat is accompanied by an entry in its own suit. South holds a non-winner in North’s ambiguous threat suit that is higher than East’s stopper. Further, North must have an additional entry in any threat suit.

9. NT win 6

S A 9 8
H A 3
D
C 4
S Q J 10
H K Q
D K
C
TableS 5 4 3
H 10 9
D J
C
South leadsS K 2
H J
D 2
C A K

On the C K West discards a heart. On the next club if West discards a diamond, North throws a spade; then the S A-K squeeze East. If West instead discards a second heart, South’s jack wins a trick.

10. NT win 6

S A J
H A 3 2
D
C 2
S K Q
H Q J 10
D K
C
TableS 4 3
H 8 7 6
D J
C
South leadsS 2
H K 9
D 2
C A K

On the C K West discards a heart. On the next club if West discards a diamond, North throws a spade; then the S A squeezes East. If West instead discards a second heart, the H 9 can win a trick.

11. 6 NT South

S K 5 2
H 10 9
D 7 4 2
C A K Q J 3
S 8
H 8 7 4 2
D Q 8 6 5 3
C 10 9 6
TableS Q J 10 9 6
H K J 6 5
D J 10 9
C 7
Lead: S 8S A 7 4 3
H A Q 3
D A K
C 8 5 4 2

East overtakes the spade lead and you duck; East shifts to the D J. Win three clubs (East throws a spade and a heart) then lead the H 10; jack, queen. On the next club East throws a heart. On the last club if East discards a diamond, throw a spade from your hand; then win the top diamond, S A and S K to squeeze West. If East instead discards his last heart, the H 9 scores a separate trick.

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Ruffout Squeezes

For most pure squeezes it makes no difference whether the free suit is the trump suit or a solid suit at notrump. The possession of a trump suit often allows an alternate sequence of plays, but it has no effect on the final outcome.

Only in rare cases does a trump suit provide a solution that is not available in notrump. When it does it occur, the position usually lacks a crucial high-card entry, which the trump suit can overcome by ruffing.

12. C win 7

S J
H 2
D 2
C A K Q J
S K
H K Q J
D K Q J
C
TableS 3
H 10 9 8
D 10 9 8
C
North leadsS 2
H A 4 3
D A 4 3
C

This ending is related to the pure squeeze Type 1-B, but North has no reentry to allow South to cash the red ace in the suit West abandons. There is no solution in notrump, however, with clubs trump North can ruff the second round of whatever red suit West discards on the first club, then the remaining clubs inflict a double squeeze. Curiously, declarer may not even have to do this, as the mere threat that he can do it allows the squeeze to work just by leading trumps.

13. C win 7

S J
H A 4 3
D K 5 2
C
S K
H K Q J
D Q J 10
C
TableS 2
H 10 9 8
D 9 8 7
C
South leadsS
H 2
D A 4 3
C A K Q

This ending is related to the pure squeeze Type 2-B, but South lacks an additional entry in one of North’s threat suits. It fails in notrump, but on the first trump lead West lets go a heart (best) and North discards a diamond; then win the H A, ruff a heart, and lead the last trump. The ability to ruff provides the crucial reentry after cashing the H A.

14. C win 7

S A J
H A 4 3
D 4 2
C
S K Q
H K Q J
D K Q
C
TableS 4 3
H 10 9 8
D J 10
C
South leadsS 2
H 2
D A 3
C A K Q

This ending is related to the pure squeeze Type 2-D. Again South lacks a crucial entry and would fail in notrump, but with clubs trump the play is similar to the previous diagram.

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© 2013 Richard Pavlicek