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Play or Defend? A Real Squeezaroo!

  by Richard Pavlicek

Would you like to play in the world’s largest bridge event? On Friday evening, June 9, the fourth annual Worldwide Bridge Contest, sponsored by Seiko Epson Corporation, will be held everywhere from the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli — well, maybe not there nowadays. All participants will receive a handsome booklet with hand analyses by film star Omar Sharif.

Broward County sites include the Ft. Lauderdale Bridge Club, Bridge Club of Tamarac, Pompano Beach Bridge Club, and Executive Bridge Club (Hollywood). Contact the club nearest you for starting times or other details. You don’t have to play well to have a great time.

Today’s deal occurred in last year’s contest. Many pairs bid to six spades (the proper contract), which makes easily because the diamond suit can be established with a ruff. But this deal is curious from another standpoint: Suppose South becomes declarer in seven notrump. Can it be made against any defense? Place your bets.

South DealsS A K Q 10 9 3WestNorthEastSouth
Both VulH Q 8 71 D
D Q 2Pass1 SPass1 NT
C A 3Pass4 CDbl4 S
S J 5TableS 6 4Pass5 CDbl5 H
H J 9 6 5H K 10 4Pass7 NTDblPass
D 9 5D J 10 6 3PassPass
C 7 6 5 4 2C K Q 10 8
S 8 7 2
H A 3 2
D A K 8 7 4
7 NT× SouthC J 9

I made up the auction shown. North’s jump to four clubs was the Gerber convention (like Blackwood) and East doubled to show strength in clubs. In fact East never stopped doubling; how dare anyone bid seven notrump when he has 9 HCP and stoppers in three suits. Last chance: Would you rather play or defend?

Here’s how to make it. Win the club ace, heart ace (optional), and lead five rounds of spades, throwing two hearts from your hand; East discards two clubs and a heart. On the last spade, East is squeezed: (1) If he throws a diamond, all your diamonds are good. (2) If he throws the heart king, throw a diamond from your hand, then the heart queen squeezes East again. (3) If he throws the club king, throw a diamond, then lead a club to your jack to squeeze East again. Pretty neat; a real squeezaroo.

Well, did you think it could be defeated? Congratulations, you are right! An original diamond lead beats the contract.

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© 1989 Richard Pavlicek