Paul Bethe

More squeeze defense.

Dealer: W

Vul: ALL, Imps

West East
KQT7432 85
A53 QJT42
West North East South
1H P P 2S
3H 4S All Pass

That last post, evoked memories of one of my favorite ‘strategy’ hands, where declarer and defender are locked in a battle to outplay each other.

2S by South was intermediate, implying a hand that would would open and rebid three, so North had to bid the Vul game.

The K of hearts was lead, and declarer, counting 9 winners (with the almost sure DA on side), won the Ace and ran 7 rounds of spades.

When West kept K Ax AQ, a diamond up finished the job.  Win or duck the Ace of diamonds, they would be thrown in with a red-suit to lead clubs at trick 12 for the game-going trick.

How should West have defended?

Well what if, like my last post, they pitched the ace of diamonds, to create an entry to their partner’s hand?  OK, but what do they hold at the previous trick when planning to pitch the Ace?

KAxxAQ ?  No good.  Declarer keeps J KTxxx in the dummy, and ducks a club. A heart is ruffed, and another club ducked, and dummy wins a diamond and has a 3rd club to the King.  (or the opposite, if diamonds are played before hearts)

OK, so what about KAxAQx. Keeping the low club to avoid that last line?  Also no good, declarer just leads a diamond up like in the 5-card ending, and discards a club on the heart to allow West to break clubs.

No, we must go back to trick 7:  KAxxAQx.  The ace of diamonds must be pitched on this trick, to avoid the 2 failed endings above.  Now if another trump is cashed, West can (and must) to let go a club.

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