Left Field 07

But wait! There’s more! Let’s now look at the case where West has doubled South’s 2S rangefinder and then, when South has put North into 6NT, doubled again to ensure a spade lead. East leads the three (we saw what could happen if East leads the ten), ‘low from three to an honour’ as our lessons recommend. Now that we know what would happen if declarer puts in the queen for a futile finesse, let’s try again. Declarer puts up the ace and proceeds as before: takes some hearts and then the diamonds reveal the fact that East had 3172 and West 5404. Now the play is an open book. West has to keep all four clubs when declarer plays the top three diamonds, therefore is down to the king of spades on its own. The queen now puts West in and West must open the club suit up. No matter which club West exits with, four club tricks for declarer add up to a well played 6NT!

Board 13 Dealer N All Vul


Finally, we can take a look at the ‘unlucky’ 6H which might happen if South uses Stayman and decides to play in the ‘safer’ 6H. East has a very easy decision and leads the jack of diamonds. Dummy covers and West ruffs! That would seem to be the death blow for poor declarer, but when presented with a disaster, a good declarer will rise to the challenge. Let’s see.

East leads the jack of diamonds and West ruffs. It is obvious for West to now exit with a trump and wait for he king of spades to come to him. But no such luck. The diamond ruff has reduced West’s trumps, so only three rounds of trumps need to be played. Then, declarer plays the diamonds and ruffs the last one, on which West is starting to feel the pressure. He discards down to the KJ of spades and four clubs. But now, declarer can go to dummy with the ace of clubs and play the sole remaining trump from dummy. West can either part with a club or the king of spades! Most of us would have simply taken the spade finesse and gone down, but a squeeze is such a more elegant way to show your skills, is it not?

As it happens, the unexpected blow of a diamond ruff might help declarer, because a low spade lead would have given declarer the same dilemmas as we encountered when declarer was in 6NT. Have fun with your squeezes and remember: Play every hand on a squeeze!