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Hello!  I often torment the Swedish players with various deals during tournaments. I have a good memory for old problem deals and even classic deals from various championships, and theese often comes up at dinner after a long day.  A couple of weeks ago I started to think about Terence Reese's classic 'The Expertgame'. The last chapter is about secondary squeezes, The Vice, The Winkle and The Steppingstone.  This is one example of a Vice squeeze from the book.  Spots are randomly selected. 

North
AK4
KJ975
Q42
65
South
65
AQ1086
K95
AK4
 The auction is not given, but South plays 6 with a spade lead. Any thoughts? This set will by most players trigger 'draw trumps, eliminate the black suits and find Ax in diamonds in either hand'. But Master Reese tells us that there is another chance, finding West with the ace of diamonds and East with J10. In that case you can play for this ending.
West
J10
A7
North
A4
42
East
97
J10
South
5
10
K9
D
 South leads his last trump and EW are cooked. K9 clutches like a vice over Easts JT.  Note says Reese, West can not hold a club winner instead of a spade, because then he can discard a diamond and have two winners. But most players in the west chair will not think about that, and discard the 'useless' club earlier.

In a good article in The Bridge World about Vice squeezes I saw this deal: (Spots are randomly selected unless important. Think of the important 7 and 5 for example)

 

 

North
104
J10987
73
10732
South
K5
AKQ
AKJ4
AKQ5
W
N
E
S
2
P
3
3NT
P
4
P
6
P
P
P

 

When West leads a trump you know he has the spade ace says the author. But even if clubs are 4-1 and the queen of diamonds does not fall in three rounds you have a chance. If Easts QJ in spades are crushed between dummys Tx and declarers Kx in spades.

So back to the original deal. Would it with K10x in dummy and Qxx in declarers hand be possible to vice squeeze a diamond jack in easts hand  like in the Bridge World deal?

West
J10
A6
North
A4
103
East
97
J7
South
5
10
Q5
D
In a way it could, but dummy will be squeezed ahead of east, so that would not be possible.But thoughts still wanders around and we add the 8 to south.

 

North
AK4
K10975
Q103
65
South
65
AQJ86
K84
AK3
W
N
E
S
1
1
2NT
P
3NT
P
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
South upgraded and showed 18-19balanced with 3NT. North drew to slam and West lead the 2 (3rd 5th).  Any thoughts?

I gave this deal to many good players and not many do come up with something good.  I continue.-:"East follows to the King with the 3 (std count) and you draw trumps in 2 rounds, East discards a club. Then you play three rounds of clubs, West following with 9 10 Q, and east with three low ones. West is not the kind of player who overcalls at equal vulnerability with QTxxx xx Jxx QT9 so assume he has the A.-:"Then you lead the next to last trump from dummy to your hand and the position is:

 

North
A4
9
Q103
South
5
Q8
K84
On the last trump to south, West discarded a spade and East the last club (jack).All this marks West with 5233 and East with 3145  So playing for Ax in diamonds is not possible.  Should we then finess the 10 now?

This is perhaps a leading question. I wonder how many would not finess at this stage. But counting the probabilities assuming West has the A, and East J9xx gives:J9xx in East is 6 possible combinations. AJx in West is only 5. And among them AJ9 is one, but if West follows with the 9 we should assume AJ9 and finess, because he can not afford to play the 9 from A9x as then declater could finess the jack in east. So going up with the queen, and play out 2 more trumps will put East in the vice 6 times with J9xx compared to the finess which is only a chance in 4, West having AJx (not the 9).  The ending will be:

West
Q108
A72
North
A4
9
Q103
East
J9
J965
South
5
Q8
K84
D
South leads a diamond to the queen and two more trumps.
West
Q10
A7
North
A4
103
East
J9
J9
South
5
8
K8
D
 West must discard a spade, or South discards a spade and ducks a diamond. Dummy throws a diamond and East with the spade guard and J9 in diamonds is squeezed.  Finally I could rest. It was a nice ending I doubt many would find at the table.

One day later...    Wait! What if south has K7x instead? Is it still possible to play for the squeeze?

North
AK4
K10975
Q103
65
South
65
AQJ86
K74
AK3
W
N
E
S
1
1
2NT
P
3NT
P
4NT
P
5
P
6
P
P
P
In this case we must compare AJ2 AJ5 AJ6 to J982 J985 J986. If West has a higher spot card than the 7, A8x or A9x, we are done.This is 3 vs 3. So it seems the squeeze has the same probabilities as the finess. With the extra icing on the cake, winning last trick with the 7, and who could reject that?  Note in a practical world (my estimation), most Wests would play his lowest diamond when south leads low towards QT3. Some may ofc 'falsecard' with A8x/A9x (Grosvenor) giving South a chance to make, he maybe will not take.

How many players at the table would think of the squeeze? I doubt many, if any, would see the vice with Q102 vs K73. Even when you get it on a napkin, knowing the finess is not right, it is hard to see.  How often have such a squeeze passed by with nobody at the table noticing? I have no idea, but probably more than we want to think.    Yesterday The swedish bridge federations newspaper dropped in my mail box.

North
AK3
AJ4
Q74
KJ63
East
J82
10953
A862
54
W
N
E
S
1NT
P
6NT
?
After 1NT (14-16) 6NT West leads 10 and declarer wins A + Q + another to the king (West showing originally 4 cards). What do you discard?

A quite nasty problem not knowing much about Souths hand. At the table East discarded a spade, keeping his red suit lenghts.

West
Q1054
62
J103
10987
North
AK3
AJ4
Q74
KJ63
East
J82
10953
A862
54
South
976
KQ87
K95
AQ2
D
Again some cards might not be the correct cards. But after the clubs, when East had discarded a spade, declarer led a diamond to his king and played 4 rounds of hearts West was caught in the vice between dummys Qx and declarers 9x in diamonds. Why declarer Magnus Ekman did this I havent asked, but no matter what, it was a nice ending. Really Q7x vs K9x does not ring the squeeze bell, does it?  Finally, if I missed something or if my math is wrong somewhere, pls tell me. This squeeze has haunted me long enough, but I want it right before I can put it to rest.

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