Squeeze threat recognition
(Page of 4)

Consider this hand:

North
AK103
A1074
K63
43
South
Q9
K95
AQ742
A65
W
N
E
S
3NT
?

Matchpoints

Contract: 3NT

The opponents play fourth best leads, so the Rule of 11 says that if you play the 7 it should win. You do, and it does, East following suit. You test diamonds by playing the AK and they split.

North
AK103
A104
6
43
South
Q9
K9
Q74
A65
W
N
E
S
3NT
?

At this point you have three spades, three hearts, five diamonds, and a club in the bag for twelve tricks.

You can finesse the spade, play for the J to drop, or play for a squeeze.

If a finesse works, so what, but if a squeeze works, oh my! But what squeeze to play for? You have a possible major suit squeeze on West, maybe something with the black suits on East, but the most promising squeeze is a double squeeze.

Time to rely on some book learning.

If you compare these two hands:

North
AK103
A104
6
43
South
Q9
K9
Q74
A65
W
N
E
S
3NT
?

North
AK10
A10
6
43
South
9
9
Q74
A65
W
N
E
S
3NT
?

At the table I defended this hand but in my opinion the second one is a lot easier to recognize as a double squeeze than the first one is. The solution took me ten minutes to figure out, which is way too long at the table.

Once you see the hand as a double squeeze, you have to know what to do. This is where reading Bridge Squeezes Complete comes in.

On this hand, the club threat is the common threat and it is the only threat in the South hand. We have a known threat against West in the heart suit and we will say that East has the spades guarded. There is also an entry to North's heart threat.

The club threat in the South hand has only one winner associated with it and there is no club winner in the North hand. Clyde Love identifies this type of squeeze with this kind of common-suit threat a "RFL" squeeze. If you know these classifications of threats, you can recognize how to play these hands without an overexertion of energy and without taking so much time.

On the next page I will show how this RFL squeeze works.

I don't remember the exact E/W hands but here is a sample deal with all four hands:

West
754
QJ86
108
J972
North
AK103
A1074
K63
43
East
J862
32
J95
KQ108
South
Q9
K95
AQ742
A65
D

1) Play the 7 which wins, then play AK and all follow.

West
754
QJ8
J972
North
AK103
A104
3
43
East
J862
2
J
KQ108
South
Q9
K9
Q74
A65
D

2) Play off the Q and K which will allow the double squeeze position to be seen:

West
75
QJ
J972
North
AK10
A10
3
43
East
J86
J
KQ108
South
9
9
Q74
A65
D

3) Play the "Right" suit winners (AK) maybe the jack will drop. Discard a small club from hand.

West
QJ
J972
North
10
A10
3
43
East
J
J
KQ108
South
9
Q74
A6
D

4) Play the "Free" suit winners (diamonds) On the next to last diamond discard dummy's low club. When the last diamond is played, the position will be:

West
QJ
J9
North
10
A10
4
East
J
KQ10
South
9
4
A6
D

West must discard a club or else dummy's T will be good, whereupon North discards the T.

5) Lastly, play the small heart to dummy's ace. East is now squeezed in the black suits.

West
QJ
J
North
10
A
4
East
J
KQ
South
9
A6
D

Have fun!