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Auto-ducking to rectify the count
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(Maybe this isn't quite an intermediate forum post, but...)

You are declaring 3N after a routine auction (at matchpoints):

West
QJ4
A3
AKQ106
K75
East
K653
92
532
A642
W
N
E
S
P
1
P
1
P
2NT
P
3NT
P
P
P

North leads the Q. It goes

Trick 1: Q 2 9 K

Trick 2: Q A 3 2

North returns J.

(If it matters, opponents play standard leads, upside-down count and attitude.)

If you are both sharp and diligent, you think and count and think and count for a while. If you're like me, you're a bit lazy and and in any case not good enough to count out the whole hand and figure out what to do from that.

However, at this point, you have 10 tricks assuming the diamonds work. The opponents have taken 1. There is no play for 12 tricks. Ducking can't cost you, and maybe it rectifies the count for some squeeze you haven't quite figured out yet.

So duck!

North leads a third club.  You do the natural thing, which is to take all your tricks.  It really doesn't matter how you do it, but suppose you cash a spade in hand and run all the diamonds.  Then you have

West
4
A3
East
K6
6

On the A, North can't guard both black suits; you discard from dummy the suit North keeps.

The full hand is

West
QJ4
A3
AKQ106
K75
North
A987
K8
94
QJ1083
East
K653
92
532
A642
South
102
QJ107654
J87
9
D

There is some myth out there that a squeeze is an expert play requiring prodigious amounts of memory so that you can count out what will happen from trick 1, or at least trick 3 or 4.  That's not true.  You just make the play that can't cost and might set up some squeeze if there is one, and then at trick 11, when there are only a few cards left and not much left to count, you find out that some opponent has been squeezed.

Now if you want, you can pretend to your friends you saw the squeeze at trick 3, but between you and me, all you did was cater to the vague possibility something might be there.

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