Opening lead: jack of hearts
Many players feel that executing a squeeze is something beyond their capabilities. But the fact is that, in most cases, all declarer has to do is cash his natural tricks, and presto, the squeeze materialises all by itself.
Consider this deal where South finds himself in seven notrump after North ascertains via the Gerber Convention that no aces or kings are missing from the combined hands.
When dummy appears, declarer notes that he has only 12 tricks, with no apparent chance of scoring a 13th.
But, if South is at all familiar with squeezes, he also notes that he has all the tricks but one, the key prerequisite to a squeeze.
However, even if he doesn’t know the difference between a squeeze and a Wiener schnitzel, he makes the slam with normal play.
South wins the heart lead with the ace and cashes four spades and three diamonds. On the third diamond, poor West finds it impossible to make a safe discard from a holding of 10-9-7 of hearts and Q-10-6 of clubs.
A heart discard hands South an extra heart trick, while a club discard hands dummy an extra club trick.
The squeeze succeeds regardless of whether South is aware of the squeeze possibilities from the outset.
If he is squeeze-conscious, he hopes that the defender who was dealt most of the missing hearts also has most of the missing clubs. If he is not squeeze-conscious, the good Lord takes care of him anyway!
For details about local bridge events, go to the HK Contract Bridge Association website.