Playing Saturday at The Links, Johannesburg
Bridge player numbers seem to be dwindling all over the world, except in Johannesburg on a Saturday. The Links Bridge Club boasts a turnout of at least 5 sections of 12-table Mitchells! Paul Inbona and I played on Saturday 18th March. Here is a hand from that event. I have rotated the deal 180º for convenience.
North opened 1 and I responded 1NT. Partner raised to 2NT.
I landed in 3NT having accepted the invite. The 3 was led. I played small from dummy on the slight chance that East will play the king from Kx. But East wins the 9 and makes the obvious shift to a club. Your king holds, West follows with the 10. What next?
I immediately ducked the 8 and East wins with the knave. Back comes the 6. Hmmm. I decide that West couldn't hold precisely J-10 and I try the 9. Wrong! West wins the J and plays a small diamond now. I begin to sweat.
Fortunately the Q holds. I try the A-K of hearts and both follow. I breath a sign of relief and announce "double squeeze, all tricks."
QUIZ: Can you see the double squeeze?
The ending is -S: K63 H: 65 D: - C: - S: T542 S: QJ9 H: - H: - D: K D: - C: - C: A8 S: A87 H: - D: 8 C: Q
I played the 6 and discarded the 7 on it. East discarded the 8, West a small spade. The next heart executed the double squeeze!
East has to hold on to his A else my Q is good, so he discards a spade. I throw away the Q, having served its purpose. Now it is West's turn to squirm.
10 Tricks in 3NT was worth 75% MPs. If I played the Q instead of the 9 earlier, I would have made 11 tricks for an outright top!
Quite amazing that an innocuous-looking hand produced an opportunity for a classic double squeeze to expose itself.
Posted March 2017