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