Chicken Squeeze

The origin of this designation arose from the bridge tables and the bridge players and it is absolutely colloquial in nature. This particular line of play is not a calculated guess, not a deduction and also not an inference per se, but rather a challenge, a daring generally initiated by the declarer against the opponents.

The following line of play should explain and clarify not only the challenge, but also the daring tactic of the declarer against the opponent. The source is the Daily Bulletin of the 79th Fall North American Bridge Championships, Volume 79, Number 8, in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 24, 2006, which was also only one day after the American Thanksgiving holiday of that year. Reporter is Peg Kaplan.

 
J54
A98
AJ63
QJ9
 
1082
Q543
104
8754
 
AQ973
J762
Q852
 
K6
K10
K97
AK10632
 

Although South, the dealer, holds two doubletons, the player decides to open 1 No Trump, range 15-17 points, instead of opening a Minor suit and then rebidding that Minor suit.

South   West   North   East
1 NT   Pass   3 NT   Pass
Pass   Pass        

West leads the 3, the dummy is tabled, and the declarer can see ten immediate tricks. The objective, however, is to make as many overtricks as possible. The declarer plays low from dummy and East plays the Jack. The declarer allows the lead to come through to his winning King, and immediately challenges West's Queen by playing the 10 for three possible tricks in Hearts. West refuses to play the Queen and the 10 wins the second trick.

One line of play for the declarer would be to finesse West for the Queen by playing low from hand to the Jack in the dummy. A second line of play would be to cross over to the dummy in Clubs, play the Jack and challenge East for the Queen, which is exactly what the declarer should do. This line of play succeeds when East does not face the challenge and is too "chicken" to cover the honor. However, West, being taught to signal count, plays the 10, providing the declarer with the necessary information to make four tricks in Diamonds. The declarer cashes the Ace and drops a Spade, and plays the 3, East refuses to play the Queen and the declarer plays the 9.

Thus far the declarer, with this "I challenge you to cover !" play-attitude, has won three Heart tricks, four Diamond tricks, and then cashes all six tricks in Clubs. The declarer has succeeded in taking all 13 tricks by challenging the opponents to a game of chicken, or more politely, invoked a chicken squeeze.

 

 

If you wish to include this feature, or any other feature, of the game of bridge in your partnership agreement, then please make certain that the concept is understood by both partners. Be aware whether or not the feature is alertable or not and whether an announcement should or must be made. Check with the governing body and/or the bridge district and/or the bridge unit prior to the game to establish the guidelines applied. Please include the particular feature on your convention card in order that your opponents are also aware of this feature during the bidding process, since this information must be made known to them according to the Laws of Duplicate Contract Bridge. We do not always include the procedure regarding Alerts and/or Announcements, since these regulations are changed and revised during time by the governing body. It is our intention only to present the information as concisely and as accurately as possible.




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