The Backwash Squeeze is a trump squeeze in which both menaces are in the same hand, and the player in the seat behind the hand with the menaces holds both guards play a losing trump. This player is then caught in the backwash of a squeeze by means of a ruff taken in the hand holding the menaces.

This particular situation in the play was first described by Mr. Geza Ottlik, born May 9, 1912 and died October 9, 1990, in The Bridge World, issue of February 1974. He was born in Budapest but resided in Hungary, where he pursued his professional career as a writer, translator, mathematician, and a bridge theorist. He co-authored the book Adventures in Card Play with Mr. Hugh Kelsey, first published in the year 1979.

     

The following three examples are the examples taken from this publication to illustrate the Backwash Squeeze.

Example 1

A108542
1073
92
KJ
3
A965
J643
Q765
KQJ97
42
A87
842
6
KQJ8
KQ105
A1093
Contract: 4
Declarer: South
Lead: 5

During the auction, East had doubled the bid of 3 No Trump, asking for a Spade lead. West decided to lead the trump suit, the 5 of Hearts. East plays low. South wins with the 8 of Hearts. South leads a Club to the Jack of Clubs in the dummy, which is successful when West plays low.

On the third trick South leads a Diamond from the dummy to the King of Diamonds. East plays low, South wins the third trick. South leads a Club to the King of Clubs in dummy, and plays the 9 of Diamonds to his hand. East plays the Ace of Diamonds, wins the trick, and leads a Heart, which is trump.

West plays the Ace of Hearts and leads another Heart. East discards a small Spade. South wins the trick in his hand. After seven played tricks, the holdings are illustrated below.

A108542
3
9
J6
Q7
KQJ9
8
8
6
K
Q10
A10

South must now take at five of the last remaining six tricks. South has one trump left and two honors in the Minor suits. If either of the Minor suit honors would be unguarded, South could make the contract by guessing which Minor suit, and drawing the last outstanding trump. However, during the auction, East doubled for a Spade lead. This information now becomes valuable to South, and South concludes the holding correctly held by West.

South leads the 6 of Spades to the Ace of Spades in dummy. South then leads a small Spade from the dummy, and ruffs it in his hand by playing the King of Hearts, establishing a Vienna Coup by setting up an unnecessary trick for West, who holds the last trump, but squeezing West also in the process. A Vienna Coup is simply the act of cashing one or more winners to avoid blockage in a squeeze position. It is generally an unblocking play made in preparation for an Automatic Squeeze.

When the Spade is played and ruffed by South, West is backwash-squeezed. The advantage now gained by South is that West must discard a card from one of his Minor suit holdings. West is void in Spades, has the 9 of Hearts, but must play either a Diamond or a Club, thereby giving South the needed information required to make the best play, which is the Spade distribution.

If West discards a Diamond, then the Queen and Ten held by South are good, and even if West trumps one Diamond, West must lead from his Club holding, giving South the contract. If West discards a Club, then the Ace and Ten held by South are good, and even if West trumps, then West must lead from his Diamond holding, giving South the contract.

Example 2

In the following example of the Backwash Squeeze, the play can be applied to delete an opponent of his exit cards in preparation for a throw-in play. The following example illustrates this action.

KJ1096
J8652
A5
Q
8542
K10
KJ6
AK53
Q973
109742
J1084
AQ73
A4
183
9762
Contract: 4
Declarer: South
Lead: K

Using a weak No Trump opening of 13 to 15 high cards points, West opened the auction. North bid an Astro 2 Diamonds showing Spades and another suit. The final contract is 4 Spades by South.

West leads the King of Clubs, followed by another Club. With the intention of establishing cards as winners in the dummy, the Declarer leads the Ace of Hearts, followed by another Heart. West wins the trick with the King of Hearts, and plays another Club, which Declarer trumps in the dummy.

Declarer then ruffs a Heart high and leads a low Spade to dummy, discovering the four to zero split in trump. The next lead is from the dummy and the declarer needs five of the last six tricks, as illustrated below:

KJ
J8
A5
854
KJ
5
Q
10942
J
A7
Q83
9

The declarer now ruffs a Heart from the dummy with the Ace of Spades, and West is now a victim of the Backwash Squeeze. West must now decide his discard. An underruff by West would allow declarer to pull the remaining trump. A discard in Diamonds would allow declarer to cash the Ace of Diamonds and then lead the Jack of Hearts, discarding a Club.

West has to discard his last Club, which is his only exit card. The declarer then plays his two good Spade trump tricks, and leads a Heart from the dummy, which West ruffed with his last trump card. West is now on lead, and is end-played. West can only play one of his last two Diamonds. If he leads the Jack of Diamonds or King of Diamonds, South end-plays and fulfills the contract.

Example 3

In this third example of the Backwash Squeeze, the contract is 2 Spades doubled by South.

QJ9
3
10843
Q7542
A10
A6
97652
10983
K64
8752
AQJ
AKJ
87532
KQJ1094
K
6
Contract: 2 Doubled
Declarer: South
Lead: 10

East opened the auction with a strong, artificial 1 Club bid, showing 17 high card points plus. After the overcall by South, West doubled with a Card Showing Double, which promised 6 to 8 high card points. The final contract was 2 Spades doubled by South.

The Ten of Clubs was the lead, and on the second Club lead, South ruffed with a trump. South then lead the Nine of Hearts to the dummy, but West immediately overtook with the Ace of Hearts, cashed his Ace of trump and lead his second Spade.

East won with the King of trump, cashed the Ace of Diamonds and lead the Queen of Diamonds.

The declarer has now lost five tricks and has another possible loser if he can not return to the dummy to run the Hearts after drawing the last outstanding trump. But the declarer trumped the Queen of Diamonds, played three of the top Heart honors, and East had to follow suit. At the end of the play of the ninth trick, the holdings were:

Q
10
Q
97
9
6
J
A
8
K4

On the tenth trick, South leads the four of Hearts and ruffs it with the Queen of Spades. East is squeezed. If East underruffs, then the South hand would be high. If East discards a Diamond or a Club, East would promote one of the cards in the Dummy which the declarer would lead, forcing East to ruff eventually and allowing South to overruff, thereby fulfilling the contract.

 

 

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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