In order for a squeeze play of any kind to be successfully played, certain prerequisites are necessary. First are the menace cards, or threat cards which are potential winners for trick taking. These menace cards are divided into several categories, such as Isolated Menace, Two-Card Menace, Split Two-Card Menace, Double Menace, Extended Two-Card Menace, Twin Entry Menace, which all have different degrees of interpretation under different circumstances.

Other prerequisites are that the menace cards by properly located, and that there must be sufficient entries to these menaces. Perhaps the most important element is the correct timing of the squeeze. If the timing is off by only one card, then the squeeze and the defense play against a squeeze will be ineffective and unsuccessful.

During the course of the development of the game of bridge, these squeezes and the defense against the different squeezes have been analyzed, and it was discovered that several principles could be established which could help the bridge player from discarding the incorrect card at the wrong time.

Several of these principles are illustrated below.

Example 1

North
K72
Q
K
West
QJ6
K
A
East
10954
A
South
A83
AK
In the example above, the situation is called a two-card menace. If one defender guards a two-card Menace and two Isolated menaces, then the correct play is for that defender to unguard the long menace when a choice is forced among the three suits.

South is on lead, and it really does not matter who is declarer and who are the defenders. The situation of the cards is the important thing to remember. South leads the Ace of Clubs. The player sitting West is then squeezed in three suits. In the case that West discards the Ace of Diamonds, this will then establish the King of Diamonds, held by North, as a winning trick. In the case that West discards the King of Hearts, then South can establish the Queen of Hearts as a winning trick by playing the King of Clubs on the second trick, thereby double-squeezing West.

The best solution for West under any circumstances is to discard a Spade on both the Ace of Clubs and the King of Clubs, the two-card menace, keeping a winning trick in either Hearts or Diamonds.

Example 2

North
A4
K
87
West
KJ
A
Q10
East
Q107
KJ
South
4
A8
AK
In the example above, the situation calls for unguarding a menace. When the situation occurs that a defender guards two long menaces and one isolated menace, then the correct procedure is for the defender to unguard the long menace placed to his left.

South is on lead, and plays the Ace of Clubs. This play squeezes West in three suits. In the case that West discards the Ace of Hearts, North has a winning trick with the King of Hearts. In the case that West discards a Diamond, South then takes the Ace of Diamonds as a winning trick, and this play establishes a positional double squeeze. The best solution for West is therefore to discard a Spade, which is his guard to the long Menace situated to his left.

Example 3

North
A3
6
K
5
West
5
2
84
7
East
KQ
KQ
A
South
7
AJ
9
A

In the example above, the situation for a Progressive Squeeze has been established. South is on lead, and leads the Ace of Clubs. This play squeezes East in three suits. Whatever East decides to discard, or unguard, it will cost a trick. The primary objective for East is to prevent, in the best manner possible, the Progressive Squeeze, which could result in losing two tricks to South. After thorough analysis, the guiding principle to guard against a Progressive Squeeze is for East to discard a Heart.

Example 4

North
AJ10
K
West
KQ
A
A
East
4
86
9
South
8
K5
A

In the example above, the situation for a repeated squeeze has been established. South leads the Ace of Clubs. West is squeezed in three suits. Upon analysis, it becomes apparent that if West discards, or unguards, any card other than the Ace of Diamonds, South will be able to take all the remaining four tricks.

Example 5

North
A1062
8643
86
A63
West
KJ3
AKQ107
J7
1095
East
9874
J92
95
J842
South
Q5
5
AKQ10432
KQ7
Mr. Terence Reese analyzed the example above, which was provided as an illustration to prevent the declarer from establishing the prerequisites for an Isolate The Menace Squeeze. The principle behind the play is for the defenders to establish a situation which has been termed the Destruction Of The Menace. This is accomplished by leading the suit at every possible opportunity.

South is the declarer. The contract is 6 Diamonds. West leads the King of Hearts (or the Ace of Hearts). West continues with the Ace of Hearts (or the King of Hearts), which South ruffs. South then draws all outstanding trump. South plays to the Ace of Clubs in the dummy in order to ruff a third Heart. West plays a Heart, but is forced to guard the Heart suit as well as the Spade suit.

On the other hand, if West does not lead the Ace of Hearts (or the King of Hearts) at the second trick, then the Heart menace can not be established and isolated. As a result, West can discard his Hearts with the knowledge that East, with the Jack of Hearts, still has the Heart suit protected and guarded.

Example 6

North
K7
6
K3
West
64
AK
7
East
QJ10
A8
South
A86
AK
In the example above, the best defense of the defenders is to Attack On Entries, and this consists of focusing the defense in the suit, in which the declarer has a long menace. Using this tactic, a two-card menace might become an Isolated Menace, a Twin-Entry Menace might be converted into an ordinary Two-Card Menace, and so on.

Clubs are trump. West has the lead. If West leads either a Heart or a Diamond, South is then in the position to ruff, play his last trump, and East is then consequently squeezed either in Spades or in Diamonds. This results in a Twin-Entry Simple Squeeze.

On the other hand, in the case that West leads a Spade, the possibility of a Twin-Entry Simple Squeeze is greatly reduced to the possibility of a Two-Card Menace, and the squeeze has to fail. South loses a Spade trick or a Diamond trick.

Example 7

North
632
8532
AQ6
K62
West
KQJ107
J9
73
QJ84
East
95
Q1074
J1095
1073
South
A84
AK6
K842
A95
In the example above, the situation calls for Failure To Rectify The Count. During the play of the cards, the declarer is forced to, or must, lose one or even several tricks in order to set up the squeeze. The defense to this procedure is for the defenders to deny the declarer the satisfaction by withholding certain key cards for the initiation of the squeeze. In the case that the declarer offers a trick to the defenders, the defenders simply refuse the trick.

If, however, the defenders do not realize the strategy of the declarer, then the example above is, owing to the success of the maneuver, known as a Suicide Squeeze.

South is the declarer. The contract is 3 No Trump. West leads the King of Spades.

South ducks the first Spade, but plays his Ace of Spades on the second trick. South then begins to set up the Suicide Squeeze, but only if West cooperates with the play, unwittingly, of course. South begins the Suicide Squeeze by playing, on the third trick, HIS LAST SPADE.

West cooperates with the declarer by playing the remainder of his Spade holding. Four tricks. East discards two cards from his Club holding. However, the second Club lead, won in the dummy, squeezes East in the Red suits. By cooperating with the declarer, West has squeezed his own partner, who must now find discards, if West continues to play his winning Spades.

As soon as South regains control, South plays the Ace and King of Clubs, squeezing East, who must now unguard the Diamonds or discard a Heart. If East discards a Heart, then the declarer can establish the Two of Hearts as the 9th trick.

The principle behind the correct defense is that West can lead a Spade, win the first trick, the declarer takes the second trick, leads a Spade, and West wins the third trick. West may only take one more Spade trick, and then switch to another suit in order not to squeeze his own partner. If West recognizes the strategy of the declarer and changes to another suit, then the contract can not be made.

Note: Many expert bridge players have analyzed the nature of squeezes, the prerequisites for certain squeezes, and established principles for the best defense against squeezes. Much thought has gone into this study, and the bridge player should acquaint himself with these different squeezes and the defense against such squeezes, only in order to recognize the situation. Understanding the circumstances leading up to and into a squeeze situation means that half of the battle is won, and the correct action can be taken.

 

 

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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