Certain card combinations require certain treatments, conventions, and methods of bidding. Other certain card combinations require a special strategy by the declarer in order to make the contract. Mr. Eric Mansfield of England devised a hand which was complex to the degree that he managed to win the hand with a method he named the octagonal two trick squeeze.

Publication

The title of his publication describing various bridge puzzles is Bridge: The Ultimate Limits, published by Robert Hale, and which contains 192 pages presenting his collection of such bridge puzzles with their solutions. ISBN-10: 0709028075 / ISBN-13: 978-0709028079. Mr. Alan Truscott, bridge columnist forThe New York Times described the publication in his column of January 15, 1989 as an Englishman, who is of the Royal Society ... and whose intellectual powers are equally formidable in constructing bridge hands.

Note: Any additional information, especially photographs, of and about Mr. Eric Mansfield would be greatly appreciated.

     
     

This is perhaps the only card combination which would require such a squeeze.

North
AQ86
AQ86
A864
A
West
KJ10
KJ10
K
987642
East
7542
7542
J972
K
South
93
93
Q1053
QJ1053

The above example was conceived by Mr. Eric Mansfield, and the following is his analysis.

Application of the Octagonal Two Trick Squeeze

The Contract is 7 No Trump by South

Whatever the opening lead is, the play of the declarer is essentially the same, and, in the example above, it is sufficient to follow the play after the West leads the 9. At the second trick, the declarer takes the Ace and finesses the 10. The following is then the layout:

North
AQ86
AQ86
86
West
KJ10
KJ10
8764
East
7542
7542
J9
South
93
93
Q5
QJ105

Under these circumstances, all of the opponents' cards are termed busy. Declarer's Queen would squeeze West, and declarer's Queen would squeeze East. The lead of the Queen would be the more attractive and lucrative lead because West's discard would establish another trick for the declarer.

However, a closer analysis shows that the Queen must be preserved because it is needed in its position as a squeeze card and communication link.

In the example above, the declarer should lead the Queen and discards the 6 from the Dummy. East is then squeezed, but a Diamond discard would present the declarer with an extra trick and enable him to operate a simple positional squeeze against West for his additional trick. East will therefore discard a card from his Major suits. Since there is no difference in cards in either of East's Major suits, East may as well discard the 2.

However, from the perspective of the declarer, the presence of the tenace AQ in the dummy now becomes an obstacle to his strategic plan. The declarer must now finesse the Queen and cash the Ace before returning to his hand with the Queen in order to squeeze West in the following position:

North
86
AQ86
8
West
J
KJ10
876
East
7
7542
J9
South
93
Q5
J105

If West discards a Spade, this would present the declarer with two additional tricks, while a Club discard would allow the declarer to squeeze him again in the Major suits. West therefore decides to discard a Heart, which then promotes the 8 of Hearts in the dummy, and the declarer continues by cashing his Club winners to squeeze East again to the following position:

North
8
AQ86
West
J
KJ
87
East
7542
J
South
93
5
105

From this position, it all depends on the discards of West and of East as to how the declarer will proceed with the play. Whatever the discards are, South will make his 7 No Trump contract.

Mr. Eric Mansfield has proven his point concerning the octagonal two trick squeeze, and its practicality. However, the rarity of this card combination is such that hardly any declarer will find himself in this position. But a card combination must be analyzed duly by the declarer.

Note: This particular squeeze technique was addressed in an article by Mr. Alan Truscott of The New York Times, for which he was the Bridge Columnist. This article, although not completely archived by The New York Times, has only been archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

Note: Mr. Alan Truscott published also in January 15, 1989 an article applauding the works and efforts of the bridge analysts, among him he specifically mentions Mr. Eric Mansfield, an Englishman who is a fellow of the Royal Society. This article, although not completely archived by The New York Times, has only been archived and preserved on this site in .pdf file format for future reference.

 

 

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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