This is a secondary squeeze in which the opponents must choose between a throw-in and a suit establishment play, each of which enables the declarer to win a trick. This type of squeeze was first analyzed and named by Mr. John Terence Reese.

Note: The designation chosen by Mr. Terence Reese may have to do with one of the several definitions of stepping stones in the English language: 1. any means of advancement; 2. how a result is obtained or an end is achieved.

Note: The photograph below shows Mr. John Terence Reese at the bridge table in the year 1955.

     
     

Examples of Stepping Stone Squeeze

Example 1

North
4
AJ
3
West
Q4
AQ
East
64
52
South
A
K
K6

South is the declarer and is on lead. South leads the Ace of Spades. As a result West is squeezed in two suits. West must discard a Club. If West discards the Queen of Clubs, South plays the King of Hearts and then plays a small Club. This play forces West, who wins the trick, to lead a Heart to the Ace of Hearts in the dummy. In this case, if West discards the Ace of Clubs, this establishes the King of Clubs in the hand of the declarer as a winner.

The blocked suit, as per the stepping stone squeeze, must include two winners, one in each hand, whereby the higher winner must be in the dummy. South must have a one-card menace against the same player who protects the blocked suit. In the above example, even if the cards reversed between East and West, the result would be the same and as effective.

 

Example 2

A second example of a stepping stone squeeze is recorded from an actual board played at the 45th Generali European Bridge Championships, Arona, Tenerife, Canary Islands in June 2001.

North
8
KJ652
J632
J95
Noergaard
Q97
Q973
AQ74
73
Caspersen
KJ10653
108
K9
K106
South
A42
A4
1085
AQ842

Dealer is North and both have favorable vulnerability. The Danish team, Mr. Henrik Caspersen and Mr. Tom Noergaard are playing East and West. The auction:

North

Caspersen South Noergaard
Pass 1 2 Double (Negative)
3 Pass Pass 3
Pass Pass Pass

Mr. Henrik Caspersen realized, as soon as the dummy was tabled, that the stepping stone squeeze endplay was the best possible play. South led the Ace, which held and led the small Heart followed by the Queen and King. If North had switched to Clubs, the contract would have been almost impossible to make, and even the lead of a third Heart, Mr. Henrick Caspersen would have found it very difficult to fulfill the contract. North, on the third trick, indeed led a third Heart, the declarer ruffed high with the 10 and South discards the 8. This discard is very important in the ensuing play.

Mr. Henrik Caspersen played the trumps and South won the second round with the Ace, and plays a third round of trumps, which Mr. Henrik Caspersen takes with the King, who continues to play Spades until the following layout:

North
K
J632
J

 

Noergaard
9
AQ74
7
Caspersen
3
K9
K106
South
105
AQ84

Mr. Henrik Caspersen is still on lead and plays the 3, which squeezes North, who holds the one card, which, played earlier, would have very well led to the defeat of the contract: Jack.

The declarer must play the percentages and hope that South holds one more Diamond, which is higher than the 6. Mr. Henrik Caspersen plays the King and then moves to the dummy to play the Ace, noting with satisfaction that South indeed does have a Diamond higher than the 6 and that the 10 falls.

Thus, in the final run, Mr. Henrik Caspersen used North as a stepping stone (a means of how a result is obtained), playing the 9 to the King, held by North, who then must lead away from the J6 into the Q7 in the dummy, and thus 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.

 


     
Email Conventions Bridge Sites
     
Home Page I Glossary Home Page II
     
   
  Squeeze Plays