I Finally Did It!

It’s taken me 8 months (though I wasn’t playing for much of that), but I finally found one.

This was the second night Devin had ever played, so his bidding, dubious as it was, can be justified by his inexperience. I don’t know what Robin was thinking, but it seems to have worked out well for her: Whitney and I made small slam on this hand but didn’t even bid game. Robin lead the queen of spades, and Whitney took her ace and led a trump at trick 2. Devin, still the newbie, won the ace on the first round and played his king of hearts, which Whitney took with her ace. Whitney pulled trump and took the king of spades. She ruffed a spade, cashed the ace of diamonds, and ran the rest of the clubs. While she was running the trump, I (watching over her shoulder) realized there was a squeeze, and directed her in the rest of the hand: cash all the winners in her hand, and if the 8 of hearts becomes good cash it before crossing to the king of diamonds. If the 8 did not become good, run the diamonds in dummy from the top. The 8 became good, and we took the rest.

I then had everyone back up 4 tricks to explain what happened. Whitney held the Q-8 of hearts, a low trump, and the 5 of diamonds. Robin held the J-10 of hearts and the Q-10 of diamonds. Dummy had the 5 of hearts and the K-J-9 of diamonds. Devin’s hand at this point was inconsequential. When Whitney plays her trump, Robin is squeezed: if she discards a heart, Whitney takes her queen (dropping Robin’s last heart), and then takes the last 2 tricks with the 8 of hearts and king of diamonds. If instead Robin discards a diamond, Whitney cashes her queen, crosses to the king of diamonds (dropping Robin’s last diamond) and takes the last trick with the jack. No matter what, Whitney takes the rest of the tricks, even though Robin has a winner and an eventual winner. Robin was quite relieved to hear that there was no way she could have prevented it, and that she had defended as well as possible.

This play is known as a Vienna Coup, and is a form of what are called “simple squeeze plays” (they’re considered simple because they squeeze one opponent into giving you one trick). This is also my favourite kind of squeeze, because it is so elegant and works against either opponent (some squeezes only work if the opponent with the winners is on your left). This is the first squeeze I have ever found in the wild; the rest have been while messing around on my own, and rearranging the cards when I can’t figure it out.

What a great night! We only played 16 boards, but spent about 5 hours doing it (explaining stuff to Devin and chatting took up much of the time). I got my first squeeze play. Whitney and I got almost all the contracts (around 12 of them), and Robin was never declarer all night, which was kinda weird.

I know I keep promising a news post, and I’ll get to it soon, I hope. Currently my copy of Firefox has so many open tabs with news stories I should post that they don’t all fit on the tab-browsing bar, which is quite bizarre. But now, I’m going to sleep.

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  1. korfer17 says:

    Well done, it’s about time you actually made a squeeze play, as you’ve really been talking about it for over a year now.

    • Alan says:

      Holy crap! You’re right; I’ve been trying to do this since August. I thought it sounded funny claiming I’ve only been trying to do this for 3 months, but when I wrote this at 4AM I wasn’t particularly coherent. Thanks for catching that!

  2. eve_wyoming says:

    I really tried reading more closely, I swear, but I STILL get lost at “small slam on this hand but didn’t even bid game.” Silly Alan. However, it’s well written and I’m sure anyone who knows anything about bridge is very impressed :).

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