Instructions: Click on the link (the number of a deal) and after the movie appears, click on “Next” to have the opening lead. You can then click on “Play” and play the hand for yourself or by following my notes. Deal one
You need no heart trick for your contract, but you need a heart stopper to prevent the defense from forcing the strong trumps out of your own hand.
If you cover with the King of hearts at trick one, you will lose control and go down.
South will win and return a heart, which you must ruff.
Then, when the defenders win their top trumps, they will continue leading hearts, eventually establishing North’s eight of trumps as the setting trick.
If you duck the first trick, the defense is helpless.
If North leads another heart, which is as good a play as any – that lead establishes a heart trick in dummy. Your hand can be forced only twice.
The contract is secure, even against a 4-1 trump break.
This hand demonstrates the relation between the squeeze card and the two-card threat
Barring a horrible break in diamonds, you have twelve tricks on top.
You are able to win all the remaining tricks, but one, the most favorable situation.
You will need to find West with the King-Queen of hearts in addition to the King-Queen of spades.
There is not a threat card in diamonds, because you are assuming that the suit will be worth five tricks.
If we could look at the hands prior to the opening lead, we will notice that the Jack of spades and the Jack of hearts are clearly threat cards against West’s last honors in the suits.
Which of them would be used as a two-card threat, depends solely on the opening lead.
After the actual lead of the King of spades, you can’t use the Ace-Jack of spades as two-card threat any longer, cause the lead made it a one-card threat.
The only possibility, therefore, lies in the hearts.
As long as you retain the Ace-Jack of hearts intact and a low heart in your own hand, there will be satisfactory communication.
Either the filth diamond or the fifth club would theoretically be suitable for
But as the squeeze card must be held in the hand opposite the two-card menace, this function will be performed by a club.
When the last club is led West has to make a fatal discard.
As mentioned earlier, west might equally lead the King of hearts instead of the King of spades.
The difference is that the Ace-Jack of hearts can’t function as a two-card threat any longer.
Your two-card threat will be, therefore, the Ace-Jack of spades, so the squeeze card must come from North.
You should, therefore, run the clubs first, then the diamonds.
You discard a heart on the seven of diamonds and West is squeezed.
Assuming diamonds are not divided 4-0, you can make certain of your contract by leading a diamond to the 9.
If North wins the Queen, you can take the rest easily.
If the 9 of diamonds holds, you can return to the King of diamonds and lead a low club, forcing entry to dummy in clubs.
In any event, you will take 12 tricks.
Playing to the 9 of diamonds, guards against the likely possibility that an opponent holds three diamonds to the Queen.
Draw trumps and play all your top winners in the black suit.
When the complete count becomes available, and East is known to hold a doubleton diamond,
The best play in diamonds is to lead low to the Queen, and (in case East has Ax).
You should therefore be in your own hand after taking your black-suit tricks.
If West wins and returns a diamond, you should duck it to dummy’s ten.
This line wins in 16 cases out of a possible 21 (East has AJ, Ax, or xx) as opposed to only 5 cases out of 21 that East holds Jx.
You should win the first lead in your hand and lead a spade towards dummy’s Jack.
If both opponents follow, you will have no trouble unless the return is ruffed, which is very unlikely.
If West shows out on the first spade lead, you can play the Jack and later double finesses against East’s spades (you may try it for yourself) .
If East shows out on dummy’s Jack of spades, you must rely on a trump coup.
This will succeed if West has exactly the same distribution as yours.
After winning dummy’s spade Jack, play the King of hearts, ruffs a heart, cash all your minor-suit winners, and lead a low spade to end-play West.
Suppose you finesse the Queen of spades. If this loses and East makes the obvious switch to a club, you may easily lose four tricks.
But the spade finesse isn’t likely to be right, is it?
Players don’t often lead from a King-Jack-10 combination up to the strong hand.
Since you would like to protect your clubs, play low from dummy.
North may overtake with the King and play a club, but the price he pays for this will prove too high.
Your diamond loser will go away on the Queen of spades.
If you allow South’s Jack of spades to hold the first trick, then you follow a slightly different, but equally safe line.
Win the second spade, draw trumps, and finesse the Jack of diamonds.
You will lose, at most, one spade, one diamond and one club.