Chuck Arthur

Don’t let them see you sweat

This was deal 26 from Thursday afternoon, March 25, at Hazel’s Bridge Club 


Opening the bidding 4 hearts may not be to everybody’s taste, but that is what happened. You can follow the play, trick by trick, by successively hitting the Next button immediately above. The opening lead was a trump. Declarer finished drawing trump discarding two small spades from dummy, then led a diamond. West won and led a spade, 10 from dummy, Queen and small; East returned a spade to dummy’s now singleton Ace. South returned to hand by ruffing a diamond, crossed to dummy with a high club and ruffed another diamond. There are not quite enough entries in dummy to ruff out the diamond suit and still cash the long diamond, but at least the diamond guard has been isolated. Declarer played his second last trump; West safely could discard a small club. At trick 11, when declarer played his last trump, West was done; she groaned loud and long. There was a kibitzer at the table (he was watching North); she showed him her hand and asked “What can I do?”. Declarer said somewhat sardonically that he was our coach, not her’s. He of course kept a straight face and said nothing. Declarer could have claimed but he somewhat sadistically enjoyed watching West’s discomfit. She finally discarded a club and South took the remainder. Declarer did not need the Jack of clubs; East could just as well started with J765 and South with 32. West had the lone diamond guard; East had the lone spade guard; nobody could guard clubs. This was just your everyday double squeeze.

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My advice: don’t let them see you sweat. When you know that you are being squeezed, discard happily and confidently. Declarer might go wrong.

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