Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"Either-Or" squeeze

Here's an interesting hand from Friday:

Dealer:North
Vul:EW
Scoring:MP
xx
AQJxx
A9xx
AT
Jxx
xxx
KQTx
9xx
Kxx
Txxx
xx
Q8xx
AQT9x
K
Jxx
KJxx

We had a relay auction where I showed a 5-1-3-4 distribution and GF opposite 15+HCP. I ended up playing 3NT by South, and LHO lead K.

I thought it was a good idea to duck, since it's almost a real "bath coup". LHO switched to after considerable thought. It's quite obvious to play the T, for the Q and my King. The switch didn't matter much, since there's only 1 useful way to finesse anyway. Now I tested the s: K, followed by A and 2 more s. Both opponents follow nicely, so it's time to think about overtricks.

I was considering my squeeze possibilities, and played a small . RHO played his K leaving me no choice than to play my Ace. Now I cashed J (LHO playing the 9) discarding a , J (covered) to the Ace and ran my s. This is a simple squeeze played like a double squeeze, also known as an "Either-Or" squeeze. Whoever has J will have to concede it, since LHO has to guard the virtual Jx and , and RHO has to keep the virtual Jx and . We don't care who we squeeze, but it works with both opponents.

Also interesting would it have been if RHO played small. Now there are 2 possible lines:
1. play the Queen, and if it works use a double squeeze to get to 12 tricks
2. play the T hoping for RHO having KJx
Obviously line 1 is better. If RHO has KJx he'll be caught in a simple squeeze later on anyway.

By playing K my RHO gave me an opportunity to add this one to my list.

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