Writers’ Weekly 4 | A squeeze at the highest level

The bidding took south to a grand slam without 13 tricks on top. Not many has jumped directly to 7 NT as an answer when your partner bid exclusion Blackwood, neither should south at this board have done.

When everything seems lost, you must hang on if there is a hope. I guess that was what south had in mind when he started out as declarer.

The jack of diamonds ran to the ace. South didn’t have much better to do than run the spades. East discarding a heart and 3 diamonds. Declarer a heart, a diamond and 2 clubs. West a club and 2 diamonds.

The king of clubs then a club to the ace did not bring any news. The position looked like this when south played the king of diamonds

What was west supposed to discard?

  • A heart gives dummy rest of the tricks via a finesse
  • Queen of clubs gives away the jack of clubs followed by a finesse in hearts.

Well done to declarer, of was it just a poor defense?

The defenders should have looked deeper into the position. West could see the squeeze coming holding the hearts and clubs. Therefore, he should have discarded the king of hearts to tell east to hold on to his hearts.

If east guard the hearts and west the diamonds, they will break the squeeze. Not impossible, but very hard to spot at the table holding just one of the hands.