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A Simple Squeeze

West Deals
None Vul
A Q 4
10 9 8 2
10 9 8 3 2
J 3 2
A 7
A K Q 5 4
7 6 2
West North East South
1 Pass Pass 1
3 3 All Pass

West led the K, ducked around. I won the J continuation, and exited a club. East won and played a heart, which I ruffed, West following. I ruffed a club high, back with a trump, West pitching a club. I ruffed another club, and again back with a trump. I took the spade finesse, and came back with a third round of trumps, ending up in this position:
A 4
K x
J 3
West pitched his clubs on the diamonds, but on the last diamond, West was squeezed in the majors.
A-Q-x opposite J-x-x always screams out to me. In another hand in this collection, I give an example where West is stripped and endplayed into giving up a third trick to this holding.
Perhaps this holding makes it easier for me to see the squeeze or endplay possibilities. I am already aware that I want the king of the suit to be onside. I visualize West with the king, and a key step in a squeeze or endplay is visualization.
The above squeeze works just as well if I have J-x-x in hand and A-K-x in dummy, but I might be less inclined to find it because I'm not asking myself, "what if West has the queen of spades?"
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Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1995-2009.
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