A Simple Positional Squeeze
Q 7 4
K J 8 3 2
4 3 2
K 9 6 2
A 8 5
A Q 5
A 6 5
West led the ♣ Q
, East encouraged with the ♣ 10
and declarer, Hao on OKbridge, ducked. West continued a low club to
East's king, again ducked, and East continued a club to the ace.
If diamonds split, Hao had ten top tricks and is looking for an
eleventh, which can only possibly come from hearts or spades.
Hao took the ♠ A
and ♠ Q
, crossed to hand
with the ♦ A
cashed the ♠ K
, pitching a heart, and ran the diamonds.
East, who started with four spades and the ♥ K
squeezed on the last diamond:
If East pitches a spade, declarer pitches the ♥ 8
two winners left in his hand. If East pitches the heart, declarer pitches
his spade, and has two heart tricks.
As a sign that OKbridge play might be improving, making four was worth only
7%, while making five was worth 64%. Either a lot of people found the
squeeze, or a lot of Easts pitched a spade early.