A Familiar Combination
Out of the 39 tables that played this hand, 12 North/South pairs bid
to 6 ♥
, and of those, nine made. (Another two pairs ended up
in 6 NT
, making.) Six hearts is not a slam I'd want to bid.
The unfortunate pair I watched played in the more reasonable 4 ♥
contract. While dummy joined us in spectator mode, we commiserated,
and one of the other spectators said, "Six hearts doesn't make without
help from the defense." While most who made 6 ♥
seemed to have some
defensive help, dummy and I disagreed.
Any long-time reader of these web pages will spot the ubiquitous
A-J-x opposite Q-x-x combination.
A good start.
Assume a trump lead. Declarer draws trumps in two rounds, and ducks
the ♣ 10
to East's ace. East is stuck for a decent exit, but,
in fact, his best exit is a diamond. Declarer wins dummy's jack, pitches
a spade on the ♣ K
, and the plays three rounds of spades,
ruffing the third round, declarer runs trumps, leaving this end position at
the second to last trump:
West must either pitch his top spade, his top club, or unguard his
. This squeeze operates a trick early because West is
guarding three suits. West can delay the squeeze one trick later by
covering the ♣ 10
with the queen at trick three, but he cannot
avoid being squeezed in diamonds and spades.