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A Simple Positional Squeeze

East Deals
None Vul
Matchpoints
From: OKbridge
A Q
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
LHO
North
Partner
East
RHO
South
Hao
Pass 1 NT
Pass 3 NT All Pass

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, was squeezed on the last diamond:
Q 7
2
 
10
K J
9
A 8
If East pitches a spade, declarer pitches the 8 and has 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.
<< The Prize
Thomas Andrews (bridge@thomasoandrews.com), © 1995-2009.
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