Simple squeeze

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The simple squeeze is the most basic form of a squeeze as frequently applied in the game of contract bridge. By playing a winner in one suit, an opponent is squeezed out of a winner in a different suit. (The card led that leads to the squeeze is called the "squeeze card").

The simple squeeze is a squeeze against one opponent and gains one trick. It normally only works with the count, that means that the player executing the squeeze in order to gain an additional trick needs to have all winners but one. The following diagram shows the most basic matrix:

N

  W

S

When the ace of clubs is cashed, West is squeezed in the major suits. Obviously the key factor is that West has to discard before North. This squeeze matrix will not work if East's and West's cards were swapped. It is a positional squeeze. (Suppose that the other hand has a heart greater than 3)

The next diagram shows a distribution of the menaces that allow to squeeze either of the opponents as long as one of them holds the three key cards in the majors.

N

E  

S


When the ace of clubs is played the heart king is discarded from dummy and East is squeezed in the majors again.

Sometimes the suit containing the menace adjacent to the squeeze card is blocked. If the suit can be unblocked before the squeeze is executed that is called the Vienna coup the play being described the first time in a Viennese coffee shop at the beginning of the 20th century. The play was therefore then conducted in a game of whist.

N

E  

S


South leads and needs to make all the tricks. The only successful sequence is to unblock the heart ace before then cashing the two clubs (shedding a heart from North). If South cashes his two clubs immediately, it is North who is squeezed, East simply discards in the same suit than North.

As long as a Vienna coup can be performed, or the menace is not blocked, this is an automatic squeeze. If for some reason, e.g. a lack of entries, the menace cannot be unblocked, the squeeze becomes positional.

We have seen that, unless blocked, distributed menaces always provide an automatic squeeze. A special type of simple squeeze with blocked distributed menaces is referred to as criss-cross squeeze.

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