Shift that

One of the most exquisite techniques that made an impression on me when I first read Geza Ottlik’s Adventures in card play while I was still a student was Entry Shifting Squeeze. This is a rare bird, and I have come across very few examples in real bridge. Here’s one – 

You push your way to an aggressive heart slam and while at the first look the slam looks reasonable, your hopes soon take a dive.

N
North
65
AKJ3
A872
J54
10
S
South
AQ32
Q1094
K3
AQ9

 You win the  lead in dummy with Ace to try the spade finesse. The gods seem to desert you when West wins the  K and fires back a spade. You cross to  A to run the  J. This time East covers and you win the Ace. You cross again to  J and finesse the  9 which holds.

What now. Here’s the position –

 
1
N-S
South
N
North
K3
872
4
 
W
West
J9
Q94
7
10
E
East
8
8
J6
108
 
S
South
32
Q10
K
Q
 

 

Now you may want to simply cash your minor winners and cross ruff the hand. But you worry that East may have only a doubleton spade and may be in a position to overruff you.

So you cash  K and  Q and then advance the  Q. What is West to do. If he pitches a  ,  you play small, ruff a  and come back with a  ruff to cash your good spade. If he lets go a diamond, you overtake with King and ruff the diamonds good , and go back to table with a spade ruff.

 

The actual hand , contract and play was a lot more pedestrian. But then we live in our own fantasy world 🙂

Thanks Sumit Mukherjee – for drawing attention to this hand.

4 thoughts on “Shift that

  • Profile gravatar of Rajeshwar Tewari
    September 9, 2017 at 1:01 PM
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    I think this line is way too risky than a straightforward play given than you need second club finesse to work as well. After first 4 tricks, when first club finesse has worked, simply ruff a spade with jack, club to 9, ruff last spade with king and draw trumps.

    For entry shifting, you need both third club and second diamond to hold which you do not need otherwise.

  • Profile gravatar of Sandeep Thakral
    September 9, 2017 at 6:32 PM
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    I agree, and this was not the table play at all. Infact, at the table contract was a paltry 5H, and hands were a little different. I just wanted to bring up the hand cos I had come across a hand where entry shifting was atleast a possibility after a long long while.

  • Profile gravatar of Prabhakar
    September 24, 2017 at 7:56 PM
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    If the hand is modified slightly, by making a small club in the North hand a small spade instead, the entry shifting squeeze will be needed, and the play will be very reasonable.

    With the present distribution of high cards, after the above modification, entry shifting squeeze is possible only on West. But, if dummy was AKxx in diamonds instead of Axxx, now you need to decide which opponent should be squeezed, and plan to be on lead from the right hand at the squeeze trick.

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