Straight and Narrow

Sitting South, you deal and open 1  and in due course find yourself declaring 6 on a trump lead.


 You see that if LHO holds  K, you’ll be able to discard a  from dummy on  A, ruff a  and discard the last  loser on  K.

If  K happens to be with RHO, you’ll need to set up hearts. In that case you’ll need hearts to break 4-3 and trumps 3-2. If trumps happen to be 4-1, you’ll need  Qxx to fall. If all else fails ,  Qx will see you through.

With these thoughts, you play small from dummy and win with the ten as RHO follows.

You are about to table a small  when it occurs to you that you may not have sufficient entries if defence starts attacking spades. You double check, and notice that you’ll need three entries to dummy – 2 to ruff hearts and one to enjoy the long card. You do have these entries provided  A doesn’t stand in the way.

Congratulating yourself on your foresight, you cash  A at trick 2 before playing a  to Queen. Alas, RHO produces the king, and returns a second trump. You win in hand as LHO follows.

Your plan to setup hearts is still intact, and trumps have proven to be 3-2 so you can afford the  Q to be 4 cards.

Continuing with your plan, you cash  A, ruff a  with  J, cash  K pitching a spade and ruff a  high.

You face a major setback as LHO discards a club. Oh well, seems like you are reduced to playing for  Qx.

Cursing your ill-luck you table the  Q to draw the last outstanding trump, LHO follows and you discard?

Here’s the position:


 So far, every card that you played has been forced. You’ve had no real options. Your path has been straight and narrow.

This is the first time that you have a choice, a fork in the road. First time that you can elect to pitch a heart or spade.

Or can you? 

Lets see what we know about opponents’ hands. LHO has produced 3 diamonds, 2 hearts and 4 clubs so far. RHO has produced 5 hearts 2 diamonds and 3 clubs. At this stage RHO is left with 2 hearts, 0/1 clubs and 3/2 spades. If one club and 2 spades, your play is immaterial. He either holds the queen allowing you to make, or he doesn’t and you go down.

But if he holds  Qxx and  QT.. and if you were to discard a spade from dummy, what can he do? If he pitches a heart, you can simply cross to a spade and ruff the hearts good. If he pitches a spade, you cash both spade honors and then ruff a heart back to hand to enjoy the good  J.

Without any planning, intentions or malice aforethought, just by sticking to straight and narrow, you have executed a trump squeeze. Congratulations!!! 🙂



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