The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LIV: Transferring the Squeeze

The Adventures of Team Porcupine, Part LIV: Transferring the Squeeze

By Ray Adams

One of the prettiest plays in bridge is the transfer squeeze. This week readers have a chance to see how Porczouk Nograwowicz recently executed one in team play.

Kowalski bid his hand to the hilt, reasoning that since the pair had all the aces (4NT showed 3 aces),

his five card club suit was worth two or three more points. At any rate, he gave his partner a nice challenge.

West led the king of hearts, and Nograwowicz immediately saw that – even if East had the king of diamonds – he would still need a squeeze to bring home this extremely optimistic contract. He rectified the count by ducking the first heart and winning the second. He knew his only hope was for East to have the king of diamonds, but even if that were the case, this would still not be good enough for him to come to 12 tricks. West undoubtedly had the jack of hearts based on his opening leads of the king and queen. But West also had to hold the boss diamond for the squeeze to work. Therefore, Nograwowicz’s chances depended on East holding the king of diamonds and West holding the ten of diamonds. And that is how declarer played it.

At trick three, he crossed to the ace of clubs and advanced the jack of diamonds. East quickly covered with the king. Declarer won the ace, then ran spades and clubs. As dummy’s last club was played, the board remained with the ten of hearts and a small diamond. Nograwowicz had the queen, nine and six of diamonds and could easily throw the six. West, however, had the jack of hearts and two diamonds to the ten. West could obviously not part with the jack of hearts, and so had to toss a small diamond. Thus, declarer’s nine of diamonds took the 12th trick.

This successful transfer squeeze was worth 13 imps to Team Porcupine and allowed them to win a close match. Once again, Nograwowicz had justified Kowalski’s enthusiastic bidding.

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